The Ultimate Fighter 15 returns on a brand new network with their first ever LIVE format. Tune in on March 9th to find out which of the 32 contestants make into the house. Who are the UFC odds favorites to win, and who do we like?
its 15th season, The Ultimate
Fighter is looking to implement a whole new format behind head coaches
Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz. With the transition over from Spike TV to FX,
we’re now offered a weekly Live fight
for the entire 13 week duration of the show. The new production value and the up-to-date look into the progression of
the series are the two biggest selling points for the new season.
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March 9th a total of 32 fighters will be competing for 16 golden
tickets to get into the house. The normal elimination process will resume from
there until the final two are scheduled to collide at the July 2nd
Finale, which will also be headlined by the Bantamweight Championship between
Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber.
from the new Live format, this season
will feature both Lightweight prospects from around the world.
Highlighted below are the 4 most influential and possibly talented fighters
competing for the TUF 15 Title.
Jon Tuck: 6-0 with 3 SUB & 3 KO’s
could argue that Jon Tuck has the highest ceiling out of any fighter on this
season. The Guamanian fighter possesses a blend of raw athleticism,
precise striking and knockout power in both hands, making him a must-watch
contestant on the show. The kid also has a 100% finish rate through 6 fights,
consisting of 3 knockouts and 3 submissions.
striking is dictated by a strong jab and heavy right hand. He closes distance
amazingly fast and has some of the best outside footwork on the show. Tuck’s
clinch game is another focal point of his striking, whether he’s fishing for
the big knee, or a closed elbow on the inside.
grappling appears to be just as fierce and explosive. He sets his takedown up well off his strikes
where he’ll look to utilize his lightening quick transitions on the mat. He excellent at tacking jhis opponent back
and has great control from both top and bottom.
recently he also showcased how lethal his striking can be from an opponent’s
guard. After showing a good chin early in the fight, Jon unleashed some heavy
ground-and-pound which knocked out Tristan Arenal just minutes into the fight.
Joe Proctor: 7-1 with 4 Subs
Training out of Lauzon MMA, Joe Proctor is best known as a key
training partner for current UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon. Through 8 professional
fights he’s racked up 7 victories with 4 coming by way of submission and 3 by
decision. He’s also held promotional
title for both the American Fighting Organization and Reality Fighting
His submission game consists of a firm guillotine choke and a fairly
active guard. His latest submission was a guillotine choke over Eric Fama at last February’s Reality Fighting event.
I think in the end his stiffness and overall lack of striking
defense will be his downfall here. He has a nice overhand right, but he’s
usually too slow and erect when retracting from the pocket. He showed some nice
body lock takedowns in past fights but I don’t expect that to be effective
against some of the better wrestlers in the house.
Myles Jury: 9-0 with 5 Subs & 4 KO’s
you recognize the name Myles Jury, that’s because he was a former Ultimate
Fighter contestant on Season 13. After winning his fight to get into the house,
a torn ACL sustained in the fight was later revealed, forcing a premature exit
from the show.
could make the case that Jury has some of the most beneficial training partners
for this season. Training over at
Alliance MMA provides elite sparring with both UFC fighter Jeremy Stephens and
Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz. There’s really no understating just how
big of an edge that is over the rest of his opponents.
the past, Myles has shown a relentless top game with heavy ground and pound and
big power in both hands. He beautifully times his counter straight right and
possesses an explosive right head kick.
biggest question now is how well he’s been able to recover from that torn ACL.
If he’s been able to nurse the injury back to full health then I like his
chances to make a deep run in this tournament, if not win it all.
Cristiano Marcello: 12-3 with 9 Subs
best known for infamously choking out Charles Bennett in a backstage brawl,
Marcello brings one of the more accomplished grappling pedigrees to the
season.He’s currently a 3rd degree blackbelt with 9 notable
submissions on his resume.
3 years away from the sport he returned in 2010 where he’s strung together an
an impressive 3-1 record. In two of those victories, his triangle choke and
back control looked just as proficient as ever.
striking, however, is mediocre at best. He has some decent leg kicks but his
tendency to rush into the pocket with his chin up will probably lead to an
early demise. You can guarantee most of his opponents will be looking to avoid
his clinch, which is where most of his effective takedowns occur.
I think if he’s favorably matched up early then
we could see him make a moderately deep run here. If nothing else we should be
treated to at least one or two highlight submissions.