The UFC’s “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series was once a hotbed for producing some of the most talented up and coming prospects in the entire MMA community. Modern day stars such as Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Diego Sanchez and Nate Diaz all blossomed into UFC mainstays following their time on TUF with Griffin and Evans both claiming UFC gold.
While the series is still giving us impressive talent like John Dodson, Diego Brandao, Dennis Bermudez and Michael Chiesa, it has been awhile since we’ve seen a top contender emerge from the show.
Last week, the UFC launched TUF 16: Team Nelson vs. Team Carwin on FX with a cast of hungry welterweights. Not taking anything away from these promising UFC hopefuls but I highly doubt this was the best cast of 170-pounders available.
I know this because one of the top prospects in the welterweight division is not being featured on TUF Fridays on FX. Instead, Team Takedown’s Chris Feist is looking to continue his undefeated streak when he faces Micah Franks this Saturday night in Forth Worth, Texas for the Premier Fight Series.
Feist put his name in the hat but was not selected to be a part of the TUF 16 cast. However, the unbeaten prospect was not too upset about it when he found out Roy Nelson would be one of the coaches on the show.
“As soon as we found out that they were going to be featuring welterweights [on TUF 16], my manager called them right away and they ended up not picking me but after seeing who the coaches were, that’s alright,” Feist told BJPenn.com.
“I’ve been reading the Tweets and the stuff coming from Roy Nelson and it just seems like he is making this out to be a little circus almost but who knows. Hopefully he provides these guys with some good training.”
“I like watching Roy fight but I know some stuff about how he trains in Vegas and it always makes me shake my head. I’m sure it will be a great season though and I will be tuning in for sure.”
Just because Feist didn’t make the cut for TUF 16 doesn’t mean we won’t see him in the UFC anytime soon. This 28 year old is rapidly improving with every fight and a win over Franks this weekend would up his record to 5-0.
Feist is the kind of competitor that could be a potential breakout star if given the opportunity and he is confident that his hard work will result in that opportunity just like it did when an old college buddy introduced him to the sport years ago.
“I’m just going to keep training my butt off and keep winning fights and hopefully I get that call [from the UFC]. Injuries happen a lot in this sport so if a situation arises I’d be willing to step in for someone on short notice,” Feist said.
“Jake [Rosholt] graduated from college and started fighting, moved to Las Vegas and I went out there to hang out for a week. I followed him to the gym and I pretty much fell in love with MMA from the get go. As soon as I graduated college, I moved out there with him, lived on his couch and never left. That was basically how it started and I just kept working my butt off until Team Takedown saw potential and gave me an opportunity to chase the dream.”
Coming from primarily a wrestling background, Feist is eager to showcase his standup game for the first time in this upcoming bout. Spending a majority of his MMA fights on the ground, Feist has been secretly tuning up his striking and wants to let the cat out of the bag come fight night.
“I’m hoping to show off some striking in this fight, I haven’t had much of a chance to do that but I’m ready to now,” Feist said.
“My striking has progressed hand over fist lately and hopefully this fight gives me a chance to work on it in live competition.”
If you don’t feel like spending 50 bucks to watch UFC 152, you can spend 10 dollars to order PFS 2 and watch Feist and fellow Team Takedown fighter Chas Skelly put on a show. Just click here to find out more information about the online PPV from Fort Worth, Texas.Tags: Chas Skelly, Chris Feist, PFS, Premier FIght Series, Roy Nelson, team takedown, The Ultimate Fighter, TUF