TUF 23 Finale Preview

tuf23-finaleFor the 23rd time, the UFC will welcome new fighters to the UFC with the end of another season of The Ultimate Fighter.

In this season the strawweights and light heavyweights were in focus as for the first time women and men entered the house at the same time.

The season also involved two of the best strawweights in the world as the coaches with the champion, Joanna Jędrzejczyk and top contender Cláudia Gadelha.

The fierce rivalry between coaches never really translated in the house as both teams got along better than any other teams in the show.

All of the fighting was saved for the octagon and for the majority of the show one team continued to come out on top.

Gadelha’s team was utterly dominant throughout the show winning every fight in the strawweight tournament and all but one fight in the light heavyweight tournament.

A late injury eliminated the third member of Gadelha’s team making a guaranteed match-up between the two teams for the title.

The choices from Gadelha were the right ones and most of the drama throughout the show came from the fact that the champion continued to lose.

The talk continued between the two coaches and boiled over in the final days of the show when they got into a fight both on and off of camera.

That rivalry will be solved later in the night as Jędrzejczyk defends her title against Gadelha, the toughest opponent she has faced to date, in the main event of the finale.

It will be a big fight for the division but there is more than just a title on the line as futures will be made in the final two fights of the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter.

In the strawweight tournament, it will be the top pick of the entire show against a much lower pick in a clear David versus Goliath match-up.

One the goliath side is Tatiana Suarez who came into the show as one of the most promising women fighters in MMA.

After going undefeated as an amateur and winning all of her three professional fights, Suarez won an impressive decision win in her opening fight.

Both coaches liked her and so with the first pick, Team Claudia selected the tough ground fighter as Suarez was chosen above all others on the show.

She will take on Cooper who wasn’t really the most talked about even after winning her opening fight with an armbar in the first round.

Her next fight was a majority decision win before really struggling to make weight in the semi-finals.

Eventually, she got to within a pound of the 115 lbs weight limit and got her chance to earn her spot in the Finale.

A submission win got her there and now the former golden gloves boxer turned well-rounded MMA fighter has a chance at a six-figure contract.

It is going to be tough against the very good ground game of Suarez who has won multiple titles in BJJ tournaments and finished both of her TUF fights with a submission.

The winner will be the newest strawweight fighter in the UFC as a contract is waiting for the winner of this heavy favourite against underdog fight.mma-sidebar.fw

In the light heavyweight division, it was another fighter picked first overall against a fighter that was certainly not expected to be in the Finale.

Khalil Rountree came in looking great with a big TKO win in the second round of his first fight but that promise didn’t translate to the house.

He lost his first fight in the house to friend and training partner Cory Hendricks via submission in the first round.

His chances at a UFC contract seemed to be over until Hendricks came down with a serious neck injury that caused him to pull out of the tournament.

Rountree got a second chance but he needed to get past a dangerous opponent to get that chance.

He did just that in using his stand-up to get past Josh Stansbury and earn a spot in the finale.

Now he faces an even tougher opponent in Andrew Sanchez who comes into the fight with a great wrestling background.

After his first win to get into the house he was another popular choice and Team Claudia made him the first male fighter to be picked on the show.

Rattling off big wins Sanchez looked dominant all show and now enters the finale with even more time to train his ground game and take Rountree to the mat.

That could be the difference as Rountree has a great stand-up game but was exposed throughout the show with a bad ground game.

With his second chance, he hopes to get past the wrestling of Sanchez and take home a six-figure contract.

The night will be a continuation of a great week of fights as two new fighters enter the roster and a championship is determined at The Ultimate Fighter Finale.


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