Article

TUF 17 Fantasy Preview: Hart vs. Casey

Play TUF Fantasy at fantasy.ultimatefighter.com
The Ultimate Fighter 17Ultimate Fighter competitors Collin Hart and Kevin Casey have a tough act to follow this week as they are the featured fight just one week after Uriah Hall knocked out Adam Cella in one of the most spectacular finishes in the show's 17 season history.

Team Sonnen's Kevin Casey was chosen by his coach to face off with Team Jones' Collin Hart in the next round of the tournament, as Chael Sonnen and his squad of middleweights look to continue their undefeated run thus far this season. It's actually a battle of Gracie-trained fighters, as both Casey and Hart come from the tutelage of the first family of mixed martial arts.

Prior to his appearance on the Ultimate Fighter, "King" Kevin Casey may most be remembered for a YouTube video that circled the MMA world a few years back featuring the young fighter alongside his best friend and then manager, former reality show star Spencer Pratt. The gimmick did eventually earn Casey a shot in Strikeforce, although that came crashing to a halt when he was defeated by former UFC middleweight contender Matt Lindland in his second fight with the promotion.

Now with the YouTube history and Spencer Pratt safely tucked away in the past, Casey is focused on making it big with his MMA career by going through the Ultimate Fighter tournament. Casey is an experienced grappler who earned his black belt under legendary Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert Rickson Gracie.

Casey has also upped his training recently by teaming up with Black House MMA, where he works alongside famous names like UFC middleweight king Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida. While the ground is still his safe haven, Casey has been working on improving his standup skills to become a more well rounded mixed martial artist.

Facing Casey on Tuesday's episode will be Nor-Cal Fighting Alliance fighter Collin Hart, who comes to the show with a 4-1-1 overall record training under former UFC middleweight contender and Cesar Gracie black belt David Terrell. Hart is a former college wrestler and football player who finally found his true passion once he started training MMA under Terrell.

While Hart's ground game has come along working under a ground wiz like Terrell, he still loves to look for the knockout. This fight with Casey comes down to one fighter likely looking for the ground while the other will probably try to keep it standing.

When the fight was announced, Casey kept a serious scowl on his face while Hart looked like a kid in a candy store who was just handed a crisp $20 bill. It doesn't necessarily mean anything for the fight, but Hart looked loose and excited to fight and that can make all the difference once they step in the cage.

If Casey struggles to get the takedown early in the fight, it could mean his demise. It's not to say he can't win on the feet, but his chances are cut down dramatically facing a heavy-handed puncher like Hart. Add to that, Hart has to know Casey will be looking for the ground early and often in this fight, so if he can use his wrestling to become anti-wrestling, the action could swing in his favor.

Don't underestimate Casey's ground work, because if he can manage to get the fight to the mat, he's ultra aggressive and always looking for the finish, and has nasty punches and elbows to boot.

Slight advantage to Casey overall because his ground game could be the difference maker, but if Hart keeps it standing there could be another highlight reel knockout on the way.

To play in the TUF Fantasy Tournament, visit fantasy.ultimatefighter.com

Media

Recent
UFC Minute host Lisa Foiles breaks down the recent additions to the Fight Night Winnipeg card.
Oct 16, 2017
UFC Minute host Lisa Foiles takes a look into the stacked card of UFC 218. UFC 218, featuring Max Holloway vs Frankie Edgar, is set for Dec. 2 live in Detroit and tickets are on-sale now.
Oct 16, 2017
Go 'On the Fly' with Darren Till as he prepares for the biggest fight of his life against Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone at Fight Night Gdansk on UFC FIGHT PASS on Saturday, October 21.
Oct 16, 2017
Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone headlines Fight Night Gdansk against the undefeated rising welterweight Darren Till. You can watch the event on UFC FIGHT PASS on Saturday, October 21.
Oct 13, 2013