This latest season of The Ultimate Fighter has finally come to a close, and the finale is set. Roy “Big Country” Nelson will be taking on Brendan Schaub for the coveted six-figure contract, but outside of watching to see if someone will finally throw “Big Country” a beating, the real reason to watch the finale is the main event of the evening.
Headlining the finale are two star prospects in the UFC light-heavyweight division, Jon “Bones” Jones and TUF alum Matt “The Hammer” Hamill.
“Bones” Jones is a tremendous talent, and no doubt the move to Greg Jackson’s camp will play a huge role in his development, but he is going to get all he can handle and more from “The Hammer”.
Matt Hamill is the definition of heart and determination. Although he is hearing impaired, Hamill did not let that stand in the way of his dreams and aspirations. After becoming a three-time NCAA Division III National Champion Hamill would go on to compete in the Deaflympics, winning the gold in freestyle and the silver in Greco-Roman.
While Hamill’s base is firmly planted in the great sport of wrestling, since making the transition to MMA he has dedicated himself to becoming a better striker. It’s obvious that his striking is not near as dynamic as Jones’, but it is improving, and it is very powerful.
For Hamill to win this fight he will need to return to what he knows: WRESTLING. Yes, Jones is a very skilled wrestler and former Junior College National Champion, but very few MMA fighters can say they are world-class; Hamill is one of those guys.
Look for Hamill to close the distance early, taking away Jones’ freakish reach advantage. Hamill, while powerful, still has a long way to go before he can consider getting into a standup war with a young gun like Jones. Take a page out of the Randy Couture play book and utilize the clinch and grind Jones down with constant pressure and dirty boxing.
Once Jones beings to show signs of fatigue Hamill should secure a takedown and work some punishing ground-and-pound.
Youth and athleticism are on the side of Jones, but beating the odds is nothing new to “The Hammer”. Hamill will impose his will and grind his way to a unanimous decision victory.