The Ultimate Fighter Finale 13: Pettis vs. Guida Fight Card Predictions
It's that time once again to crown another Ultimate Fighter, as The Ultimate Finale 13 takes place this Saturday night in Las Vegas, live on Spike TV.
Along with a solid prelim series of matches, the main card is stacked full with some high-profile names.
Headlining the show will be a battle between Ramsey Nijem and Tony Ferguson that will crown The Ultimate Fighter. Nijem, of Team Junior Dos Santos, and Ferguson, from Team Brock Lesnar, battled their way through a series of matches to reach this point.
Also on the card matchup that is sure to be filled with offensive firepower, as Clay Guida meets Anthony Pettis.
Kyle Kingsbury and Fabio Maldonado also will do battle, while TUF alums Ed Herman and Tim Credeur step inside the cage after over a year away for each.
Chris Cope and Chuck O'Neil, who each reached the semifinals of this past season's reality show, take part in the main card as well.
Chris Cope vs. Chuck O'Neil
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A pair of Ultimate Fighter Season 13 semifinalists meet in the opening bout of the night, as Chuck O'Neil and Chris Cope represent Team Brock Lesnar.
The two were seen as somewhat unknowns as the show began, but quickly established themselves in the eyes of Lesnar, UFC President Dana White and viewers with their willingness to go toe-to-toe inside the cage.
O'Neil (8-3) has more professional experience than Cope (4-1), and will try to use that to fend off the kickboxer. Cope, though, has fought on a big stage before, as he defeated Ron Kesler on the Strikeforce/M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Werdum card in 2010.
Cope took a bait-and-see approach in his fights on the show, but will need to be more aggressive against O'Neil, who showed how much punishment he could take and continue to fight.
Prediction: Look for O'Neil to attack Cope from the opening bell, scoring a technical knockout victory in the early stages of the second round.
Ed Herman vs. Tim Credeur
Two alums of The Ultimate Fighter square off, as Ed Herman and Tim Credeur meet in a middleweight contest.
Herman (19-7) has lost three of his previous four fights, but those defeats have come at the hands of contenders Aaron Simpson, Alan Belcher and Demian Maia.
His loss to Simpson back in 2009 was his last fight, as the bout was stopped due to a severe knee injury that caused him to miss all of the past year recovering.
Credeur (12-3) is also coming off a loss, falling by decision to Nate Quarry in 2009. The extended delay for Credeur was due to an abnormality found during a brain scan.
As you read, both fighters have been missing in action for some time, so expect a bit of a feeling out process in the early going.
Prediction: Credeur has won eight of his 12 fights by submission, and Herman has been submitted four times in his career. Look for "The Rock" to earn another with a choke of some variety in the second.
Kyle Kingsbury vs. Fabio Maldonado
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Since his loss to Tom Lawlor at the conclusion of Season 8 of TUF, Kyle Kingsbury has picked up three straight victories. The former Arizona State University football player will look to continue that streak against Fabio Maldonado.
Kingsbury (10-2, 1 No Contest) earned a TKO victory over Ricardo Romero back in February after a pair of decision victories put him in good standing with the UFC.
The 6-foot-4 light heavyweight overcame not winning a single fight on the reality show to impress the UFC brass with his physical style.
Maldonado (18-3) made his UFC debut last October with a victory over James McSweeney by TKO in the third round. The Team Nogueira fighter piled up several of his wins in Brazil before getting noticed and signed.
Prediction: Kingsbury will have the advantage in terms of length, but Maldonado will be prepared for that. Look for him to take Kingsbury out with a knockout in the first round.
Ramsey Nijem vs. Tony Ferguson
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The finals of TUF will feature what should be an exciting contest, as Ramsey Nijem of Team dos Santos meets Team Lesnar's Tony Ferguson.
Both were high picks by their respective coaches on the show and have proved their worth by making it this far.
Nijem (4-1) was the fourth pick and eighth overall. He earned wins over Charlie Rader, Clay Harvison and Chris Cope to reach the finals. Two of those victories came by rear naked choke, while the third was earned by TKO.
Ferguson (10-2) was selected third by Team Lesnar and fifth overall. Wins over Justin Edwards, Ryan McGillivray and Chuck O'Neil pushed Ferguson into the finale.
Prediction: Both of these fighters looked better and better each time they stepped inside the cage. With the extended break between the semifinals of the show and the live card, whichever fighter improved the most in all areas of MMA will be the victor. That's why I see Nijem coming away with the unanimous decision victory and the title of The Ultimate Fighter.
Clay Guida vs. Anthony Pettis
What a main event we will have here, as Clay "The Carpenter" Guida meets Anthony "Showtime" Pettis in a battle of lightweight superstars.
Guida (28-11) is known for his wild and crazy hair, and his never-day-die approach to the fight game. Since entering the UFC, Guida has earned three Fight of the Night honors, one Fight of the Year and Submission of the Night twice.
After a pair of tough losses to Diego Sanchez and Kenny Florian, Guida got back on track by taking out Shannon Gugerty, Rafael dos Anjos and Takanori Gomi, all by submission.
The former Strikeforce lightweight champion is sure to be a tough out for Pettis (13-1), who was the last holder of the World Extreme Cagefighting title at 155 pounds.
Pettis has not been seen inside the UFC cage yet, but has already made a name for himself with his highlight kick of Ben Henderson in their match for the title last December. Also, Pettis has been in a verbal feud with No. 1 contender Gray Maynard over his standing in the pecking order to fight champion Frankie Edgar.
Prediction: Pettis brings an interesting approach to the fight, as he owns five knockout wins and six submission victories. While Guida has faced the elite, Pettis might be of a different breed with his explosive technique and skill set. Look for Pettis to earn a submission with a triangle choke in the second.