The Ultimate Fighter 10 might not have been the most exciting season in TUF history, but we are now seeing an influx of fighters from the season booked for further events in the UFC, more so than with recent seasons.
Brendan Schuab, Jon Madsen, Kimbo Slice, and Matt Mitrionew will all join winner Roy Nelson in the UFC for an extended period.
More fight announcements could yet come involving TUF10 fighters, so the list might not be finished. Scott Junk and James Mcsweeney remain the most likely from the rest to get a crack at the main roster.
We now look at the five fighters who already have a confirmed fight in order to see who looks most likely to start their non-TUF related UFC fight with a win.
Jon Madsen (vs Mostapha Al-Turk, UFC112)
Jon Madsen is as one-dimensional as it gets. He has nothing much other than incredible wrestling skill. He would get you on the ground and then barely do enough to get a judge's victory without standing back up. Whether that could work against the always dangerous Mostapha Al-Turk remains to be seen.
Al-Turk was scheduled to fight Rolles Gracie in UFC109 but had visa problems (He probably regrets it now since Rolles look like an easy win). If Mostapha has his way, this fight would be finished and quick. In his six professional wins so far, four have come by knockout and two by submission, which goes to show how explosive he is.
This fight will ultimately (no pun intended) come down to who can impose his strategy on the other. I think Madsen will have moderate success, but Al-Turk will probably make sure the fight doesn't go to the judges.
Prediction: Al-Turk by KO
Brendan Schuab (vs Chase Gormley, UFC on versus)
Brendan Schuab's first fight in the UFC main card will come against Chase Gormley, who most recently lost to Stefan Struve by way of first round submission.
Schuab reminds me of a poor man's Rashad Evans. Brendan has knockout power, as shown by his right hand that sent Jon Madsen to sleep in the semi-finals. He also has decent wrestling skills and decent submissions.
From the little we have seen from the UFC, Chase Gormley will be a stepping stone in this fight. He got submitted very quickly in his UFC debut, but before he entered the UFC, he was 6-0 in big regional events.
I still believe Joe Silva and Dana White gave Brendan this fight because they wanted to build him up, as he's the youngest among the group who got contracts, and they see potential in him.
Prediction: Brendan Schuab by KO
Kimbo Slice vs Matt Mitrione
MY GAWD, MY GAWD, Kimbo returns to the ring!!!
Despite the relative inexperience of both fighters, this fight will be the third main fight on the UFC113 event, which includes Machida/Rua2 and Koscheck/Daley. This probably comes down to Kimbo Slice's marketability to the mass audience.
Kimbo Slice has shown marked improvements from his previous fights before he came into the UFC, and working with the American Top Team has definitely benefited him. He is still a one-dimensional fighter who will rely on his strikes to keep the other fighter at bay. TUF10 also exposed his weak knees, which opponents will try and target.
Mitrione has shown unparalleled knockout power, but he has also shown a reluctance to keep his hands up at all times. That weakness might be exposed by Kimbo, who can and probably will put him to sleep.
Prediction: Kimbo Slice by KO
Roy Nelson (vs Stefan Struve, UFC21)
Roy "Big Country" Nelson, winner of TUF10, will get to co-main event UFC's debut on Versus along with "The Skyscraper" Stefan Struve.
Their fighting styles cannot be more different. Roy Nelson is a black belt Jiu-Jitsu artist under Renzo Gracie and brings his considerable belly as a huge roadblock for opponents. Struve utilises his long hands and legs to strike an opponent and keep them away from taking him down.
It'll be an interesting clash of styles which I see going all the way. This fight is not the easiest to predict, but I see Struve keeping him away and slowly kicking and punching and softening the fat boy up, winning by split decision.
Prediction: Struve by split decision
So there you have it. My bold predictions for TUF 10 fighters. Losers will probably not be back in an Octagon again. Winners will probably get better competition.