The Ultimate Finale 14 Preview: Tony Ferguson vs. Yves Edwards

Nothing speaks louder to the disposable nature of this card than this fight and what it is surrounded by. On Saturday night the UFC, now focused on their blossoming relationship with the FOX family of networks, will give their jilted lover Spike TV one last go round but they certainly aren’t going to throw their back into it. Yes, we do get to see this season’s coaches fight on free TV but we all know that to be because Bisping/Miller is a fight between a misbehaved, wholly unlikable Brit and a Strikeforce exile we hope will have enough savvy to shut him up even though we know deep down that he won’t. Then we have pretty much every cast member from this season fighting another cast member (presumably for a shot on the roster) and this match up between Tony Ferguson (12-2) and Yves Edwards (41-17-1) which resides somewhere near the dead center of the UFC Lightweight division.

To me the fight seems rather lopsided in favor of Ferguson but it should still be one of the more exciting fights on the card. Ferguson has the look of the next great Ultimate Fighter success story and here he is being fed a well worn and extremely knockoutable Edwards. Since entering the house for the 13th season of the reality show Ferguson has torn right through everybody in his path. He scored three knockouts on his way to the finale where he also KO’d Ramsey Nijem and from there moved on to administer a brutal, jaw breaking beatdown of Aaron Riley in September. That’s 5 T/KOs in 5 fights for the 27 year old and there is really no good reason why he shouldn’t keep the streak alive this weekend.

Edwards will have his hands full with the speed, strength and length of Ferguson but despite that this is a winnable fight for him if he can draw up a smart gameplan and execute it. Edwards has survived over the years as a counter striker but that is going to be a tough game to play considering the explosiveness of Ferguson. He does have experience and wisdom on his side (his tenure with the UFC stretches back to 2001) so if there is a way to slow down this opponent and get him to engage in a grappling match he should be able to find it. I know that recently the mere mention of Edwards’ name probably elicits chuckles and memories of him being obliterated by Sam Stout but overall he’s done quite well for himself in the past few years. He’s 7-2 in his last 9 and his incredible brawl with Cody McKenzie in January netted him two UFC bonuses. But if he is going to climb any higher in the promotion, ever, he most likely will need this win, however unlikely, because time is not on the side of this 37 year old 59 fight veteran. What we probably have in store is an opportunity to watch Ferguson unload his impressive arsenal on the questionable chin of Edwards. How long it holds out will really be the question and as much as I want to have faith in it I really don’t see this fight making it to the first break. I expect greatness from Ferguson now and in the future.

Pick: Ferguson via 1st Round TKO

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