(Travis Browne’s knockout of Brian Campbell)
(Travis Browne’s knockout of Abe Wagner)
Along with the six TUF 11 castmembers getting a shot on the preliminary card of this Saturday’s Finale show, two Octagon first-timers will also be trying to make a big impression. Get to know them below, and tell us how you think they’ll fare in the comments section…
TRAVIS BROWNE (HW)
Experience: 9-0 record with appearances in Bellator, King of the Cage, and Gladiator Challenge. Five of his wins came within the first minute of the fight. Most recently scored a 35-second knockout of Aaron Brink at a GC event in February, which followed an eight-second knockout of Abe Wagner two weeks earlier and a nine-second knockout of Brian Campbell last November.
Will be facing: James McSweeney (4-4, 1-0 UFC)
Lowdown: At 6’6", 250 pounds, and with a Carwin-like habit of ending fights early, Travis Browne could make a very nice addition to the UFC’s heavyweight roster. Based out of the Alliance Training Center in San Diego, "Hapa" works as a professional dog trainer when he’s not knocking people unconscious. Browne was exposed to drug and gang culture in his native Hawaii at an early age, but escaped his rough upbringing and found a positive outlet for his aggression in jiu-jitsu. He was not selected to appear on Bully Beatdown, which really bothered him.
MARK HOLST (LW)
Experience: 8-1 record, primarily competing in Quebec, with all wins by stoppage in the first two rounds. Most recently submitted UFC vet Corey Hill at an XKL event in March.
Will be facing: John Gunderson (22-7, 0-1 UFC)
Lowdown: Holst tried out for TUF 12, and impressed the UFC enough that they gave the 24-year-old a fight against Gunderson when Paul Taylor withdrew from the card. A product of the OAMA Fight Team, Holst will be the first Ottawa-based fighter to compete in the UFC. Holst holds a professional Muay Thai record of 11-1, and is a certified Senior Kru by the Muay Thai Institute in Bangkok. (He has also scored wins in various grappling tournaments.) Though his parents were both educators, Holst skipped college in order to pursue martial arts full-time. He has spent time studying under Renzo Gracie, Ricardo Almeida, Greg Jackson, Phil Nurse, and Jean-Charles Skarbowsky. He regularly posts blog entries about his training and travels at markholst.com.
(Holst vs. Nabil Khatib, 12/12/09)