Stacked card will reach a crescendo with two interesting bouts in Las Vegas.
For the first time in UFC history, two fighters both with the given name Uriah, will be a part of the co-main events as The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale explodes into life in Las Vegas on Saturday.
In the main even, Urijah Faber will face off against former sparring partner Scott Jorgensen, in what is a bout with huge implications for both men.
Faber is looking to continue to shake off any ring rust after beating Ivan Menjivar back in February at UFC 157.
Before that first round win, the California Kid has not been seen in the octagon since he lost the Interim UFC Bantamweight Championship to Renan Barao.
Despite facing a former sparring partner for this fight, Faber said he would love nothing more to get the victory and earn back-to-back wins for the first time in the UFC, since joining the organisation from World Extreme Cagefighting in early 2011.
Jorgensen also desperatly wants his career to gain even more momentum after his last fight earned him the win against John Albert but also the submission and fight of the night award, as part of the UFC on FOX: Henderson versus Diaz card.
Hear Faber and Jorgenson’s thoughts on the bout below:
Also on the card Las Vegas is the finale of what many are calling the greatest series of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) in its history.
After weeks of thrilling fights, Uriah Hall confirmed his status as one of the most impressive fighters in the show’s history when he booked his place in the decider against the unassuming, but dangerous, Kelvin Gastelum.
Hall has all the markings of a future contender in the UFC middleweight division, so much so, his coach during TUF, Chael Sonnen, insinuated he could beat pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva.
While the 7-2 Hall is yet to reach those lofty standards, the technique, power and precision in his striking game is unlike anything seen on the reality show for many years.
Hall’s reputation as a knockout artist was sealed on the worldwide stage when he beat Adam Cella with a devastating spinning heel kick that soon went viral.
In the quarter-finals, Hall caught Robert ‘Bubba’ McDaniel with a sweetly-timed straight right to the jaw that also saw the Jamaican-born star cruise to victory.
Facing Dylan Andrews in the semi-finals, Hall showed a different side to his stand-up and he methodically picked apart his opponent.
Amazingly the beginning of the end for the fight saw Andrews in top position after earning an impressive takedown, with Hall throwing heavy strikes from the bottom, forcing the New Zealand-born Andrews to cover up.
While the flashy, show-stopping fights of Hall has seen him earn much of the favouritism before the final, Gastelum could provide the upset.
Despite being the last picked on Team Sonnen, Gastelum impressed the team’s leader with his work-rate in training and ability to learn quickly.
Gastelum showed off his skills on the ground to earn a submission win against McDaniel, before displaying the power in his hands, with a first-round stoppage of Collin Hart.
The San Jose native then earned his place in the final when he dominated Team Jones’ number two pick Josh Samman, who gave up his back and the victory via rear-naked choke in the first round.
While Hall deserves to be favourite, if Gastelum can get inside the deadly strikes of his opponent and get the fight to the ground, he can use his excellent control skills to ground-and-pound his way to a lucrative UFC contract.
But to get the takedown, Gastelum will have to get past the crisp and stinging knees, punches, kicks and elbows of one of the most exciting fighters to grace the octagon since a younger Jon Jones.
Hear what both men had to say about their upcoming fight: