The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes is halfway through deciding who fights for the inaugural UK vs. Australia titles in the lightweight and welterweight division. Thus far, we have two Team UK members in the finale in Norman Parke and Brad Scott.

That is not to say there will not be any Australians, as the next welterweight bout is Aussie vs. Aussie and the next lightweight bout pits an Aussie versus a Brit.

In looking at the two current finalists, I believe we have two future impact players in the UFC.

Norman Parke has shown some immaturity in the house, but nothing major. Beyond that, he has shown a great willingness to fight since stepping into the house, which is always something you want to see in a fighter.

Parke has some solid striking skills, but he has proven to be a great ground fighter. He has a solid clinch game, good takedowns and great top-game grappling. Along the way, Parke has knocked off Richie Vaculik and Brendan Loughnane. In both fights, he looked impressive and dominant. His ground game earned him the judges’ nods in both scraps.

His teammate, Brad Scott, has looked nothing more than great in the house thus far. His personality is non-abrasive and his work ethic is desirable.

Scott’s path to the finals saw him take out Xavier Lucas and Ben Alloway. His thorough domination of Lucas was impressive, but edging out the split decision against Alloway was far more impressive given the circumstances. Alloway was one of the favorites to win the season, and Scott looked stellar in beating him.

Scott’s striking is very good, while his grappling is overlooked. He made Alloway look like a rookie on the ground, consistently taking his back when the fight spilled to the mat.

Beyond the two men who have already secured spots in the finals, two other guys that could make an impact in the UFC if given the chance are Richie Vaculik and Mike Wilkinson.

Vaculik is currently a replacement for the injured Wilkinson in the lightweight bracket. Vaculik, a natural bantamweight fighting at 155 pounds in this competition, is quite undersized. Whatever happens on this show, the UFC needs to keep Vaculik and allow him to showcase his talents in his natural weight class. The 135-pound division is in need of some additional talent, and Vaculik’s all-around game and experience would definitely benefit the UFC’s roster at bantamweight.

As for Wilkinson, he has looked like an animal during his training and in his only fight in the house. Wilkinson, who normally competes at 145 pounds, was the only fighter in the lightweight quarterfinals to earn a finish. He submitted Grant Blackler, another natural featherweight, with a rear-naked choke.

Wilkinson is normally a featherweight, so following the show and his recovery from surgery, he should follow a similar route to that suggested for Vaculik. Shifting to the 145-pound weight class would give him a better chance to succeed inside the Octagon.

Vaculik and Wilkinson, if put in their correct weight classes, have a chance to impact the bantamweight and featherweight divisions, respectively.

In all, expect for some solid competitors to come out of this season of The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes.

Photo: The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes Cast (Zuffa, LLC)

About The Author

Riley Kontek
Staff Writer

Riley Kontek is a Chicago-land native that has been an addict of mixed martial arts since the first Chuck Liddell-Tito Ortiz encounter. He has been writing on MMA for the last year and is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. In addition to that, he used to host a weekly radio show on MMA. Though he has no formal training in mixed martial arts, Riley is a master in the art of hockey fighting.