The UFC announced the full roster for the new TUF season on UFC Tonight, stating that the cast will consist of both genders, light heavyweights for the males and strawweights for the females. With 16 males and 16 females competing for a spot in the house.

Let’s take a look at some early favorites to take home the whole thing.

Light-heavyweight fighters:

1. Phil Hawes
Hawes is a fighter who has the potential to win the whole competition. The 27-year-old fighter fighting out of the highly respected Jackson-WinkleJohn training camp is a prospect that has potential to be a future champion as well. With a professional mixed martial arts record of only 3-0 with all three bouts being finishes, he still is very young in this sport.

Jon Jones, the UFC’s pound for pound best fighter has said “His potential is limitless”, also stating “he’s strong, he’s smart, he learns fast, and I definitely think he is going to make an impact in MMA.” Those are big words coming from a fighter who has been said to be possibly the best in the promotion’s history.

Highly respected coach Brandon Gibson has even said, although he does have a low record, he has the talent to come right into this sport and take out the best fighters in the world.

Hawes usually fights at middleweight, but I feel the move up to light heavyweight won’t affect him much because of how much of a physical specimen he is. Hawes is a fighter who is making the transition from wrestling to MMA and with the training camp he has backing him, I see Hawes as the standout favorite to win the whole competition.

2. Khalil Rountree

Another big time prospect to keep an eye on is Anderson Silva’s prospects in Khalil Rountree, who the great “Spider” has said “has all of the tools to one day be UFC champion.” He is currently 4-0 and has shown that he has vicious knockout power in his hands.

I believe that Rountree has the talent to go very far on the show and possibly be the next big fighter coming out of Brazil.

3. Andrew Sanchez

Sanchez is coming off the biggest win of his career, winning the RFA light heavyweight title over John Poppie back in August via TKO (spinning backfist and punches). Sanchez has a record of 7-2 with all seven of those wins not seeing the judges’ scorecards.

He is a very well-rounded fighter who has the tools to go far in the competition.

Stawweight fighters:

1. Jodie Esquibel

Esquibel fights out of Jackson-WinkleJohn and is for sure the favorite to win. She has a 5-1 record and is a very well-rounded fighter. She originally fought at Atomweight, but I don’t see the move up to stawweight being too much of an issue for her.

2. Jamie Moyle

Moyle is one of Invicta’s top young talents and is a great addition to not only this cast, but to the women’s UFC stawweight division. She was rising in the ranks fast until she was halted in her last bout, giving her the first loss of her mixed martial arts career. Moyle is definitely a dark horse in this competition and I think her chances of going far in the competition are very high.

About The Author

Jake Schneider
Staff Writer

Jake Schneider is a student at the University of Rhode Island who is currently looking to pursue a double major in Communications and Journalism. He is an MMA fanatic who has been following the sport for years. He began to share his wealth of knowledge and opinions on the sport to many of his family members and friends as well as various MMA forums online. His love and passion for the sport has been able to make many people that are a part of his life fans of mixed martial arts as well. His insight of the sport both inside and outside of the cage is what makes his analysis on fights and individual fighters so well informed.