Friday, July 04, 2014

Analysis of The Ultimate Fighter 20 cast

The Ultimate Fighter 20 cast
Yesterday the UFC announced the sixteen Strawweight female fighters who will be on The Ultimate Fighter 20. The coaches will be Gilbert Melendez and Anthony Pettis. Late last year, the UFC bought 11 fighters from Invicta. The April tryouts were to fill out the remainder of the cast. Three of the 11 fighters will not be in TUF. Paige Van Zant is under 21 so she is too young. Didn't they notice that? Brazilian Juliana Lima doesn't speak English but based on her age and record, they probably shouldn't have signed her. The biggest blow is that Claudia Gadelha, who could possibly win the whole thing, was excused over concerns she would have difficulty making 115 on a quick turnaround. Because she has fought most of her career at 125, I think Claudia safely making 115 still has a question mark after it. Remember she got sick after weigh ins for her last Invicta fight. Look, she has a lot of talent. She's a BJJ champ. But she probably shouldn't fight at 115 if making weight is going to be a regular problem. She has a fight in a couple of weeks so we'll see how that goes. The other fighters who were bought from Invicta were Emily Kagan, Carla Esparza, Felice Herrig, Alex Chambers, Joanne Calderwood, Bec Rawlings, Rose Namajunas and Tecia Torres. Obviously Carla was the Invicta champ and should be the favourite. But remember it's a crapshoot so anything is possible. I would have picked Claudia if she was part of TUF. So now let's look at the other eight fighters. I've seen Heather Jo Clark several times. She has fought mostly for the XFC. Her record is 6-4. Sometimes she's good and sometimes she's not so good. She hates Felice Herrig so expect a lot of drama from her. Aisling Daly is from Ireland. She has fought recently for Cage Warriors. Her record is 14-5. She usually fights at 125 but has also fought at 115. Lisa Ellis is a veteran who normally fights at 105. She could be overmatched at 115 at this level of competition. And she hasn't fought since she gave birth. She would be annoyed with me that I even mentioned either of those things but somebody has to. She's a badass at 105 but maybe not a badass at 115. Same thing with Jessica Penne. She was the Invicta Atomweight Champion. She's really good at 105 but I haven't liked her at 115. I just watched Justine Kish vs Randa Markos from the Jan. RFA show. Both of them have fought heavier but are trying to make 115. And Justine missed weight for that fight. She won the fight. Justine is mainly a kickboxer. Randa is from Windsor, ON. Angela Magana has been around for several years but she seems to get hurt at the worst times. She's a decent fighter but has never fought for a national promotion. And finally, Angela Hill is a 22 year old kickboxer trying to break into MMA. Her MMA record is 1-0 but she has a 14-0 amateur Muay Thai record. She has potential but because she lacks MMA experience, I don't know if she should be in TUF. Going to Invicta to gain experience might be a better spot for her. TUF will film for the next six weeks and then debut on Fox Sports 1 and Sportsnet 360 in Sept. The winner of TUF 20 will be the UFC Women's Strawweight Champion. It should be fun.

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