The first round of TUF 17 wittled the cast from 28 to 14. I was happy about most of the fights, however the way it was edited was really annoying. Instead of letting fights that ended in the first round play out, they jump cut to Jon Jones, Chael Sonnen or Dana White jabbering about the fighters.
Sonnen decided to take the first fighter, and Jones picked Gilbert Smith to fight Luke Barnatt. Luke has a big reach advantage over Gilbert, and will need to keep him on the outside. Josh Samman really wanted to fight first.
Luke Barnatt (5-0)- The 6'6" English fighter has fought in BAMMA and UWC defeating Lee Johnson (5-2) via submission and won a decision over Ben Callum (5-1). Luke used his reach effectively to win a unanimous decision over Nicholas Hohring (3-0).
Uriah Hall (7-2)- The Jamaican born, New York trained kickboxer's only two losses are to UFC title contenders Constantinos Philippou and Chris Weidman. He has a TKO over Edwin Aguilar in Bellator and is currently on a 3 fight win streak. Hall also competed in Chuck Norris' WCL kickboxing league on the New Jersey Tigers. Hall won a tough decision over Andy Enz (6-1) in the first round of the tournament.
Zak Cummings (15-3)- The Bellator and Strikeforce fighter has fought around the midwest, defeating Terry Martin and Rudy Bears. He has 8 submission wins and 4 TKO wins on his resume. Cummings landed one of the fastest KO's in TUF history, with one punch to Nik Fekete's face.
Tor Troeng (15-4-1)- The Swedish veteran fighter is 11-1 in his last 12 fights only losing to Thales Leites. He has submission wins over Rafeal Silva (38-13) and Mark Weir. Troeng submitted Scott Rosa with a rear naked choke in the opening round.
Jimmy Quinlan (3-0)- The Massachusetts fighter was a successful collegiate wrestler and brown belt in BJJ. 2 of his wins are via first round submission. Shown in highlight form, Quinlan scored takedowns and finished Mike Persons via TKO in the first round.
Kevin Casey (5-2)- From California, Casey is a Rickson Gracie disciple who earned a rear naked choke over Eldon Sproat (3-1) in his TUF fight.
Kelvin Gastelum (4-0)- The 5'9" spark plug has 2 KO's and 2 submissions while fighting less than stellar competition. Kelvin won a razor thin decision over Kito Andrews in the first round.
Clint Hester (7-3)- Fighting pro for 4 and half years, the former boxer has several quality wins fighting in the southeast. Hester was 3-3 as a cruiser weight boxing. Hester won a dominant decision over Fraser Opie (10-5) in the opening round.
Josh Samman (9-2)- The Florida fighter and WWFC champ last defeated Bellator vet Mikey Gomez via submission due to punches, and has beat Chris Cope via KO. Samman defeated Leo Bercier via TKO in the first round.
Bubba McDaniel (20-6)- The Elite XC and Bellator veteran has won 6 straight with 15 total submission wins on his resume. He has defeated several legit veterans including Eric Schambari (15-3), Johnny Rees and Kala Hose. Bubba TKO'd Ryan Bigler in the 2nd round of the fight.
Gilbert Smith (5-1)- The muscular Colorado fighter has 4 submission wins. He submitted Eric Wahlin in the first round via arm triangle choke.
Collin Hart (4-1-1)- Colin won the fight via submission in the first round via rear naked choke.
Adam Cella (4-0)- A member of Finney's Hit Squad in Missouri, Cella has a kickboxing background. He has 2 KO's and 2 submissions in the first round. Cella may have gotten slammed pretty hard, but he tapped Jake Heun with an armbar in the first round of his match-up.
Dylan Andrews (16-4-1)- The New Zealander has 10 KO's on his resume fighting at 205 and 185 mainly on the Australian fight circuit. He has a win over Shonie Carter. Andrews won a decision over Tim Williams (7-1) in the opening round.