Starting at 5:45 p.m. ET, the UFC will stream six preliminary fights from The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale on their Facebook page. Interest in this undercard has been average at best but I thought I'd still provide a very brief and quick assessment of the match ups.
Johnny Bedford (17-9-1) vs. Louis Gaudinot (5-1) -- Gaudinot is a natural 125er and Ring of Combat flyweight champion. He's a good wrestler, very scrappy and much better than he showed in his loss to Dustin Pague (who happens to be the Ring of Combat bantamweight champion). Gaudinot and Dodson (another ranked flyweight) are the smallest guys on the show (5'3") and Bedford is the tallest (5'10"). Bedford is decent everywhere (striking, BJJ, wrestling); Gaudinot probably has more more punching power and is stronger but should struggle with the huge size difference.
Stephen Bass (10-0) vs. Marcus Brimage (3-1) -- I don't know a lot about Bass but Brimage is an athletic but inexperienced ATT fighter with sweet stand up. He's really quick, strong and seems to have a knack for fighting. He might have a submission disadvantage but he's tough to take down and has feisty scrambling. I think his striking will be too much for Bass here.
More after the break.
John "Prince" Albert (6-1) vs. Dustin "The Disciple" Pague (10-4) -- Albert was considered one of the weaker guys on the show who fought Dodson first instead of Dillashaw. He's a member of Victory Athletics where he trains alongside Dennis Hallman and Brad Blackburn. Pague was a nice surprise with sharp kickboxing (he's 5'9" with a long -- 74" -- reach) and also a good grasp of BJJ (subbed Gaudinot). He trains at the Tapout Ranch with Cerrone and, besides losing his first MMA fight, lost three straight halfway through his career to Jeff Lentz (former TUFer), Anthony Leone (former WECer) and Din Thomas. I'm anticipating a strong finish for Pague, likely clipping Albert on the feet and then subbing him, but I don't have the best grasp on Albert's potential.
Josh Ferguson (8-3) vs. Roland Delorme (6-1) -- Delorme lost to Dillashaw (he had the swollen foot/staph concern) on the show but submitted Ferguson's brother to get into the house. Ferguson lost to Bedford on the show by decision but is a really tough and mean little spark plug with good strength and aggressive kickboxing. He'll be smaller (5'5" vs. 5'9") but I still think he can win with footwork and boxing. Delorme has a formidable arsenal of submissions and could finish if he can get it to the floor.
Josh Clopton (6-1) vs. Steven Siler (18-9) -- Clopton was decisioned by Neace in the first episode and didn't make the show but did have a really solid performance despite the loss. He's a Skrap Pack fighter with the likes of Gilbert Melendez and Matt Wiman. Siler threw everyone off by whipping Micah Miller's ass but then fell to the devastation of finalist Diego Brandao in 30 seconds. He has losses to Chad Mendes and Cole Escovedo. I'm leaning towards Clopton but Siler is a tough and experienced gamer who could pull off a win.
Dustin Neace (23-17-1) vs. Bryan Caraway (15-5)-- This is actually an intriguing scrap. These were probably the two best wrestlers on the show. Neace lost to Akira Corassani in the "fake tap" debacle and seems to have some decent sub skills to match his wrestling. Caraway has the most experience: in the WEC (lost to Mark Hominick and Fredson Paixao), in EliteXC (he was subbed by Bellator's Wilson Reis) and in Strikeforce (on the Melendez vs. Thomson undercard; won by sub). Caraway supposedly has some kind of Fila or US wrestling credentials but I thought his takedowns and set ups on the show were mediocre. Neither is known for their striking -- Neace might be a tad better -- so it will probably come down to takedowns and control. I think Caraway should be the favorite but Neace could take it.