Every UFC main event has to be about something, and when there aren’t any titles on the line, things tend to get pretty creative. Leading up to the main event of the TUF 17 Finale, the talk surrounding the bout focused on the friendship between competitors Urijah Faber and Scott Jorgensen and how it may affect the bout. Whether the two were actually the close friends that the media made them out to be was completely irrelevant; which is good, because Jorgensen revealed during fight week that they weren’t.
What we were left with was a bout between the number two and number seven ranked bantamweights that played out as expected. This isn’t to say that the fight wasn’t entertaining (it was), but Jorgensen was outgunned early and often by Faber before “The California Kid” sank in the fight ending rear-naked choke in the fourth round. It was closer than the gambling odds indicated it would be, but not exactly a close fight, and though Jorgensen managed to mount some offense of his own, he never appeared to be any real threat to Faber.
The bantamweight division is very top-heavy, which perhaps more than anything explains why Urijah Faber is seemingly always one fight away from a title shot. The gap between the top five guys and the rest of the division is wider than most fans would care to acknowledge, and it showed last night. Still, I’d rather watch Urijah Faber fight Michael McDonald than watch him get crammed into yet another title fight. I doubt I’m in the minority here – at least among hardcore fans.
Handling play-by-play duties for our TUF 17 Finale liveblog is Alex Giardini, who will stack up results from the FX main card broadcast after the jump beginning at 9 p.m. ET. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and please share your own thoughts in the comments section.
It couldn’t have worked out better, really. Last night’s semifinals episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Sonnen left us with two fantastic middleweight prospects: A ferociously powerful striker who’s been the show’s front-runner since his first knockout in the house, and a 21-year-old rookie who kicks ass like a seasoned pro and harbors a not-so-secret crush on Ronda Rousey. In the interest of spoiler-sensitivity, we won’t post their names right here, but come on, you all know who we’re talking about.
Follow us after the jump as we recap the two fights from TUF 17 episode 12, which both ended in stoppages. Plus: The complete fight lineup for this Saturday’s TUF 17 Finale in Las Vegas, which includes one surprising (i.e., indefensibly terrible) matchup on the main card.
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for — the public execution of our least favorite TUF 17 castmember. In case you missed last night’s episode of the show, Bubba McDaniel did everything he could to get out of the match. It had already been apparent that Bubba wasn’t mentally prepared to face Uriah Hall, and he also began complaining of exhaustion and pain in his back. Sadly, the doctor cleared Bubba to compete, and he became a quick meal for the show’s front-runner.
The nine-second knockout had onlookers speaking of Hall in lofty terms. “This guy is the nastiest guy in Ultimate Fighter history,” said UFC president Dana White. Chael Sonnen even called him a contender for the middleweight title. Hmm. That might be the case, but when Hall officially makes it to the UFC, he’ll eventually have to face guys who aren’t terrified of being in the cage with him.
Uriah will compete again in next week’s semifinals episode, where he’ll face Dylan Andrews, who TKO’d Luke Barnatt last week. On the other side of the bracket, 21-year-old prodigy Kelvin Gastelum will go heads-up against Josh Samman, who finished Jimmy Quinlan in last night’s episode. You can check out highlights from that scrap after the jump.
Hall, who fights at 185 pounds – 50 more than Rousey, underestimated the former judo Olympic medalist intitially. He found that to be a terrible mistake.
“I said to myself, ‘I can get out of this,’” Hall told The Post. “Then she caught me and I was like, ‘Oh my God, this [expletive] is real.’”
Hall, a Queens resident, said Rousey got him in two armbars while grappling – and he couldn’t get out. He compared it to rolling with an anaconda or a cat…”You can’t grab her and if you do grab her, you’re [expletive],” Hall said with a laugh…
Apologies in advance for dropping the ball on last week’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Jones vs. Sonnen, which we completely forgot to recap for reasons that are not immediately obvious (if only we could get Danga to set down the bong for like thirty seconds…). Long story short: Chael Sonnen emerged victorious from a Coaches Challenge that involved stacking tires with excavators (?) and Team Jones’ Dylan Andrews secured a spot in the quarterfinals with a majority decision victory over Zak Cummings. For this week’s “Wild Card” matchup, Team Jones’ Bubba McDaniel and Team Sonnen’s Kevin Casey were selected.
To find out which fighter secured the final spot in the TUF 17 bracket, as well as the rest of last night’s highlights, join us after the jump.
- This week’s fight will be Bubba vs. Kelvin Gastelum, a 5-0 prospect (and full-time bail bondsman) from Arizona who, at 21 years old, is apparently the youngest competitor ever allowed onto The Ultimate Fighter. Jones picked the matchup because he sees Kelvin as Team Sonnen’s weakest link, and feels that Bubba’s vast experience edge and overall skills will make the difference in the fight. As usual, Coach Chael Sonnen tries to stay positive: “They don’t know what they handed you,” he tells Kelvin. “They handed you a big opportunity. Everybody here’s gotta win this tournament to get in the UFC. You just gotta beat this guy. This is your ticket, right here.”
- Kelvin is apparently a big Ronda Rousey fan, so Chael sweetens the pot by arranging for Ronda to call Kelvin and wish him luck, then promises that Ronda will come down and train with him if he wins. Man, that devious bastard.
- Chael Sonnen’s friendliness is still throwing Jon Jones for a loop; the champ likes to keep a “mystique” about himself and maintain a distance from future opponents, but Sonnen is making that difficult by constantly engaging Jones in pleasant conversation. Seriously, Chael, when are you going to start fucking with his parking spot and hiding his sandals?
(Don’t worry, Julian, at least this moment was not forever immortalized by the power of the internet. That would be *super* embarrassing.)
If BG’s recaps are any indication, this season’s The Ultimate Fighter appears to be void of most of the fabricated, frat boy drama that has plagued countless seasons before it, opting rather for a more straightforward, yet stylistic focus on the fights themselves. And while TUF has undoubtedly matured after some 17 seasons, that isn’t to say that the showhas completely rid itself of the kind of unsightly characters reality television oft shines a light on. This season’s Julian Lane is none other than Robert “Bubba” McDaniel, a relentless a-hole who thus far has both bashed teammate Gilbert Smith for being mentally weak the day before he was scheduled to fight and unsuccessfully attempted to troll Kevin Casey into a fight using tactics usually saved for elementary school playgrounds (or the comments section of BloodyElbow).
So while a few of us were discussing McDaniel’s douchiness in the comments section of our latest recap, we (we being ReX) got to thinking: Who was the least likable fighter in TUF History?
After the jump lies a poll with the most obvious offenders (Browning, Lane, Koscheck the participant, Koscheck the coach, etc.) for you to choose from, along with an “Other” option in case you feeling like calling out some of the lesser-known but equally offensive jackwagons to enter the TUF household. I cannot stress enough that I have never entered the TUF household. I’ll announce the results at some point tomorrow, because I do what I want, when I want. OK, you can include me as an option for that statement alone.