The first season of The Ultimate Fighter: Live takes place tomorrow night and we’ve got our predictions for the full card for you below.
Jake Ellenberger vs. Martin Kampmann
This is a worthy main event featuring two top contenders in the welterweight division, with Ellenberger in particular being almost within touching distance of a 170lb title shot.
Both these guys are well rounded fighters, but I think Ellenberger has the edge with his heavier hands, superior wrestling and all-round durability. Kampmann is the more diverse striker and has a surprisingly good ground game, but for me that won’t be enough to prevent Ellenberger from getting a finish inside the distance.
Jake Ellenberger to win by TKO in Rd2.
Michael Chiesa vs. Al Iaquinta
One of these two fighters will be crowned ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ tomorrow night, and either would deserve it, though perhaps for different reasons with Chiesa being all-heart and determination while Iaquinta has been the more skilled operator.
Chiesa’s done very well to get to this stage, but I think his luck may well be about to end as Iaquinta expoits his significant advantage in the striking department to get the better of him, though he’ll struggle to put him away.
Al Iaqunita to win by decision.
Max Holloway vs. Pat Schilling
These two featherweights looking for their first win inside the Octagon get a chance to shine on the main card of the TUF: Live Finale event.
Holloway’s the far more accomplished striker here and I expect his varied arsenal of attacks to be the key difference between them here as he pushes the pace and nullifies Schilling’s wrestling over 15 minutes of fighting.
Max Holloway to win by decision.
Jonathan Brookins vs. Charles Oliveira
Both Brookins and Oliveira are looking to make a name for themselves in the featherweight ranks and the winner of this fight should do just that.
I like Oliveira here. Despite mixed fortunes at lightweight he’s a very talented young fighter who should be able to pick Brookins apart on the feet with his speed, energy and creative output and will also be comfortable should the former TUF winner seek to use his wrestling as he’s extremely active with submission off his back. Brookins is tough, but I think he’s outgunned in this match-up and will get hurt on the feet before getting caught in a submission.
Charles Oliveira to win by submission in Rd3.
Justin Lawrence vs. John Cofer
Lawrence Vs Cofer wasn’t originally scheduled to be on the main card, but it’s been moved into the spotlight and rightly so.
Lawrence looked a real contender for a place in the final at one stage and I think he’ll show why in this fight. Cofer’s a good wrestler, but that shouldn’t trouble Lawrence who’s well rounded for a 21-year old and is particularly good on his feet which is where he should have his best moments in this fight, leading to a second round finish.
Justin Lawrence to win by TKO in Rd2.
Prelims: (Predicted winners in bold)
Myles Jury vs. Chris Saunders
Daron Cruickshank vs. Chris Tickle
Cristiano Marcello vs. Sam Sicilia
John Albert vs. Erik Perez
Jeremy Larsen vs. Joe Proctor