The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale will take place Saturday evening at 9:00 P.M./E.S.T. on Spike. The card will feature a lightweight bout between Diego Sancehez and Clay Guida as well as the welterweight and lightweight finals from the ninth season of the Ultimate Fighter: Team U.S. vs. Team U.K. The event will take place live from Las Vegas’ Pearl at the Palms. Check back with MMAPlanet for updates.
Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida
This fight is being hyped as a potential fight of the year candidate. There may not be any two fighters who have a faster pace in the octagon than Sancez and Guida. Sanchez looked great in his lightweight debut against Joe Stevenson and is looking to build momentum and a case for a title shot with a win here. Clay Guida is always exciting and has proven he can fight with the best lightweights in the world. With that being said, it is hard to imagine Guida beating Sanchez. If the weight cut goes well for Diego he should be able to get past “the Carpenter”. I honestly believe a win here moves Sanchez into the position of the number one contender and will earn him a bout with the winner of the Penn vs. Florian match at UFC 101. I expect Sanchez and Guida to have a high paced fight. I think that when push comes to shove Diego is a little better in ever department than Guida.
Prediction: Diego Sanchez by decision.
DeMarques Johnson vs. James Wilks
This is the match-up I expected at the TUF Finale. I think both of these guys looked very good in the show and were clearly th two best of the welterweight cast members. DeMarques showed a very well rounded game as did James Wilks. I would have to imagine that Wilks has the advantage in the clinch, but Johnson may have the overall striking advantage. I would imagine also that the two guys neutralize one another on the ground. DeMarques has been training with Matt Hughes’ H.I.T. Squard so he surely will have improved wrestling skills. It is hard to imagine that both of these guys have average records in their careers, but both hope to compete in the UFC”s strongest division.
Prediction: DeMarques Johnson by TKO in round 2
Nate Diaz vs. Joe Stevenson
This is a tough fight to call. Joe Stevenson has had a rough patch in the UFC. He has lost a couple in a row and his job may be in danger. Diaz is also coming off of a loss to Clay Guida. Diaz will have a big time reach advantage which might normally swing the fight his direstion. However, Stevenson is a tough guy who had supposedly re-invented himself by moving his training camp to Greg Jackson’s gym. Stevenson has a good ground game and a legendary guillotine, but Nick Diaz is very dangerous on the ground, especially from his back. There are several questions that are posed by this fight. First, will Diaz be content to use his boxing and his reach to pick apart the much shorter Stevenson? If he learned anything from his brother he should. Second, will Diaz be able to escape and avoid the “Daddy” Guillotine? He should be able to, Diaz is a Cesar Garcie trained fighter. Will the fight be a boxing match or a grappling match? I think this looks like a bad style match up for Joe “Daddy”.
Prediction: Diaz by decision
Ross Pearson vs. Andre Winner
It is so hard to make a pick based on what you see on the reality show. The fights we see do not take into account nagging injuries and the overall pressures of the house. Pearson proved to be a tough dude. Winner is a bit more unknown as he finished his fights with relative ease. This is a pick I am pretty much flipping a coin on.
Prediction: Winner by TKO in round 3.
Chris Lytle vs. Kevin Burns
Burns showed he a had a good ground game against Roan Carneiro. However, Lytle is a different breed fighter. They do not come any tougher than Chris Lytle. Lytle has great striking ability and decent ground game. I just have a hard time picturing Burns being on Lytle’s level.
Prediction: Lytle by decision
Gleison Tibau over Melvin Guillard
Brad Blackburn over Edgar Garcia
Mike Ciesnolevicz over Tomasz Drwal
Cameron Dollar over Jason Dent
Nick O. over Frank Lester