Last night on SPIKE TV was the release of the 2nd season of The Ultimate Fighter. If you'll remember from last year it features up and coming fighters for a chance at a 6 figure, 3 year deal with the UFC. This season features the Welterwieghts (170 lbers) and Heavyweights (205+). Last season I was able to pick the winners in both categories going with Deigo Sanchez and Forrest Griffin. I've done my research and I've got my picks for this season.........
Welterwieght - Melvin Guillard
I've saw Melvin fight in Tunica last February where he earned the right to fight for the FFC Championship, I'm sure that's on the back burner due to this opportunity. He is very heavy handed and not afraid to fight on the ground. I think he is well rounded enough to take this to the next level.
Heavyweight - Mike Whitehead
Now I must be honest, this pick is a little bit of me thinking he is the best fighter and a little bit of me wanting to watch someone from my home state win this thing. I've always believed us Oregon boys are just tougher. (so there) As you'll see in Mikes Bio he hails from southern Oregon, he actually went to my rival high school.
Joe Stevensen - Welterweight
The Victorville, CA native and current resident was an all-state wrestler at Silverado, High School just outside of Los Angeles. The 23 year-old has been competing in mixed martial arts since he was 16 and has a current professional record of 24-6. He has held 5 MMA titles in various weight-classes ranging from 155 to 205. Currently a forklift operator, Joe has two kids, Joey (4 years old) and Tyler (2 years old), and lives with his girlfriend Maria who is a lawyer and female boxer.
Jorge Gurgel - Welterweight
Born and raised in Fortaleza, Brazil, Jorge moved to the U.S. eight years ago when he was 20 to pursue his career in mixed martial arts. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert is also quite the academic as he received a prestigious scholarship, awarded to only 50 of 14,000 applicants, to study in his native Brazil. After two years of study, he moved to the United States to attend Wright St. University to study international business. Currently living in suburban Cincinnati, Jorge runs seven gyms in the Midwest including ones in Columbus, Dayton, and his main gym in Middletown, OH. Jorge, who is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, trains with The Ultimate Fighter coach Rich Franklin and The Ultimate Fighter Season I participant, Josh Rafferty.
Anthony Torres - Welterweight
The pride of Hawaii, Anthony is currently a federal corrections officer at a prison in Oahu. The 26 year-old is a member of the prison SWAT Team and is a self defense instructor for the other guards. Anthony was a state wrestling champion in the 198lbs weight class at Roosevelt High School in Honolulu and was among the state’s premier power-lifters. He has been participating in mixed martial arts for the past six years and has a current professional record of 3-0. Anthony attended Chaminade University and is a big fan of the hit series CSI (currently airing on CBS and Spike TV).
Melvin Guillard - Welterweight
The son of a Baptist Minister, Melvin grew up in suburban New Orleans and was a wrestling state champion in the 152lb class at Bonnabel High School in 2002. Voted Best athlete in his high school, Melvin was also a star football player, terrorizing opposing offenses as an outside linebacker. A graduate of Colby College in Kansas with a degree in Criminal Law, he currently works in the family contracting business. Melvin has a 36-2-3 professional MMA record and is inspired by his fiancé, Brittney.
Josh Burkman - Welterweight
Josh was a triple-threat athlete at Cottonwood High School in Salt Lake City making all-state in football (running back), baseball (third baseman), and wrestling (171 lb division). He went to play running back for Dixie State College. To pursue his dream of becoming a UFC champion, Josh moved to Oregon to train with Randy Couture and Team Qwest. He currently has a 14-2 record and dreams to one day open up his own MMA gym.
Marcus Davis - Welterweight
The former pro boxer is no stranger to television, as he fought on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights while competing for 10 years and compiling a 10-1 record. The 32 year-old native of Bangor, Maine, proudly wears a kilt as a tribute to his Irish heritage. Marcus is a manager of multiple bars and taverns in Maine and is a twice-divorced father to three children. The self-described computer geek is a Star Wars aficionado and lists his favorite movie is the cult classic, “Boondock Saints.”
Sammy Morgan - Welterweight
The Minneapolis, Minnesota native wrestled at Roosevelt High School and attended Denwoody Technical School. The 23 year-old trains in Bloomington for the past 7 years and has current MMA record of 16-5. He currently works as a landscaper and bouncer at a local Minneapolis bar. His favorite movies are “Gladiator” and “The Legend of Josey Wales.”
Kenny Stevens - Welterweight (eliminated day 1)
A butcher by trade, the 23 year-old lives in Slidell, Louisiana with his wife and baby son, Kaden. Kenny was a two-sport star at Ware High School in suburban New Orleans in football (fullback, middle linebacker) and baseball (first baseman). He attended the University of Mississippi for one year and competed in the Kenpo Karate Nationals in 1999. Kenny is also friends with Houston Astros’ pitcher, Roy Oswalt.
Luke Cummo - Welterweight
The 25 year-old Taoist is from New Hyde Park, Long Island and is a graduate of Chaminade High School. He graduated Nassau Community College with a degree in Biology. He currently has a 4-1 professional MMA record and trains with UFC contender Matt Serra. The Bruce Lee fan lists “Sin City” among his favorite movies.
Rob fulfilled one his dreams in life by becoming a police officer and serving for the past 1 ½ years in his native Mississauga, Ontario. The only Canadian citizen on The Ultimate Fighter Season II, Rob was a nationally ranked wrestler at St. Charles College (high school) in Ontario and also excelled on the football and track teams. He graduated Western Ontario University with degrees in English and Psychology. The 26 year-old has been participating in MMA for three years and trains with Team Tomkins. His current professional MMA record is 3-0. The Toronto Raptors fan is inspired by his father and former railway engineer, Ranald, who passed away. His cousin, Miranda, stars on the cable series, “Degrassi Junior High: The New Class.”
Keith previously worked as a real life bounty-hunter for a bail bondsman in Canoga Park, California. The 29 year-old has a 9-1-1 professional MMA record and lives and trains in Albuquerque, New Mexico with among others, Season I middleweight champion, Diego Sanchez. Keith also was a professional boxer with a 3-0-1 record, and professional kickboxer with a 1-0 record. He was a two-sport star in high school, city champion in wrestling in the heavyweight class and All-City Football as linebacker. He attended Pierce College in Los Angeles before playing defensive line at New Mexico Highlands University. The foreign films buff is a big fan of the Coen Brothers.
Kerry Schall (Hurt and out, day 1)
The 33 year-old is the elder statesman for Season II of The Ultimate Fighter. The Kankakee, Illinois native was a football and wrestling star at Herscher High School outside of Chicago. After graduating from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in electrical engineering, he spent the next seven years out of the sports arena as a service engineer at a plastics company. One random night he was talked into competing in an MMA fight in Cincinnati and Kerry knocked out his opponent in 14 seconds. Kerry became hooked and began training to hone his natural MMA talents. Six years later this father of two has a 19-6 professional MMA record and trains with The Ultimate Fighter coach Rich Franklin and Season I participant, Josh Rafferty.
The 6’7 Columbia, Mo. native has only been participating in MMA for the last nine months and already has a 3-0 professional record. Brad played offensive tackle for the University of Missouri and was a starter his senior year. He went on to play professionally for the Arena Football League’s Iowa Barnstormers. The former Strength Coach for the University of Missouri and Texas Christian University football teams, Brad is a loan officer in Sacramento. In his spare time he is an outdoorsman and enjoys hunting.
The Cape Coral, Florida native was a three-sport star in high school -- All-State centerfielder on the baseball team, All-State wrestler at 215lbs., and threw the shot put and discus on the track team. Seth is a graduate of The University of Central Florida with a degree in Psychology. He began studying karate at six years old and currently trains MMA at one of the legendary Gracie Jiu Jitsu schools in Orlando. His professional MMA record is 8-2, and when not training he works in his family’s real estate business.
The 3-time All-American wrestler grew up in Central Point, Oregon and gained collegiate fame on the mat while attending North Idaho Junior College, Southern Oregon University, and the University of Missouri. He graduated with a degree in Education. At Crater High School, Mike was a state champion wrestler in the 189lb division in 1999 and played defensive lineman in football. He has since moved to Iowa to train with the legendary MMA Team Miletich Fighting with The Ultimate Fighter coach Matt Hughes and Season I participant, Sam Hoger.
The 30 year-old from Cooperstown, New York was a four-time All-State wrestler in high school was third in the country in the 190lbs. division. Tom, an academic who enjoys classical music and reading Descartes, graduated Summa at SUNY Brockport in Human Psychology. He currently lives in Philadelphia where he works for Rail America. He is married and has four kids ranging from 1 ½ to 7 years old. He trains with Gracie protégé Julie Fernandez and has a professional MMA record of 4-0.
The two-time All-State wrestler at Wheatfield High School in Niagara Falls, New York was also a standout football player at running back and safety. He attended Michigan State and wrestled in the 174lb division. Rashad graduated with a degree in Psychology and currently works at a hospital in Lansing, Michigan, where he lives and trains.
Eli Joslin (eliminated, day 1)
The 26 year-old Yosemite, Ca native and Oakland Raiders’ fan played linebacker at Mariposa High School. He currently has a 1-0 professional MMA record and breeds American Bulldogs.