TUF 17 Finale results: Fights to make for main carders


The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale had a couple of surprising results and some expected ones. So where do the fighters go from here?

Another Ultimate Fighter is in the books, and now we know who will be coaching against Ronda Rousey in the next season of the show. We also have an underdog TUF champion, a couple of bantamweight fighters that are in strange positions, and a bunch of middling middleweights that will get to fight at least once more in the UFC. We'll ignore the last item on this list though, and just concentrate on the top four fights from the show last night. Here's who I think these eight fighters should meet in their next bout.

Urijah Faber - The California Kid is clearly the best bantamweight in the world outside of the two champions. He's so good that it's actually tough to come up with challengers for him. But there are really only two that make any sense at all right now - Brad Pickett or Michael McDonald. McDonald is still very young and I think it would be smarter to build him back up away from Faber (for now at least), so I'd go with Faber vs. Pickett. That could headline a Fuel card or be a main-card fight on a Fox event.

Scott Jorgensen - There's no shame in dropping a bout to Faber, although Jorgensen has now lost three of his last four fights. They were all to top-10 fighters though, so he's not going anywhere. Logic would see Jorgensen take on the guy that Faber beat earlier this year, Ivan Menjivar.

Kelvin Gastelum - Well that was a surprise. Gastelum is really young and I think they're going to bring him along a lot slower than your regular TUF winner. It's hard to predict who he'll fight next because it's possible that he might drop to 170. If he does stay at 185, a guy like Buddy Robers might be a good first test. At 170, TUF Smashes runner-up Brad Scott could be a possibility.

Uriah Hall - Clearly Hall's still going to be around for a while despite the loss. I'm guessing they'll want him to fight someone that will strike with him, so stick him in there with the loser of the Andrew Craig vs. Chris Leben bout at UFC 162.

Cat Zingano - This one's pretty easy. After the TUF 18 coaching gig, she'll be meeting Rousey for the UFC women's bantamweight title. Is she the lady that can put a stop to the dominant champion's streak of first-round armbars?

Miesha Tate - Despite the loss, Tate will continue to get high-profile fights. A natural matchup would be against Liz Carmouche, but I'd rather see her face off with the winner of the Alexis Davis vs. Rosi Sexton bout at UFC 161.

Travis Browne - Whether the elbows were illegal or not doesn't matter now since Browne has picked up a win over another top-15 heavyweight. It's tough to see where he goes from here though. If Roy Nelson beats Cheick Kongo at UFC at UFC 159 later this month, match Browne up with Big Country. If not, maybe he can fight Brendan Schaub or something.

Gabriel Gonzaga - The big guy can still serve as a good gatekeeper, but it's just a shallow division so there aren't many options. My guess is that they'll go back to the bout they had scheduled for UFC 153 originally - Gonzaga vs. Geronimo dos Santos - now that dos Santos is apparently out of the woods with his hepatitis B scare.

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