Tor Troeng is focused, hungry and possibly a little pissed off.

The Swedish middleweight prospect admitted he’s never pictured himself on a reality TV show, but added in the same breath, “I’m ready to go over corpses to get that UFC contract.”

We won’t take him too literally on that, but it is an interesting statement in light of UFC President Dana White’s recent comments about a raging terror in the The Ultimate Fighter 17 house—a fighter who has landed multiple cast members in the hospital by some means or another.

Could Troeng be this mysterious figure that’s wreaking havoc at TUF 17? The beast who has other contestants so terrified that they’re having nervous breakdowns? Here’s a look at some factors that could place “The Hammer” head and shoulders above the rest of the field.

Experience

Troeng was thrown into the fire early in his career, when in his fourth professional fight he faced Polish phenom Mamed Khalidov. Troeng controlled most of this ground battle and made a nice armbar escape in the second round, only to be caught in a lethal triangle choke moments later. Troeng went on to drop two of his next three fights to veterans Lucio Linhares and Daniel Acacio. But what he gained from such losses is experience—experience of the type that can advance a fighter’s skills exponentially.

Only three fighters in the TUF lineup can rival Troeng’s MMA experience: Dylan Andrews, Zak Cummings and “Bubba” McDaniel. But do they have the additional ingredients needed to squelch Troeng’s dreams of the big stage?

Resilience

After the loss to Acacio, Troeng found himself sitting at 4-3. Lesser men would have folded. “The Hammer,” however, opted to suck it up and start translating his hard knocks into beatdowns. Since his rebirth in 2008, Troeng has suffered only one loss, that to former UFC title contender Thales Leites. He’s added eight finishes to his resume and improved his record to 15-4-1. Troeng’s most recent victory over prospect and fellow countryman Mats Nilsson puts him on a four-fight tear and earned him a shot at becoming the Ultimate Fighter.

This ability to bounce back can be seen in many of Troeng’s fights as well. It’s a proverbial ‘ace in the hole’ for the Swede.

A Balanced Attack

“Well-rounded” seems to be the buzz word of our day, and Troeng could just be its poster child. I mean, poster badass-Viking-dude. Troeng’s submission wrestling background provides a nice foundation for his game. Where slick jiu-jitsu doesn’t suffice, vicious ground-and-pound often leads to a stoppage in his favor. But the 29-year-old has also developed a strong stand-up game centered around speed, footwork and a solid jab. Troeng’s patient when he needs to be patient and explodes when the opening is there. Some nice clinch work and dirty boxing complete the repertoire.

Experience, a diverse arsenal and a never-say-die attitude offer a potent formula for success inside the cage. And being stuck in a house full of grown men hamming it up for the camera could provide just the added aggression necessary to fuel Troeng to a spot on the TUF 17 finale. I say “could.” For only time will tell the actual identity of Dana White’s mythic beast. Until then, we’re all just waiting for the hammer to fall.

Photo: Tor Troeng (Henrik Wall/MMAViking.com)

About The Author

Robby Collins

Robby Collins considers himself a johnny-come-lately to the sport of MMA. He was introduced to it less than three years ago but has since delved into the sport at all levels. As an aspiring fiction writer, Robby adapted his skills to promote his latest passion and landed with The MMA Corner by way of personal initiative and auspicious timing. Robby has dabbled in karate and wrestling, and is currently learning to kickbox.