No matter what the TUF number is (in this case, 13) we usually learn a fair bit about the fighters on the UFC roster.
TUF 13 was no exception, with several fighters being exposed and likely out of the organization. On the flip side, a bunch of fighters really shined in a great card for a Spike freebie.
The first round between Chuck O'Neil and Chris Cope was pretty even, but the tide rapidly turned beginning early in the second when Cope began to regularly land his jab and then stunned Chuck with a left hook upstairs.
Cope seemed to gain speed and energy from that moment, while O'Neil steadily got weaker.
By the end of the fight, it appeared clear that we may never see O'Neil on this level again, whereas Cope seemed to have earned at least another fight or two because of significant and steady improvement.
By looks alone, Fabio Maldonado looked to be in serious trouble when these two touched gloves. While Kingsbury has a sculpted strongman build, Maldonado has the appearance of your average cable guy. Looks can be deceiving in MMA.
While Kingsbury had a visible edge in action in the first round, especially due to a rather effective Muay Thai clinch and some huge knee strikes, it could be argued that Maldonado was robbed by the decision. Well, not exactly robbed, but certainly the argument is there to be made that Maldonado deserved at least a draw.
It brings up a serious question (and there are many) which needs to be addressed in terms of MMA scoring. How much are terrific body shots worth in MMA? According to this decision, not much.
But in Kingsbury's own words, he was significantly hurt several times by some of the sickest body work we've ever seen in the Octagon.
What have we learned? Knees that land on forearms matter more to the judges than perfectly executed body blasts. We've also learned Kingsbury's hours spent on his abs were probably worth it.
We didn't get too many questions answered in this fight, just a few big ones:
Is Ed Herman healthy? Yup.
Does Ed Herman have KO power? Yup.
Is Tim Credeur done in the UFC? Probably.
Clay Guida has some serious ground and pound, this much we know from past experiences.
Given how little damage Clay was able to do inside of Anthony Pettis' guard and considering how Guida seemed constantly at threat from Pettis while on top, we're now convinced Pettis is sick off his back... just not sick enough to get a finish.
But we also know that Guida has great take-downs, and with all the skills in his toolkit, Anthony Pettis' major Achilles heel is take-down defense.
Pettis' might have more luck off his back in locking up a finish in future matches than he did against a seasoned Guida, but it's tough to see how any good wrestler at 155 pounds is going to have trouble taking Pettis down if this isn't addressed.
I love the wild caveman that is Guida, but the hair is so obnoxious. Why should any fighter have to put up with the disadvantage of having the other guy's wig in his eyes for minutes on end when the fight hits the ground?
Serious consideration should be given to requiring a mop like that be tied back.
Deemed by unanimous vote within the TUF 13 house as the resident heel, Tony Ferguson seemingly had not a soul from the show rooting for him after an ugly drunken display in the second-to-last episode this season.
Ramsey Nijem, on the other hand, came to garner the respect of everyone on the show, especially after demonstrating he was more than just an entertainer.
Being a nice guy didn't help Ramsey avoid a right-left combo from Ferguson which put him on the canvas. Neither was Ramsey able to avoid the devastating finisher, a power right while while Ramsey was leaning on the mat with his right elbow.
For his part, Ferguson vaguely addressed his drunken tirade on the show and preached that he wants to be a better man and a role model for kids. No sweat, Tony, but you're short a mulligan.
For his Octagon debut, Scotty Jorgensen went into the cage at -500 for most odds-makers (some as high as -650) and the results were directly in line with those predictions.
This fight was was seemingly a breeze for the WEC vet, and it insures we'll be seeing more of this inspiring warrior.
A rare inside the guard knockout highlights the power Jorgensen is able to wind up from the top. He is a force to be reckoned with from that position against anyone in the weight class.
To some degree this is really just an opportunity to gawk at a recent smokin' photo of Arianny, but at the same time, bet you didn't know this: The girl knows more about MMA than a lot of fans.
Approaching the middle of the second round I noticed the Octagon girl typing on her phone and it didn't take much of a leap in logic to assume that she was tweeting. Naturally, my curiosity got the better of me, and damn if my instinct wasn't downright clairvoyant.
The sweet brunette had just tweeted how much she was enjoying the Guida vs. Pettis fight, and that she liked both fighters. She also noted that the crowd was reacting "predictably." Hmmm.
MMA fans have become split into two camps over the years: those that understand the beauty of the subtle aspects of the game, and those that wouldn't know a sweep from a jar of nails.
While it wasn't the most exciting fight of the night, Guida/Pettis was no snoozer and some real skill was on display in what Joe Rogan referred as a "Chess Match."
That it was, as each fighter needed to be extremely wary of being put away in a fraction of a second, particularly when they battled on the floor.
I don't expect the crowds at live events in Vegas to have the patience of the extremely astute fans of the former Pride organization in Japan, but at the very least the fans should be as educated as the Octagon girls.
Props to Arianny. Call me.
Ending anyone's night on this level with a right hand to the solar-plexus is highly unusual. 'Nuff said.
With guys named Sarge and Jocko in your corner out of one of the best camps in the country (Victory in SD), it's about time Jeremy Stephens got "the call." Much like the Jorgensen match-up, I'm not getting the rationale behind this one.
Going from talk of bouts with Maynard or Edgar, to a walkover (most odds-makers had this at -400 from the get go) is just silly.
It's not like Jeremy Stephens isn't going to take the money and thank God for his healthy exit, but let's not see "Little Heathen" any more against a non-contender.
Where's Rampage ?
All the Ladies in attendance, especially the ones with a microphone, were extremely grateful that Rampage is in a UFC- or self-imposed timeout.
Rampage is really a hard guy to dislike, having fought his way tooth and nail to everything he has, and overcoming tremendous disadvantages in his youth in the process, but at this point "thick" is inadequate to describe it.
There is very little doubt that the organization is going to have a do-over of the recent fighter orientation that is now well publicized NOT to have covered sexual harassment. Really, it's to everyone's benefit if MMA is held to a higher standard than the NFL and NBA.
Save your energy Rampage, you're going to need it for Bones.