TUF Live brought a new format with 16 new fighters but in the end there is that same outcome, someone is going to be crowned the next Ultimate Fighter. After last week’s final TUF Live episode that saw the two semifinals bouts we have reached the TUF Live Finale, happening this Friday from The Pearl at the Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Lightweights Michale Cheisa and Al Iaquinta will face each other with the winner earning a six-figure UFC contract, a new Harley Davidson and a one year sponsorship deal with TAPOUT. Both fighters took a complete different route to the finals en route to the ultimate goal.
Cheisa submitted Johnavan Vistante in the elimination round and was Urijah Faber’s fifth team pick. He became the focus on the show win he was given the news of his father’s passing and was allowed to go home and be with his family. Wearing his emotions on his sleeve, He would defeat Jeremy Larsen, Justin Lawrence and James Vick to reach the finals.
Iaquinta defeated Jon Tuck by unanimous decision to enter the house and ended up being Team Faber’s first pick. Even though he was the #1 pick by Urijah Faber, the quiet and stoic fighter flew under the radar. He would get a scare in the prelims defeat Myles Jury by split decision and followed it up with wins over Andy Ogle and Vinc Pichel to reach the finals.
Unlike past seasons, the TUF Live finale is just one week removed from the semifinals, leaving the fighters no time to rest, recover or re-tool. Heading into Friday’s finale the two finalists have already fought twice over the previous three weeks and get to do it all over again one more time.
But there’s more to the TUF Live Finale then just the finals as Jake Ellenberger and Martin Kampmann square off in an important welterweight bout. Ellenberger is riding a six fight winning streak and a win on Friday could position him in line for a title shot. Kampmann is coming off a big win against Thiago Alves and will look to put himself in prime position within the 170 lbs. division.
Last week’s UFC 146 was an entertaining night of fights with some thrilling upsets. Battling through those upsets were our predictions where we finished with a 7-5 record to bring our record to 78-61 (56%) overall.
The TUF Live finale opens with a couple of bouts streaming on Facebook beginning at 2:45pm PT / 5:45pm ET. The remaining portion of the prelims are televised on Fuel TV starting at 4:00pm PT / 7:00pm ET, before switching the channel over to FX at 6pm Pt / 9pm ET for the TUF Live main card.
TUF Live Finale fight card and Predictions:
135 lbs.: John Albert vs. Erik Perez – John Albert
155 lbs.: Jeremy Larsen vs. Joe Proctor – Joe Proctor
155 lbs.: Sam Sicilia vs. Cristiano Marcello – Sam Sicilia
155 lbs.: Chris Tickle vs. Daron Cruickshank – Daron Cruickshank
155 lbs.: Chris Saunders vs. Myles Jury – Myles Jury
155 lbs.: John Cofer vs. Justin Lawrence – Justin Lawrence
145 lbs.: Max Holloway vs. Pat Schilling – Pat Schilling
145 lbs.: Jonathan Brookins vs. Charles Oliveira – Charles Oliveira
155 lbs. TUF Live Final: Michael Chiesa vs. Al Iaquinta – Al Iaquinta
170 lbs.: Jake Ellenberger vs. Martin Kampmann – Jake Ellenberger
Stay tuned to MMAValor.com for the TUF Live betting corner, as well as live results and event pictures.