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'The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale' Preview

The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale will conclude a truly outstanding season of fights on June 21 in Las Vegas. Along with this, the finale will present fans with a rematch of one of the best fights of the season when Amir Sadollah takes on C.B. Dollaway for the rights to the TUF 7 crown after Jesse Taylor blew his chance via some foolish decisions.

But that's not the only big fight that will take place on the card. There's also Evan Tanner vs. Kendall Grove and Diego Sanchez vs. Luigi Fioravanti. So, let's get down to business here.

Amir Sadollah (0-0) vs. C.B. Dollaway (6-0): C.B. Dollaway proved a few things while on the show. First, he's very strong and possesses solid cardio. Second, he has outstanding takedowns, takedown defense, and ground control skills. Finally, he can take a punch, as he showed against Tim Credeur in their last fight, and possesses solid striking skills himself.

In other words, there's a reason why he was undefeated as a pro coming into the show.

Sadollah, on the other hand, had no professional MMA fights to his credit before the show started. But don't let that fool you. First, Sadollah has some slick jiu jitsu. Second, he's tough as nails; there simply is no quit in the guy. And last, his striking skills are very strong.

The weakness would be his takedown defense and overall size/ power. Along with this, he was slammed to the canvas several times during the show. But that didn't stop him from winning obviously.

Prediction: Sadollah was losing to Dollaway before catching him with that armbar during the show. However, he had to tough out all the victories he came by on the show. The bottom line is that you don't win fight after fight in that kind of fashion by accident.

Dollaway has the stuff to control the pace. It certainly wouldn't be crazy to think that he could win the rematch here via ground and pound methods.

But I've just got a feeling.

Amir Sadollah wins via TKO in round three.

Evan Tanner (32-7) vs. Kendall Grove (8-5): Evan Tanner is a very well- rounded mixed martial artist. Along with this, he possesses better than average wrestling, jiu jitsu, and striking skills, even if he may not be considered elite in any of those categories. Beyond that, he's tough and comes to fight in shape.

But Tanner does tend to cut pretty easily.

Kendall Grove looked awful good in winning TUF 3 and then rallying toward two consecutive victories in the UFC after that. The strengths? How about reach like nobody's business plus solid technical striking and jiu jitsu. On top of it all, Grove took his TUF 3 coach's teachings?we're talking about Tito Ortiz here, people?to heart.
Cardio, cardio, cardio.

But in his last two fights he fell prey to first round knockout losses at the hands of Patrick Cote and Jorge Rivera, which begs the following question. Where's his confidence at?

Prediction: Boy, these UFC fights are tough to figure these days. Anyhow, an argument can be made that neither fighter has ever faced someone with the unique skill set they're about to face. This one is a toss up.

In the end, though, one of these two fighters that is trying to make a comeback is a lot younger than the other. That could be the difference.

Kendall Grove wins via unanimous decision.

Diego Sanchez (18-2) vs. Luigi Fioravanti (12-3):
Fioravanti is a tough customer that has never been knocked out despite having been in there with heavy hitters like Chris Leben and Luke Cummo. Further, he has good takedown defense and is technically sound on his feet, as well as powerful (seven (T)KO victories). His ground game isn't as strong as his stand up, though working with American Top Team has no doubt helped his ground skills to move in the right direction.

Diego Sanchez is a cardio machine with some of the best takedowns in the division. Further, he has very underrated submissions, both from his back and the top position. Oh yeah, and the guy can take a punch as is evidenced by the lack of a knockout loss on his record.

Sanchez's striking skills are reasonable, but they are not his strength by any means.
Prediction: If this fight stays on the feet, then Fioravanti will probably win. If not, this one will go Sanchez's way no doubt. Though Sanchez may have accrued two straight losses to Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch before finally righting the ship against David Bielkheden, he still has a very bright future in MMA.

In the end, expect Sanchez to get this fight to the ground and go to work with ground and pound before setting up the winning move.

Diego Sanchez wins via second round submission.


Josh Burkman (9-5) vs. Dustin Hazelett (10-4):
Though he lost to Josh Koscheck in his last bout, Dustin Hazelett looked really good up to the point that he was knocked out. Along with this, he has excellent technical striking skills, more than solid jiu jitsu, and solid takedown defense.

Josh Burkman is better on his feet than most give him credit for. That said, his real strengths can be found in his takedowns, takedown defense, and power. Further, he's a tough guy that has never been knocked out before.

Prediction: Another tough call. If Hazelett can come back mentally from his last loss, he just may be able to win the technical stand up battle here and pose enough danger on the ground to get one.

Dustin Hazelett wins via decision in a close fight.

Marvin Eastman (15-7-1) vs. Drew McFedries (6-3): Somebody is probably going to get knocked out in this one.

Marvin Eastman wins via TKO in round two.

Dean Lister (10-5) vs. Jeremy Horn (79-17-5): Lister is one of the best jiu jitsu fighters in the world. That said, it doesn't always come out in his MMA fights. Horn has lost two straight by submission.

Dean Lister via unanimous decision.

Spencer Fisher (20-4) vs. Jeremy Stephens (13-2): Another tough fight to call.

Spencer Fisher via close decision.

Dante Rivera (10-2) vs. Matt Riddle (1-0): Rivera has a lot more experience in front of crowds. That said, Riddle seems pretty explosive athletically. Go with a pretty big upset here.

Matt Riddle via a close decision.

Matt Brown (9-6) vs. Matt Arroyo (3-1): Brown once defeated Arroyo. However, if this one goes to the ground for any length of time Arroyo will have his revenge. Will it?

Matt Arroyo wins via submission in round two.

Tim Credeur (10-4) vs. Cale Yarborough (0-0): Credeur just has too much of a ground and experience edge here.

Tim Credeur wins via submission in round two.

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