The 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.
PHOTO CREDIT – FX