Do or die time for ATT against Blackzilians on TUF

With only three fights left in this season of the Ultimate Fighter its do or die time for the American Top Team.  The Ultimate Fighter: American Top Team vs. Blackzilians airs Wednesday nights on Fox Sports 1

This season of “team vs. team” against the Blackzilians has not been good for ATT who so far have won two of the 50-point fights while the Blackzilians have won all four 25-point fights, two at 50 points, and the first at 100 points.  That puts the Blackzilians ahead in points 300 to 100 with three fights or 300 points left.  ATT now has to win all three upcoming fights to win the season, Blackzilians only have to win one.

So far the one standout for ATT has been Haydar Hassan who won both of his fights, a TKO of Carrington Banks and a majority decision over Felipe Portela.  The most disappointing so far has been Steve Carl who not only lost twice, he did so by not following his corner’s directions against Valdir Araujo and seeming to have no answer for Kamarudeen Usman.  For the most part ATT fighters have suffered to the control dictated by their rivals while seeming to be their own worst enemies, the later being especially true with Steve Montgomery’s seizure induced by weight cutting.  So far Montgomery’s replacement Cristiano Souza is the only ATT fighter who has not fought on the show.

The Blackzilians meanwhile have shown several standouts.  Usman in particular has been very difficult to stop despite everyone knowing he relies on his wrestling.  Vincente Luque’s submission of Nathan Coy put an end to a fight where Luque’s standup surprised many.  Jason Jackson’s “hit and run” use of his reach advantage was impressive.  Even Luiz Firmino who may not be the most exciting fighter has control down to an art form.

The teams can have a fighter fight more than twice but it is highly unlikely.  That means for the last three fights it is up to Michael Graves, Uros Jurisic, Sabah Homasi, Marcelo Alfaya, Cristiano Souza, and Nathan Coy to defeat Luiz Firmino, Valdir Araujo, Carrington Banks, Andrews Nakahara, Jason Jackson, Vincente Luque, and Felipe Portela.

The finale takes place July 12th in Las Vegas.  Besides the finals of this welterweight tournament seven fights have been confirmed so far leaving little room for the “leftovers” from this season.  So far the finale card is:

  • WW: George Sullivan vs. Marcio Alexandre Jr.
  • FW: Maximo Blanco vs. Mike De La Torre
  • Flyweight: Darrell Montague vs. Willie Gates
  • BW: Russell Doane vs. Jerrod Sanders
  • Women’s strawweight: Michelle Waterson vs. Angela Magana
  • WW: Jorge Masvidal vs. Cezar Ferreira
  • WW: Jake Ellenberger vs. Stephen Thompson