Event: The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 12 Finale
Date: Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010, at 9 p.m. ET on Spike TV
Location: "The Pearl" at the Palms Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada
Stephan Bonnar vs. Igor Pokrajac
Luke Thomas: Read Nate's pick. Couldn't have said it better myself. Bonnar by decision.
Kid Nate: Really hard to get interested in this fight. Bonnar stopped developing as a martial artist in 2008 and Pokrajac has very little upside. It seems like a desperate bid to give Bonnar a win. Bonnar by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: Pokrajac's win over Irvin looks even less impressive as James struggles on the regional scene. I know it's gotten very trendy to write Bonnar off but he is one of the rare guys who makes an intangible like "heart" matter. He's never going to stop trying to get the win and that breaks some guys. It also helps that he has talent to go along with it. Stephan Bonnar by TKO, round 2.
Mike Fagan: I don't want to see Stephan Bonnar in the Octagon ever again if he loses this fight. Stephan Bonnar by decision.
Nick Thomas: Gift fight for Bonnar. Bonnar by decision.
Jonathan Brookins vs. Michael Johnson
Luke Thomas: Brookins is only a slight favorite in my mind, but what separates them is Brookins' general well-roundedness. That should be enough. Brookins by decision.
Kid Nate: Johnson has to walk a tight rope to win this fight and I think Brookins will make him fall. Brookins by submission.
Brent Brookhouse: Johnson isn't a good finisher and he has a bad gastank. You can be a great finisher who tires, or a bad finisher who never gasses...but you can't be both and have long term success. Brookins is also better...so, that kind of factors in. Jonathan Brookins by submission, round two.
Mike Fagan: Brookins is a heavy favorite here. I don't see Johnson having an edge in any aspect of the fight. Plus, he has to be concerned with Brookins ability to finish him. Jonathan Brookins by submission, round one.
Nick Thomas: Brookins is going to grind Johnson out on the ground. Brookins by decision.
Kendall Grove vs. Demian Maia
Luke Thomas: Grove's takedown defense is actually pretty good, but Maia will physically stick to and pressure Grove long enough to win a decision at a minimum. Maia by submission.
Kid Nate: Unless Maia decides to practice his stand up with Grove he'll take a long lanky limb home. Maia by submission.
Brent Brookhouse: I expect Grove to have a moment or two early where he looks like he might pull it off. And then Maia will close distance, get the takedown and get the finish. Demian Maia by submission, round two.
Mike Fagan: A lot of people are taking Kendall Grove as a sexy underdog bet, but I don't see it. Maia will take down Grove at will and do what he does to everybody. Demian Maia by submission, round two.
Nick Thomas: Boy was I wrong in picking Miranda over Maia. Maia is going to get this fight to the ground and win it there. Maia by decision.
Ricky Story vs. Johny Hendricks
Luke Thomas: Story is a talented guy, but outside of his jab he's a poor man's Johny Hendricks. Hendricks by submission.
Kid Nate: Very pumped about this one. These two guys are both PHYSICAL. Hendricks is a little more technical as a wrestler so I'll go with Johny Hendricks by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: Hendricks has the better wrestling and Story has had a lot of trouble making clear cases for his wins. I think they're both very talented but I don't think this is nearly as close as a lot of others do. Johny Hendricks by decision.
Mike Fagan: This should be a great fight. I still think Hendricks might be small at 170, but his wrestling will take him a long way. Johny Hendricks by decision.
Nick Thomas: Hendricks is going to take Story down at will. Hendricks by decision.
Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan
Luke Thomas: I suspect for all of Garcia's faults he'll be able to periodically hurt, slowdown and frustrate Phan en route to a decision where his damage wins the round. Garcia by decision.
Kid Nate: Garcia should shellack Phan like Obama in the mid-terms. Garcia by TKO.
Brent Brookhouse: Garcia's finish rate drop off is really stunning to see and it's not just a step up in opponent quality. Still, Phan is a guy who is just good enough to lose fights like these. Leonard Garcia by decision.
Mike Fagan: Garcia can overwhelm the slow-moving Phan and take the usual Garcia decision. I'm hoping karma rears its head though. Nam Phan by decision.
Nick Thomas: It will be good to see Phan at 145. But Garcia will take a close decision. Garcia by decision.
Rich Attonito vs. Dave Branch
Luke Thomas: Sure. Branch. Whatever.
Kid Nate: I'm really glad this is on the undercard. Branch is a painfully awkward fighter to watch. He's good but his style seems designed to make fun tap out. Branch by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: This sure is a fight that will happen Saturday night. Rich Attonito by decision.
Mike Fagan: Meh. I guess Branch has the better resume. Dave Branch by decision.
Nick Thomas: Branch by decision.
Will Campuzano vs. Nick Pace
Luke Thomas: It's a close one, but I'm betting Pace is slightly sharper a striker. Pace via decision.
Kid Nate: Somebody's getting cut. Nick Pace by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: Welcome to the UFC, we don't have room for both of you. Nick Pace by decision.
Mike Fagan: These guys might be fighting for their jobs. Will Campuzano by decision.
Nick Thomas: The taller Campuzano by decision.
Pablo Garza vs. Fredson Paixao
Luke Thomas: Paixao should not lose this. Fredson Paixao by submission.
Kid Nate: Last chance. Paixao by decision.
Brent Brookhouse: Paixao should absolutely win this fight. Pablo Garza by decision.
Mike Fagan: Another "loser leaves town fight." I'll take the decorated BJJ black belt. Fredson Paixao by decision.
Nick Thomas: Paixao by decision.
Cody McKenzie vs. Aaron Wilkinson
Luke Thomas: Can't stand the one-trick pony. Wilkinson by KO.
Kid Nate: Swickotine! Oh wait, wrong TUF contestant. Mckenzie by submission.
Brent Brookhouse: I don't know why, but I find it really fun that McKenzie is like a guy two weeks into training who only has one move he does well so he goes to it over and over. But he's really good at that one move so... Cody McKenzie by submission, round one.
Mike Fagan: Ugh. I hope this is the last time we see these two in the UFC for awhile. McKenzie isn't built for 155, but Wilkinson is someone who will fall for McKenzie's guillotine trick. Cody McKenzie by submission, round one.
Nick Thomas: Wilkinson by decision.
Ian Loveland vs. Tyler Toner
Luke Thomas: Toner is going to body this guy. Toner by TKO.
Kid Nate: Team Quest ain't what it used to be. Toner by TKO.
Brent Brookhouse: Unless something goes horribly, horribly wrong. Tyler Toner by TKO, round one.
Mike Fagan: Toner should curbstomb Loveland. Tyler Toner by TKO, round one.
Nick Thomas: Toner by decision.
Sako Chiviitchian vs. Kyle Watson
Luke Thomas: I didn't watch much of this season. Sako Chivitchian by submission.
Kid Nate: Got to go with Gokor's judo here. Chiviitchian by decision.
Mike Fagan: Megaton/McVicker BJJ represent. Kyle Watson by submission, round one.
Nick Thomas: Watson by submission.