Thoughts by the Blaster
Tonight's episode of the Ultimate Fighter reality show features a matchup between American Top Teams' Ben "Beserk" Saunders (4-0-2) and Minnesota farm boy Tom Speer (7-1). Speer and Saunders both faced tough battles in their previous fights and both ended up coming out on top. Kind of sucks for them that they have to fight at this stage, because Saunders and Speer are no joke.
Saunders lists himself as a Jeet Kune Do Concepts fighter. I'm guessing he is a Bruce Lee fan "flow like water." I saw superb kicks, crisp punches, and near submission attempts in his fight against a very tough Daniel Barrera and expect the same in this fight. Looking at his record, he has wins over Charles Blanchard (4-1, only loss to Saunders), and a couple 185 pounders. His first pro fight ended with a draw to UFC vet Crafton Wallace.
Speer has been shown as a soft spoken and excellent wrestler on TUF (almost a Matt Hughes clone). The red head was cut by a War Machine punch right off the bat in his first match and bled all over the place. Instead of panicking, Speer persevered and was able to get the victory. He has fought in the WEC beating Sidney Silva (6-2), and has fought mainly in Extreme Challenge events. His one loss came from referee stoppage about a year and a half ago to a fighter named John Meyer (2-1).
I really don't know who to pick in this fight, mainly because I am such a fan of both fighters. While ideally, I would have liked a Danzig v. Speer, George v. Saunders quarterfinals, this fight will probably be entertaining. What the heck, I'll say Saunders by submission round 2.