Two UFC heavyweights badly in need of a victory will be part of the first-ever TUF China finale. Matt Mitrione and Shawn Jordan will be looking to rebound March 1 in Macau after suffering first-round defeats in their last Octagon appearances. Mitrione was choked out by Brendan Schaub at UFC 165 while Jordan was blitzed in the opening frame and knocked out by Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 166.
The sense of urgency seem to be greater for Mitrione. After a 5-0 start to his career, the former NFL player has dropped three of his last four fights. His only win during that stretch was a first-round stoppage of Phil De Fries. Mitrione has five knockouts in his six career victories, including finishes of Kimbo Slice, Tim Hague and Christian Morecraft. Another defeat for the Ultimate Fighter Season 10 alum would seemingly leave his future with the promotion in jeopardy.
Jordan, like Mitrione, also has a football pedigree, having played college ball. He’s athletic and has been a quick study in carving out a successful MMA career. Jordan would likely have the power advantage over Mitrione, but will need to find a way to get inside to do damage to his larger opponent.
“The Savage” is 3-2 in his Octagon tenure with all three of his victories having come by TKO against Oli Thompson, Mike Russow and Pat Barry. Jordan has 11 knockouts and three submissions victories in his 15 career wins.
This matchup is an extremely important one for both combatants. The winner will set themselves up for another opportunity against a top-15 opponent, while the loser will have some uncertain times. Given the abilities of both men to finish fights, this matchup should produce some fireworks.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports