By Riley Kontek (Featured Columnist) on June 4, 2012
The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes is going to be the next international version of the long-running reality show, pitting a team from the United Kingdom against Australia. Seeing the success that The Ultimate Fighter: Brazilhas experienced makes this show very intriguing for those who watch MMAaround the world.
It has been announced that welterweight and lightweight competitors will take part in the season, giving us a clue as to who could make the cast. Here is a hypothetical cast that could take place for this season.
These versions of the team will include four members from each weight class without looking at who could be involved in elimination bouts to get into the house.
Team United Kingdom
The United Kingdom has already taken part in a "country versus country" version ofThe Ultimate Fighter when they competed successfully against the United States in season nine.
For the welterweights, I would love to see Paul Daley take part in the show, but that will not happen. Four men that would be good for Team UK would be Jim Wallhead, Ali Arish, Danny Mitchell and Curt Warburton.
Danny Mitchell is 10-3 in his career, showing his submission skills in the process. Seven wins have come by tapout, notably defeating Dean Amasinger and Sami Berik. At 25 years old, Mitchell is a solid prospect that could use the show to get noticed.
Ali Arish is a middleweight that should be a welterweight, especially if he wants on this show. At 14-2, he has finished nine opponents by either knockout or submission. He notably defeated Shaun Lomas twice thus far in his career.
Jim Wallhead is an experienced veteran that has competed in organizations such as BAMMA and Bellator. Wallhead is 23-6 in his career, finishing 16 opponents in that time. The 28-year old Wallhead owns notable wins over Joey Villasenor, Frank Trigg and Che Mills.
Lastly, Curt Warburton is a UFC veteran that could use this show to return to the company. He is 10-3, finishing seven men in that span.
He owns a UFC victory over Maciej Jewtuszko during his three-fight run with the company. He lost to Spencer Fisher and Joe Lauzon in that time.
As for the lightweights, there are a number of solid fighters from the UK that could compete on the team. For this team, I would like to see Tim Radcliffe, Rob Sinclair, Andre Winner and Norman Parke.
Norman Parke is 15-2 in his career, with 11 submission victories in that span. The 25-year old prospect owns impressive wins in the UK circuit over Paul Jenkins, Ali Maclean and Tom Maguire.
Rob Sinclair is 11-2, utilizing powerful hands to end his opponent's night. He has notably beaten Tim Radcliffe and Daniel Weichel, but his most impressive feat is in a losing effort to Paul Sass. He lost by split decision, which is a testament to how tough he is.
Tim Radcliffe is an intriguing prospect with a 12-4 record. Radcliffe has finished 10 of his fights, as he is well-rounded in mixed martial arts. He has notably defeated Abdul Mohamed, Paul Jenkins, Sami Berik and UFC-vet Jason Young.
Last, but not least, is UFC veteran Andre Winner. Winner was on the ninth season of the show when he was the runner-up to Ross Pearson. He is 14-6, including a 2-4 run in the UFC. He beat Rafaello Oliveira and Roli Delgado in that run.
There have been very few Australian participants on the long-running show, with the only one I can remember being Kyle Noke.
For the welterweights, there are four guys who could fill out the team. Those four men are Ben Alloway, Robert Whittaker, Rodney MacSwain and Corey Nelson.
Ben Alloway is a welterweight with a lightweight frame, which he should utilize here. Alloway is 12-3, finishing nine by knockout or submission. He has notably defeated Corey Nelson in his career, which has seen him train with Fiore MMA.
Robert Whittaker is a 21-year old prospect with a record of 9-2 so far in his career. Whittaker has finished every one of his opponents, showing his killer instinct. His best wins in that run were against Ben Alloway and Corey Nelson.
Rodney MacSwain is another young prospect at 25 years old. MacSwain is 13-4, as the well-rounded fighter has finished 10 in that span.
He has notably defeated Ian Bone and Ben Mortimor in that time, showing his promise.
Corey Nelson is a knockout artist that rarely puts on a boring fight. Nelson is 10-4 with seven knockouts in his career. Given an opportunity, Nelson could gain a cult following for his exciting style.
The lightweights of the show will have a tough test against the UK, but Australia has some talent of their own. Four guys who could earn a spot on the team would be Adrian Pang, Sonny Brown, Gustavo Falciroli and Rob Hill.
Adrian Pang is 19-8-2, which shows his veteran experience in the sport. Pang has finished 12 opponents, tapping out nine of them. Pang has notably knocked off Muhsin Corbbrey and Rob Hill in his career.
Sonny Brown is 5-1 in his young career, using his submission skills to put away four adversaries. He hasn't lost since his debut, and since then, he has finished all of his opponents. He is a prospect that could use the show to make a name for himself.
Gustavo Falciroli is a bantamweight that could fight as a lightweight to earn a spot with the UFC. He is 12-3-2 as a bantamweight, showing the skill to be a major player in the UFC. He has finished nine opponents in that span, showing his all-around skills.
Rob Hill, who holds an 11-5-1 record, should round off the team. He has finished seven opponents in that time, including a knockout of UFC employee Bernardo Magalhaes.
Full Rundown of the Hypothetical Teams
Welterweights: Danny Mitchell, Ali Arish, Jim Wallhead and Curt Warburton
Lightweights: Norman Parke, Rob Sinclair, Tim Radcliffe and Andre Winner
Welterweights: Ben Alloway, Robert Whittaker, Rodney MacSwain and Corey Nelson
Lightweights: Adrian Pang, Sonny Brown, Gustavo Falciroli and Rob Hill