With season 13 of the Ultimate Fighter in the books, all that’s left is the much anticipated finale on Saturday, June 4.
While the card is headlined by an exciting matchup between the last lightweight to hold the belt under the WEC banner, Anthony Pettis, and the always energetic and exciting Clay “the Carpenter” Guida, the card boasts some exciting matchups from the shows contestants as well as a few UFC standouts. The season 13 finalists Tony Ferguson and Ramsey Nijem is set to be an exciting fight with a UFC contract and immediate stardom on the line.
Here’s a close up look at the card and our picks for the night:
Anthony Pettis vs. Clay Guida:
After rattling off four straight wins, including a one sided decision over Benson Henderson to claim the WEC lightweight belt, Anthony Pettis was on his way to the UFC with a promised title unification bout with the winner of the title fight between Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar. With an incredible performance from both athletes, however, we were left with a draw and immediate rematch. Instead of waiting on the sidelines, Pettis chose to take the next best thing; a scrap with the fast paced and unpredictable Clay Guida. Pettis showed incredible stand up and heart in his last bout against then WEC champion Benson Henderson, but will it be enough against a tough Guida? Guida is coming into this fight on a three fight win streak, all submissions. Both fighters have been on the shelf for roughly five months, so expect both to be eager to scrap.
Pick: this is extremely hard to pick. Either Pettis will grind out a decision while picking apart an antsy Guida, or we will see the carpenter getting a late submission. I’m going with Clay Guida via third round rear naked choke.
TUF 13 Finale: Tony Ferguson vs. Ramsey Nijem:
This is an intrguing matchup, and could quite possibly be one of the better TUF final fights we have seen in a long time. Ferguson comes into the cage with a very well rounded standup game and solid takedown defense. Ramsey will be coming in with an incredible background in wrestling and a very fast pace. It should be interesting to see if Nijem can handle the quick powerful striking of Ferguson, and if Tony’s takedown defense is solid enough to keep it on the feet.
Pick: look for Tony Ferguson to do whatever it takes to keep it standing up, but expect Ramsey Nijem to get a late takedown and ground and pound his way to a second round TKO.
Chris Cope vs. Chuck O’neal
A great matchup of two semi-finalists who made it this far on pure will, heart and determination. I hope to see more out of Chuck as he became a fan favorite of the cast and has a solid ground game we have yet to see. Not to mention that when his fist land, they land hard. So hard they end careers. Cope will use his great takedown defense to stay standing, but can he land the important strikes and not get frustrated and start gassing with wild punches?
Pick: O’neil by unanimous decision, if not a late round TKO.
Ed Herman vs. Tim Credeur
Both fighters have been on the shelf for nearly two years, and both look anxious to hear the cage door lock again.Both coming off of losses in their last outings. Ed Herman was stopped by Aaron Simpson at UFC 102 by TKO due to a nasty knee injury. Credeur is coming off a loss to Nate Quarry and lengthy layoff as well. Should be a tough fight for both fighters and they shake off the cage rust.
Pick: Ed Herman should be able to handle Credeur with ease and expect this to end on the ground with Herman winning via his 14th career submission victory.
Fabio Maldonado vs. Kyle Kingsbury
The Team Nogueira prospect, Fabio Maldonado, looked great in his UFC debut against a desperate James McSweeny at UFC 120, earning the TKO victory early in round three. The Brazilian has heavy hands so expect some bombs to land Saturday night. Kyle Kingsbury is no walk in the park, however, going 3-1 in his UFC career. Kingsbury showed a warrior spirit in his last bout, finishing Ricardo Romero in 21 seconds of round one with a high fever. The American Kickboxing Academy fighter is a jack of all trades so expect him to counter strike well and look for holes in Maldonado’s takedown defense.
Pick: Expect nothing short of hard punches from Fabio Maldonado, as he makes it a knock out victory late in round 2.
George Roop vs. Josh Grispi
Even with a KO kick to the head victory over the Korean Zombie, don’t expect fireworks from George Roop. Instead, Expect “the Fluke” Josh Grispi to expose heavy holes in his ground game for the better part of this fight. Grispi is coming off only the second loss of his career and he’s definitely ready to get back in the swing of things in the UFC with a victory.
Pick: Grispi will take this to the ground as soon as he finds no home for his strong cross, and make it an early night for roop as he cruises to a first round submission win.
Scott Jorgensen vs. Ken Stone
Jorgensen ended a five fight win streak with a hard fought decision loss to current UFC 135lb. champ Dominick Cruiz, but expect him to be ready to get things back on track against a tough American Top Team prospect in Ken Stone. Stone has only left it in the judges hands once in his eleven bout career, so look for haymakers and early submission attempts from the bottom. Jorgensen, however, likes to take it the distance and break your will, so look for him to grind it out for a full 15 minutes.
Pick: Possible fight of the night with Jorgensen fighting a tough battle to the last bell and notching out a split decision victory.
Daniel Downes vs. Jeremy Stephens
Downes will be making his UFC debut against a tough UFC veteran in Jeremy Stephens. Both like to swing for the fences, having a combined total of 19 (T)KO victories, so look for fireworks in this barn burner.
Pick: Downes will be looking for the knockout early, but the vet Stephens will likely end this in the second round with a strong chin and an ever stronger right hook. Stephens by KO early in the second round.
Clay Harvinson vs. Justin Edwards
Not much is known of these two, except of what little we saw of Harinson during his stint on the Ultimate Fighter 13. Edwards has five of his six victories coming by way of submission, while Harvinson has four of his six ending in the same fashion. Both will try to keep it standing, but we all know it won’t last long.
Pick: Harvinson by second round rear naked choke.
Ryan McGillivray vs. Shamar Bailey
Everyone, including Junior Dos Santos, had high hopes for Shamar Bailey during TUF 13 as he cruised to an easy win in the prelims. But things fell apart for him in the quarter finals as he looked sloppy an unable to control the pace of his fight. He pleaded his case for a second chance with Dana White and he will get his wish. But with it comes a cost; he must battle it out with fellow TUF 13 contestant Ryan McGillivray. Ryan is dominant on the ground and will do everything to get it there, as Bailey will be head hunting through this fight. This is a great matchup and hopefully it makes its way to the live broadcast due to an early stoppage.
Pick: Another tough one to call, but it seems that if Shamar Bailey can’t control the pace, we’re looking at a nice unanimous decision victory for the Canadian McGillivray.
Rueben Duran vs. Francisco Riviera
Rivera hasn’t fought since November, so expect him to be a little rusty to start things off, but to get back in motion against a hungry Duran. Rueben will be coming off a decision loss and will be looking to get back on track against a quick handed Rivera.
Pick: Rivera by second round TKO
There you have it folks! Enjoy the free fights and stop by for more of the latest news in MMA and BJJ here at BJJ.org!