Tracking the progress of The Ultimate Fighter 3 contestants – Part II

2 Sep , 2008,
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Last week, we looked back at the Season 3 of The Ultimate Fighter series, and reviewed the progress of the lightheavyweight contenders.  Now, lets take a look at the middleweight participants of ‘TUF’ Season 3.

The middleweights as a group have not enjoyed much success since the show: Only three of the eight contestants are ranked in the Top 100 of their current weight class, and only the finalists Kendall Grove and Ed Herman are still employed by the UFC.

Fighters are listed in order of their current ranking, regardless of the weight class. Fights that took place in the live finale are counted in the ‘After’ column.

[#46 MW] Ed Herman

Current Record: 14-6 Before: 11-3 On the show: 2-0 After: 3-3 UFC

The most experienced (and most outspoken) fighter in his group, Ed Herman racked up submission wins over Danny Abbadi and Rory Singer to earn a spot in the finals, where he lost a close decision to Kendall Grove but was awarded the ‘six-figure contract’ alongside with Grove.  Herman was choked unconscious by Jason MacDonald in his following bout, then won three fights before succumbing to another choke at the hands of the undefeated Demian Maia.  Now 3-3 inside the Octagon, Herman is rumored to face Alan Belcher next in a bout that will likely see the loser leaving the UFC.

[#74 MW] Kendall Grove 

Current Record: 9-5 (1 NC) Before: 5-3 (1 NC) On the show: 2-0 After: 4-2 UFC

The winner of the middleweight division Kendall Grove defeated Ross Pointon and Kalib Starnes en route to the finals, then took the top prize with a hard-fought decision over Ed Herman.  After impressive performances in his next two fights, Grove suffered back-to-back knockout losses to Patrick Cote and Jorge Rivera, and found himself in a must-win bout with the UFC veteran and former middleweight title holder Evan Tanner.  Grove took the decision over Tanner, and will look to get back on track in UFC’s 185 lbs division, which is getting deeper every day.

[#89 MW] Kalib Starnes 

Current Record: 8-3-1 Before: 6-0-1 On the show: 1-1 After: 2-3 UFC

Kalib Starnes stopped Mike Stine in his first bout on the show, then was defeated by Grove in the semi-finals after suffering a rib injury.  He has had a spotty record since the show’s completion: a victory over Danny Abbadi in the finale, and a surprising decision win over Chris Leben sandwiched between two brutal TKO losses to Alan Belcher and Yushin Okami.  Most recently, Starnes lost a lopsided decision to Nate Quarry in a fight where Starnes refused to engage Quarry and literally ran away from his opponent for three rounds.  His pathetic performance cost Starnes his UFC contract as well as earning him the ridicule of MMA fans.

[NR] Rory Singer

Current Record: 11-8 Before: 8-5 On the show: 1-1 After: 3-3 (2-2 UFC)

Rory Singer showed some promise with a head kick KO of Solomon Hutcherson in his elimination bout, but was submitted by Ed Herman in semi-finals.  Singer defeated Ross Pointon and Josh Haynes in his next two Octagon outings, then was pounded out by Yushin Okami and Jason ‘TUF Killer’ MacDonald.  Singer has not been asked to return to the UFC after the MacDonald loss, and lost his most recent bout by submission in the American Fight League.

[NR] Solomon Hutcherson

Current Record: 10-4 (1 NC) Before: 6-3 (1 NC) On the show: 0-1 After: 4-1 (0-1 UFC)

Solomon Hutcherson talked a big game leading up to his elimination bout, but could not back up the talk and was knocked out by Rory Singer.  After suffering another KO loss to Luigi Fioravanti in the finale, Hutcherson was out of the UFC.  He has since then gone 4-0 in smaller promotions, and may soon work his way up to another chance in the big leagues.

[NR] Ross Pointon

Current Record: 6-10 Before: 4-6 On the show: 0-2 After: 2-4 (0-2 UFC)

Despite holding a below .500 record at the time, Ross Pointon earned a spot on the show due to his reputation as an exciting fighter.  Hindered by his lack of submission defense Pointon lost his elimination bout to Kendall Grove, but when the lightheavyweight contender Matt Hamill was forced to leave the show due to an injury, Ross received another opportunity, volunteering to move up to 205 lbs and face fellow Englishman Michael Bisping.  Pointon has lost to Bisping in a previous bout, and suffered the same fate the second time around.  After losing his next two UFC bouts (both by the way of submission), Pointon returned to UK, where he presently holds a 2-2 record in the Cage Rage promotion.

[NR] Danny Abbadi

Current Record: 1-4 Before: 0-0 On the show: 0-1 After: 1-4 (0-2 UFC)

With no professional MMA experience, Tae Kwon Do practitioner Danny Abbadi was not considered a serious contender in his group.  He was submitted by Ed Herman in the elimination bout, followed by another submission loss to Kalib Starnes in the finale and a decision loss to Jorge Gurgel in Abbadi’s final UFC bout.  Danny has not fared much better in the smaller leagues, winning only one of three bouts since leaving the UFC.

[NR] Mike Stine

Current Record: 2-0 Before: 2-0 On the show: 0-1 After: 0-0

One of the least memorable Ultimate Fighter contenders of any season, Stine lost his elimination bout to Kalib Starnes then retired from MMA competition.

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