After weeks of high tension and drama (so I heard, I actually didn’t see much of the show) it was down to the final two as Kris McCray and Court McGee fought it out in the UFC’s eleventh Ultimate Finale, shown live in the early hours of this past Sunday morning on ESPN here in Britain, with Mike Goldberg and Kenny Florian handling commentary duties.
The show began with middleweight action as Jamie Yager faced Rich Attonito. A distinct difference in hairstyles here, and that’s probably the last time I’ll be able to use that line in an MMA review. An enjoyable opener from two of this season’s contestants began with some crisp striking in the first round and in the beginning of the second. When the fight went to the ground Attonito took control, taking Yager’s back. At first he went for a rear naked choke, but when Yager defended Attonito changed his tactics, flattened Yager out and took home the TKO win with some ground and pound. A very good outing for Attonito here.
It was down to the lightweight division for the next fight as Spencer Fisher took on Dennis Siver. An enjoyable three round striking battle and a pretty even contest as well. An accidental clash of heads early in the first opened up a nasty cut above Siver’s left eye. It didn’t hamper him for the rest of the fight though as both men put on very good displays, with Siver getting the unanimous decision.
Then it was back up to the middleweight division as Chris Leben went up against Aaron Simpson. The proverbial game of two halves saw Simpson putting in some good work in the first round, scoring with a couple of good looking take downs. However, Leben took control in the second with his superior striking, rocking him a number of times, with the referee stopping the fight when Simpson ran away after a big blow, giving Leben the great TKO win.
Light heavyweight action followed as Matt Hammill faced Keith Jardine. The best fight of the night was another great striking battle. The turning point was in round two, which saw Jardine earn a point deduction for an eye poke. By the end of that round a cut between the eyes had turned Jardine’s face into a bloody mess. Hammill’s striking was top notch throughout, probably the best I’ve seen from him, and it was enough to earn him the majority decision.
The main event saw Court McGee face Kris McCray in the middleweight final of The Ultimate Fighter. McGee put on a great display of ground work in this fight. McCray managed to get off a few good strikes, but McGee dominated as soon as he took the fight to the ground. McCray looked powerless as McGee took his back and synched in a rear naked choke for the submission win as he earned the big contract with this great display.
With some tie to spare it was on to filler material as James McSweeney faced Travis Browne in the heavyweight division. A good fight to end the show with saw Browne moving forward early on, only for McSweeney to halt him momentarily with a big right. However, when the fight went to the ground it was all Browne, and as the end of the first round neared the referee stepped in when the Brit had no answer to Bourne’s ground and pound, ending an impressive debut performance.
In conclusion - well, they’ve done it again. Another good outing for the UFC here, and thankfully there weren’t any dodgy referee or judging decisions. So once again this show proves that The Ultimate Fighter franchise is going from strength to strength.
So maybe I should pay more attention to it in the future!