The TUF 14 Finale takes place this Saturday night, airs LIVE on Spike TV, and will feature a lightweight match-up between TUF 13 winner Tony Ferguson taking on MMA veteran Yves Edwards in what should be a good measuring stick fight for Ferguson. Edwards has been able to put together some nice fights in the past two years after a rocky 2008 campaign. Let’s see how this one breaks down.
Yves Edwards comes into this fight with a career record of (41-17-1) with 17 wins via submission and 15 wins via TKO/KO. He was last seen in action taking out Rafaello Oliveira via TKO in October which puts him at four wins in his last five fights. As you can tell by his record, Edwards is well versed standing and on the ground while looking to finish his opponents as he has done an amazing 32 times. He has had trouble with guys that can take him down and control him on the ground, as well has being knocked out on a couple of occasions.
Tony Ferguson comes into this fight with a career record of (12-2) with eight wins via TKO/KO and three wins via submission. Ferguson was last seen in action stopping MMA veteran Aaron Riley via TKO in September. Ferguson has an extensive wrestling background, but has also displayed solid striking skills during his UFC stint while showing the ability to finish fights.
This is another excellent fight to see just where Ferguson is at this stage of his young career. I think this fight will be really explosive as both guys are aggressive with solid striking and well versed on the ground. Edwards has a huge edge in experience, but so did Ferguson’s last opponent in Aaron Riley. I expect this fight to stay on the feet unless Edwards begins to get the better of the striking exchanges. However, for that to happen he’ll have to overcome the reach advantage that Ferguson has over him.
This is a fight that Ferguson should win, but you can’t fully count out a veteran like Edwards who is a savvy fighter. I think Ferguson is the more aggressive of the two fighters as Edwards will sit back and look to counter what his opponent does at times. This will be a key factor in the fight as Ferguson does leave himself exposed at times as he likes to wing huge Mortal Kombat uppercuts and hooks. Those would be prime opportunities for Edwards to score, but it’s something that he would have to be able to do consistently to win a judges decision as I don’t think Ferguson will be looking to take the fight to the ground often. More often than not, Ferguson displays a solid jab and is able to create additional offense as he establishes his range with that.
I think Ferguson establishes the jab and constant pressure he applies will wear Edwards down as the fight wears on. Ferguson has displayed a good chin so far, so I don’t expect Edwards to knock him out although he certainly has finished many opponents in the past. Look for Ferguson to win a judges decision or finish Edwards in the second or third round via TKO to continue his climb up the UFC lightweight ranks.