Thursday, December 12, 2013

23 Fighters Who Could Earn A Spot On Ultimate Fighter

Everyone is making their lists of who they would like to see tryout and possibly earn one of the final five spots for the 115 Ultimate Fighter. With all lists you need to take several things into account. I will not address them because they are not bad things. But those things will make everyone's lists different. For example in mine, I chose to add some people who fight at under and over 115. I included a couple amateurs as well. Not everyone will do that with their lists. So here is my list of 23 people I would like to see tryout for and possible earn one of the last five spots. I am not ranking them in any specific order as they are listed alphabetically by first name.


Credit: Oliver Martinez

1. Amber Stautzenberger
After losing her pro debut, Stautzenberger is on a roll winning four straight against very good competition including her recent win over Lacey Schuckman. Stautzenberger is on a roll right now and could use that positive momentum to do well at the tryouts and win her spot into the house. Stautzenberger has all the tools to reach the top of the 115 list and this could be the next big step.


Credit: Amy Cadwell

2. Amy Cadwell
Cadwell has gotten her pro career off to a good start winning her first two pro fights, both via rear naked choke.She had suffered a losing streak as an amateur but that is clearly behind her and she seems to be hitting her prime at just the right time. Cadwell would make a nice addition to the house.


Credit: Invicta FC

3. Ashley Cummins
Cummins comes in 3-2 losing two straight. However many observers, myself included felt she won her last fight with Emily Kagan and Kagan is already in the TUF house. Cummins is a very well rounded fighter and can adapt wherever the fight goes and holds impressive wins over Stephanie Frausto and Sofia Bagherdai. Definitely deserving of a shot at making the TUF house.


Credit: Invicta FC

4. Cassie Robb
Robb is 0-1 in her pro career and had a very short amateur career. In her one pro fight with Invicta, she seemed to have won the first round before tapping in the second to Laura Sanko. Before the finish she showed she has great potential and has many victories in her future. She was set to fight Livia Von Plettenberg in her second pro fight but that fight was called off when her opponent missed weight. She would be moving up in weight to fight at 115 but she has deceptive strength and I think she could more than hold her own at 115.


Credit: Invicta FC

5. Cassie Rodish
Rodish had won four straight before her recent loss to Simona Soukupova. Able to finish in a variety of ways and a win or two could put her in line for an Invicta title shot. However trying out at 115 for TUF is a move many would like to see her make. An extra incentive for Rodish to make the house is the huge positive light she could shine on women's MMA.


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6. Diana Rael
An experienced 105'er Rael has fought many top names and the rare times she has lost it has been against top flight opposition. She would bring a level of experience of smarts that would help her to adapt to whoever she is across the cage from. Considered one of the sports most underrated fighters, this could be her chance to shed that underrated label and show people she is a top level fighter.


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7. Gina Begley
While Begley is also still an amateur, she has said she will turn pro soon. She has an amateur record of 4-2 but her two losses are to opponents who have a combined one loss and that is only because they fought each other. Begley is a constantly improving fighter who if she wanted to try 115 could slide in there and go fro amateur fighter to very well know fighter on TUF.


Credit: Andrew DeMattos

8. Heather Clark
After suffering back to back loses to quality opposition in Stephanie Eggink and Felice Herrig, Clark bounced back with a November win over Hanna Cifers. Clark is an exciting fighter who win or lose, always brings it and would make for some exciting potential match-ups in the TUF house.


Credit: Jasminka Cive


9. Jasminka Cive
Cive has suffered only one defeat in her career, a fight with Bec Hyatt where Cive's emotions maybe got the best of her. The powerhouse is loaded with potential and an appearance on TUF would help more people become aware of her great potential.


Credit: Invicta FC

10. Jessica Philippus
0-1 as a pro, Philippus has not fought for a year. Philippus had a great amateur career and has big time pro potential. A trip to the tough Tryouts might be the kick start to giving many fans what they want, a Jessica Philippus return to the cage. Philippus is another one who having her in the house would shine a bright light on women's MMA.


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11. Jordan McDonald
The Tuff-N-Uff champ has been out for an extended period of time, but a return at the TUF tryouts would make fans happy. Yet to make her pro debut, she has the tools required to compete as a pro. If Jordan were to tryout and make it, she would quickly become a favorite with viewers as she is tough as hell and has the kind of attitude fans can get behind.


Credit: Invicta FC

12. Katja Kankaanpaa
Kankaanpaa is coming off her first pro loss to Joanne Calderwood in a close fight that I personally felt she won. She has fought and beaten some very good competition and showed in the fight with Calderwood that she can hang with the best in the division.


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13. Katlyn Chookagian
Chookagian is still an amateur but is 5-0 including four wins in 2013. She has stopped four of her five opponents, most recently Vanessa Demopoulos. While not yet a pro and she admits to wanting to make sure she is ready before turning pro, these tryouts could tell her where she is at. She is a future star and this could be a big introduction.


Credit: Invicta FC

14. Lacey Schuckman
Schuckman has proven she will fight anyone at any time. She arguably has fought the toughest competition on this list. While coming off a loss in her last fight, Schuckman is one of those fighters who on any given day can beat anyone and if she were to make it in the house, she could be that dark horse who surprises people and makes it to the finals.


Credit: Invicta FC

15. Livia Von Plettenberg
2-1 as a pro, perhaps 115 might work out well for Von Plettenberg. She failed to make weight in her last fight with Cassie Robb and instead fought and defeated last minute replacement Kathina Catron. Her previous fight with Joanne Calderwood showed she has heart and is tough to finish. While her goal may be to fight at 105, perhaps an opportunity to make it into the UFC at 115 will make her think of staying at 115.


Credit: Invicta FV

16. Mizuki Inoue
While her lack of English could be one of a couple roadblocks for her to fight on TUF, Inoue definitely is deserving. American fans will know her from her Invicta fight where she defeated Bec Hyatt. If Inoue were in the house, she would be a threat.


Credit: Invicta FC

17. Norma Center
Center stepped up on short notice in July to take on Joanne Calderwood and put on an impressive performance, doing much better than some expected. Even in losing, that performance showed that Center is going to be a force to be reckoned with and would definitely be a great asset for the TUF house.


Credit: Pearl Gonzalez

18. Pearl Gonzalez
After losing her first pro fight, Gonzalez has bounced back with two straight wins, including winning the XFC title against Cortney Casey. While still improving and we have yet to see her at her best, Gonzalez could fill that dark horse role, someone who comes out of nowhere and does really well in the house.


Credit: KMS Photography

19. Rebecca Heintzman
After going undefeated as an amateur Heintzman continued her winning ways when she recently won her pro debut finishing Allison Haynes with a rear naked choke. Heintzman posses freakish strength and is able to dictate where she wants the fight to go. Heintzman in the house would also be a nice step in shedding labels some may have about women's MMA.


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20. Sarah McLeod
After a slow start to her amateur career, fighting without real training, the amateur veteran of twelve fights won three of her last four with the only loss being to Tecia Torres. McLeod has been out of the cage over a year while finishing school. With her ridiculous power and big marketability, McLeod would be a big fan favorite.


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21. Stephanie Eggink
The XFC champ is on a three fight winning streak and has looked impressive winning those fights against solid competition. She fights like someone with much more experience and if she made it into the house, she would be a real threat to go very far.


Credit: Hex Linc Photography

22. Stephanie Frausto
While Frausto sports a losing record, she is among the best in the sport with a losing record as she has faced great competition. Training with her sister at CSA and the great female fighters there will no doubt help her improve and show the world what she can truly do in the cage. Making the TUF house could be step one to the bright future Frausto has in front of her.


Credit: Real Time Moments

23. Stephanie Skinner
"The Scrapper" comes in with a 2-4 record as a pro but her short pro career can be divided in two. She started at 0-3 but will admit she was ill prepared at that point. She has since gone 2-1 and shown herself to be a well rounded fighter. Having to withdraw from her last scheduled fight due to an injury, this could be a perfect scenario where she has time to heal before the tryouts. Skinner could be a legit threat to be this seasons Jessica Rakoczy.

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