The Ultimate Fighter 21 has come and gone, and now the only thing getting in the way of $300,000 (a ramped up prize for this season) for the finalists is, well, each other. On Sunday July 12, Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman takes on Hayder Hassan at the Ultimate Fighter 21 finale. Hassan represents American Top Team, which is home to the likes of Robbie Lawler, Jessica Aguilar, and Bobby Lashley, while Usman is a member of the Blackzillians team including Eddie Alvarez, Anthony Johnson, and Vitor Belfort.

Whatever you thought of the team vs. team format, it all comes down to this fight. There’s a bit of bad blood between the two as Usman and Hassan chirped back and forth throughout the show, but it all boils down to three rounds inside the octagon.

What can you expect Sunday night at the finale?

Striking

Hassan (6-1) enters the night as the only TUF 21 fighter to appear in and win three fights during the season. He’s a veteran of Strikeforce and Titan FC, and scored a first round TKO of Andrews Nakahara on the show. Five of his six professional wins have also been of the KO/TKO variety.

Usman (5-1), meanwhile, has all five wins by way of TKO, but in this department, Hassan has the edge as more of a pure striker.

Advantage: Hassan

Grappling

The Nigerian Usman is a standout wrestler who became an NCAA Division II wrestling champion after making the move stateside. Most of his TKO wins come thanks to that solid wrestling base, which allows him to stay strong on top and rain bombs down from above.

Advantage: Usman

Submissions

Neither man has a submission victory to date on their professional records, which makes this category a bit of a draw. There’s also the question of belts, but Hassan’s UFC profile has him claiming “a black belt in kicking ass” while Usman’s focuses on his wrestling accomplishments, as he’s a three-time NCAA All-American.

Advantage: Neither

X-Factors

Hassan is entering this fight extremely pumped up, having already picked up a big bonus during the season. His team, ATT, won the $200,000 for the Team vs. Team portion of the show — which they are donating to the Wounded Warrior Project, an idea that was apparently Hassan’s.

Now, he’s looking for revenge against an opponent he feels disrespected him throughout the show.

For his part, Usman feels this is a fight he can win, saying he can beat Hassan anywhere, but really this is a classic striker vs. grappler bout, and it will all come down to who can impose their game plan.

Prediction: Hassan via second round KO/TKO.

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.