Day 2 of UFC-palooza in Vegas continues with The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale. Good lord...there has been 22 seasons of TUF? FS1 is clearly starved for programming. On a related note, none of us watched this season of TUF so we didn't waste your time (you didn't watch either, be honest) picking those fights. Don't worry, this card is really about determining the next challenger at 145 pounds as Frankie "The Answer Edgar" takes on Chad "Money" Mendes.
Frankie Edgar v. Chad Mendes
Would it be weird if they renamed this event "TUF 22 Finale: Insurance Policy"? It's clear that the UFC had the possibility of either a Aldo or McGregor injury (let's be honest: Aldo injury) when they booked this fight. Edgar and Mendes are the top two contenders in the featherweight division outside of the gentleman in Saturday's main event. Beyond being a plan B, this fight will establish a clear contender to fight for the featherweight title. At this point, there are very few secrets with either of these men. Frankie Edgar's use of movement to set up his strikes has made him a champion before. Mendes will clearly be looking to land one of his big power shots. Both of these men are very capable of winning this fight, but I'm going to go with Edgar. When Mendes throws, Edgar wont be there. Edgar by decision.
Picking Edgar: All of us
Picking Mendes: (well that's surprising)
Tony Ferguson v. Edson Barboza
|You look ridiculous homie. |
Via Paradigm Sports Management's Twitter Account
This matchup was originally supposed to be Ferguson taking on Khabib Nurmagomedov, but the Dagestani Cowboy broke a rib. Edson Barboza stepping in as a replacement still lives us with a barn burner for a fight. Barboza is best known for knocking Terry Etim into the next dimension (seriously, where is that guy?) with a spinning wheel kick. The man is lethal with his feet. Ferguson is on a 6 fight winning streak. If he was a heayweight, he'd already be champion with 3 title defenses. At lightweight, it means he might need another win after this one to get a title shot. Ferguson is more well rounded, so I'm taking him here. Ferguson by 2nd round TKO.
Picking Ferguson: All of us
Picking Barboza: (a trend appears to be developing)
Joe Lauzon v. Evan Dunham
I'm honestly surprised these two men haven't fought before. Between the two of them they have 34 fights in the UFC, all in the lightweight division. Evan Dunham was once a heralded prospect that has become a middle of the road UFC lightweight. Joe Lauzon is the king of the bonuses. The man is not capable of a boring fight. I expect this to be an entertaining scrap between two veterans who are always looking for a finish. Overall, I don't think Dunham does anything better than Lauzon. I got the Boston native taking this bout after 3 hard fought rounds. Lauzon by decision.
Picking Lauzon: All of us
Picking Dunham: (we need to spend less time hanging out together)
|Manbearpig doing his thing.|
I'm sure you're asking; Why are we picking this fight? Shame on you. You know damn well why we are making picks for this fight. NAPAO! I've been a huge fan of Gabriel Gonzaga for years and it has very little to do with his fighting ability. That being said, the man knows how to throw down. Gonzaga is a monster on the ground and has some power in his fists as well. I am unfamiliar with Erokhin, but no amount of research was going to result in me picking him to win. NAPAO by 1st round TKO.
Picking Gonzaga: Dr. Law, Gooms, DJ Mark
Picking Erokhin: Kid P (finally, some variety)