Season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter may not have been the most entertaining or talent laden but it was able to produce a very enjoyable finale. For the most part, this season did its job; it added a few decent prospects into a very thin heavyweight division.
What’s next for the TUF 10 finale losers?
Marcus “Big Baby” Jones
While on the show, Marcus Jones may have earned the nickname “Big Baby” because of his kind, caring, and emotional nature in the house but inside the cage, Jones displayed a vicious ground game with some powerful ground and pound.
The biggest flaw in Jones’ game on the show was his standup, and in his finale fight with Mittrione it was his stand up that cost him. Jones looked awful in the exchanges and it was only a matter of time before one of Mittrione’s heavy shots landed flush. Once Mittrione connected it was lights out for “Big Baby”.
Jones has a real ground game but he has a suspect chin and possibly the worst stand up in all of MMA. The raw talent and love for the sport are there but Jones really just does not seem like he is a fighter and it is doubtful that after this KO loss he will ever compete in the UFC again. That’s not to say that he won’t be afforded the opportunity to fight in the UFC again, it’s just hard to see him accepting the challenge.
If he does choose to continue his career, his next likely opponent would be someone like fellow cast member Justin Wren. Wren is a talented wrestler with limited ability on the feet who is coming off of a split decision loss to Jon Madsen at the finale.
Matt Veach may not be happy with the outcome of Saturday night’s fight but he should feel good about his overall performance. Frankie Edgar was a huge step up in competition for Veach but he was able to secure a couple of takedowns and pull off a couple impressive slams.
Most of all, the match against Edgar showed Veach what he needs to improve on to compete with the upper level of the division.
A great opponent for Veach moving forward is Paul Kelly. Kelly is a very talented Brit who is coming off of a TKO loss to Dennis Siver. Veach needs to improve his stand up and his ability to maintain position if he wants to compete with the upper tier of the division.
There was nothing positive displayed by Houston Alexander during his finale fight with Kimbo Slice. Not only did Slice get the better of their exchanges on the feet but he completely controlled and dominated Alexander on the ground.
Just let that sink in for a second; Kimbo Slice dominated Alexander on the ground. That alone would be embarrassment enough for the UFC to yank his contract but the icing on the cake was Alexander’s unwillingness to exchange.
Alexander should know that he is in the UFC for one reason; Alexander is a go big or go home fighter. No one wants to see Alexander play it safe and execute a game plan. Alexander cost himself any chance of continuing his career in the UFC when he decided not to engage and go for broke.
Jon “Bones” Jones
The decision was questionable, and the officiating was horrendous, but that does not detract from how impressive Jones was in his DQ loss to Matt Hamill.
Jones took Hamill to the ground and passed to a dominate position with ease. Hamill is a world-class wrestler and he looked simply overmatched throughout the fight. Jones proved that he is ready to compete with the upper tier of the division.
The two names that instantly come to mind for Jones’ next test, are Rich Franklin and Brandon Vera.
A match and a win over Franklin would be a big notch on Jones’ belt but Franklin should not be considered elite at this point in his career. While it would be a nice win it would not truly gage where Jones is in his development. That’s why his next fight has to be Vera.
Think what you will about Vera, the guy is top competition. A win over a striker like Vera would prove that Jones is ready for the spotlight.
Even though Schaub lost to Nelson in the finale he will find a place in the UFC. Schaub is young, athletic, powerful, and he trains with one of the best camps in all of MMA.
It is important that Schaub uses his experience with Roy Nelson as a spring board to bigger and better things. Nelson is a very skilled fighter with a ton of experience.
A great matchup for Schaub’s next fight would be Chase Gormley. Both fighters are very young and looking to make their presence known in the division but both are a long way from being ready to compete with upper tier.
Schaub is on the right path and is surrounded by a great team. If he can continue to develop his skills and thicken up a bit more he can become a force in the heavyweight division. When it is all said and done don’t be surprised if it is Schaub who ends up having the more successful UFC career and not Nelson.