Seth Baczynski has been here before. After losing on the preliminary fights of season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter, Baczynski was chosen as the replacement for the injured Chris Camozzi. After proceeding to beat Joe Henle in the first round of the tournament, Baczynski lost to Brad Tavares by disqualification: Baczynski kicked Tavares when he was grounded, and Tavares was unable to continue. Baczynski was eliminated due to that loss, but was given a chance to face Tavares again, on a preliminary fight at the TUF 11 Finale. Baczynski lost once again, by unanimous decision, and was predictably released from his UFC contract.
But just as Baczynski was brought back to The Ultimate Fighter after losing his debut fight, Baczynski has now returned to the UFC after losing his professional UFC debut to Tavares. Serving as a replacement for the injured DaMarques Johnson, the 13-6 Baczynski will now have the opportunity to stake his place in the UFC welterweight division. His opponent will be a fellow TUF veteran: Clay Harvison, who won his professional UFC debut against Justin Edwards back in June.
Harvison’s TUF run was quite unremarkable: he beat Mick Bowman in the first round, and lost to Ramsey Nijem in the quarterfinals. But in his subsequent TUF 13 Finale fight against Justin Edwards, Harvison showed good patience in weathering Edwards’s early storm to eventually win by split decision. This was somewhat impressive, as Harvison had never been out of the first round in his professional career. On the other hand, Harvison’s conditioning wasn’t exactly stellar, just good in comparison to the clearly exhausted Edwards.
Now, while Edwards has turned out to be something less than a top prospect, or good UFC fighter, Harvison was rewarded with a high 73.43 Victory Score for managing to beat him. There are two reasons for this: first, Edwards was undefeated at 6-0 before losing to Harvison. Second, Edwards had already beaten a few decent opponents before fighting Harvison, which is unusual for a fighter with only six fights under his belt.
I’m telling you this to say the following: take Clay Harvison’s SILVA score with a grain of salt.
SILVA PREDICTION: CLAY HARVISON (30.05) OVER SETH BACZYNSKI (26.43)
Neither man has showcased exceptional skill in any one discipline, and neither man really has an exceptional record, at least not by UFC standards. I expect this to be a competitive, close fight, but I don’t expect whoever wins to make any sort of significant run in the UFC afterwards. For now, Harvison has the most impressive victory on paper, even if it was by split decision, and therefore is favored by SILVA to win the fight.