The Ultimate Finale 17 main card preview for this Saturday, April 13

April 12, 2013


The Ultimate Finale 17 main card preview for this Saturday, April 13

John Boldrick – Saturday marks the Ultimate finale, which brings an end to the current season and also crowns this versions champion. It’s been a wild season, filled with interesting characters and even more interesting fights. It was a nice change from the previous season, which fans would less than less than stellar. This year’s finale card is packed with series veterans as well as top ranked fighters, making for a great mix.

Two former WEC fighters face off in the main event. A Bantamweight brawl between former title challengers Urijah Faber and Scott Jorgensen is the evening’s headliner, as both fighters look to get back into title contention.

Coming to the UFC, Faber was seen as one of the top fighters below 155 pounds. Since joining the promotion, he has gone 3-2, alternating wins and losses. Currently the number two bantamweight, Faber will still have to put some wins together before another title shot having lost to both current champion Dominick Cruz and interim champ Renan Barao. Faber will likely look to his grappling and submission skills to get the win. Although he hasn’t had any TKO wins in a while, Faber’s boxing is nothing to overlook.

Faber’s opponent is the seventh ranked Jorgensen. Young Guns likely saved his job last time out, as he submitted John Albert. It erased a two fight streak that saw losses to Eddie Wineland and Barao. Jorgensen’s UFC record is identical to that of his opponents at 3-2. Look for Jorgensen to be comfortable if the fight goes to the ground, as he holds 50 per cent (7 out of 14) of his wins by way of submission. One disadvantage he may have is in the cardio department, as this fight is five rounds and Jorgensen has only fought past the third once.  While the fighters may be friends, there will be no love lost when they step in the cage.

The evening’s co main event will see the crowning of a new Ultimate Fighter. Ever since his first fight on the show, Uriah Hall has been a clear favourite. With a wide array of striking and great head movement, Hall has looked fantastic. He even showed power from the bottom, rocking Dylan Andrews from his back. Hall has shown a tendency to get takedown, although it hasn’t been much of a problem thus far.

His opponent is the youngest competitor in the show’s history, Kelvin Gastelum. The 21 year-old fighter has been on quite a run, going 4-0 on the show with 2 rear naked choke finishes. He may not be as skilled as Hall, Gastelum is tough as nails and as coach Chael Sonnen says he finds a way to get his hand raised. Gastelum should look to avoid striking exchanges with Hall, and take the fight to the ground and into his world. While Gastelum has 3 (T) KO wins on his record, his striking isn’t on the same level as Hall’s.

The UFC’s second ever woman’s bantamweight fight is on the card, as this one has a lot on the line. Former Strikeforce champ Miesha Tate takes on UFC newcomer Cat Zingano, where the winner receives not only a title shot, but also a coaching job on The Ultimate Fighter opposite Ronda Rousey.

For Tate, it’s also a shot at redemption. She was the one who lost the title and really propelled Rousey into superstardom. While Tate, like many others, fell victim to the first round armbar, she showed incredible heart and submission defense in that fight. After recovering from her broken arm, Tate defeated Julie Kedzie last time out. Owning an array of options for getting the win, look for Tate to mix it up here. It wouldn’t be surprising to see her go to the submission, as Tate has more wins with that method than any other.

Tate’s opponent for the contest is the debuting Zingano. Coming into the UFC with a record of 7-0, its clear Zingano has found success outside ZUFFA. Her last contest was a win in Invicta FC. Zingano is particularly dangerous, as only one of her fights has gone to the judges. A member of the Black House gym, Zingano is well taught in submission; her resume includes tap outs from three different types of holds. Zingano also has a KO via slam, making her very dangerous when going for the takedown or during grappling in close quarters. Zingano will look to leap up the rankings, as she is currently the fourth ranked fighter, but would likely climb with a win.

Let’s see how Travis Browne reacts to a loss. Last time out, Browne entered his fight 13-0-1 overall. After an unfortunate leg injury, Browne was cut down by Antonio Silva and lost via 1st round TKO. It snapped a five fight UFC unbeaten streak for Browne and gave him his first professional blemish. Here, Browne returns six months later looking to turn his fortunes. He’s really grown as a fighter since his draw with Cheick Kongo back at UFC 120, as Browne has proven extremely dangerous. Opponents have to watch out for flying knees and even superman punches whenever he’s around. Hapa also introduced some submission skills into his game, submitting Chad Griggs at UFC 145. A Greg Jackson trained fighter, his main strength is just that, strength. At 6’7 and 250 pounds, Browne is an imposing figure who can simply man handle opponents.

It’s been quite the home coming for Gabriel Gonzaga. Napao was originally released by the UFC in 2010 after a 1-3 stretch. It was rumored he may put MMA on the back burner to focus on competition BJJ. Instead, Gonzaga was back with the UFC after just one regional fight. He’s made the most of it, as Gonzaga is 2-0 in his second stint with the promotion. He’s also on a three fight submission winning streak, having won by three different types of choke. Last time out, Gonzaga out lasted Ben Rothwell, sinking in a guillotine choke on his exhausted opponent in the second round. The fight showed that Gonzaga is able to deal with bigger opponents, although his gas tank didn’t look the best. Since returning to the UFC, this fight will be Gonzaga’s first on US soil.

The main card kicks off with a contestants’ battle, as it could be the end of the line for one fighter. A member of Team Jones, Bubba McDaniel was seen a favourite coming into the season solely based on experience. Holding a record of 20-6 with 15 submission wins, it looked as though McDaniel would run through the inexperienced competition. What followed was a 1-2 run. McDaniel also didn’t earn himself any fans because of some comments made inside the house. This will likely be the Greg Jackson trained fighters last chance for a contract.

Facing him will be the first fighter eliminated in the first fight in the house, Gilbert Smith. Smith qualified for the house with an arm triangle choke win, but was flying kneed into oblivion by Luke Barnatt in the second episode of the season. Smith stayed around though, and will make his UFC debut here. Outside the house, Smith owns some slick submissions, going 5-1 with four tap out wins. He also has three rear naked chokes on his record, a technique that proved to be successful against McDaniel.


Main Card

–          Urijah Faber vs. Scott Jorgensen

–          Uriah Hall vs. Kelvin Gastelum

–          Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano

–          Travis Browne vs. Gabriel Gonzaga

–          Bubba McDaniel vs. Gilbert Smith



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