Jon Tuck (6-0) –
Tuck is one of the early favorites heading into the show. He is a native of Guam who has a notable victory over Eduard Folyang. The question for Tuck is level of competition. He will no doubt (as most others) will be stepping up his level of opponent.
Myles Jury (9-0) –
Myles is one of my picks to make the finals. He was my pick to win TUF 13. Jury made the cast of TUF 13, but sustained a knee injury during the evaluations. He has since recovered from a torn ACL and will be debuting as a lightweight. Jury, trains with guys like Jeremy Stephens, so he has trained with some top and tough guys.
Daron Cruickshank (10-2)
Cruickshank is many people’s early favorite. He could do very well. He looked great in his win over Alex Ricci. He has a great style to do well in TUF. If he is not in the semi-finals I would be shocked.
Dakota Cochrane (11-2)
Cochrane is getting a lot of attention for his gay porn past, but he is also a solid fighter. He showed that in his utter domination of former WEC champion, Jamie Varner. Cochrane has a grinding style that could make him a contender. Also, Cochrane is a very big lightweight. Don’t sleep on this guy (no pun intended).
Don’t Sleep On These Guys
Jordan Rinaldi (5-0)
This is my sleeper pick. Rinaldi is a tough guy out of North Carolina. He has the tools to do well, but like many other he has not fought guys at this level yet.
James Krause (15-4)
Krause is one of the more experienced guys on this season. He is a WEC veteran who has fought some very solid competition, which should help him.
Mike Rio (8-1)
He is another guy that many people are going to overlook. He has a in your face style and a solid game which make him a threat to everyone. The CFA veteran will be a legit force. I also think he could have a UFC career.
Al Iaquinta (5-1)
Iaquinta is a former Ring of Combat champion who probably would have gone directly to the UFC had he not lost to Pat Audinwood in his last outing. He trains at Serra-Longo gym and is known for his wrestling. I had been very high on Iaquinta in the past, he still has the tools to do well. Hopefully he has improved.
Cristiano Marcello (12-3)
Marcello is older and more experienced. He is 34 years old. He is a PRIDE veteran. He has fought some tough guys. It could go either way for Marcello. He could do really well or he could lose in his fight to get in the house. He will have the best jiu jitsu by far.
Joey Proctor (7-1)
Proctor is another guy that I like a lot. I just don’t know how he stacks up against better competition. I think he could do well and maybe even contend.
Chase Hackett (4-1)
Hackett, aka “Prison Stare” should make the house. He has a win over fellow cast member Drew Dober. He is pretty green, but he could be an interesting addition.
Andy Ogle (8-1)
A team Kaboon member out of England who could make an impact. He has several UFC fighters as his training partners. Also, Ogle unlike many Brits has a good wrestling game.
Sam Sicilia (10-0)
Yes, the record is nice, but it is a bit padded with sub-par fighters. Nevertheless, when a fighter gets to 10-0 they deserve a chance. It is time for him to test himself against tougher guys. He may do great and back up his great record. However, he will have to do it against tougher opponents than he has ever faced.
Justin Lawrence (3-0)
Frankly, I don’t know what to expect from Lawrence. He is 3-0. What catches everyone’s attention about Justin is that he trains with the famous Blackhouse gym. Could that help him? It certainly won’t hurt him.
Michael Chiesa (7-0)
He is the other Fancy Pants Fight Team cast member. Like Sicilia he has a slightly bloated record. His wins have come against less than stellar opponents, but hey, they are wins. Some people have told me to keep an eye on Chisea, so I am.
Vinc Pichel (6-0)
Don’t get too excited by his undefeated record. He may have fought the weakest opponents of any cast member. However, to his credit he has finished all six of his opponents. So, he is obviously better than the sub-par guys he has fought. I am always skeptical with fighters with inflated records which is why Pichel is not atop my list.
Jared Carlsten (3-0)
This guy could be a surprise. Eddie Bravo says that he has the best rubber guard in MMA. He has won all his fights by triangle. This guy is very dangerous on the ground. The question is his stand up. We may eat crow putting him this low on our list.
James Vick (4-0)
A 25 year old fighter who has never faced a guy with a decent record. He is being thrown to the wolves here. Who know, he could become a star, but I am not convinced.
Cody Pfister (6-3)
Akbarh Arreloa (19-6)
Jeff Smith (9-1)
John Cofer (7-1)
Chris Tickle (7-4)
Mark Glover (6-1)
Erin Beach (3-1)
Drew Dober (7-3)
Austin Lyons (9-1)
Johnavan Vistante (3-1)
Chris Saunders (9-2)
Jeremy Larsen (8-2)
Brendan Weafer (6-3)
Ali Maclean (9-5)