The Fight Report: TUF 17 Finale

| April 10, 2013 | 11:56 am | Reply

TUF 17 FinaleThe Finale for the TUF 17 season that revived the series from the dead is this Saturday from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The UFC has put the majority of the TUF 17 on the finale’s fight card along with many other fighters to put together a great card.

So let’s dig into the action below:

Urijah Faber vs. Scott Jorgensen: A fight between two WEC veterans that never came to blows in their old stomping ground, but who face each other on the biggest stage.  Faber has become a bit of a faded legend over the last several years, falling short in every title bid and drawing a bit of heckling for his constant shove by the company.  This push isn’t unwarranted though, as Faber is still one of the best fighters in the cage today, and while he comes up short against the best of the best, he’s more than a match for 99% of competitors. 

A fighter looking to beat those odds, Jorgensen will face another in a line of deadly opponents in his long career.  A boxer/wrestler that’s fought a dizzying array of fighters, Jorgensen has built his legacy off of being the toughest guy in the cage at any one time, using his swift takedowns and jackhammer punches to win the day.  While he’s never tasted a major title himself, he’s rarely more than a couple of wins from the top of the division, and this win would put him right into contention.

Jorgensen is great, but this is a match tailor-made against him in many ways, as Faber is truly just a better version of himself.  Jorgensen’s best chance is to land one of his nasty power punches, yet Faber isn’t one to get tagged easily.  This is one that plays out on the mat, and Faber’s counter-wrestling submissions should seal this for him early, hitting a choke for the first round tap out.

Uriah Hall vs. Kelvin Gastelum: MMA is the home of ridiculous hype trains, and being a pessimist by nature in terms of athletics, hype train derailment is something I delight in. Todd Duffee, Steven Thompson, and Alistair Overeem all had their days of outrageous fandom, and all found themselves proven inferior in comparison to perceptions.  Enter Uriah Hall, and we have another car on the tracks, with Chael Sonnen saying he can beat every man in the middle weight division, including the man, myth and legend, Anderson Silva.

He’s right.

Hall enters the UFC with the full Mike Hammersmith Approved Future Champion seal and I’ll gladly break a bottle of champagne on the Uriah Hall hype train on its maiden trip to the TUF Finale.  Hall has several factors that make him hell on Earth to fight, and the basic building blocks to make him essentially invincible in the coming years.  First and foremost, his striking technique is perfect to the point of absurdity.  He moves his muay thai skill set better than most of the higher-end K-1 and Glory fighters, striking with incredible energy transfer and surety.  This is partially due to his core strength, which generates power in his strikes and makes for tremendous hip action off of his back, and will eventually lead him to have impenetrable takedown defense with the proper instruction.  As of right now, his takedown defense and slight holes in his striking defense vs counter punches are the only flaws marring a near perfect fighter.

Gastelum is a tough guy and brings some guts and heavy wrestling, but his top positioning leaves something to be desired, as does a diminutive size for this division.  Being better suited for Welterweight, Gastelum will have trouble getting inside on Hall and trouble holding the powerful fighter on the mat, making a rough night for the Las Vegas fighter. A few pinpoint strikes and I think this one is over and done with as Hall crushes Gastelum and heads off towards greatness.

Quick Reports:

Cat Zingano TUF 17

Cat Zingano

Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano: The first non-title women’s bout in UFC history and one that determines Ronda Rousey’s next opponent is on deck.  Tate is a stellar grappler, with a keen understanding of the fight game, but Zingano is herself a lifelong grappler and legitimate powerhouse.  This is a tight match-up to call considering Zingano’s love of high-powered attacks and stable top game, yet Tate is a major step up for her.  The deciding factor here is that Tate tends to lose position easily while Zingano never relents, making a fight she can dominate with her patient style.  Not the most exciting way to win a TUF spot, but Zingano should control the majority of the fight for the decision win.

Travis Browne vs. Gabriel Gonzaga: A heavyweight tilt that greatly determines the career path of both men, Travis Browne will look to rebound from his first loss, taking on former title challenger Gabriel Gonzaga.  Gonzaga has always been a wild card and while he’s supposed to be reinvigorated in his current incarnation, I’m just not seeing the drive.  Browne has never been amazing, but his straight forward attacks and speed that defies his size should be more than enough to put a lackluster Gonzaga out in the first half of the fight.

Bubba McDaniel vs. Gilbert Smith: A controversial figure on TUF, McDaniel brings a well-rounded skill set and a great deal of size for a Middleweight.  Smith is a large man himself, but with far too much show muscle and not enough function, he comes into this fight looking like an easy win for McDaniel. A short fight is on deck, as McDaniel works a takedown on Smith and hits an RNC inside the first round.

Josh Samman vs. Kevin Casey: Two men who were ground down by the grueling pace of TUF, Samman and Casey will look to snatch a contract at the expense of the other. Casey has been the same throwback fighter since his career started, and while he has solid technique and a great deal of power, he’s useless in the long haul and has horrendous stand-up. Samman, with a bit of rest and a full training camp, is a bruiser and his speed standing will make the difference here.  A close first round turns into a brutal beating in the second, as Samman knocks Casey out cold on the feet.

Luke Barnatt vs. Collin Hart: One of the more competitive fights from this show, Hart will match his grappling skills against Barnatt size and striking skill.  I wasn’t impressed with either fighter on the show, but I feel Hart’s grappling is a cut above Barnatt’s, who doesn’t use his reach effectively enough to stop takedowns.  Hart should be able to hit trips, stay safe from top and grind out a decision win.

Dylan Andrews vs. Jimmy Quinlan: Andrews was one of my favorite fighters on the show, yet faces a very difficult draw in Quinlan.  What Andrews has is a ton of heart, great power and a willingness to learn yet comes into this fight a bit behind the curve of the standard UFC fighter.  Quinlan’s top game is ultra-tight, and while I don’t like his endurance or fortitude, Andrews might not be able to do anything about it.  Quinlan’s opportunity to win this fight is early, while Andrews is late, and we’ll have to see what transpires here in a close fight.

Bristol Marunde vs Clint Hester: Coming in from a previous TUF season, Marunde will get his chance in the Octagon, taking on Jones number one pick, Clint Hester.  Hester looked solid in his time on the show, yet his takedown defense was utter garbage and not likely to change due to his stance work.  Marunde is a tough-as-nails fighter that can absorb just about anything Hester has in store for him and has the fight smarts to avoid trouble spots.  Look for Marude to use his clinch and takedown game to shut Hester down fairly easily, leading to a TKO or submission before the midway point of the fight.

Cole Miller vs. Bart Palaszewski: Two of the grittier veterans of the Featherweight division, Miller and Palaszewski will square off in a bid to keep on the UFC roster.  Neither man has been matched easy in the last several years, yet this fight should be heavily contested due to their stylistic differences.  Miller will need to keep a bit outside and work counter takedowns when Bartimus moves in for his killshots, while Palaszewski has to keep in Miller’s face and stay off the mat at all costs.  While Palaszewski has the power to put Miller on the canvas, I think Miller has a slight edge in versatility and should be able to make this fight his own, with just a few rough patches.  A pitched battle and FOTN contender as both men trade but Miller’s grappling control earn him a decision win.

Justin Lawrence vs. Daniel Pineda: Two incredibly dynamic fighters in need of a win, Lawrence will bring his lethal karate styling’s to bear against Pineda’s submission savvy. This is one I can’t see making it to the final bell, between Lawrence love of power shots and Pineda’s slick submission game and this will all hinge on who gets off first.  It’s a coin flip, but I’ll go with Pineda to lock on a fast submission in a clash on the feet, walking away with the win.

Sam Sicilia vs. Maximo Blanco: A fun fight for sure, hard-punching Sam Sicilia will have one chance to turn it around, facing Featherweight dynamo Maximo Blanco.  Blanco came into the American market with a huge amount of hype, but after a two fight slide in SF and UFC, needs a win here to keep afloat.  Sicilia is a tough bastard, yet his short reach and relative lack of speed are going to give him issues against a physical phenom like Blanco.  While Sicilia always has a kill shot lined up, Blanco is quick enough to avoid the single punches, land some of his own and hit takedowns at will.  A long and tense fight leads to a late TKO or decision for Blanco.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Featured, MMA, UFC, Ultimate Fighter

Mike Hammersmith (Featured Staff Writer)

About the Author ()

I'm a 20+ year veteran of martial arts and a fan of MMA since UFC 1, when my world was thrown on its head by the budding sport. I'm obsessive in the pursuit of martial abilities and have competed across the country in everything from Vale Tudo to archery to Scottish broadsword. Once my body broke down, I picked up a pen and went in the direction of writing. I specialize in betting advice, predictions, and I'm a walking encyclopedia of MMA trivia. I own a cafe in Exeter, NH called Hammersmith Sandwich Company and write out of my office between customers.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.