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Ultimate Fighter 17: Contestants Who Will Show Glimpses of Their Bright Future
Urijah Faber’s battle with Scott Jorgensen will headline the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 17, and Cat Zingano’s clash with Miesha Tate will garner its share of attention as well.
But the actual contestants from the reality series will also deliver some intriguing action.
In this season, three men stand out to me as fighters who could possibly wear UFC gold in their careers.
Here are the fighters I believe have the brightest future.
This is as obvious as anything you could predict in sports.
Hall’s tremendous speed, striking ability and strength provide him a base of natural gifts.
Although he isn’t a finished product—he could still stand to get better in takedown defense and grappling—Hall is as exciting a prospect as I’ve seen in a while.
He has the type of explosiveness that fans will pay to see in pay-per-view main events and the fearlessness to drop bombs on anyone.
I pick him to defeat Kevin Gastelum on Saturday night, but that’s just the beginning for Hall.
Although I don’t see him beating Hall, I do believe Gastelum has the ability to make the fight competitive. Gastelum is a smart fighter. He will attempt to get Hall on the mat, and I think he will have his moments.
Hall is just too strong, and I predict he'll ultimately stop Gastelum but there is no shame in that. When you consider Gastelum is just 21 years old, he has a bright future.
At 5’9”, he is a bit shorter than what you’d like to see at middleweight, but he has amazing heart and a good balance between striking and submission skills.
Were it not for Hall, he’d have the must upside of any fighter from TUF 17.
He isn’t fighting for the title of TUF 17 winner, but McDaniel has a decent ceiling. The 29-year-old is 20-6 in his career and is a formidable submission artist. Yes, Hall decimated him with a vicious counter right hand earlier in the show, but McDaniel is still a warrior.
He battles Gilbert Smith on Saturday night in a fight he should win easily.
Because of his experience and size (6’3”), he has a good shot to be a top-10 middleweight over the next two years. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him challenge and win a title at some point.
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