Thursday, December 3, 2009

T.U,F 10 Season Finale Reactions + Live Finale Matches

I wasn't surprised that "Kimbo" didn't agree to fight, he had expressed concern the week before about his knees and didn't appear to be in the necessary psychological state to fight.

John McSweeny looked okay against Matt Mitrione, but he seems to lack power in his hands and got way too cocky-- sticking out his chin and getting drilled for it. His array of kicks and knees is impressive, but his defense seems pretty porous. McSweeney cleared the quarter-finals by taking Mitrione to the mat, but neither really looked like a world-beater on the ground. I wasn't surprised when, in the semi-finals, Roy Big "Country" Nelson picked McSweeney apart and eventually finished him inside of a round.

Marcus "The Darkness" Jones used his excellent grappling and sheer size to overwhelm Darrill Schoonover. That set up a semi-final showdown with Brendan Schaub. I liked Schaub going in, but have to admit I was a bit worried when Jones secured full-mount. Eventually though, Schaub proved powerful enough to buck the big man off. He then rocked Jones standing and began frantically raining down to earn an impressive first-round TKO.

Overall, season ten of 'The Ultimate Fighter" was a bit of a hot mess, with several fights so atrocious (McSweeney vs. Shiver; Mitrione vs. Junk, Madsen vs. Wagner ) they were actually hard to watch. That said, it also had its moments. Besides, T.U.F. rarely features heavyweights specifically because the talent field is markedly thinner and they generally need a full training camp to avoid gassing. Educated fans know this, so it's a bit disingenuous to act surprised over substandard fight quality. Plus, in Shaub and Nelson, the UFC's heavyweight division now features two additional fairly legit, outside contenders, which is about the most you can hope for from any season of T.U.F.

Immediately after the show, the remaining fights for this Saturday's live finale were announced on SpikeTV. They include, the final tournament round between Brendan Schaub and Roy "Big Country" Nelson, a grudge match between Marcus Jones and Matt Mitrione, and two under card bouts: John Madsen vs. Justin Wren and Darrill Schoonover vs John McSweeney. Schoonover, who "Rampage" Jackson maliciously called "Titties" throughout the season, has been called to return to active duty because of the American military build-up in Afghanistan, so it would be nice to see him get a win here. Of course, it would also be nice to see him lose the forty-odd pounds of fat he is carrying and fight at light heavyweight where he clearly belongs.

The Live Finale card looks like this:

Heavyweight Finals:
Roy "Big Country Nelson vs. Brendan Shaub

Main Card (Guaranteed To Air on Spike):
Jon Jones vs. Matt Hamill
Frankie Edgar vs. Matt Veach
Houston Alexander vs. Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson
Marcus Jones vs. Matt Mitrione

Under Card:
James McSweeney vs. Darrill Schoonover
Jon Madsen vs. Justin Wren
Dennis Hallman vs. John Howard
Brian Stann vs. Rodney Wallace
Mark Bocek vs. Joe Brammer

I'll be back with main card predictions before the T.U.F. 10 Finale, which airs this Saturday (Dec. 5th) on SpikeTV. The three hour broadcast begins at 6:00pm PST and will be replayed at 10:00 pm PST.

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