Every time UFC puts on an event, speculation, questions and theories arise about which fighters will perform, or under perform. Will new contenders emerge? Will established ones fall? Where will the winners go? Which losers will still have a job on Monday? Who is healthy? Who is fighting injured? Anytime the UFC athletes are set to enter the octagon, questions follow.
That being said, here are four burning questions going into “The Ultimate Fighter: Live Finale”.
4. How Many “TUF: Live” Cast Members Are UFC Caliber?
As the season progresses and members of the reality show become more and more well known to the FX audience, questions come to surface about which fighters are truly UFC caliber, and which were simply brought in to give personality to the house. With every passing season, the percentage of fighters receiving UFC contracts has fallen dramatically. There are still seven members of season one competing for the organization, six from season 5, and only from season 10 and 13. Due to the stacked nature of the UFC lightweight roster, it is likely quite a few members of the show will not be offered another fight after the finale.
The stats don’t lie. It could simply come down to limited roster spots, but the UFC has certainly been more selective in who they hand out contracts too after recent seasons. There will be 14 of 16 members from “The Ultimate Fighter: Live” cast competing on this Saturday’s finale. We know at least one will receive a six-figure UFC contracts, as for the rest; fight night performances will decide their future.
3. Can Jake Ellenberger Steamroll Martin Kampmann?
Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger has been on an absolute tear as of late. He has won six straight fights with two of the last three ending in vicious knockouts. In his last fight, Ellenberger outpointed a game Diego Sanchez en route to a unanimous decision. Ellenberger has been plowing through the competition and only has only lost one fight in over three years, a razor-tight split decision to current UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit. The 26-year-old will face another top welterweight in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter: Live Finale when he takes on Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann. Ellenberger is on absolute warpath towards the top of the division and Kampmann is the next hurdle in Ellenberger’s way.
Ellenberger is on a roll and appears to be in tremendous physical condition leading into the fight, and with a potential shot at the belt on the line he will not be short on motivation. Ellenberger has plowed through his last six opponents with relative ease; can he get by Kampmann without breaking a sweat?
2. Can Martin Kampmann Get Over The Hump?
After coming from behind to submit Thiago Alves at UFC on FX 2, Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann returns to the octagon for another tough fight. Since dropping down to the welterweight division from middleweight in January 2009, Kampmann has fought the best of the best at 170-pounds, defeating most of his opponents, but struggling against elite competition. Kampmann’s best win in the welterweight division comes against current UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit by split decision in a fight that could have gone either way. Kampmann has complied a 6-3 record at 170-pounds, with the losses coming to top welterweights in Paul Daley, Jake Shields and Diego Sanchez. Kampmann gets no pushover for his next bout, as he draws top welterweight contender Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger
At 29-years-old, Friday’s bout against Kampmann is pivotal for the Danish fighter. If Kampmann has any hopes of making a real title run, he must win on Friday night. A loss to Alves would be devastating, but a victory, especially one in impressive fashion, would signify arguably the biggest victory in the career of “The Hitman”, and would place him among the top 170-pound fighters in the world.
1. Who Will Be The First TUF: Live Champion?
The Ultimate Fighter: Live process was much more grueling process on the fighters than any season before. 32 fighters entered The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas back on March 9 and now only two remain. Al Iaquinta and Mike Chiesa defeated four opponents in 14 weeks to reach the finals, and only one man will get win number five and the six-figure UFC contract that comes along with it.
This article was written by Mike Bohn, founder and lead writer of FightCove.com. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @FightCoveMike. Also, be sure to follow @FightCove on Twitter and “Like” Fight Cove on Facebook.