Now that the coaches have done battle it's time for The Ultimate Fighter 11 finale. The main event (surprisingly not the TUF championship fight) features Matt Hamill vs Keith Jardine.
This is a fight between fighters moving in two directions. Hamill has won his last three fights while Jardine has lost his last three. This is a critical fight for Jardine to remain in the UFC.
The co main event is the TUF 11 championship fight between Court McGee and Kris McCray. Both fighters impressed on the show having both lost an early fight and coming back to make it to the finale due to injury and winning the wild card fight respectively.
The rest of the card is littered with other TUF participants past and present as well as UFC journeymen. Let's break down the card:
Matt Hamill vs Keith Jardine
Hamill is 8-2 with five wins by KO. He is a wrestler with improving striking. He has fought some tough fighters with mixed results.
Jardine is 15-7-1 with nine wins by stoppage. He is a kick boxer first with an under rated ground game. He has fought the best in the business unfortunately with average results at best.
If Jardine isn't at his hungriest for this fight he's going to be in for a long night. Hamill's stand up has looked better with each fight and while it might not compare with Jardine's he can do enough on the feet to set up the take down which is what he'll really want.
Jardine always comes in well prepared but he unfortunately just doesn't have the most talent. In fact his greatest asset is his unorthodox striking style. That won't be enough even with his under rated ground game.
Hamill should be able to get this fight to the ground and control Jardine for three rounds and do some damage. I'm picking Hamill to get the TKO victory in the third round.
Court McGee vs Kris McCray
McGee is 8-1 (3-1 on the show) with four wins by stoppage. He has a very solid ground game but is fairly well rounded. He has faced a couple tough fighters off the show with mixed results.
McCray is 5-0 (4-1 on the show) with all five wins by stoppage. He also has a solid ground game but he likes to slug it out. He hasn't faced anyone of note.
McCray is probably the more overwhelming physical force but I think he throws caution to the wind a little too much and his conditioning isn't as solid as McGee's. I also think McGee will be more prepared mentally for this fight.
I'm picking McGee to win a tough decision to become the next Ultimate Fighter champion.
Chris Leben vs Aaron Simpson
Leben is 19-6 with 14 wins by stoppage. He loves to box but has developed his grappling skills as well. He has fought a lot of tough fighters but usually is not the winner in those battles.
Simpson is 7-0 with six wins by KO. He is a wrestler with strong ground and pound. This might be his toughest test to date.
Simpson hasn't been tested much in his very young career but I'm not sure this will be his first real test. Leben could catch Simpson with a big punch but if that doesn't happen I think Simpson will take him down and grind out the victory.
I'm picking Simpson to keep his undefeated streak alive with a decision victory.
Spencer Fisher vs Dennis Siver
Fisher is 23-5 with 19 wins by stoppage. He is a well rounded fighter with striking and jiu jitsu skills. He has fought a lot of tough fighters with average results.
Siver is 15-7 with 13 wins by stoppage. He is a grappler with solid kick boxing. He has fought some tough fighters but often does not come out on top of those fights.
Both fighter's have well rounded games even though each specializes on one end of the spectrum. Literally anything could happen in this fight but I think Fisher has more experience against better fighters and is simply the better overall fighter.
I'm picking Fisher to win a close decision.
Jamie Yager vs Rich Attonito
Yager is 2-1 (2-1 on the show) with both wins by KO. He is a striker. He hasn't fought anyone of note.
Attonito is 7-3 (2-0 on the show) with five wins by stoppage. He has solid striking and grappling.
Personally I just want to see Attonito smash Yager but I know it's not that easy with Yager's striking. Yager could easily catch Attonito but I'm hoping Attonito takes him down pounds the will out of him.
I'm picking Attonito to win by TKO in the third round.
John Gunderson vs Mark Holst
Gunderson has way more experience and Holst is making his UFC debut. Gunderson should have the advantage on the ground. Holst could pull this fight out but I never like rookies so I'm picking Gunderson to win a decision.
Brad Tavares vs Seth Baczynski
Seth has a stronger ground game but I think Tavares is the better overall fighter. If he can keep the fight standing he should have a pretty good chance. I'm picking Tavares to win by decision.
Kyle Noke vs Josh Bryant
Both guys are super tough and have solid wrestling backgrounds. I think Noke's jiu jitsu and stand up is a little better and Bryant's wrestling is a little better.
Noke also has much more experience against tougher opponents. I think when you put all that together Noke will pull out the decision win.
James Hammortree vs Chris Camozzi
Hammortree did not have a great showing and Camozzi was sent home with an injury so neither guy shined. Hamortree should have the better wrestling and ground and pound while Camozzi has the better jiu jitsu. The stand up is probably a toss up.
I think Hammortree's ground and pound will nullify Camozzi's BJJ. I'm picking Hammortree to win by decision.
James McSweeny vs Travis Browne
This should be a good stand up battle. Either fighter could pull this out and even though McSweeny got all the hype from being on TUF 10 I think Browne is the better fighter. I'm picking Browne to win by TKO in the second round.