Picking & Grinning: ‘TUF 13’ Finale

By Jeff Sherwood Jun 3, 2011
Clay Guida was once a Strikeforce lightweight champion. | Photo: J. Sherwood/Sherdog.com

Tony Ferguson vs. Ramsey Nijem

Freddie DeFreitas: There's no doubt Ferguson is the better striker, but I just can't shake the feeling that this fight will inevitably hit the floor and that's where Nijem excels as a mixed martial artist: Nijem by late submission.

Todd Martin: Ferguson to me was the most impressive fighter on the latest season of the “Ultimate Fighter.” His striking was both technically sound and powerful. Ferguson will stay away from Ramsey’s ground game and be crowned the new Ultimate Fighter winner.

Brian Knapp: If Nijem struggles to close the distance and get it to the ground, this is Ferguson’s fight to win. He matches power with accuracy and variety in his strikes. I think he rides that combination to a late stoppage or unanimous decision.

Tomasz Marciniak: When I learned that Myles Jury was out of TUF I considered Tony Ferguson a favorite to win. I'm going to stick with my guns to the end and pick him for the victor.

Tristen Critchfield: Both fighters have shown finishing ability on the reality show. If that can translate to Saturday night, don’t expect this one to go the distance. The overall experience and punching power of Ferguson proves to be the difference here. Ferguson by TKO.

Anthony Pettis vs. Clay Guida

Tony Loiseleur: While I don't think we'll see any crazy cage-jump-kicking this time around, I expect that seeing Pettis finally make his Octagon debut will still make for a wholly satisfying viewing experience. On top of that, he'll be doing it against a solid veteran in Guida, who has been doing pretty well lately. I don't believe Pettis will fall into the trap that Takanori Gomi did by ignoring the grappling in hopes of landing one big killshot on Guida, nor do I see him really engaging his opponent until a little later in the fight. Pettis will likely defend takedowns against the fence, slip out, and circle on the outside for the first half before getting comfortable enough to let his more exotic techniques fly. It's not as though Guida will grow tired over time, but Pettis should still outgun him and control the fight for at least 10 of the scheduled 15 minutes. Pettis by decision.

Lutfi Sariahmed: I like Pettis to win a close one against Guida. The question becomes just when he will get his shot now that we're all waiting on the next incarnation of Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard.

George Roop vs. Josh Grispi

Martin: Grispi's last fight against Dustin Poirier was jarring. Grispi had been steamrolling opponents standing and on the ground until he got outclassed by an even younger and less experienced prospect. Poirier’s legit, but there are major questions about where Grispi stands in the featherweight division. Luckily, he has the chance to rebound against Roop. Grispi should be able to control Roop on the ground to pick up the win.

DeFreitas: Having falling off virtually everyone's radar after the systematic dismantling at the hands (and feet) of Poirier, Grispi looks to get back into the mix at 145 pounds against another fighter looking to bounce back from a dismal performance in Roop. If Grispi can get inside on the rangy Roop, it will be smooth sailing for the Rockland, Mass., native. Grispi by decision.

Scott Jorgensen vs. Ken Stone

Marciniak: Jorgenson is a bull of a wrestler in this division and I see him slamming Stone all over the cage until he softens him up enough for the finish.

Critchfield: Outside of a loss to champion Dominick Cruz, Jorgensen has been solid in the bantamweight division. Stone, meanwhile, could be on the chopping block with a second consecutive loss. Jorgensen will use his experience edge and outpoint Stone to take a decision.

Daniel Downes vs. Jeremy Stephens

Brian Knapp: Downes remains rough around the edges. In another year or two, he might have a decent shot at beating Stephens. For now, Stephens has too much power in his hands and too much granite in his chin. He wins by second-round knockout.

Tristen Critchfield: Stephens showed his formidable knockout power against Marcus Davis in his most recent bout, and Downes will be wary of his opponent’s hands. The best chance for Downes to pull an upset might be with a submission, but Stephens is the bigger, stronger fighter, so he should be able to gradually assert his will and score a third round TKO.

2011 Standings:
Jordan Breen 73-26
Tomasz Marciniak 70-29
Brian Knapp 70-29
Guilherme Pinheiro 66-33
Tony Loiseleur 65-34
Rob King 64-35
Lutfi Sariahmed 64-35
Todd Martin 64-35
Tristen Critchfield 63-36
Freddie DeFreitas 63-36
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