TUF 23 is now in the books. Tomorrow night, two TUF 23 winners will be crowned and the strawweight championship will be defended.
— Claudia Gadelha (@ClaudiaGadelha_) July 7, 2016
It was a solid TUF 23 season from the talent of the two teams to the entertaining animosity between the coaches – Joanna Jedrzejczyk (11-0-0) and Claudia Gadelha (13-1-0). Gadelha got the best of Jedrzejczyk on TUF 23, but Joanna has a chance to win the war with a victory Friday evening.
I Am ready guys ! Hope you are All watching me defend my belt tomorrow! 👊🏼 | Jestem gotowa! Mam nadzieje ze będziec… pic.twitter.com/2vJYPlGYc8
— Joanna Jedrzejczyk (@joannamma) July 7, 2016
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
Kenai Andrews checks in with his picks on the main card:
JOAQUIM SILVA (8-0-0) VS ANDREW HOLBROOK (11-0-0)
Andrews: Silva is welcoming Holbrook to the octagon, but has just one fight himself. Holbrook likes to work on the ground for the submission, but Silva seems more well-rounded fighter. Have to go with Netto.
Andrews Prediction: Joaquim Silva via TKO.
DOO HO CHOI (13-1-0) VS THIAGO TAVARES (24-6-1)
Andrews: Choi looks harmless, but don’t be fooled. He is a cold-blooded knockout artist and he will catch the vet Tavares and add him to his hitlist.
Andrews Prediction: Doo Ho Choi via TKO
ROSS PEARSON (21-10-0, 1NC) VS WILL BROOKS (17-1-0)
Andrews: Pearson is a solid striker, but I get the feeling rookie Will Brooks is going to buck the UFC jitters and put him away. And that’s that.
Andrews Prediction: Will Brooks via TKO.
TATIANA SUAREZ (4-0-0) VS AMANDA BOBBY COOPER (2-1-0)
Andrews: Suarez has been the favourite since Day One of TUF 23. Her grappling gives her the advantage, but can the grit and striking of Cooper steal it? I can’t see it. When the dust settles, Suarez should be too much and emerge the TUF 23 strawweight winner.
Andrews Prediction: Tatiana Suarez via unanimous decision.
ANDREW SANCHEZ (8-2-0) VS KHALIL ROUNTREE (5-0-0)
Andrews: It’s simple. Sanchez needs to get the fight to the ground, Rountree needs to end it on the feet. Can Khalil make the most of his second opportunity? He definitely has a good chance, but I think Sanchez is smart enough to avoid the power shot and get the fight to the ground for the win.
Andrews Prediction: Andrew Sanchez via unanimous decision.
JOANNA JEDRZEJCZYK (11-0-0) VS CLAUDIA GADELHA (13-1-0)
Andrews: When the dust settles, I think Gadelha will have penetrated the Muay Thai of Jedrzejczyk enough to score points with takedowns and ground game for the win. I thought she won the first fight too. Team Claudia for the win.
Andrews Prediction: Claudia Gadelha via unanimous decision.