A few weeks back we said that the TUF finale was an eliminator event, with a ton of fights looking like they were “win or you’re gone” situations. Now that the event has passed, let’s do a bit of speculation on what’s next for the losers from this event.
Dante Rivera: DROP. This guy got owned from start to finish. I was actually shocked that one judge scored the fight 29-28 as opposed to the rest who scored it 30-27 … then I realized it was Cecil Peoples, so it made sense that he got it wrong. Riddle actually did better than Rivera at all the shit that Rivera was supposed to be good at. This guy is just not UFC caliber.
Jeremy Stephens: KEEP. Personally, I think Stephens is too young and raw right now to stick around in the UFC, but I doubt that he’ll get cut. Dana loves the aggressive guys and Stephens worked his ass off. Again, I think he’d be well served with a fight or two in the minors, but expect to see him back in the prelims.
Luigi Fioravanti: DROP. This loss makes him 1-3 over his past four fights, and even his win against Luke Cummo was uninspired. Personally, I think he was booked on the card to make Diego Sanchez look good on television. While he gave his best performance in a long time, it’s just not enough to justify keeping him around. As a side note, dude looked a bit thick in the gut … perhaps a drop to lightweight might help him out?
CB Dollaway: KEEP (ugh). Yeah, there’s no way Dollaway is going away yet. Fortunately it will be easy to ignore him when he’s fighting on the prelims for the rest of his short UFC career.
Evan Tanner: DROP (double ugh). If there’s anyone on the card who needs to take some time beating up scrubs outside the UFC, it’s Evan Tanner. I think he did a pretty damned good job … better than the 30-26 scores would have anyone think. But that doesn’t change the fact that Kendall Grove fucked him up good in the second, and that Tanner still looks rustier than an old shed roof.