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Breaking down TUF 18’s male bantamweights



Well that escalated quickly. It did not take long for things to heat up on this season of TUF and it shows no signs of slowing down. The next fight is between Rousey’s first pick Chris Beal and Chris Holdsworth from Team Tate. Again these are two of the stronger fighters in the houses facing off in a first round fight. As much as Rousey may not like Team Tate choosing the injured Beal to fight, even he admitted before that it would make sense to select him. Before we breakdown that fight lets take a look at the other men competing on the show.

Team Tate:

Cody Bollinger:

Bollinger defeated a tough Rafael De Freitas via TKO in the second round. It is easy to see why Tate chose him first. He displayed a strong will and good submission defense in the first. His striking was crisp and he went for the finish. With the versatility and heart he showed in his fight it will be difficult to take him out. He is definitely one of the fighters to watch and it will interesting to see how he develops this season.

Josh Hill:

The first thing you can say about Hill is that he is a strong wrestler. You can also add that he is a strong wrestler and he better win the show, or find some kind of finishing instinct during this season. Dana was less than impressed with his win over Patrick Holohan who he just out-wrestled for two rounds. He was just looking to control position and did not attempt any submissions. It should not be a surprise that Dana hates those kind of fighters as they often turn in really boring fights like the one he did to get into the house. Also he will not just be able to out-wrestle the guys in the house to advance. He will have to get the right matchup to move on in the competition.

Louis Fisette:

He could be the wild card in the competition. He lost to teammate Chris Holdsworth when he got caught in a submission, but he was winning the fight up to that point. He is aggressive, exciting and exactly the kind of fighter Dana loves. As soon as Tim Gorman went down with an injury Dana already knew who he wanted to bring back. Fisette looked better in defeat than some fighters did in their wins. He will be a tough matchup for anybody in the house and is extremely tenacious.

Chris Holdsworth:

Holdsworth is one of the strong contenders to win this season. He comes from Team Alpha Male and right now they are on a roll. He maybe the best pure BJJ fighter in the house. He has a strong all-around base to go with his insanely good jiu jitsu. He just might be the favorite that no one really knows yet. That will change after his fight this week.

Team Rousey:

David Grant:

It will be interesting to see how Grant does on the show. He looked good from a skill standpoint in getting the submission finish against a very good Danny Martinez. This was offset by a couple of illegal blows that resulted in a point being deducted from him. He showed some good standup to go with his strong grappling. His fate could come down to match ups. His best chance to advance would be against Hill as both Bollinger and Fisette would be difficult for him to beat.

Michael Wootten:

This is another fighter that did not impress Dana with his win to get in the house. Maybe a first round matchup with Hill is in order to make sure there is no way they can meet in the finals. Wootten actually had an okay fight against Emil Hartsner a lot of it had to with them being very evenly matched and similarly skilled. He could be a sleeper in the house as again what we saw was just one fight. Based on that fight he is someone who could be taken lightly and we saw the danger of that last season on TUF with Kelvin Gastelum.

Anthony Gutierrez:

In his fight with Matt Munsey he showed that he has a lot of heart and can win an ugly fight. He looks like he has some good standup and would prefer to fight in that area. In the fight to get into the house though Munsey dragged him into a gritty grappling fight and Gutierrez found a way to win. He would matchup well with the remaining three fighters on Team Tate and has a good chance to advance to the next round. It is a good thing for him that he is avoiding Holdsworth who is maybe his worst matchup.

Chris Beal:

If he were healthy he would be one of the favorites to win the whole thing. He is the most dynamic striker in the house with a strong wrestling base. He had a very tough fight against Sirwan Kakai to get into the house. This also left him with a jacked up right hand. If can get past his first round matchup without injuring his hand more, he will be tough to beat.

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Beal vs Holdsworth:

Right now the top-tier would be Holdsworth, Beal, and Bollinger. They look to be the best all-around fighters and slightly a notch ahead of the next tier. The second tier is Fisette, Grant, and Gutierrez. They all showed some heart and flashes of skills, but are not quite as complete as the tier above them. The last tier is Hill, and Wootten. They both looked a little too one-dimensional and they will have to show something more to advance on the show.

This is a tough fight for Beal even if he was completely healthy going into it. Holdsworth has the best pure BJJ and coming from Team Alpha Male you know his wrestling is strong. Against Beal he will look to get the fight to the ground and work for a submission. This is were Beal’s injured hand will hurt him the most. It is one thing to tape in up and throw it smashing into someone’s face. It is another thing to fight for wrist control, try to stop submissions and defend takedowns. If somehow Beal can do that with his jacked up hand and then catch Holdsworth it will be quite the achievement. This is a great fight when they are both healthy but I think that Holdsworth will be too strong for him. Look for a submission victory either late first round or early in the second for Holdsworth.
Holdsworth via submission.

An avid lifetime fight fan who loves to write about it. So kick back, get comfortable and let's have some fun! "Wants me to tell him something pretty." Al Sweargen "Going wrong is not the end of fucking things, Johnny. Fuck no! I have comeback from plenty of shit that looked like it was going wrong." Dan Dority "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it." Bill Munny

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