The Ultimate Fighter Season 30 Cast Breakdown: The Heavyweights

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Mohammed Usman to appear on The Ultimate Fighter 30 (TUF 30)
Mohammed Usman (left) and Brandon Sayles Credit: PFL

The latest season of The Ultimate Fighter has been announced, and along with the women’s flyweight division, it’s the heavyweights who return to the spotlight this time out.

Heavyweight is always in need of bodies, and TUF 30 will look to provide a few options to the UFC. There are some strong prospects, a UFC champion’s brother, and a returning veteran among the mix. All will compete for the title of The Ultimate Fighter under the tutelage of Julianna Pena and Amanda Nunes.

Here’s our look at the full field of heavyweights who will enter the TUF house this year.

Nyle Bartling, 29-years-old, 6-0

Pros

  • Fast starter
  • Excellent wrestling
  • Physically strong
  • Solid grappling
  • Submission threat
  • Aggressive guard passing
  • Strong top control
  • Good ground and pound
  • Times his takedown entries well

Cons

  • One-dimensional
  • Sloppy striking
  • Comes in from straight lines

Bartling came into MMA off a solid wrestling pedigree. He grew up wrestling. He was a three-time state qualifier and claimed the district title three times. Outside of wrestling his freshman year for Ohio State, he wrestled his last three years of college for the University of Nebraska. His wrestling has translated very well and he is most likely the best wrestler among the TUF 30 cast. What will hold him back is his striking. Bartling has a lot of holes on the feet but hasn’t had to worry about it yet since he’s had his way with opponents so far.

Where a lot of heavyweights struggle the most is off their back and Bartling is the guy to put you there. Unlike a lot of other big men Bartling has the grappling to go along with the wrestling. His wrestling base and overall ground game, despite the lack of striking, will take him far.

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