Ok, I’m going to be honest with you. I love me TUF.
But the irritating thing is the people they pick, they miss quite a lot of fighters that deserve a shot at TUF.
You want to know why the show isn’t putting out guys like it was? The biggest reason is most of those guys are in Bellator now, the other reason is they pick guys to look good on TV.
There are 2 types of fighters that deserve to be on TUF.
Yes, I say DESERVE, cause its the type of show that can make a fighter a star, to a certain extent, Forrest Griffith is still getting PPV spots that a fighter with his record doesn’t deserve, even fighters that didn’t win the show have had great careers and even the ones that get bounced from the show still have that Ultimate Fighter bounce in booking local shows. I still think TUF is a big deal, and I am sure there have been quite a few guys to fight on the TUF finale that never, EVER would have gotten to fight infront of Joe Rogan and Mike Goldburg otherwise.
To me there are two types of fighters that “belong” on TUF.
1. Fighters with great records that are stuck in areas without quality competition. With Bellator coming to other markets, this is becoming less and less, but let me give an example of here. If a Fighter from Shreveport is really good, runs up a 6-0, 7-0 record. To be honest, there isn’t a ton of talented UFC caliber guys to face at some weight classes. Dustin Porier isn’t going to find many guys around here that can run with him (see why he went down to USAMMA and even Canada before the WEC even picked him up) If you are a 250 pounder and are straight trucking guys, you are going to build a fairly good run unless you goto Dallas or straight leave the area. I can BET you there are guys that I’ll see this year in CFC, USAMMA and the like in front of less than a thousand people that could beat half the TUF 16 class. I bet there are guys all over the country that are in the same boat.
2. Guys that are piling up fights that are simply too far out to be seen normally. Look at Bisping, coming off a main event on FX. How many Brits in the UFC when he came around at TUF 3? Exactly? You got a guy fighting in WVA thats 15-1 in a weight class you need to fill? Give this guy a shot. Got a guy in Hawaii that 17-0? Give him a shot, even if BJ Penn never heard of him. Got a 24 year old thats 21-2 in Oregon? Give him a change. With the fights to get in the house, you can do this more than you could before. Not many guys can quit their job to go fight in Canada or California. Take a month to get on a reality show for a chance of a lifetime? That’s a bit easier to pull off.
Faber’s got a guy that’s pretty good at his gym? F HIM, if he’s good, he’s GOT A CHANCE TO GET THERE. There’s a Blackzillian with a good ground game? F HIM, not like he’s got other paths to the UFC. Just ticks me off when Forrest Griffith’s Ju-Ju coach gets a shot that a DOZEN other guys within a hundred miles of where I’m sitting should get. (and a hundred miles of where YOU are sitting as well.)
So that out the way, lets look at the cast.
Please keep in mind, this isn’t anything personal to THESE fighters, but keep in mind what I said earlier.
Dylan Andrews (16-4-1), 32, Gold Coast, AUS
Luke Barnatt (5-0), 24, Cambridge, ENG
Frasier Opie (10-5), 25, Milton Keynes, ENG
Didn’t we already HAVE UK vs AUS? Oh yeah, Dylan didn’t MAKE THE CUT of that show. The other two, Barnatt being undefeated, Opie being from South Africa, but both these guys have MULTIPLE fights in Bamma- do they really need TUF to make the UFC?
Ryan Lee Q. Bigler (9-3), 28, Guam
Tor Troeng (15-4-1), 29, Umea, SWE
Got no problem with these two. Can we get a USA VS THE WORLD though?
Kevin Casey (5-2), 31, Hawthorne, Calif. – STRIKEFORCE VET
Nik Fehete (5-1), 32, Las Vegas, Nev. – Fought twice in BELLATOR
Zach Cummings (15-3), 28, Kansas City, Mo. BOTH A BELLATOR AND STRIKEFORCE VET
Yeah, these guys need the show to get noticed by the UFC
Leo Bercier (7-2), 31, Great Falls, Montana
Andy Enz, (6-1), 21, Anchorage, Alaska – never fought out of Alaska
Way outta the way guys with good records.
Adam Cella (4-0), 27, Fenton, Mo. – Kickboxer, like this guy
Gilbert Smith (5-1), 30, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Hito Andrews (9-2), 34, Sacramento, Calif.
Nicholas Hohring (3-0), 22, Valley Springs, Calif.
Mike Jaspar (6-0), 29, Camarillo, Calif.
Collin Hart (4-1-1), 23, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Frederick Persons (3-0), 28, Stockton, Calif.
I’m gonna group this last five. Of course, Southern California is a VAST UNTAPPED Market in MMA, Lord knows there are no fighters in the Stockton Ca Area that can locate unknown talent. I really am glad these guys are getting their shot. Who knows when the UFC will EVER go to this market?
Jake Heun (3-2), 25, Salt Lake City, Utah THREE AND TWO??? HOLY CHRIS BELL BATMAN! THREE AND F’N TWO??? (1-0 as an amateur)
Eric Wahlin (5-1), 29, Taylorsville, Utah interesting- currently serving a suspension by an ABC-recognized athletic commission (NSAC, Nevada)
Two Utes walk into the . . .
Bubba McDaniel (20-6), 29, Albuquerque, N.M. – Lets see fought Gerald Harris, Kala Hose, Alexander Shlemenko, and trains at Jacksons. Just the type of guy TUF was created for.
Scott Rosa (4-1), 27, Sparks, Nev. Dude beat JAMES IRVIN! Nothing wrong there, also fought for Shark Fights, another banger.
Kelvin Gastelum (5-0), 20, Yuma, Ariz.
Eldon Sproat (3-1), 27, Molohai, Hawaii
Uriah Hall (7-2), 28, New York City, N.Y.
Jimmy Quinlan (3-0), 26, Metheun, Mass. DUDES A COP!!!
Timothy Williams (7-1), 26, Millville, N.J. Coming off his first ever loss, BTW
I got no problem with NE guys making it, I mean MMA is illegal in New York still . . . .
Clint Hester (7-3), 24, Atlanta, Ga.Guys a Muay Thai fighter and Boxing champion. Please let him get on Sonnen’s team and learn stuffing a power double.
Josh Samman (9-2), 24, Tallahassee, Fla. Gracie Fighter, and has a GREAT Ground game.
WE GOT TWO SOUTHERN GUYS, Cause you know, Southern guys aren’t known for fighting or anything.
So there is some limited Tid-bits for you, I’m pulling for the two Southerners, and as for the rest, you know why. Dana, If you need a 185er that can BANG and has a ground game, and Oh by the way, has even been on TV. Let me know. I got a guy that can win your show and NOT EMBARRASS YOU at the same time. You got another weight class? I got a guy in Houston thats been whupping arse too.
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