A Fort Hood soldier is on his way to being ranked among the best fighters in the world.
SSG Colton Smith is the Army Ranger who made it onto The Ultimate Fighter reality show this summer.
Now, he's headed to the finals.
It's a mission that began back in June for Colton -- to show the world that this soldier could compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Since then, he beat out 30 other Ultimate Fighter contestants for his shot at the final fight.
"Coming in, I was definitely one of the least experienced guys in the show record-wise and fight-experience-wise, but you know, I felt confident. I know my skill set is definitely one that matched up real well with everybody else on the show," Colton said.
That confidence and those military skills paid off.
Over the course of the show, Colton fought four times, winning each and every match.
He says, "It's a dream come true to be in this situation I'm in, but the mission is not complete until I win."
So Tuesday he leaves for Las Vegas to get ready for the fight of his life, and he'll have his Fort Hood coaches in his corner.
"That's a big deal for us, so it's a big deal for him, real excited to make Fort Hood and the Army look great and show that soldiers fight at that level," said Fort Hood Combatives Director Kristopher Perkins.
To win the title of Ultimate Fighter, he must defeat Canadian mixed martial artist Mike Ricci, who also qualified for the final.
Colton knows it will be a tough fight against an intellectual fighter who strikes with precision.
"But obviously, I'm going to come out with my hand raised, I'm going to win, grind him against the cage, take him down into full submission," Colton said.
We'll find out who comes out on top on Saturday, when Ricci and Smith face off inside the Octagon at 8 p.m. on FX.
The grand prize is a UFC contract and a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Reporter/Photographer: Sophia Stamas firstname.lastname@example.org