I try to watch TUF, I really do, but the show is just so damn stale at this point. Sure, the Ronda Rousey fueled antics spiced this season up a bit, but even the injection of women into the TUF house couldn’t keep my interest. There were some decent fights on the show, though with what seems like a UFC event every week, I had no need to block out the time to catch a lackluster TUF scrap. Regrettably, it doesn’t look like the TUF train is slowing down anytime soon either. However, the addition of BJ Penn to the TUF 19 season does have me intrigued. As compelling as some of the TUF coaching choices are (Sonnen, Rousey, Penn) the show still is built upon the fighters. With Uriah Hall fizzling out, we haven’t really had a marketable star come out of the TUF house in some time. Are any of you clamoring to catch the Chris Holdsworth/Davey Grant Finale fight? Do you even know who either of them are? I doubt it, the real reason we are tuning in here is to watch a Diaz brother do Diaz things in the cage. Check out my preview of that fight after the jump!
The headlining bout of Saturday’s card is being billed as the trilogy fight between Nate Diaz and Gray Maynard. The two first met during their TUF 5 run, with Diaz winning by choke. They later met again at a Fight Night event in 2010 where Maynard took a controversial split decision. With this third bout, each fighter is looking to keep his head above water in the incredibly talented lightweight division. Both have come crashing down to Earth after runs to top contender status. Maynard is 1-1 since his second loss to then Champ Frankie Edgar, and that one win was a split decision win over Clay Guida that could possibly have been the worst fight I have ever witnessed. After Diaz lost a decision to former Champ Benson Henderson, he was brutally KO’d by Josh Thomson.
It is tough to call a favorite here, but Vegas gives Maynard a slight edge. He is the larger of the two fighters and we know he has the ability to take Nate down and lay on him for three rounds (Yes, this is a three round Main Event…). But you know me, there is nothing I like more than a Stockton Scrapper. The Diaz brothers are too unique of figures in the sport not to root for. Love them or hate them, they put on a show. Maynard got put to sleep early by TJ Grant last time out, and we know Nate doesn’t necessarily possess that one punch KO ability. I think this thing plays out on the ground. Maynard, an aging Maynard at that, is going to look to gain top control and dominate for 15 minutes. That won’t fly for the Stockton kid that is missing his High School reunion for this fight… Just like their first fight on TUF 5, Nate Diaz is winning by submission.