FIGHT! Picks: Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale *UPDATED*

One prized six-figure UFC contract is up for grabs at The Pearl at the Palms in Las Vegas, Nev. as the The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 comes to an end live on Spike TV Sat. night. The reality show’s alumni from current and past years dot the card, alongside a group of well-matched UFC mainstays and one rolling “A-Train.” Here are FIGHT!’s picks for Saturday night’s bouts with odds courtesy of bodog. We are 58-31 with our picks in 2010.


(We think on again, off again Keith Jardine will be on again on Saturday.)

Court McGee (-200) vs Kris McCray (+160)

Slotted for the main event over Matt Hamill and Keith Jardine, the UFC sees fireworks in Court McGee and Kris McCray’s middleweight bout for the title of Ultimate Fighter. In fourteen fights, only McGee has faced defeat, dropping a decision to MMA’s working class hero Jeremy “Gumby” Horn.

McCray is an aggressive and athletic striker, who parlays his whirlwinds into explosive slams when necessary. A vast experience gap spells trouble for McCray though. “Savage” has only fought less than two rounds worth of action at the professional level. It’s a testament to his natural ability; however, a legit veteran in McGee will exploit inexperience with his grit. “The Crusher” won’t be put away in the first round and that makes for a long night.

McGee spent his camp with Chuck Liddell at The Pit. Flanked by Olympic gold medalist boxer Howard Davis Jr., the Utah native’s powerful output standing and on the mat should wear and tear McCray in an exciting scrap.

FIGHT! Pick: McGee

Matt Hamill (-145) vs Keith Jardine (+115)

Matt Hamill and Keith Jardine both didn’t win their respective seasons of The Ultimate Fighter despite being tagged as favorites. Despite coming up short, they have proved to be two skillful and dangerous 205-pounders.

Jardine’s career has been marred by some of the ugliest inconsistency in the sport, while Hamill has progressed steadily without finding a signature win to boost him into the higher end of the division.

“The Dean of Mean” pops back up to his feet when taken down, which diminishes Hamill’s chance of success greatly. The Greg Jackson-trained fighter has power in his hands to punish “The Hammer” for lazy punches—something often seen from the Division III National Champion—and leg kicks to destroy Hamill’s flat-footed forward motion. While Hamill certainly has knockout potential of his own, Jardine only drops to especially vicious or seasoned strikers. Hamill is not quite either.

FIGHT! Pick: Jardine

Chris Leben vs. Aaron Simpson

Undefeated at 7-0, Aaron Simpson has only gone the distance once. Against devastating slugger Chris Leben, that is unlikely to change win or lose; however, “A-Train” is too tough and too explosive with his Arizona State University All-American wrestling to succumb to Leben’s dangerous yet predictable game.

FIGHT! Pick: Simpson

Spencer Fisher (-175) vs Dennis Siver (+145)

A tale of two strikers, Spencer Fisher and Dennis Siver promise a sure-fire stand-up war.

Siver favors a potent spinning back kick, but his last fight, a decision defeat at the hands of Ross Pearson, laid the blue print to best the German. Fisher has an affinity for punches and bunches. Being in Siver’s face early and often keeps Siver from finding his range and timing, which is crucial for his style. “The King” has well-rounded skills in his back pocket if needed too. The quality of his competition and strong rebounds throughout the course of his lengthy career tip the scales for the North Carolina native.

FIGHT! Pick: Fisher

RECAP
Court McGee (-200) vs Kris McCray (+160)
FIGHT! Pick: McGee

Matt Hamill (-145) vs Keith Jardine (+115)
FIGHT! Pick: Jardine

Chris Leben vs. Aaron Simpson
FIGHT! Pick: Simpson

Spencer Fisher (-175) vs Dennis Siver (+145)
FIGHT! Pick: Fisher

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