See below for our quick picks for Saturday night’s Ultimate Fighter 13 finale in Las Vegas.
Anthony Pettis vs. Clay Guida
Pettis marked himself out as a star in the WEC with exciting performances and no shortage of highlight reel moments, but he’s not been given an easy opponent for his UFC debut to show off his skills. If the UFC did a show called ‘The Ultimate Grinder’ then Guida would be a favorite to win, and he won’t give Pettis an inch of space to operate either on the ground or standing. Pettis is the superior striking technician, but I think Guida can rough him up and push the pace over three rounds to spoil the youngsters chances of getting a title shot.
Clay Guida to win by decision.
Tony Ferguson vs. Ramsey Nijem
Ferguson and Nijem certainly stood out as the two best fighters on this season of TUF, so it’s only fitting that they meet in the final. Ferguson has solid boxing skills, showing good accuracy and throws punches from unusual angles that often catches his opponents off-guard. Ramsey isn’t completely out of his depth in the stand-up, though perhaps a little reckless, but he’s more likely to use his strikes to set up takedowns and it’s on the mat that I believe has the skills to dominate this fight, and I like him to find a submission from there.
Ramsey Nijem to win by submission in Rd2
Fabio Maldonado vs. Kyle Kingsbury
Maldonado has built up an impressive 11 fight winning streak fighting in his native Brazil, but Kingsbury is on a three fight unbeaten run of his own in the UFC, and that experience fighting on the sports biggest stage, plus his superior wrestling ability makes me favor the former TUF fighter in this close encounter.
Kyle Kingsbury to win by decision.
Ed Herman vs. Tim Credeur
Both of these TUF vets have been out of action for well over 18 months due to injury so there’s definitely going to be an element of ring rust here. Herman’s had the tougher road physically though, having to fight back from serious knee injuries, while Credeur’s absence was largely down to a misdiagnosed brain tumor scare. For that reason I slightly favor Credeur who I also believe has a slight advantage in the stand-up, but really this is a pick-em fight.
Tim Credeur to win by decision.
Chris Cope Vs Chuck O’Neil
I’m not trying to be mean, but neither of these TUF 13 fighters strikes me as being UFC caliber. Both guys managed to make it to the semi-finals without showing a great deal of ability, but if I had to choose who’ll win I’ll go with O’Neil who’s a little more determined and could pose Cope some problems if the fight hits the floor.
Chuck O’Neil to win by decision.
Prelims: (Predicted winners highlighted in bold)
George Roop vs. Josh Grispi
Scott Jorgensen vs. Ken Stone
Daniel Downes vs. Jeremy Stephens
Reuben Duran vs. Francisco Rivera
Shamar Bailey Vs Ryan McGillivray
Clay Harvison Vs Justin Edwards