Brent Brookhouse: Kampmann is really good and I feel bad that (at the time of my writing in my picks) we've got this as a landslide for Ellenberger. But there is a stylistic component to the fight that just seems to favor Ellenberger in any way. Kampmann also has a bad habit of going straight back and an unfortunate willingness to play a defensive clinch game against the fence that gives away points. This is a very good fight, but one where I favor Ellenberger. Jake Ellenberger by decision.
KJ Gould: This is tricky. Ellenberger is on the rise, but if he doesn't truck people in the first round he can fade halfway through a decision. Kampmann may be one of the most underrated fighters at Welterweight, who falls just short when he fights the very top of the class. I think this is either Ellenberger by TKO early, or Kampmann by Submission late if not a decision win. Flip a coin. Ellenberger by TKO.
Jack Slack: I like Kampmann a lot; his style is smooth and scientific. He has shown a weakness for getting hammered with big punches when put along the cage though. Of course his length is always a defining factor of his style, but Ellenberger has fought Condit to a decision so it shouldn't be too alien. Ellenberger should be able to push Kampmann back towards the fence and stun him with punches, Kampmann has looked pretty vulnerable in his last few fights when he's been hit. Ellenberger by TKO.
Tim Burke: I still think it's kind of a fallacy that Ellenberger always fades late. He sure did against Sanchez, but he didn't against Rocha or Howard. And it's not really surprising that Condit came back on him like he did. Kampmann is a durable fighter but he gets hit a lot, and his wrestling isn't anywhere near Jake's. I think this goes all five. Jake Ellenberger by decision.
Dallas Winston: I'm not saying Ellenberger always gasses, but durability and conditioning will be huge here. Kampmann is a straight-up gamer who will not go away or quit coming at you, and one of the toughest and most mentally strong welters out there. He's always reminded me of Struve because he's billed as a kickboxer, yet doesn't have much punching power nor striking defense and his grappling seems significantly better -- but he doesn't have the wrestling to implement it. I told myself during the Alves fight that I just couldn't depend on Kampmann against another striker and Ellenberger's hands are fast and ridiculously heavy. Kampmann's not easy to finish but I think ‘Berger can do it. Jake Ellenberger by TKO.
Staff picking Ellenberger: Fraser, Jack, Stephie, KJ, Tim, Brookhouse, Dallas
Staff picking Kampmann:
Brent Brookhouse: Iaquinta is the better fighter and it comes down to if he makes a dumb mistake or not. I'm guessing no. Al Iaquinta by TKO, round 2.
KJ Gould: Chiesa has the emotional story on his side with his father passing early into the season, and fighting for his memory throughout. Not all fights have a story book ending, and unfortunately for Chiesa, Al Iaquinta is a better fighter. Iaquinta by Decision.
Fraser Coffeen: I've picked against Chiesa in his last two fights and been wrong both times, but I'm picking against him again here. He's a totally one dimensional fighter, but he's also really good at that dimension. The trouble is, both Vick and Lawrence had big enough flaws as fighters that Chiesa could use his wrestling to take them out. Iaquinta is, I think, too well rounded, and will not fade the way Lawrence did. He also has the power to end it. But I've been wrong before. Al Iaquinta, KO, round 2
Tim Burke: Uh, yeah. what they said. Al Iaquinta by decision.
Dallas Winston: This is the first season of TUF I haven't watched religiously. The UFC is unquestionably the #1 fight league in MMA: they get all the press, they have the best fighters and nothing takes precedence over a UFC event. However, there has been one thing that's easily steered me elsewhere on Friday nights, which is the action-packed tournaments and fights in Bellator. Al Iaquinta by decision.
Staff picking Chiesa:
Staff picking Iaquinta: Fraser, KJ, Stephie, Tim, Brookhouse, Dallas
Brent Brookhouse: I like Holloway to blitz Schilling early. The longer it goes, the better chance Shilling has to grind it out though. Max Holloway by TKO, round 1.
KJ Gould: Both have similar records, and a lone loss to a UFC up and comer (who, ironically, have both lost their fights the last time out). I can't in good conscious pick a fighter with the nickname ‘Blessed' though. Pat ‘Thrilling' Schilling by TKO.
Tim Burke: Hollaway is an exciting striker and tall for a featherweight. Schilling is more of a wrestler and submission guy (and he still works full time at Best Buy). I'm a Holloway fan and hope he can win, but he's going to to have to stay off his back to do it. That's not going to be easy. Pat Schilling by decision
Dallas Winston: No offense to Schilling, but his pre-UFC competition was atrocious and I'm in the big-time "Show Me" stage with him. Holloway's Hawaiian competition wasn't entirely better, but they were much more experienced and Harris Sarmiento is a big win. Max Holloway by TKO.
Staff picking Holloway: Fraser, Brookhouse, Dallas
Staff picking Schilling: Stephie, KJ, Tim
Brent Brookhouse: My picks have been so bad this year that no one should listen to me. As such, I'm liking the Brookins upset here. Don't ask me why, I don't take this all that seriously. I think he'll use his height well and can actually do some work with takedowns against Oliveira if he wants. Jonathan Brookins by decision.
KJ Gould: Oliveira pretty much does everything Brookins can, only better and with more ferocity. Time for another TUF champ to be exposed as not as good as UFC would like to make him out as. Oliveira by TKO.
Tim Burke: I've never been a Brookins fan, but he impressed me by destroying Vagner Rocha like he did. Oliveira is still a top prospect in my eyes though and I think he runs right through Brookins here. Charles Oliveira by TKO.
Dallas Winston: I'm still quite hesitant about Oliveira for a few reasons other than his exorbitant talent: his careless submission defense against Miller and the fact that he's only seen the 3rd twice in his career. Brookins has never been tapped, his submission grappling is phenomenal and he's established his big heart, fighting spirit and toughness many times. Of course, his porous striking defense is a big concern, but I think he can endure a violent 1st-round and work his clinch takedowns while avoiding submissions from the top. Oliveira is so confident that he takes risks that could lead to Brookins stoppage, but I'll go with ... Jonathan Brookins by decision.
Staff picking Brookins: Brookhouse, Dallas
Staff picking Oliveira: Fraser, KJ, Stephie, Tim
Brent Brookhouse: Lawrence is super exciting and, if this season of TUF is any indication, makes really stupid decisions sometimes. He should be better than Cofer though, unless he decides to allow John to close distance and get takedowns with little resistance. Justin Lawrence by TKO, round 2.
Fraser Coffeen: Lawrence has two clear weaknesses - he can be outwrestled, and he lacks mental toughness. Cofer is a good wrestler who will stay in the fight. I also think Lawrence goes all out here in an attempt to get the big KO. Maybe that will happen, but if it doesn't, I don't like his chances as the fight progresses. I still think he wins, but I am nervous about this one. Justin Lawrence via KO, round 2
Tim Burke: The odds say Justin Lawrence is a big favorite. Since I've never seen either of them fight, I'm going with what the books say. Justin Lawrence by decision.
Dallas Winston: Lawrence was my pick to win this season. He's a scorching kickboxer with great instincts and I think he'll go on to win a few fights in the UFC. Justin Lawrence by TKO.
Staff picking Lawrence: Fraser, Stephie, Tim, Brookhouse, Dallas
Staff picking Cofer: