TUF 17 Results: Power Ranking the Fighters Following Episode 5
With another episode of The Ultimate Fighter down, the field is beginning to thin out. Pretenders are being exposed, while contenders are making a case to become potential tournament champions.
The teams, coached by Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen, continued training and prepared for a fight between Robert "Bubba" McDaniel of Team Jones and Kelvin Gastelum of Team Sonnen.
Here are the power rankings for the show in the aftermath of the McDaniel-Gastelum scrap.
14. Dylan Andrews
Team Jones (Seventh pick, 14th overall)
Opening-round Result: Decision win over Tim Williams
Dylan Andrews has still not been seen much in the house, but his day will be coming soon. He is one of two Team Jones fighters yet to compete in the first round.
His options have come down to either Zack Cummings or Jimmy Quinlan, both of whom are wrestlers by trade with powerful hands. This should allow him to better train for his impending bout.
13. Gilbert Smith
Team Jones (Fourth pick, eighth overall)
Opening-round Result: Submission victory over Eric Wahlin
First-round Result: Knockout loss to Luke Barnatt
The more guys that fight, the less it looks like Gilbert Smith will get a shot at the wild card. His lack of cardio and shabby performance against Luke Barnatt may end up keeping him eliminated in the end.
Obviously, Smith will get a shot in the UFC when the show is over, but right now it's all about this tournament. Right now, it looks like Smith will be on the outside looking in.
12. Kevin Casey
Team Sonnen (Sixth pick, 11th overall)
Opening-round Result: Submission victory over Eldon Sproat
First-round Result: Decision loss to Collin Hart
Kevin Casey is another guy that could be on the outside looking in in terms of the wild card spot. His loss to Collin Hart saw him get broken mentally and handled physically.
His saving grace is that he does have good experience, a solid jiu-jitsu game and vocal chords that could talk him into that spot. Until now, Casey remains low in the rankings.
11. Adam Cella
Team Jones (Sixth pick, 12th overall)
Opening-round Result: Submission victory over Jake Heun
First-round Result: Knockout loss to Uriah Hall
I've said it before, but I would be shocked if Adam Cella were medically cleared to compete in the wild card match if given the opportunity. The knockout he suffered probably gave him a major concussion.
If somehow he were eligible, I would say that Cella deserves a shot to get back in the competition. He wasn't doing horrible against Uriah Hall previous to that hellish hook kick.
10. Bubba McDaniel
Team Jones (Third pick, sixth overall)
Opening-round Result: Knockout victory over Ryan Bigler
First-round Result: Submission loss to Kelvin Gastelum
What a disappointing performance by a guy that I, and many, expected to do well on this show. In a crazy turn of events, McDaniel was upset by Team Sonnen's last pick Kelvin Gastelum.
He is the most experienced guy on this show and he had a horrible game plan. He was the better striker, but he initiated the clinch which was stupid considering Gastelum was the superior wrestler.
I would not be surprised if he got the wild card spot.
9. Collin Hart
Team Jones (Fifth pick, 10th overall)
Opening-round result: Submission victory over Mike Jasper
First-round result: Decision victory over Kevin Casey
Collin Hart may not have had the most impressive performance in TUF history, but he smothered Kevin Casey en route to a unanimous decision.
Hart is a little bit of an odd duck on the show, but he also may be a dark horse. His takedowns and control make him a difficult out for any person who steps in the cage with him.
8. Tor Troeng
Team Sonnen (Fourth pick, seventh overall)
Opening-round Result: Submission victory over Scott Rosa
The fight next week will see Tor "The Hammer" Troeng look to retain the hammer (pun absolutely intended). The Swedish menace is known for his workman-like pace and savage animal-like style.
Troeng has been known to be a grappler, but in facing Josh Samman, that would play right into his strength. Perhaps Troeng can keep this fight upright and play to a possible strength of his own.
7. Josh Samman
Team Jones (Second pick, fourth overall)
Opening-round Result: Knockout victory over Leo Bercier
Josh Samman will finally get his opportunity to fight, even though he wanted to fight first. That was until he started complaining of nagging injuries this episode.
Either way, he will now be locked in the cage with Tor Troeng, a guy that not many people would likely want to step up and face early in this competition. If he uses his wrestling effectively, he could make a major jump up the rankings.
6. Kelvin Gastelum
Team Sonnen (Seventh pick, 13th overall)
Opening-round Result: Decision win over Kito Andrews
First-round Result: Submission win over Bubba McDaniel
Kelvin Gastelum proved why he was on this show in a big way. In an unlikely turn of events, the final Team Sonnen pick submitted Bubba McDaniel with a rear-naked choke.
Kelvin has good wrestling and showed he could grapple as well. This win was huge and pushed a great amount of momentum on the 21-year-old fighter's side.
5. Jimmy Quinlan
Team Sonnen (Fifth pick, ninth overall)
Opening-round Result: Knockout victory over Mike Persons
Jimmy Quinlan's options are dwindling right now. He will either face Dylan Andrews or Clint Hester in this first round matchup.
Whoever he fights, he should have a distinct advantage: wrestling. The top-game grappler will likely utilize this skill in an attempt to jump into the quarterfinals.
4. Luke Barnatt
Team Sonnen (First pick, first overall)
Opening-round Result: Decision victory over Nicholas Kohring
First-round Result: Knockout victory over Gilbert Smith
Natural physical gifts may be the key in this competition for Luke Barnatt, who stands at 6'6" and is very lanky. That means that he can fight at a distance.
He has been very impressive so far, beating Cesar Gracie student Nicholas Kohring and knocking out Gilbert Smith with a nasty knee.
Barnatt looks to be well-rounded, which could lead him to a nice career with the UFC.
3. Zak Cummings
Team Sonnen (Third pick, fifth overall)
Opening-round fight: Knockout victory over Nik Fekete
Zak Cummings, like his teammate Jimmy Quinlan, has two options left for his fight. Again, Cummings will have the wrestling advantage whether he fights Dylan Andrews or Clint Hester.
Cummings is a veteran of the sport and well rounded. He will likely be a tough out for either Team Jones member that steps up and faces him.
2. Clint Hester
Team Jones (First pick, second overall)
Opening-round Result: Decision victory over Fraser Opie
Clint Hester is getting a ton of hype stemming from his opening-round scrap with Fraser Opie, but his strength lies in his boxing skill. The two men he could possibly face are wrestlers.
Hester would need to use his explosiveness and athleticism to avoid takedowns against Zak Cummings or Jimmy Quinlan. Further than that, his knockout power in his hands would be essential as well.
1. Uriah Hall
Team Sonnen (Second pick, third overall)
Opening-round Result: Decision victory over Andy Enz
First-round Result: Knockout victory over Adam Cella
It has been a couple weeks since Uriah Hall kicked Adam Cella's head halfway to the moon, but it is still the most talked thing from this season of TUF.
It is going to be tough to find a guy that will be able to knock off this vicious striker. His athleticism and strength, coupled with a decent wrestling game will be more than enough to handle for most of the cast.
Could we be looking at the next Ultimate Fighter?