For a full retrospective on the life of Evan Tanner, a True Warrior, please follow this link, for an in depth article from Luke
The Bushwhackers are the first MMA contributors at the Sports Baron. Luke made a trip with me to Torrey pines and rocked it. Butch, is his tag team partner and a gritty, yet tough younger brother. They are well-known MMA experts these two guys from the outback are making there MMA picks better than Jimmy The Greek. The Greek handicapped footballs games and these guys will handicap TUF Finale on Saturday night.
Evan Tanner (34-8-0) Vs. Kendall Grove (10-5-0)
Luke: To be honest I am really not that exited about this fight and the only reason its headlining the event is because Kendall won the TUF 3 finale. That being said, there are some interesting storylines. First, Evan Tanner spent all of 2007 walking the USA Kung Fu style, not training or staying in shape, just basically road tripping around the country. Interesting move for a guy who was the UFC’s middleweight title holder in 2005, but who am I to question a fighter I sit behind a computer all day. So late in 07 he decided he was bored of bumming around and started training again, got in shape just in time for Yushin Okami to lay waste of him in Round Two of his first fight back into the Octagon. Grove has been on his own journey himself over the past two years. After starting off strong following his TUF 3 win, he dropped his last two fights and has changed been two three fight camps in the past 18 months. He seems to have found a home with BJ Penn back in his native Hawaii and is finally coming to grips with the expectations of being a star in the UFC. Whose going to win? I have no idea, but if I had to guess I am going with Grove. He’s half a foot taller than Tanner, got great stiking and I imagine rolling with BJ on a daily basis has really sharpened his ground game. Triangle Choke Round Three victory to DA SPYDA.
Butch: Tanner has lost 3 of his last 4 fights in the octagon, but was once considered a dominant force. Kendall Grove is 3-2 since winning the 3rd season of the ultimate fighter. Both of those loses were in the first round and are his most recent fights. This is do or die match for both fighters with the loser possibly being cut from the UFC. I have Grove via submission.
Hannibal Lector’s Brother fights TUF.
Amir Sadollah (1-0-0) Vs. CB Dollaway (7-1-0)
Butch: Rematch of the ultimate fighter semi finals. CB has the skills and experience to dismantle Sadollah. However, Sadollah submitted Dollaway via arm bar in the third round of a fight he was losing badly. Look for CB to take this fight to the ground. I have CB via unanimous decision.
Luke: The culmination of a great TUF season full of some of the best fights the series has seen. Amir reminds me a lot of Luke Cummo(of TUF 2 fame), because no one gave him a shot at winning a single fight let alone making it to the final. Rampage even told him he was going home in the first episode of the show when he had to fight his way onto the squad. The guy is tough period. He’s not outstanding at striking or grappling or wrestling, but he is good enough at each to at least defend himself versus any fight style. Yes, that sounds like a back handed compliment, but the reality is he’s hard to KO, he’s hard to submit and he’s hard to score decisive points against, which is why he’s made it to the final. Oh, and when he sees and opening he takes advantage of it i.e. Gerald Harris(TKO), Matt Brown(Triangle Choke), CB Dollaway(Armbar). On the other hand, CB reminds me a lot of Joe Stevenson, Cummo’s opponent in the TUF 2 finale. He’s been the favorite from day 1, he was the first pick in the competition and frankly, no one wanted to fight the guy. Like Stevenson he’s a dominate wrestler that likes to ground and pound his opponents. Very strong, very athletic and in great shape. That being said, CB lucked into the finale. Unfortunately, Jesse Taylor chose get hammered and throw away his shot at a UFC contract, and that opened the door for CB to take out Tim Credeur via decision. Alright thanks for the background, but who is going to win? My take on these reality shows is that they really even the playing field for the participants because no one has and extended period to train or prepare for one signal person, thus guys like Amir or Luke are actually at an advantage because they are fairly well rounded and people take them lightly. That being said when you give a fighter 8-12 weeks to heal, train, eat right and prepare a game plan, I have to side with the fighter with superior skills and that is clearly CB. Now that’s not to say this will be a blood bath because it won’t. Like it or not CB has been caught by Amir once and that’s going to be in that back of his head. Secondly, Luke Cummo was a heavy heavy underdog to Stevenson and that fight still went to decision. So in that light I’ll take CB in a decision.
These MMA Dudes Play for keeps.