Sheldon Westcott and Elias Theodorou will face off for an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) contract in the middleweight finals of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Nations" Finale this Wednesday night (April 16, 2014), airing live at 7 p.m. EST on FOX Sports 1 from Colisee Pepsi in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
Canadian Westcott steamrolled his way to the show's finals, submitting Australians Daniel Kelly and Vik Grujic in the elimination and semi-final rounds, respectively. The Alberta native hasn't lost since his very first mixed martial arts (MMA) bout back in 2007.
Undefeated Theodorou looked impressive on his way to a spot on the TUF: "Nations" Finale, but he didn't get the job done with the same authority of Westcott. Instead winning unanimous decisions over Zein Saliba and Tyler Manawaroa, Theodorou has proven to be more of a calculating fighter.
"Spartan" has a Bellator win under his belt, but he's looking to make a statement in what is definitely the biggest fight of his life. Let's take a look at the keys to victory for Westcott vs. Theodorou:
Record: 8-1-1 overall, 0-0 UFC
Key Wins: Vik Grujic (TUF: "Nations" semi-finals)
Key Losses: None
Record: 8-0 overall, 0-0 UFC
Key Wins: Tyler Manawaroa (TUF: "Nations" semi-finals), Rich Lictawa (Bellator 64)
Key Losses: None
Westcott is a well-rounded combatant who mixes up his game effectively, evident by his three knockouts, three submissions, and two decision wins. He has a lethal guillotine choke that he'll be looking to lock on for a quick victory in Quebec City. He also used an arm triangle choke to dispatch Kelly on the show, showing that Westcott relies heavily on his grappling right now.
If he can submit Theodorou, he'll become the first man to ever do so.
"Spartan" has a similar resume to Westcott, owning three knockouts, two submissions, and three decision wins. At 6'1," Theodorou is also the same height as Westcott. If there's one knock on "Spartan" throughout the course of the show, it's his inability to finish either of his opening round foes.
However, it's tough to argue with success.
This contract bout features two highly motivated challengers who know what it takes to be a complete martial artist. With the title of first-ever TUF: "Nations" middleweight winner on the line, both Westcott and Theodorou will be under an extreme amount of pressure in front of their home Canadian fans.
Which one will harness that energy on their way to a huge victory?
With both fighters being so similar technically and physically, each and every edge is going to come at a premium in Quebec City. While Westcott has shown a lethal ground game as of late, Theodorou has seemingly taken his foot off the gas pedal a bit.
That might not be the best course of action against Westcott; a ridiculously fast starter never lets his opponents find their grove. Theodorou doesn't have the luxury of waiting out a quality finisher like Westcott, so he has to exhibit more controlled aggression. If he can keep the fight standing by peppering Westcott from range, victory could be at hand for "Spartan."
At the end of the day, I think Westcott will put an exclamation point on his TUF: "Nations" stint and take home the contract with a finish.
Final Prediction: Westcott def., Theodorou via submission