Friday, December 4, 2009

The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale: Echo calls it

Most folks who tuned into this season of The Ultimate Fighter had just one thing on their minds- Kimbo Slice. Whether you considered him the laughing stock of MMA and wanted to see him get his face kicked in, or considered his Youtube to Pro story an inspiration and hoped he could prove his worth, something like a gazillion of you watched TUF each week to see the guy get dangled in our faces like a carrot following his early-season defeat by finals contender Roy Nelson.

Slice said he would fight again for the UFC and, though it never happened during the regular season, the man’s promise is coming true at the finale show.
But let’s not forget about the rest of the card. This free series of bouts will be on Spike (check your local listings and all that jazz) this Saturday night and, honestly, viewers could be in for a pretty good show.

Marcus “The Darkness” Jones vs. Matt Mitrione
Maybe I’m not giving Mitrione enough credit, but I have a pretty good feeling Jones is going to absolutely dominate this fight. The guy is huge, strong, and has a decent stand-up and ground game. Jones’ biggest weakness is his conditioning. If he can overwhelm Mitrione quickly, the fight is his for the taking. My concern is that, out of fear of making a mistake and thus blowing his shot at a future career in the UFC, Jones might throttle back and take too much time with this one, pushing him into deeper waters where he’s likely to drown. Even if we see this fight get out of the first round, though, I see the big man putting a decent sized hurt on Mitrione.

Frank “The Answer” Edgar vs. Matt Veach
First off, Edgar, I don’t like anyone who has “the answer” before I’ve even asked “the question.” I can’t trust a guy like that. As for the fight, we have before us two strong wrestlers with decent striking power, similar builds and practically identical records. Edgar has seen some tougher competition, though, and I think that’s what will make the difference in this fight.

Kimbo Slice vs. Houston Alexander
I don’t think I could be more pleased with Slice’s first opponent. Alexander is no joke and, rather than throw a creampuff Slice’s way to earn favor with the fans, White has set up what could be a truly dynamite bout. Slice’s ground game, though improved, is still very weak. Thankfully, Alexander is a striker, and a strong one at that. I have a feeling Alexander is going to press in fast and try to overwhelm Slice, who will most likely be trying to keep his cool and approach this fight a bit too methodically. Slice doesn’t want to make a mistake and, if he’s thinking too much, that could very well be his undoing. My ideal outcome here is that both men walk into the center of the octagon, spend a few second feeling out their reach, and then go absolutely ballistic on each other. I’m a huge fan of Slice, but my head is telling me Alexander’s experience will help him find Slice’s narcolepsy button. My heart, though, says Slice will finally impress.

Matt “The Hammer” Hamill vs. Jon “Bones” Jones
Matt Hamill is a decent fighter but Jon Jones is going to absolutely blow through him. This kid is young, fast and off the wall. I don’t see how this fight can’t go to the ground considering both guys’ wrestling backgrounds but, grappling or otherwise, Jones will likely make short work of The Hammer. Keep your eyes on Jones. He’s going to be impressing us for quite a while.

Roy "Big Country" Nelson vs. Brendan "The Hybrid" Schaub
I said this when season 10 of TUF kicked off and I’ll say it again, Roy Nelson has absolutely no business being on the show. Though he failed to impress me during the season, he’s too experienced a fighter to be in the octagon with these guys. He should have gone straight to UFC undercards rather than square off against inexperienced athletes with big dreams. I almost feel like everyone else on the show has been cheated with this one but, what can you do? That being said, Schaub isn’t exactly a slouch and, hopefully, he can snatch victory away from Nelson. The kid’s young but he’s got a surprising set of skills that could make him into a real challenge for Nelson. Unfortunately, I don’t see things going that way. Nelson will try to stand and, the moment he gets caught with a decent shot and starts to panic, he’s going to ride Schaub to the ground and try to smother him, per usual.

No comments: