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Uriah Hall, Kelvin Gastelum emerge as TUF 17 season finalists

Kelvin-Gastelum - FXThe Ultimate Fighter 17 marked the unveiling of a slick new format for the reality franchise and introduced a wealth of new middleweight talent with coaches Jon Jones-Chael Sonnen serving at the forefront throughout. Now, twelve weeks later, two men are left standing in the form of Uriah Hall and Kelvin Gastelum.

Adding intrigue, the finalist’s stories couldn’t be much more different nor could their styles. Hall, who hails from New York City, was Sonnen’s #1 pick and lived up to the hype throughout the season with a number of impressive stoppages stemming from his powerful, precise stand-up. Comparably, Gastelum is a 21-year old from Arizona who was Sonnen’s last selection and kept improving to the point he is now one win away from pulling off perhaps the biggest shocker in TUF history.

Gastelum earned his spot by submitting Josh Samman in the opening round of their semifinal scrap, using his wrestling and top control to pepper his opponent with shots until receiving an opportunity to lock up a Rear-Naked Choke. He is 4-0 in his career.

The 7-2 Hall’s only losses have come to established 185ers Costa Philippou and Chris Weidman. Clearly, he didn’t encounter that level of talent on TUF 17 and it showed. Last night, Hall took adversary Dylan Andrews out with strikes from the bottom after jabbing his face into hamburger meat leading up to the second-stanza stoppage.

Hall-Gastelum will lock horns Saturday night in a co-headlining clash at the Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale. The card is headlined by a bout between bantamweight stars Urijah Faber-Scott Jorgensen.

PHOTO CREDIT – FX

4 COMMENTS
  • raker says:

    I’m very impressed with both Kelvin and Uriah. I don’t think that it’s necessarily an easyn fight for Uriah and hopefully we’ll see him tested.

    A couple of points that stuck out for me in this episode:

    1. Sonnen gave a speech to his team about Utiah and how he’s already a contender and Kelvin had to sit through that. I imagine that there’s some careful editing going on but it has to play into the mind of Kelvin, even watching the episode now. How is that going to play out in his mind? I think it was unfair for Sonnen to do that. … Unfair expectations for Uriah and obviously unfair to Kelvin.

    2. Sonnen called Silva a puke and wouldn’t say his name. What? He’s shown all of this respect to Jones and I wonder why he still has these feelings towards Anderson.

    3. Jones seems to really like Chael…

    4. Dana said that most of these guys will be in the UFC. It’s a good crop of fighters. The only one that has disappointed me so far is Dylan for being so hesitant against Uriah. Whos not gonna make it?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • MCM says:

    @Brendhan I don’t think Hall was Sonnens #1 pick, pretty sure he was his second pick.

    I loved everything about this season of TUF. From the fighters to the fights to the story lines to the cinematography to the editing. I have to agree with Dana that this is the best season of TUF ever.
    That said, I don’t know why certain fighters are getting fights on the finale. Those fighters are Bubba McDaniels, Gilbert Smith and Kevin Casey.

    Bubba looked like absolute shit on TUF. Yes, on paper he’s terrifying, but he got finished, TWICE, and now he’s getting a main card slot. Of course it’s against Gilbert Smith, whom I’m assuming is only there to give Bubba a win.

    Kevin Casey has a great pedigree, but he may be the biggest disappointment of the whole show. Here was a guy that should have been a nightmare off his back but got dominated by both a wrestler and a striker. Maybe he’s just fodder for Josh Samman the way Gilbert is.

    I’m not trying to knock the show, like I said, it was a great season all around.

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  • MCM says:

    @raker

    I don’t think Sonnen gave that speech to his entire team. I was wondering about that too and they never showed Sonnen and his team in the same shot. I think it was edited that way but it was a private conversation between Chael, the coaches and Uriah.

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  • raker says:

    I thought that might have been the case but he did also say it out loud after Uriah ko’ed Bubba. I just wonder what it does to Kelvin when your coach thinks that the guy you’re fighting next has a realistic chance of beating Silva.

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