War. That's what I am looking for on Saturday night when I tune in to the Ultimate Fighter 3 finale. The finale's of the two previous seasons have provided us with some of the greatest fights in UFC history and this show should carry on that reputation.
Sam Stout -135
Kenny Florian +125
Stout made a name for himself in March when he defeated highly regarded Spencer Fisher. Stout brings quick hands to the octagon as he has won six of his nine fights with strikes. Stout has trained with Georges St. Pierre for this fight which should result in an improved ground game for him.
Florian is BJJ black belt who made a name for himself in the first season of the Ultimate Fighter when he made it to the finals before being stopped with strikes by the much bigger Diego Sanchez. Florian has a lot to prove here as a win will put him in a 155lbs. title fight and a loss would result in near certain obscurity.
Sands Says: I like Florians elbows and I think that if he can keep the fight close he will be able to sneak in some shots which may lead to a stoppage. Stout is on a mission though and training with GSP is going to make a huge difference. I think these two are going to try and show the new UFC fans what the lightweight division is all about.
Michael Bisping -500
Josh Haynes +450
This fight may be huge for the future of Mixed Martial Arts in Europe. If Bisping wins this fight he will be the poster boy for the UFC's expansion in to Europe during 2007. Bisping has a tremendous amount of talent and looked to be a step above the rest of his castmates during the entire show.
Haynes is a tough guy who will stand in front of you and trade. He is short for a light heavyweight at 5'9 but has a big frame as he fought at heavyweight in the past. To be successful in this fight he is going to have to keep the fight standing and hope that he can catch Bisping off guard with one his haymakers.
Sands Says: Bisping should dominate this fight. I look for him to come out and please the crowd with some stand up before the fight hits the ground and he submits Haynes. This will be Bispings chance to shine. Haynes does have a punchers chance though so an upset is not out of the equation.
Ed Herman -190
Kendall Grove +180
Ed Herman was one of the last fighters picked on the show and let us know about it every chance that he got. He impressed many with his take no prisoners attitude and came out of the show looking like a future force in the UFC.
Kendall Grove may turn out to be a phenom at this weight class. At 6'6 he is a mismatch for most guys in the and his game has continued to improve as he gets older. At only 23 you can attribute many of his losses to youth and I look for him to come in to this fight more prepared than he ever has,
Sands Says: This may be the Forrest Griffin/Stephan Bonnar fight of this season. Herman is going totry and take off Groves head which may hurt him more than it helps him. Grove is going to have to work his jab and wear Herman down. I will be very surprised if there are not fireworks in this one.
Keith Jardine -405
Wilson Gouveia +365
Keith Jardine shocked the world at the last Ultimate Fight Night when he gave Stephan Bonnar all that he could handle in one of the closest decisions in company history. Jardine brings a well rounded game to the octagon and he may need to utilize all his skills in this one. This will be a huge test for Jardine as expectations of him have never been so high.
Gouveia is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert who loves to brawl. Although he is better off trying to get the fight to the ground, Gouveia loves to stand in the middle and slug it out. A win in this fight would give Gouveia instant credibility in the division
Sands Says: Jardine goes in to this fight as a huge favorite and it will be interesting to see how he responds to being the guy who is supposed to win. Gouveia may be a decent underdog play if you think that he can take Jardine down and submit him.