The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale Preview

As TUF finales go, what’s in store for us on Saturday night isn’t half bad. A TUF winner-turned-reviled coach is taking on a happy-go-lucky former “Bully Beatdown” host, a quartet of promising bantamweights and featherweights are vying for the coveted brass ring of “The Ultimate Fighter” status (which guarantees them a few somewhat easy fights as they’re eased into the Octagon proper), a TUF winner from last season gets to take on someone who was once the uncrowned UFC lightweight champ, and the baddest dude with green hair you’ll ever know gets another crack at glory. It’s sort of fitting that we have a TUF 14 Finale that promises so much combative fun, as it will mark the end of a reality TV show that gave rise to a sport that – when it first aired in 2005 – was struggling to find itself. And find itself it did! Our baby is all grown up and huge! So on Saturday night, kick back on the couch with a bowl of raw almonds and a freshly-opened can of Pabst Blue Ribbon, and take in the last TUF finale on SpikeTV. It should be a good one, and dammit, we’ve earned it. Preview time!

-Michael Bisping vs. Jason “Mayhem” Miller – If there were lessons about douchey-ness that needed to be learned after his first stint as TUF coach, Bisping absolutely did not heed them. He’s still one of the most unlikeable persons on the planet when the cameras are rolling. Which isn’t such a bad thing in this instance, as the heat between him and opposing coach Miller hovered around nil all season yet people will still tune in to watch the cocky, self-centered Brit get his ass kicked by the goofy, always-smiling guy standing on the other side of the cage. In terms of skills, everyone knows how well-rounded Bisping is when fists and takedowns start flying. Mayhem is well-rounded too, although his jiu-jitsu is top notch – and that, coupled with his aggressive style, gives him the edge over the Brit. This one is ending via rear naked choke, and it sure ain’t gonna be Michael Bisping who’ll be cinching in that choke.

-Diego Brandao vs. Dennis Bermudez – Supposedly, featherweight Brazilian jungle beast Brandao knows a move or two in jiu-jitsu. But you’d never know that, because throughout the entire TUF 14 season he was swinging for the rafters and knocking cats out. Bermudez, on the other hand, proved to have the kind of resilience that makes you wonder if he’s human or really just organic matter covering a robotic endoskeleton. Either way, this should be a fantastic fight, with Brandao favored early – when the power in his fists is greatest – and Bermudez favored later. I’m picking the American to get the Brazilian down and grind him into oblivion, but with Brandao’s firepower, you never know.

-TJ Dillashaw vs. John Dodson – Dillashaw is going into this bout with a distinct size advantage (Dodson could, and maybe should, compete at flyweight) plus he’ll have that Team Alpha Male propensity for blending wrestling with face-punching with the unpredictability of a methamphetamine addict. Dodson moves like Speedy Gonzales and usually lands about eight strikes to an opponent’s one. Where does that leave us? Probably with one fighter somewhat successful at getting the other down and holding him there, but with interludes on the feet where the smaller guy blasts the bigger guy in the grill. I see Dillashaw earning the decision, but it won’t be easy for him.

-Tony Ferguson vs. Yves Edwards – The TUF Winner World Tour continues for Ferguson, who will follow up his jaw-breaking performance over Aaron Riley with a clash against the once-great Edwards. How great was Edwards? In 2004 the UFC didn’t have a lightweight belt, but the general consensus was that if they did, it would’ve belonged to him. Unfortunately, Father Time has taken his toll on Edward’s speed and ability to absorb punishment, so what we’ll likely get on Saturday night is Ferguson using his pinpoint-accurate boxing to great effect against someone who would’ve killed him seven years ago. *Sigh* Ferguson takes this one via TKO.

-Louis Gaudinot vs. Johnny Bedford – Like Dodson, Gaudinot is totally going to kill it once the UFC opens up the 125-pound weight class. Until then, however, he’s going to have to employ his lightning-like striking, capable grappling and unending tenacity against dudes with longer reaches and heads way up in the sky (comparatively). When it comes to Bedford – who didn’t really show much on TUF 14 other than toughness – Gaudinot shouldn’t have a problem getting around the size difference. He’s going to be too fast to get a bead on, and too dangerous when Bedford gets his hands on him. Watch for the Green-Haired One to snag the “W” via TKO.

  • Lanfear

    Sometimes I wonder if you only dislike Bispings because I like him Genia. Maybe it has something to do with him beating your homeboy Rivera though. Enlighten me if you please.

    • jim genia

      You’re actually not important enough to me to enter into my mind and influence what I think and feel.  The truth is, unless I see you post something, I forget about your existence entirely.

    • jim genia

      You’re actually not important enough to me to enter into my mind and influence what I think and feel.  The truth is, unless I see you post something, I forget about your existence entirely.

      • Lanfear

        Well I’m sure that isn’t true ;) Out of curiousity then, why do you hate Bisping so much? It seems both unfounded and unprofessional. If you find it in your wisdom to enlighten one us lowly and insignificant as me please do so.

        • jim genia

          Hate is a strong word.  It’s more accurate to say that I think he’s one of those pampered TUF winners who will never be worthy of a shot at the belt, and who gets his opportunities for TUF coaching based on his unlikeable personality.  Which is fine, good for him for getting work.  But if he’s going to play the Douche Card to get ahead, none of us are obligated to think he’s a swell guy.

    • jim genia

      You’re actually not important enough to me to enter into my mind and influence what I think and feel.  The truth is, unless I see you post something, I forget about your existence entirely.

  • Jfinstad28

    I like the ballsiness going for mayhem. Nobody wants to see bisping win. I don’t think Bermudez has a chance though. He’s the only finale fighter training out of a relatiely unnown camp where as Diego is no in new mexico with Jackson. Hes gonna be explosve as ever but maybe more diciplined uder the tutilage of Greg Jackson.

    • jim genia

      Bermudez trains with Ryan LaFlare, who has been a dominant Ring of Combat champ.  There are stories floating around that LaFlare visited Xtreme Couture in Vegas and absolutely trounced some “name” fighters, so it’s safe to assume Bermudez is in good hands.

    • jim genia

      Bermudez trains with Ryan LaFlare, who has been a dominant Ring of Combat champ.  There are stories floating around that LaFlare visited Xtreme Couture in Vegas and absolutely trounced some “name” fighters, so it’s safe to assume Bermudez is in good hands.

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Fight Cards

UFC Fight Night 48: Bisping vs. Le

Event Date: August 23, 2014
Broadcast: UFC Fight Pass

UFC Fight Night 49: Henderson vs. Dos Anjos

Event Date: August 23, 2014
Broadcast: Fox Sports 1

UFC 177: Dillashaw vs. Barao II

Event Date: August 30, 2014
Broadcast: Pay-per-view, Fox Sports 1, UFC Fight Pass

Bellator 123: Curran vs. Pitbull 2

Event Date: September 5, 2014
Broadcast: Spike TV

UFC Fight Night 50: Jacare vs. Mousasi

Event Date: September 5, 2014
Broadcast: Fox Sports 1, UFC Fight Pass

Bellator 124: Newton vs. Beltran

Event Date: September 12, 2014
Broadcast: Spike TV, Spike.com