At Fitness 101 we’re big fans of the Ultimate Fighter. Season 17 has been one of the most entertaining for a while, with an interesting blend of coaches, talented fighters and personalities. Coaches Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen remained amicable throughout the show, but kept a professional distance. In my opionion Chael seemed like a natural coach, and my opinion of him has changed dramatically from the outrageously arrogant character he personifies in the build up to a fight, to the humble and geniune person who clearly cared about his team in the show. Not only did Chael win the show with both of his fighters in the finale, but he also won the coaches challenge and the bowling competition. Jon Jones will be eager for some redemption on the 27th April.

This season the show was likely stolen by favourite Uriah Hall, who basically destroyed all his opponents with ferosome finishes. All his opponents ended up in hospital, and Adam Cella and Bubba McDaniel both took time to get back to their feet after being KO’d. Kevin Gastelum however, was the last pick of the show and a heavy underdog. Although Sonnen described him as not being great at anything, he said that he was an all rounder that worked hard and always brought his A-game on the night. He surprised many by submitting Bubba McDaniel as well as the other show favourite Josh Samman.

Although many people thought the finale was going to be a complete white wash by Hall, the fact that Gastelum had caused so many upsets throughout the show led a few to believe that he could produce the win on the night with the right game plan; and that’s exactly what he did!

Uriah Hall seemed a bit laxidasical compared to some of his other fights, although in every round he had flashes of striking brilliance (and even landed a suplex in round 2!). Gastelum was pushing the pace, scoring takedowns and even landing some strikes with consistent hard work. He brushed off the suplex and heavy strikes and continued straight back with his gameplan of neutralising the striking of Uriah. Although I though Gastelum had won 2 of the 3 rounds quite clearly, it was difficult to know how the judges would score the bout and if they would be influenced by the classier work of Uriah Hall. The final decision was a 29-28 split decision in favour of Gastelum in a true underdog style victory! I hope to see both fighters in the octagon again very soon.

The coaches will finally set foot in the ring on the 27th April, and provides a very interesting contest. Jon Jones who has been compared a lot to Anderson Silva, will definitely be taking on the biggest challenge of his career in Chael Sonnen. If Chael can take him down as easily as he did against Silva in their first fight, it could be a very difficult nights work for Jones. Although I was very pro Jones, having seen my about their personalities in the show, I’m becoming more of a fan of the “bad guy” and would be very happy to see Chael pull of the win. I think that he has to be seen as the underdog, but he has every chance.

My questions to you: Who will win between Jones and Sonnen, and did anyone see the Kelving Gastelum win coming?