Whatís up everybody? Iím back once again here on MMAforum.com and this will be my seventh blog, which will focus on the Ultimate Fighter Finale that will air live tomorrow night on Spike T.V. As usual, Iíll be predicting the winners for the main card but first Iíd like to take the opportunity to thank everyone here on the MMA forum for all the help and advice. Iíll really appreciate and thank you very much for taking the time to read this blog. Finals are next week for college so it will definitely be great to watch some good fights before I spend the next few days studying 24/7...ha ha Now, letís get to the fights.
Weíll start in the light heavy weight division with Junie Browning Vs. Dave Kaplan. As was documented on the show, Junie makes Chris Leben look like a saint but that doesnít mean that Kaplan should take Junie lightly. Iíd expect this one to be a brawl because Kaplan is a stand up fighter and Junie is a very well rounded striker so you can bet there are going to be some punches thrown in this one. Normally, Iíd have to lean towards giving the fight to the more well rounded fighter, who in this case, would be Junie but with his wreckless attitude, Iím not so sure Junie is a wise pick to win this fight. Itís been said many times, fighting is just as much a mental game as it is a physical game and in some cases the mental game might even be more important. Look at it this way, a fighter can have all the skill in the world but if they arenít mentally prepared to put those skills to use in a fight, they have no chance. Junie lost a fight on the show because he couldnít handle the pressure and in my opinion, the key to this fight for Junie is to be mentally prepared. Donít get me wrong here, Junie is a very talented fighter but unless he has got his mind ready to fight since the Ultimate Fighter finished taping, he wonít get a victory here because Kaplan isnít an easy fight for anyone. That being said, against my better judgment, Iíll pick Junie to get the victory because he is the more well rounded of the two fights but I also wouldnít be surprised at all if Kaplan gets the win.
Jason MacDonald Vs. Wilson Gouveia in the middle weight division is next and just looking at the credentials of both fighters, you know this is a very evenly matched fight. MacDonald is known for his submission skills and also being able to throw some striker but he also displayed some really good conditioning in his UFC career so far with most of his fights going to the 2nd or 3rd round. He won his last fight at UFC 88 with a choke and considering he is a veteran of MMA competition, MacDonald has proven himself to be a solid mid level middle weight. Gouveia is a brazilin ju jit su black belt and does have some KO wins on his UFC record so he can strike too. This is a tough one for me to pick a winner because of how evenly matched these two are but MacDonald nearly two times the experience of Gouveia so just for a guess Iíll pick MacDonald to get the win.
In the welter weight division, it will be a rematch of Kevin Burns Vs. Anthony Johnson. Their last fight back in July ended in controversy when Burns accidentally poked Johnson in the eye, which caused the fight to be stopped and Burns was awarded the TKO win. After the fight, Burns explained that he had to throw palm strikers instead of a jab because he broke his hand three times in about a year and a half. I have a few thoughts Iíd like to discuss about the fight from July before I talk about Saturdayís bout. If Burns canít throw punches because of his hand being broken multiple times then he probably shouldnít be fighting in MMA because eye pokes as simple as they might seem can be dangerous and an example of this is Johnson had to get eye surgery after being poked in the eye back in July. I know Burns didnít do it intentionally but he needs to consider his well being and the well being of his opponent. The other thought I wanted to mention is that the Burns/Johnson fight back in July should have been declared a no contest and Iím not sure how an eye poke can be ruled a TKO. That being said, letís look to this Saturdayís rematch between these two. This is really a clash of styles because you have Burns, who is a submission specialist in the cage with Johnson, who is a pure striker. What makes this fight even more intriguing is the only other loss Johnson has besides the TKO loss from July is a submission loss. The key to this fight is obviously where the fight takes place, Burns will look to take it to the ground and Johnson will look to keep it standing. Johnson gained notoriety with a devastating KO win over Tommy Spear and I think Johnson has the potential to make an impact at 170 if he can be victorious against Burns. As for a winner, I have to pick the same fighter that I picked originally back in July and that fighter is Anthony Johnson.
The 205 final of the Ultimate Fighter is Ryan Bader Vs. Vinicius Magalhaes and Iíd expect this to be a great fight. Bader has great wrestling ability but also showed he has powerful punches during his time on the show. Bader is also undefeated in his MMA career, which is a great accomplishment. His opponent, Vinny is a ju jit su expert but also showed some decent striking during the course of his time on the show. Itís more than possible for Vinny to get the victory but Bader has been my pick to win since the start of the show so just based on his potential, Iíll pick Bader to get the win here. Even though both of these fighters have a lot of potential, 205 is a very tough weight class so it will be interesting to see if they can make a long term impact in the division.
The light heavy weight finale will be Phillipe Nover Vs. Efrain Escudero and again, this is another fight that Iíd expect to be really great on Saturday. Nover has no obvious weak spots in his game and because of how well rounded his is, he was compared to a young GSP during the show. You canít really get a better compliment then that in MMA so it would seem that Nover has a bright future ahead of him. Efrain is known for being a wrestler but showed during his win against Junie during the show that he can strike too so he will be looking for the surprising victory in this one. Obviously, after being compared to GSP, I have to pick Nover to win the fight.
Thatís about it for this blog and thank you very much for taking the time to read it. If you have comments or questions you can post a reply in the thread or e mail me firstname.lastname@example.org