john lawrence looks at the UFC’s reality series …
The Ultimate Fighter finale on Saturday night was a completely incredible night of fights with some unbelievable upsets. The main event between Urijah Faber and Scott Jorgensen was a surprise for most fight fans. Not that we didn’t expect Urijah to win, but I don’t think anyone expected him to manhandle Jorgensen the way he did. For three full rounds and most of a forth, we watched as Faber fought the fight on his terms and imposed his will on Jorgensen. Inevitably, in the fourth round Faber got his chance. He was able to take Jorgensen’s back and sink in the rear naked choke for the submission victory. Faber looked great, especially considering his last fight was only six weeks ago.
Winner via submission (rear naked choke): Urijah Faber
In the middleweight division we saw two newcomers from this past season of The Ultimate Fighter. Early favorite Bubba McDaniel took on Gilbert Smith. This fight was spectacular from the get go and I expect to see great things from both of these fighters. It started out with some awesome standing elbows from McDaniel. From there we saw some brilliant takedowns and reversals from both fighters. The second and third round were full of great exchanges, takedowns, and submission attempts. In the third round, Smith started to show a little more wear, and was looking a little more worse for wear than McDaniel. At about halfway through the third McDaniel really decided to showcase his grappling, pulling Smith into a triangle choke, and quickly transitioning into an armbar. Smith had no choice, but to tap out. I have to say that despite this being his UFC debut, Bubba never showed any signs of nervousness or jitters. I have never seen a fighter that clam in their debut fight in the octagon.
Winner via submission (armbar): Bubba McDaniel
Gabriel Gonzaga and Travis Browne squared off to move up the ranks of the talent filled heavyweight division. It is literally probably going to take me longer to write this review of the match, than it took Browne to finish off Gonzaga. At about a minute into the fight, Gonzaga shot in for a single leg, whereas Browne proceeded to unleash some of the greatest standing elbows I have ever seen. After about a half dozen or so, Gonzaga was out.
Winner via KO: Travis Browne
There was a lot on the line for Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano who where matched up in the women’s bantamweight division. The winner of this fight not only achieved number one contender status and received a title fight against champion Ronda Rousey, but they also will coach against her on the upcoming season of the Ultimate Fighter. The first thirty seconds of this fight alone, were great as Tate takes Zingano down, and as they are getting back to their feet Tate locks her up in a standing guillotine. Somehow, Zingano reverses it and gets Tate in a standing guillotine of her own. (again, this was all in the first 30 seconds.) Tate rocked Zingano with a big right hand, but she recovers quickly. At this point Miesha Tate starts swinging wildly and is kind of all over the place. Finally she regains her composure and takes Zingano down again and unleashes some elbows. In the second round, we saw some great submission attempts by Tate, but Zingano was able to defuse and escape them. Tate locked in a viscious heel hook, that I really thought was going to end the fight. Zingano responded in the most unorthodox way I could imagin and starts elbowing her thighs and punching her in the face. This is really where Zingano turned the tables , and was able to finish the round in side control doing damage of her own. The third round was all about Cat Zingano. She took Tate down and began raining down elbows that busted open Tate’s nose. As Tate attempt to get back to her feet, Zingano lands a huge knee to the face of Tate. Back down they go. Tate attempts to get up again and catches a few more knees to the face, and just as Cat finishes off with a beautiful standing elbow, the referee stepped in and put an end to it. Cat Zingano is clearly a force to be reckoned with in the bantamweight division. Oh yeah, did I mention that she is the first mother ever to compete in the UFC. I bet her son Braden is proud of her.
Winner via being the toughtest mom on the planet: Cat Zingano
The UFC could not have scripted a better fight for the finale of this season of the Ultimate Fighter. Kelvin Gastelum, is the youngest fighter ever to compete on the Ultimate Fighter, and was this season’s submission of the season winner. Uriah Hall was the favorite to win from the beginning and secured the KO of the season prize, with the back spin kick that made him a household name. Even though Uriah is six feet tall, he looked gigantic across the cage from Gastelum who only stands 5’9. There a was a short feeling out process in the beginning of the match, but after that it was go time. These men both showed great skill, technique, and desire to win as they pounded each other for three solid rounds. We saw a more aggressive Kelvin than we did in the Ultimate fighter, but we also saw a more reserved Uriah. Both men showed great athleticism and heart. It literally went back and forth for the entire fight. Kelvin would take down Uriah, they would get up and Uriah would take him down. Kelvin would get off a few punches, then Uriah would get a couple combos. Surprisingly Kelvin was able to neutralize a lot of the fancy footwork that Uriah has come to be known for. In the end, it went to the judges for a decision and they saw in favor of Kelvin. If Kelvin is this good at only 21, imagine the great things we can expect with some more experience.
Winner via split decision and Ultimate Fighter season 17 winner: Kelvin Gastelum
Preliminary fight card results:
Josh Samman def. Kevin Casey via TKO (knees)
Luke Barnatt def. Collin Hart via unanimous decision
Dylan Andrews def. Jimmy Quinlan via TKO (punches)
Clint Hester def. Bristol Marunde via KO (elbows)
Cole Miller def. Bart Palaszewski via submission (rear naked choke)
Maximo Blanco def. Sam Sicilla via unanimous decision
Daniel Pineda def. Justin Lawrence via submission (kimura)
Post Fight Honors:
Submission of the Night: Daniel Pineda
KO of the Night: Travis Browne
Fight of the Night: Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano
Baddest ass Mom ever: Cat Zingano