It was the upset special during last week's episode of The Ultimate Fighter, as heavy underdog Kelvin Gastelum found a will and a way to finish off Team Jones' Bubba McDaniel to get a win and hand control back to the bad guys, aka Team Sonnen.
This week, the low key Tor Troeng takes on Team Jones' very vocal Josh Samman in the next elimination round matchup.
Troeng is not only a fighter; he also happens to be a mathematician in his spare time, so figuring out problems is just part of what he can do.
With 19 fights, plus another six on the amateur circuit, Troeng is another of the veteran competitors comprising this season's cast. A native of Sweden, Troeng is friends with current UFC light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson, and has trained alongside his fellow countryman at the Alliance Training Center in California, although most of his work stays in his homeland.
Troeng is a well rounded fighter who has faced some very stiff competition throughout his career, including former UFC middleweight title contender Thales Leites. The Swede possesses knockout power, slick ground skills, and a quiet demeanor that reminds everyone he is a mathematics research assistant until he unleashes the beast in the cage.
Facing Troeng will be Team Jones' Josh Samman, who looks to make the most of his time on The Ultimate Fighter after failing to make the cast in several past attempts.
Samman has not been shy this season in his efforts to not only get a fight, but tell everyone why he will win once he gets there. Along with teammate Bubba McDaniel, Samman has been accused of being a bit of an egomaniac, but with confidence many times comes success.
Throughout his 11 fight pro career, Samman has found victory by both way of knockout and submission, and has taken on two former cast members of The Ultimate Fighter as well, picking up a win over season 13's Chris Cope and dropping a decision to season 7's Dan Cramer.
The fight between Troeng and Samman is as evenly matched a bout as we've seen this season, and even coach Chael Sonnen admits this could have easily been the final fight on the show.
If there is even a minor edge to pay one of the fighters it leans towards Troeng, who has stayed a silent assassin this season, just biding his time to show what he can do inside the cage instead of out of it. Much like teammate Uriah Hall, he lets his fighting do the talking for him. Josh Samman will be no walkover, and while he may be brash and have a bit of an ego, he's also got the skill set to back it up.
Samman does have to back up a lot of talk and that can easily come back to bite someone come fight time. Just ask Bubba McDaniel about that one.
TUF 17 Fantasy Preview: Troeng vs. Samman
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