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Tag: TUF 10 Finale

On This Day in MMA History: Jon Jones Tastes Defeat (Kind Of) at the TUF 10 Finale


(Photo via Sherdog)

Ultimate Fighter Finale cards weren’t always so garbage-ass. On December 5th, 2009 — four years ago today — the TUF 10 Finale went down in Las Vegas, with a lineup featuring Jon Jones (before he became light-heavyweight champion), Frankie Edgar (before he became lightweight champion), Kimbo Slice (who was one of the most popular figures in the sport at the time), as well as Roy Nelson, Brendan Schaub, and Matt Mitrione. Today, a UFC card with those names would be sold as a pay-per-view, and it would probably do pretty damn well*. In 2009, this was just another free show on Spike TV, a cable channel that everybody knew how to find. Damn…we just didn’t know how good we had it back then.

Maybe you remember Nelson’s nasty one-shot KO of Schaub at the event, and maybe you remember the 15-minute wheezefest that was Kimbo vs. Houston Alexander. But the reason that the TUF 10 Finale remains infamous four years later is because of a bullshit little rule known as “no 12-to-6 elbows,” which may very well be the most arbitrary and baseless rule in MMA history. Essentially, MMA fighters are allowed to crack each other’s skulls wide open with their ‘bows, either standing or on the ground, but if your elbow is moving vertically downward, you might as well be a villain in a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie. My goodness, somebody could actually get injured with those things.

Jon Jones, who was 22 years old at the time, had earned a prime spot on the TUF 10 Finale main card thanks to his 3-0 run in the UFC light-heavyweight division, which included a hilariously madcap decision win against Stephan Bonnar, and a second-round submission of fan-unfavorite Jake O’Brien. This was the pre-backlash Jon Jones, a guy who was universally beloved for his dynamic wrestling ability and his improvisational striking, which he picked up (as the legend goes) from watching YouTube videos. Matt Hamill was supposed to be just another stepping-stone in Jones’s quick rise to the top — a recognizable TUF-guy for him to squash. And that’s exactly what happened, even though Hamill wound up winning the fight on a technicality.

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Jon Jones Talks Appeal, Says He Had No Idea About Steve Mazzagatti’s Reputation


(Photo courtesy of Sherdog.com)

Jon Jones isn’t mad.  He says this several times, and it seems very important to him that people understand it.  If it was left entirely to him, he says, he probably wouldn’t be appealing his disqualification loss.  That part was mostly his management’s doing.  At the same time, he doesn’t think he got a fair shake from referee Steve Mazzagatti at the TUF 10 Finale.  It’s not that Jones disputes Mazzagatti’s ruling that his downward elbow strikes were illegal — he admits that they were.  But he doesn’t think it was what really caused the fight to be stopped, nor does he believe that Mazzagatti did what he should have done in the wake of the foul.  As he told me for this SI.com article:

“A big part of it is that Mazzagatti just didn’t handle things right,” explained Jones. “You know, he’s standing over Matt Hamill, who can’t see at the time because he has blood in his eyes, and obviously he can’t hear, and Mazzagatti is standing there asking him if he’s okay. Then he stops the fight.”

If you go back and watch the video of the fight, what you see is Mazzagatti standing over Hamill and asking him twice, "Are you done?"  Hamill doesn’t answer — maybe because he doesn’t even realize Mazzagatti is asking him a question — and that’s when the fight is waved off. 

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Jon Jones Seeks No-Contest Ruling After DQ Loss to Hamill

Jon Jones Matt Hamill TUF 10 Finale
(Tell him, Dana…)

After he was slapped with a disqualification loss following the 12-6 elbow incident at the The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale, Jon Jones told reporters that he was at peace with the fight’s result: "I try to look at everything in life for the best, and now I’m not worried about being undefeated anymore. I can go out there and be more relaxed…I’m going to bounce back stronger."

But after a couple days to reflect and re-watch the fight, Jones and his management team are somewhat less at peace with the DQ ruling, and they now plan to appeal the decision. Their argument rests on a subtle but important point: It was Matt Hamill‘s shoulder that prevented him from continuing in the fight, not his illegally-busted nose, but he wasn’t able to communicate that information to referee Steve Mazzagatti because he couldn’t hear or see what was going on, and his sign-language-interpreter wasn’t brought in to help clarify.

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TUF 10 Finale Fighter Salaries: Edgar Leads the Pack, Kimbo Receives Meager Portion of Bread

Brendan Schaub Roy Nelson MMA TUF 10 finale
(Brendan Schaub does his best impression of Darrill Schoonover’s stomach. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Not to stereotype dudes from New Jersey, but Frankie Edgar is probably pumpin’ his fist like a champ right about now. The UFC lightweight contender came out of the TUF 10 Finale as the card’s highest-paid scrapper, thanks in part to his well-deserved Fight of the Night bonus. Meanwhile, reality struck Kimbo Slice, who’s now earning 1/20th of what he used to make in EliteXC. Of course, he could have gotten paid more behind the scenes, but we only have the official figures in front of us, and you know how we hate to speculate without hard evidence. [*cough*] The full salary list is below…

Roy Nelson: $41,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus, $25,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
Brendan Schaub: $8,000

Matt Hamill: $46,000 (includes $23,000 win bonus)
Jon Jones: $20,000

Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson: $25,000 (no win bonus)
Houston Alexander: $13,000

Frankie Edgar: $71,000 (includes $23,000 win bonus, $25,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
Matt Veach: $30,000 (includes $25,000 Fight of the Night bonus)

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Video: Kimbo Slice Reacts to His First UFC Victory


(Props: MMA Fanhouse)

At the post-fight press conference following the TUF 10 Finale, Kimbo Slice was as pleased as you could reasonably expect considering he’d just narrowly scratched out a victory against a guy who all but refused to fight him. Though fans and pundits expected Slice and Houston Alexander to put on a one-round war — a backyard brawl brought to the Octagon — we instead got Minowaman vs. Zuluzinho part 2. "We were prepared for somewhat of his attacks, but I wasn’t prepared for the ring-riding that he did," Kimbo said. Still, he wasn’t going to let Alexander bait him into making a mistake:

"If I would have ran in there foolishly, I would have gotten knocked out. It wasn’t difficult to stay patient…A few times, I just called him out. I had to call him by his name, I had to say some things in the ring, like, ‘Let’s do this,’ in so many words. I reverted back to the streets a little bit, verbally. He didn’t engage. He stuck to his plan, so I said, ‘Well, I’m not going to be foolish and run up on him.’ I wanted to be a smart fighter as well…
 
It’s hard. It’s not an easy thing because I first was a street fighter, and being a street fighter there was no training in my style of fighting. I just went in there based on my instincts, watching the guy’s movement, and countering him. But at this level of the game, as a professional fighter in the UFC, you have to be like almost genius-type smart because you have all these dimensions you have to bottle in one, and you just gotta know when to counter, and when to not hit, when to not engage, and try to wait it out. There’s a lot [that] guys gotta go through."
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How Jon Jones Broke Matt Hamill’s Shoulder


(Props: MMA-Core)

Before the illegal downward elbow strikes that brought about his disqualification, Jon Jones first put Matt Hamill in real trouble with this leg trip takedown that turned the tide of the fight and, according to Hamill’s trainer, broke his left shoulder

Hamill still fought on after that point and did a surprisingly good job, considering the injury, of defending against the onslaught from Jones that soon followed.  That’s why you can’t really argue that it was the takedown and not the elbows that ended the fight.  What you could argue, however, is that Hamill got a lucky break when the illegal blows gave the ref a chance to take a look at him and conclude that he was in no position to continue fighting.  Odds are things would have only gotten worse for him, and they were already pretty damn bad.

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TUF 10 Finale Draws Meager Crowd, Pays Out Similarly Meager Bonuses


(Roy Nelson gives Ariel Helwani the obligatory belly rub.)

Roy Nelson became the newest/fattest "Ultimate Fighter" winner with his knockout of Brendan Schaub at last night’s TUF 10 Finale.  Dana White must have been at least a little impressed this time, because he awarded "Big Country" the Knockout of the Night bonus, worth a cool $25,000.  Mark Bocek took home the Submission of the Night bonus for the rear naked choke on Joe Brammer that came at the end of an absolute grappling clinic.  Fight of the Night went to Frankie Edgar and Matt Veach for a spirited two round battle that ended with a submission victory for Edgar.

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Maybe Steve Mazzagatti Isn’t the Worst Referee in the History of the World


(Props: MMA TKO)

Though Dana White has previously suggested that he’s not even qualified to watch MMA, Steve Mazzagatti once again found himself in the center of an officiating crisis at last night’s "Ultimate Fighter" Finale.  This time, Mazzagatti made the unpopular, though ultimately correct decision to stop the Jon Jones-Matt Hamill bout when he saw these illegal elbow strikes from Jones.  In order to figure out whether the illegal blows were really the cause of the damage that left Hamill unable to continue, Mazzagatti became the first UFC ref to consult the video replay now at his fingertips thanks to a recent NSAC ruling.  NSAC director Keith Kizer later called it an effective use of the replay, sayng, "The only call you can make in that situation is a disqualification."

Of course, if you still wanted to bust Mazzagatti’s chops, you could ask him why he didn’t stop the fight sooner, back when Jones was unloading on Hamill from the mount.  Jones was so thoroughly dominating him that he even had time to glance up at Mazzagatti as if to say, ‘You’re seeing this, right?’  It works for Roy Nelson, but Jones wasn’t so fortunate. 

Looks like "Bones" got a little too creative for his own good this time out.  This one will go down as a loss on his record, but no one will forget the way he was dismantling Hamill prior to venturing outside the rules for a few regrettable seconds.

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The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale: Live Results + Commentary

Kimbo Slice TUF 10 finale weigh in UFCRoy Nelson TUF 10 finale weigh in UFC
Matt Hamill Jon Jones UFC TUF 10 finale weigh in photo
(Top: Kimbo and Roy demonstrate the difference between "built like a black man" and "built like a polar bear." Directly above: The Amanda Knox verdict affected some fighters more than others.)

Okay, so "Heavyweights" wasn’t the best season of The Ultimate Fighter we’ve seen. Let’s be honest: Project Runway had a more talented group of fighters this year, and there weren’t as many divas. But tonight’s finale card will still give us a very entertaining night of fights, with two worthy TUF finalists, Kimbo Slice’s (possibly) last stand, and the always exciting Jon Jones looking to launch to the next level against Matt Hamill. Round-by-round updates from the TUF 10 Finale are after the jump; refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest. We begin our evening’s entertainment with a grudge match between two ex-football players…

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Ben vs. Ben: TUF 10 Finale Edition


(Looking back now, it’s not hard to see why Roy Nelson ultimately decided not to go with "Big Graceful Swan" as a nickname.)

It’s that time again.  With the "Ultimate Fighter" Finale just a day away, we take a look back at season ten and a look forward into the futures of tomorrow night’s marquee fighters.  Enjoy.

Real talk: Was this the worst TUF season of all time?

BF: I’m tempted to say no. That is, until I start thinking about it and trying to name a season that’s been less enjoyable to watch and I draw a total blank. This was a perfect storm of crap. The fights were mostly one-sided, sloppy, uninteresting affairs. The Kimbo Bomb that resulted in huge ratings off the bat ended up being a dud. The bickering between Rashad Evans and “Rampage” Jackson went from enticing to annoying as soon as we learned that they wouldn’t be fighting any time soon.

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