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MMA Crossfire – TUF 20 Finale predictions

Pat Barry has to be feeling good.

He long ago knew what took a season of TUF 20 for the rest of us to discover.

His fiancee, #7 Rose “Thug” Namajunas is one win way from becoming the UFC’s first strawweight champion.

Only the #1 seed, Team Pettis member Carla Esparza stands in her way.

Rose is the only Team Melendez member to stand up to Team Pettis. Not even the coach, Gilbert Melendez could stop lightweight champ Anthony Pettis from a shockingly convincing submission finish.

The experts say the fight is Rose’s to lose. But C is not only for Cookie, it’s for champion.

Welcome back to The Crossfire.

MMA Crossfire

MMA Crossfire Expert Cassie Wiseman is away, so Kenai Andrews steps in to share his thoughts on the card.

TUF 20

Courtesy UFC/Zuffa LLC

MMA Crossfire: TUF 20 Vault

UFC FIGHT PASS PRELIMS (6PM ET/3PM PT)

ANGELA “OVERKILL” HILL (1-0-0) VS EMILY KAGAN (3-1-0)

TUF 20

UFC strawweights Emily Kagan and Angela Hill face off during The Ultimate Fighter Finale weigh-ins at the Palms Casino Resort on December 11, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Andrews: I like Angela’s guts, but the experience of Kagan is overwhelming. She was dominated by Esparza in Episode Four and I see Kagan leaving with a unanimous decision here.

Andrews Prediction: Emily Kagan via unanimous decision.

AISLING “AIS THE BASH” DALY (14-5-0) VS ALEX “ASTRO GIRL” CHAMBERS (4-1-0)

TUF 20

UFC strawweights Aisling Daly and Alex Chambers face off during The Ultimate Fighter Finale weigh-ins at the Palms Casino Resort on December 11, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Andrews: Chambers lost to Namajunas on Episode Seven while Daly lost to Jessica Penne in Episode Ten. Daly is ten years younger, and while Alex fought tough competition, I think Daly has enough to force an early stoppage.

Andrews Prediction: Aisling “Ais the Bash” Daly via TKO.

SPORTSNET 360 PRELIMS (7PM ET/4PM PT)

TECIA “THE TINY TORNADO” TORRES (4-0-0) VS ANGELA “YOUR MAGESTY” MAGANA (11-6-0)

TUF 20

UFC strawweights Tecia Torres and Angela Magana face off during The Ultimate Fighter Finale weigh-ins at the Palms Casino Resort on December 11, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Andrews: Magana had cardio issues in her TUF 20 Episode Six loss to Aisling Daly. Torres has the aggressiveness and striking to take the starch out of Magana and finish the fight. The Tiny Tornado should emerge victorious.

Andrews Prediction: Tecia “The Tiny Tornado” via TKO

JOANNE “BADMOFO JOJO” CALDERWOOD (8-0-0) vs SEOHEE HAM (15-5-0)

TUF 20

UFC strawweights Joanne Calderwood and Seohee Ham face off during The Ultimate Fighter Finale weigh-ins at the Palms Casino Resort on December 11, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Andrews: Ham has 13 decision wins, and is making her UFC debut. Calderwood’s TUF 20 loss to Rose Namajunas should make her stronger and I think we will start to see her add some stuff. It’s statement time for JoJo.

Andrews Prediction: Joanne “BadMofo JoJo” Calderwood via TKO.

“ROWDY” BEC RAWLINGS (5-3-0) VS HEATHER “HURRICANE” JO CLARK (6-4-0)

TUF 20

UFC strawweights Bec Rawlings gestures to Heather Jo Clark as they face off during The Ultimate Fighter Finale weigh-ins at the Palms Casino Resort on December 11, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Andrews: Tough call here. Clark fought injured in her loss to Felice Herring on Episode Five, so it’s hard to take much of anything from that. Rawlings lost to Tecia Torres in Episode Eight. I think Clark rebounds with a decision.

Andrews Prediction: Heather “Hurricane” Jo Clark via unanimous decision.

FELICE “LIL BULLDOG” HERRIG (9-5-0) VS LISA ELLIS (15-8-0)

TUF 20

UFC strawweights Felice Herring and Lisa Ellis face off during The Ultimate Fighter Finale weigh-ins at the Palms Casino Resort on December 11, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Andrews: Yes, Lisa Ellis submitted current WSOF champ Jessica Aguilar eight plus years ago. But she also lost to her more recently at Invicta FC 1. These two have bad blood so the motivation to win is high for both fighters. Herrig knows Ellis strength is her ground game and has the versatility and cardio to knock out a decision win.

Andrews Prediction: Felice Herrig via unanimous decision

SPORTSNET 360 MAIN CARD (9PM ET/6PM PT)

JESSICA PENNE (11-3-0) VS RANDA “QUIET STORM” MARKOS (4-2-0)

TUF 20

UFC strawweights Jessica Penne and Randa Markos face off during The Ultimate Fighter Finale weigh-ins at the Palms Casino Resort on December 11, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Andrews: A tossup. Penne is the slight favourite and her submissions and BJJ is concerning for Markos. Markos has the wrestling and aggressiveness to counter that though. I’m going with Markos based on her performance against Namajunas in Episode 12 and Penne’s performance against Esparza.

Andrews Prediction: Randa “Quiet Storm” Markos via TKO.

JOE PROCTOR (10-2-0) VS YANCY MEDEIROS (10-2-0, 1 NC)

TUF 20

Joe Proctor and Yancy Medeiros face off during The Ultimate Fighter Finale weigh-ins at the Palms Casino Resort on December 11, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Andrews: What a staredown at the weigh-ins between these two. Assuming Medeiros didn’t blow his wad there, he should be dynamic enough to fluster Proctor. The downside is that he give Proctor opportunities to counter, but I think Yancy catches Proctor before he can capitalize.

Andrews Prediction: Yancy Medeiros via TKO.

KJ NOONS (12-6-0) VS DARON “DETROIT SUPERSTAR” CRUICKSHANK (16-5-0)

TUF 20

KJ Noons and Daron Cruickshank face off during The Ultimate Fighter Finale weigh-ins at the Palms Casino Resort on December 11, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Andrews: If KJ Noons fights the way he is capable of, he should win. The problem is, his last fight aside, he’s been very inconsistent. So, I have to go with the Detroit Superstar.

Andrews Prediction: Daron “Detroit Superstar” Cruickshank via TKO.

#10 JEREMY “LIL’ HEATHEN” STEVENS (23-10-0) VS #14 CHARLES “DO BRONX” OLIVEIRA (18-4-0, 1 NC)

TUF 20

Jeremy Stephens and Charles Oliveira face off during The Ultimate Fighter Finale weigh-ins at the Palms Casino Resort on December 11, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Andrews:  Another tough call. Do you go with the unquestioned talent but questionable chin of Oliveira or the wrestling and knockout power of Stevens? Oliveira grew since the loss to Frankie Edgar and I’m going with the upset.

Andrews Prediction: Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira via submission.

MAIN EVENT

#1 CARLA “THE COOKIE MONSTER” ESPARZA (10-2-0) VS ROSE “THUG” NAMAJUNAS (3-1-0)

TUF 20

UFC straw weights Carla Esparza and Rose Namajunas face off during The Ultimate Fighter Finale weigh-ins at the Palms Casino Resort on December 11, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Andrews: Carla had a good run as Invicta FC strawweight champ, but Rose is the toughest fighter she’s ever faced. She needs the fight on the ground to grind this one out. Which means she needs to land  strikes so she can make Rose hesitant and land a shot easier. Namajunas has a lot of tools as showcased during TUF 20. I see Rose overcoming the early grind of Esparza and knocking out another stoppage.

Andrews Prediction: Rose “Thug” Namajunas via TKO

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TUF 20

Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.
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