Spiars' Quick Picks: TUF 10 Finale

Sterling SpiarsAnalyst IDecember 5, 2009

As always, the UFC President Dana White hyped up the most recent season of "The Ultimate Fighter" as the most explosive, entertaining season to this day.

While it may not have featured the best fights or the most entertaining scenarios, TUF 10 wasn't necessarily the bad egg of the bunch. It had it's fair share of talented up—and—comers, established house hold names, and the usual TUF house banter that fans have grown accustomed to.

Tomorrow night, the most over-hyped season of TUF will come to a conclusion, live on Spike T.V. The card will feature all eight of the show's semi—finalists, as well as a slew of familiar faces inside the MMA world.



Roy Nelson vs. Brendan Schaub- Roy Nelson

After the Buffalo Bills released Brendan Schaub from their practice squad, he decided that he would follow another long-time passion of his in the form of mixed martial arts.

After planting his feet inside the well-known camp of Jackson's MMA, Schaub immediately made an impact inside Colorado's premier fighting organization, Ring Of Fire.

With his athleticism and solid base, both coming from his days as a fullback with the CU Buffalos, Schaub can keep almost any fight standing, where he uses his Golden Gloves experience to out—strike his opponent.

If the fight happens to hit the ground, Schaub is in no immediate danger, as he brandishes a purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu.

However, that may be impartial to this fight as he is set to take on the first IFL heavyweight champion, in the gelatinous form of Roy "Big Country" Nelson.

The long time phrase of "Don't judge a book by it's cover" has been slapped all over five year veteran. If his opponent misreads the warning labels, they have already lost to the crafty Nelson.

Nelson's extra weight easily transpires into extra force behind his punches, as well as making it a difficult task to take down the big fella. With these skills in his pocket, Nelson generally picks apart his opponent until he feels it's time to take the fight into his world.

Also a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu under Renzo Gracie, Nelson uses his extra weight to outwork and smother his opposition until they give up an opening. The crafty veteran is usually able to capitalize on these mistakes to earn himself the win.

Matt Hamill vs. Jon JonesJon Jones

This time last year, Matt "The Hammer" Hammill sported one game plan; he would get in range and score the take down. Then, Hammill would rain down hammers onto his opponent until the fight was over.

His wrestling background has been well-documented as a three-time Division III National Champion, as well as earning himself two medals in two separate events during the 2001 Deaflympics.

Training with Tito Ortiz and Team Punishment has only improved his already dominate attack, but Hammill surprised the MMA world in his most recent fight.

In a bout against fellow wrestling stand out Mark Munoz, Hammill unveiled a new attack by knocking out Munoz with a gigantic head kick. It just goes to show that fighters can evolve past what they're known for.

There is one noticable trait of Hammill that may ultimately be his down fall, which is his tendency to always move forward. While that may throw some fighters off, unpredictable fighters such as Jon "Bones" Jones can take advantage of highly aggressive fighters.

In his short time inside the octagon, the fans have been treated to a beautiful array of mixed techniques from Jones.

He uses unorthodox striking to throw his opponents off and keep them at bay. If there is a spinning strike available, Jones has probably already executed it inside the cage. "Bones" could also be considered as the man to popularize the spinning back elbow in the UFC.

With all of these flashy moves, one would think that Jones is highly susceptible to a take down, but Jones' junior college background with Greco-Roman wrestling has taught him some tricks of the trade.

Also, considering his recent move to Jackson's MMA, Jones has been getting solid sparring with well known training partners, as well as another great game plan from Greg Jackson himself.

Houston Alexander vs. Kevin "Kimbo Slice" FergusonHouston Alexander

Anybody up for a slug fest?

Kimbo Slice became a house-hold name for his backyard brawling videos, displaying some of the heaviest, bare fist hands on tape.

After his meal ticket, Elite XC crumbled like a cookie in an earthquake, Kimbo Slice decided to accept Dana White's challenge, joining the cast of TUF 10 to fight for a UFC contract, but he eventually fell short of his goal.

Given a second chance, there is no doubt that Kimbo will unleash his fisted-fury once the action begins. There are no bones about it, Kimbo's best asset lies in his striking and he will surely attempt to keep the fight standing to earn a long-term deal with the promotion.

His opponent, Houston Alexander, is also fighting for his right to stay under contract with the UFC. If he loses this, it would be his fourth in a row inside the promotion and it would surely send him packing.

Known for his brutal hands as well, Alexander likes a stand-up brawl and has gotten his wish with this fight.

Alexander will trade with Kimbo, but not as aggressive as he once was. He knows Kimbo shouldn't be taken lightly and he will wait patiently until he finds an opening, he is going to play this fight smart after his recent performances.

Reason being, he holds a significant advantage over Kimbo in the clinch. Alexander's muay thai will probably overwhelm Kimbo, which could cause the fight to hit the ground, where Alexander's ground—and—pound is just vicious.

Frankie Edgar vs. Matt VeachFrankie Edgar

Matt Veach has taken one of the toughest roads towards the UFC contract, fighting in various local promotions throughout the Midwest. Now he has his chance to fly up the board if he can get past Frankie Edgar.

Fortunately, Veach found himself in a solid camp under the tutelage of Matt Hughes and the rest of H.I.T. Squad, potentially turning him into a threat in the near future.

Although he doesn't carry the same type of credentials as other wrestlers with the organization, Veach displays his years of hard work and dedication with strong take downs and positioning.

On his feet, Veach's chin can withstand some punches long enough to deliver a powerful, counterpunch.

While the chin is nice to have, it isn't the wisest strategy to use against a guy like Edgar.

Edgar's continuous movement, combined with his quick, clean jabs and hooks will surely pick apart Veach with his straight forward approach. Like with most of his fights, Edgar will use his boxing to keep his opponent guessing as to what's coming next.

This is where he usually rips the opponent from their vertical stance and throws them down, where Edgar can outwork just about anybody. His positioning and control with his wrestling attack is near the top inside the lightweight division.

Plus, as Edgar continues to train with Brazilian jiu jitsu under third degree black belt, Ricardo Almeida, his ground game will eventually mature into a near—impenetrable force inside the UFC.

Marcus Jones vs. Matt MitrioneMatt Mitrione

Formerly known as "The Darkness", Marcus "Big Baby" Jones is one of the most "hardcore" lovable personalities in the fighting world. He is an honest, caring individual with everybody, which is a rare trait these days.

But personality aside, "Big Baby" has the menacing appearance similar to an indestructable villian in the Marvel world, standing at 6'6, and weighing over 260 pounds with a huge, solid frame.

Not necessarily known for his striking, Jones uses his speed and athleticism to tackle his opponent into his realm.

There, he might try to utilize his surprisingly nimble jiu jitsu to secure the victory, or he might use his heavy ground—and—pound, which could be very deadly, training with the likes of Thiago Silva and Thiago Alves.

"Big Baby" will be fighting Matt Mitrione, who will be appearing in his first, official MMA bout.

Like Jones, Mitrione comes from the football world. Although the conditioning between the two sports vary tremendously, extended time training with Chris Lytle over at Integrated Fighting Academy will help out Mitrione.

Although he posseses skills to drag a person down with his football past, Mitrione is a preferred striker. He likes to use his long arms to deliver jaw—cringing shots to his opponent.

Training with the above-mentioned Lytle, Mitrione will most likely show up with a cleaner striking attack, as opposed to his arm punches his used during the show.

If all of his training pays off, and if he can keep enough gas in his tank, Mitrione's strength has a great chance of putting Marcus to sleep.


James McSweeney vs. Darrill SchoonoverJames McSweeney

Jon Madsen vs. Justin WrenJustin Wren

Brian Stann vs. Rodney WallaceRodney Wallace

Dennis Hallman vs. John HowardDennis Hallman

Mark Bocek vs. Joe BrammerMark Bocek


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