This Saturday marks the end of the 7th season of the Ultimate Fighter. If you had asked me to pick who would meet in the finals 3 months ago I would've at least got CB right. However, Amir came totally out of left field. To be honest he's never looked overly impressive but he just always finds a way to win and that's all that counts in this sport. With that said this card has some very interesting fights even though it is not star studded. Let's get down to business and start picking some fights!
Tim Credeur v. Cale Yarbrough: In a match up of TUF 7 fighters Tim is definitely the stronger fighter here. Tim has a record of 9-2 with 8 wins by submission. Cale, who does not have a professional record available, was absolutely out classed by CB on the show and Tim is not too far behind CB. I think Tim will want to take it to the ground and I see him winning by submission in round 2.
Matt Arroyo v. Matt Brown: Brown moved down to welterweight to take this fight which will be interesting to see if he will look better at 170 lbs. What's funny is that Brown has already beaten Arroyo once and Brown was a very competitive fighter on the show. Arroyo is 3-1 with all three wins by submission and 1-0 in the UFC. Brown is 10-6 with all 10 wins by stoppage. I don't see why Brown can't win again. My prediction here is Brown by TKO in round 2.
Rob Kimmons and Rob Yundt: In another match up of guys with the same name unfortunately I've never seen Kimmons before. Yundt is 6-1 with his 1 loss in the UFC and 5 wins by stoppage. However, even though I was burned before by picking against someone I've never seen fight I do think UFC experience counts so I'm picking Yundt by TKO in round 1.
Marvin Eastman v. Drew McFedries: In a fight between two heavy hitters dropping down to middleweight this should be an absolute war. Eastman is 15-7-1, 1-3 in the UFC, and has 6 wins by stoppage. McFedries is 6-3, 2-2 in the UFC, and has 4 wins by stoppage. These guys both swing hard and I'm guessing this fight will end early. My prediction here is McFedries by KO in round 1.
Josh Burkman v. Dustin Hazelett: Burkman is 9-5, 5-3 in the UFC, with 5 wins by stoppage. Hazelett is 10-4, 3-2 in the UFC, and has 8 wins by stoppage almost all by submission. Burkman is a well rounded fighter but I expect Hazelett to take this fight to the ground. My prediction here is Hazelett by submission in round 1.
Matt Riddle v. Dante Rivera: Matt Riddle is 1-0 but got bounced early in TUF 7 and even though Dante doesn't have a professional record available he looked much better than Riddle on the show. My prediction here is Rivera wins by decision.
Jeremy Horn v. Dean Lister: Horn is 88-17-5, 9-6 (UFC, PRIDE, and IFL), with 68 wins by stoppage. He is a submission specialist. Lister is 10-5, 4-3 (UFC and PRIDE), with 8 wins by submission. It will be interesting to see if either of these guys want to go to the ground with other. My guess is this will actually stay standing and I see Horn winning this on his feet. My prediction is Horn outpoints Lister for the decision.
Spencer Fisher v. Jeremy Stephens: Fisher is 20-4, 5-3 in the UFC, with 18 wins by stoppage. He is mostly a stand up fighter but is well rounded. Stephens is 13-2, 2-1 in the UFC, with 11 wins by stoppage. He is a stand up fighter who is vulnerable to submissions. I'm betting on Fisher to get this to the ground and get the win by submission in round 2.
Diego Sanchez v. Luigi Fioravanti: Sanchez is 18-2, 7-2 in the UFC, and has 14 wins by stoppage. He is mostly a stand up fighter but is a solid grappler as well. He is looking to continue his rebound after two losses against top competition in Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch. Luigi is 12-3, 3-3 in the UFC, and has 9 wins by stoppage. He is a stand up fighter. I see this as being a very good stand up fight. I expect Sanchez to win via decision.
Amir Sadollah v. CB Dolloway: In what is a first for a TUF finale the final match will be a rematch. Sadollah beat CB by armbar in their first fight after getting pounded pretty good for two rounds. I'm through underestimating Amir. I'm picking him outright to beat CB. This time I think CB will be more cautious and won't get caught but I also expect Amir to be better in his wrestling and will keep the fight standing more and will outpoint CB for a decision victory in an exciting finale for the six figure UFC contract.
Evan Tanner v. Kendall Grove: In what's being billed as a loser goes home type of match it will be an interesting match up between two middleweights who need a win to get their careers back on track. Tanner is making a comeback into MMA and was immediately derailed against a very tough Yushin Okami. Tanner was the UFC middleweight champion at one time so he has the skills it's just whether or not he's trained hard enough for this fight and dedicated himself to MMA 100%. Tanner is 32-7, 11-5 in the UFC, and 29 wins by stoppage. He is a well rounded fighter. Grove appeared to be on the fast track after winning TUF 3. However, he's been knocked out twice in his last two fights to average competition in Patrick Cote and Jorge Rivera. He really needs a win here to right the sinking ship but if Tanner's mind is right that will be no easy task. Grove is 8-5 with 1 NC, 3-2 in the UFC, with 7 wins by stoppage. He is also well rounded. I expect this to be an exciting fight with the fight going back and forth on the feet and on the ground. However, I don't think Tanner is in the right place mentally and will probably still be rusty from almost a 2 year lay off even with the Okami fight. I'm picking Grove to win via decision.
My picks for submission, KO, and fight of the night go like this. Submission of the night goes to Spencer Fisher. KO of the night goes to Drew McFedries. Fight of the night goes to Amir and CB. That's it for now. Check back in on Sunday for my Finale recap. Until then,
Soccer kicks and head stomps...