TUF 17 Results: Power Ranking the Fighters After Episode 6
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 Josh Samman of Team Jones and Tor Troeng of Team Sonnen.
Here are the power rankings for the show in the aftermath of the Samman-Troeng scrap.
14. Dylan Andrews
Team Jones (Seventh pick, 14th overall)
Opening-round Result: Decision win over Tim Williams
With Team Jones's announcement that Clint Hester will square off with Jimmy Quinlan, it makes it official that Dylan Andrews will meet Zak Cummings.
Andrews is one of the few international fighters on the team, but he has solid experience. A 19-fight veteran, there are few in the house that have as many pro fights as Andrews.
The last pick of the show will need to prove himself against another experienced guy in Cummings to get to the next round. That win would be absolutely huge for his progression as a mixed martial artist.
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 people that fight in the first round, the more it looks like Gilbert Smith will not be getting the wild-card spot.
Although it has been addressed on multiple occasions, Smith's combination of questionable cardio and decent-at-best skills are not the most attractive for a second chance.
In fact, the only thing truly scary about Smith is his physique. But, physique doesn't win fights.
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 with a million-dollar body, but he failed to perform in the Octagon.
His loss to Collin Hart exposed him in the fact Hart made Casey quit. That kind of mental weakness is not preferable to any mixed martial artist in the game.
Casey is another guy who likely won't be in the running for the wild card.
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
Adam Cella is best known on the show as the guy Uriah Hall kicked into next century. Further than that, many may not be aware of who he is.
Actually, though, Cella had a spirited bout with Hall before succumbing to that fateful knockout. His effort alone could earn him the wild-card spot, assuming his concussion wasn't too severe.
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
Bubba McDaniel may be a top contender for the wild card. He has the referral of Jon Jones, his sparring partner, as well as the privilege of not taking much damage in his loss to Kelvin Gastelum.
Despite said loss, McDaniel is still one of the most experienced and well-rounded guys in the house. I believe he lost his opening-round fight due to a combination of looking past his opponent and poor game plan.
Don't be surprised if he gets a second shot.
9. Tor Troeng
Team Sonnen (Fourth pick, seventh overall)
Opening-round Result: Submission victory over Scott Rosa
First-round Result: Knockout loss to Josh Samman
Tor Troeng did not live up to the hype he had coming into the show...yet.
Troeng fought a tough fight against Josh Samman, but ultimately fell via knockout. To be fair, the fight with Samman was a fight that I was expecting to see in the quarterfinals or semifinals.
Troeng is still well-rounded and dangerous. I have a feeling that he will also be in the wild-card as a representative of Team Jones.
8. 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 is the dark horse right now in this tournament, especially considering the fact he is already in the next round. His upset of Kevin Casey showed a grinding style, proving Hart has the cardio that is likely second-to-none.
He may not be the flashiest fighter, but he will be a tough out for anybody who steps in the cage with him. Keep an eye on Hart moving forward, as he is not one of the names that immediately comes to mind when thinking of TUF.
7. Kelvin Gastelum
Team Sonnen (Seventh pick, 13th overall)
Opening-round Result: Decision win over Kito Andrews
First-round Result: Submission win over Bubba McDaniel
We are just a week removed from Kelvin Gastelum's huge upset of Bubba McDaniel, and upon further inspection, he may be the best "prospect" on the show.
At just 21 years old, he has a long career ahead of him. To be where he is at so young in his life is a huge advantage.
Training with Team Sonnen and putting in consistent work, as opposed to working his job, can only help the young fighter. We will see where he goes from here.
6. Jimmy Quinlan
Team Sonnen (Fifth pick, ninth overall)
Opening-round Result: Knockout victory over Mike Persons
Jimmy Quinlan is up next when he faces Team Jones's Clint Hester. This will be the classic striker vs. grappler matchup.
Quinlan is one of the top wrestlers in the house and has great experience in the grappling circuit. As mentioned by Chael Sonnen on the show, Quinlan is a former Pan-Am grappling competitor.
If Quinlan gets the fight to the ground, he will dominate.
5. Luke Barnatt
Team Sonnen (First pick, first overall)
Opening-round Result: Decision victory over Nicholas Kohring
First-round Result: Knockout victory over Gilbert Smith
Luke Barnatt seemingly caught some beef this week on the show with Uriah Hall. Could this lead to a fight in the next round between the Brit and the human head-kick highlight reel?
Barnatt is a tall, lengthy fighter with good striking and underrated grappling. He saw him use his leverage to counteract the brute strength of Gilbert Smith.
He is another guy to keep an eye on.
4. Zak Cummings
Team Sonnen (Third pick, fifth overall)
Opening-round fight: Knockout victory over Nik Fekete
With the Jimmy Quinlan-Clint Hester bout announced, it is for sure that Zak Cummings will meet Dylan Andrews.
Cummings is a highly experienced, well-rounded fighter that will be comfortable wherever the fight goes. He likely would have been a better matchup for Team Jones to pick against Clint Hester, but he draws the last pick on the show.
He could be a real threat to anyone he faces this season.
3. Clint Hester
Team Jones (First pick, second overall)
Opening-round Result: Decision victory over Fraser Opie
Clint Hester will fight Jimmy Quinlan on the next episode. Hopefully, his takedown defense is on par or he could be in deep trouble.
Hester is a former pro boxer with nasty power and crazy athleticism. If he keeps the fight standing, he could easily put Quinlan's lights out and send him packing from the competition.
A ground fight with Quinlan is not desirable.
2. Josh Samman
Team Jones (Second pick, fourth overall)
Opening-round Result: Knockout victory over Leo Bercier
First-round Result: Knockout victory over Tor Troeng
Josh Samman talked himself up, but he certainly backed it up with his knockout of Tor Troeng.
Samman is obviously a good wrestler, but he showed competence fighting off his back in the brief time he was down. Add that to the fact he showed powerful striking on the feet and he has elevated to a top seed in the tournament.
He is easily the best Team Jones fighter.
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
Uriah Hall is a sensitive guy. He is also a violent monster in the cage.
As seen throughout his time on the show, Hall takes offense easily and sometimes speaks without thinking. That will create some enemies in the house, even though I doubt anyone is eager to fight him.
Images of his head kick against Adam Cella still haunt my dreams (in a good way).