Ultimate Fighter: Can Team Rashad sweep Team Rampage?
We're three episodes in to the 10th installment of The Ultimate Fighter on Spike TV and so far Team Rashad is dominating the competition, boasting three straight victories over Team Rampage.
Abe Wagner, Wes Shivers, and now street-fighting kingpin Kimbo Slice have been defeated, and with Rashad in control of the next matchup he will look to pick apart the rest of Rampage's soldiers one by one, delivering the first clean sweep in Ultimate Fighter history.
Rashad and his coaching staff now have the opportunity to come up with a fool-proof blue print that will ensure that the rest of their team are victorious into the quarterfinal round.
Let's take a look at what the best on-paper matchups are.
If these are the bouts that are selected then there is a 90 percent chance that Team Rashad makes history with every single one of their fighters advancing into the next round.
Brendan Schaub vs. Marcus Jones
Jones possesses explosive power. He's a legitimate threat to any fighter in this competition. However, his conditioning does not seem up to par with the other fighters and he has been struggling with injuries as we witnessed in last night's episode.
In next week's preview it appears Jones becomes ill and mixed in with his injuries may have to forfeit the competition. If that is the case it is very likely that heavy-handed Slice may be brought back in as a replacement but if not Rashad should definitely set his sights on Jones.
Schaub is an up and coming prospect out of Greg Jackson's camp in New Mexico and was picked second overall on Team Rashad. He is a well-rounded fighter known more for his striking ability and he should be able to pick the former first-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Bucs apart.
Matt Mitrione vs. Zak Jensen
Jensen was picked dead last for Team Rampage and the fact that Rampage tried to pick the cameraman before him should tell you something.
Mitrione is an extremely impressive athlete who played six seasons in the NFL with the New York Giants and the Minnesota Vikings but he has the least cage experience in the house (career 0-0 MMA record).
Regardless of his inexperience he has been training with UFC veterans Jake O'Brian and welterweight contender Chris Lytle so it's not like he is entering this competition without any MMA ability.
While Jensen possesses more technical skills than the former NFL player he is not going to run through Mitrione. Stylistically the smartest approach to getting Mitrione into the next round would be to match him up against the weakest link on Team Rampage and not to take anything away from him but that weak link is Jensen.
Darill Schoonover vs. Wes Sims
Sims is one of three UFC veterans competing in this tournament. Most fans remember him for his 2003 disqualification loss to former Heavyweight champ Frank Mir at UFC 43, but make no mistake about it; Sims is one of the top dogs in this competition.
The best possible matchup to knock Sims out of the tournament would be to pit him up against 10-0 Shark Fight Heavyweight champion Schoonover. Schoonover appears like a chubby comic book nerd but he is an absolute killer and mixed with his never-say-die attitude is a very dangerous opponent for Sims.
Standing as the tallest heavyweight on the show at 6-feet-10 and weighing in at 260 pounds, Sims towers over the 6-feet-2, 250-pound Schoonover but Schoonover has made a career out of besting larger opponents and Sims would be no different.
Justin Wren vs. Demico Rogers
Rogers is a mystery man in this tournament. On certain Web sites he is listed as 4-0 but on the world's largest fighter database -- Sherdog fight finder -- he is profiled as 0-0, which can be very misleading.
Regardless of his record Rogers is an impressive athletic prospect who shouldn't be taken lightly at all. He comes from a strong wrestling and football background so in this situation Rashad would have to put fire against fire and choose Wren as Roger's opponent.
Other than Jon Madsen, Wren is one of the best wrestlers on the team and is also very dangerous at every other aspect of MMA. He would have the best chance of neutralizing Roger's athleticism and would likely outscore the Team Rampage prospect to a unanimous decision victory.
Mike Wessel vs. Scott Junk
They are both hard-nosed competitors with UFC experience who are willing to fight anyone in this competition so matching them up against each other would surely produce a barn burner.
They each made their transition into MMA after their college football careers ended and have been rather impressive on the local fighting circuit. Despite each suffering defeats in their lone UFC appearances they are both well-rounded fighters with knockout power in their hands.
Out of all of the other matchups this one is the closest one as either man could defeat the other on any given night. However, Wessel would certainly have the advantage just on the pure fact that he'll be training with the better team with the better coaches.