Now that we have just about had enough time to catch our breath from UFC 176 yesterday, we have another night of face-punching to keep us entertained. This time it’s The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale live from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, as Frankie Edgar and B.J. Penn go at it for a third time in the night’s headline bout.
(#3) Frankie Edgar vs. B.J. Penn – 145lbs.
While this may be their third dance, the exciting variable here is that it will take part at a new weight, featherweight. This will be the first time that Penn has competed at 145lbs and the first time that Penn has fought since his defeat to Rory MacDonald back in 2012, whereas Edgar has fought twice in the division, alternating a win and a loss with his most recent performance being a victory over Charles Oliveira this time last year.
I just can’t help it. Whenever B.J. Penn is fighting, I get all nostalgic and suckered in to thinking that we will see the real Penn: ‘The Prodigy’, especially as he is fighting at a new weight that should suit his frame better than 170lbs, but faith has abandoned me here. Edgar showed in their second fight that he was the superior fighter and the passing of time should only exacerbate this fact further.
Prediction – Edgar via decision
Corey Anderson vs. Matt Van Buren – 205lbs.
This is the light-heavyweight final of TUF 19 and by all accounts, this particular edition has been a right stinker and I doubt that we will be seeing too many of the participants in the Octagon. Anderson got here through two decision victories, while Van Buren picked up a decision win and TKO victory to book his place in the final. I’m backing Anderson to claim victory here as he has the more rounded MMA game.
Prediction – Anderson via decision
Eddie Gordon vs. Dhiego Lima – 185lbs.
Here we move on to the middleweight final of TUF 19. The Team Serra-Longo trained Gordon finds himself in the final thanks to two decision victories, whereas Lima displayed his BJJ pedigree in submitting both his foes en route to the final. I see this being quite an ugly fight with Gordon emerging victorious as a result of his superior strength and brawling style.
Prediction – Gordon via decision
Derrick Lewis vs. Guto Inocente – 265lbs.
Derrick Lewis was able to successfully transition over the KO power he carried on the regional circuit to the UFC and was triumphant in his Octagon debut last time out, TKO’ing Jack May earlier this year. Inocente will be making his UFC debut here, having been out of action since 2012, a point which I feel decides the fight.
Prediction – Lewis via KO/TKO
Justin Scoggins vs. Dustin Ortiz – 125lbs.
Justin Scoggins is a legit prospect in the UFC’s flyweight division. At just 22 years old, Scoggins is 9-0 with two of those wins coming inside the Octagon. Ortiz should prove to be Scoggins’ toughest test to date, but this kid is ready and vicious.
Prediction – Scoggins via KO/TKO