Sunday, June 5, 2011

TUF 13 Finale Leftovers and UFC Depth Roster Issues

Tony Ferguson holds his "Ultimate Fighter" Plaque. Ferguson
became the TUF 13 winner by defeating Ramsey Nijem by
way of TKO in the first round.
Last night we enjoyed some of the UFC's best go to war in the Octagon. And guess what? It was all free! Now you can spend the $55 you would've spent on a UFC PPV (or maybe $65 for HD PPV) on that beauty makeover you've been dying to get. But, last night's TUF 13 spot was really just a chaser for next week's UFC 131 event, so you'll be digging in your wallet again before you know it.

The issue that I see coming off of last night's fights is depth. Yes, the UFC's lengthy depth roster has been a topic of discussion ever since they absorbed the WEC last year, but I think the results of every event since last October have slowly formed a heaping pile of 'limbo' fighters -- guys who otherwise might be contenders or would at least make steady progress up the contention ladder, but unfortunately have nowhere to go. Last night's event only showed that the UFC's (really Zuffa overall now that Strikeforce is in the picture) depth issue is beginning to come to a head (or maybe I've just been oblivious and just now catching on).

Ed Herman, who by the way is only 5-5 in his UFC career, had the nerve to say he wants a top ten fighter. Clay Guida defeated the outgoing WEC lighweight titleholder Anthony Pettis, but it still looks like Jim Miller might stand between him and a title shot. Oh yeah, and what about Melvin Guillard??? Shouldn't he also be mentioned somewhere in the 155 lb. division conversation?

We also watched Kyle Kingsbury improve to 4-0 in UFC bouts with a win over Fabio Maldonado, but at 205 he stands miles away from a title bid. Scott Jorgensen went from a former WEC bantamweight title contender to a UFC undercard member. Is he marketable as a UFC fighter, or will 'Dana White and Mafia' keep feeding him preliminary card appearances to keep him happy?

Then, another example comes from last week, when 170lber Rick Story put himself in the spotlight with an upset win over Thiago Alves. Naturally, I'd like to think Story's win really holds some weight as far as contention goes, but with guys like Jake Ellenberger, Carlos Condit, Anthony Johnson, and Dennis Hallman still roaming the welterweight battlefield, what's the reality of a Rick Story title run? Zip, zilch, nada. And although we all want to see Nick Diaz and GSP beat each other to a living pulp, the reality is, a rack of fighters had to fall back to make this fight happen.

So, the moral of the story is the UFC has a situation to resolve. Either they will utilize their deep line-up to produce more shows, or slim down to avoid risking over-saturation which in turn could spell massive cuts. Either way something has to happen.

Anyway, my rant ends here. Your official TUF 13 video and results are served below:

UFC: TUF 13 Finale
June 4, 2011
Palms Casino Resort,
Las Vegas, Nevada,

Main Card
Tony Ferguson def. Ramsey Nijem via first-round TKO
Clay Guida def. Anthony Pettis via unanimous decision
Ed Herman def. Tim Credeur via first-round TKO
Kyle Kingsbury vs. Fabio Maldonado via unanimous decision
Chris Cope def. Chuck O'Neil via unanimous decision

Preliminary Card
Jeremy Stephens def. Danny Downes via unanimous decision
George Roop def. Josh Grispi via third-round TKO
Shamar Bailey def. Ryan McGillivray via unanimous decision
Clay Harvison def. Justin Edwards via split decision
Scott Jorgensen def. Ken Stone via first-round KO
Reuben Duran def. Francisco Rivera via submission (rear-naked choke)

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