So once again it’s reached it’s conclusion, and once again I didn’t watch any of the reality show stuff beforehand as the UFC presented the 13th Ultimate Fighter finale, shown live in the early hours of this past Sunday morning on ESPN here in Britain.
The broadcast began in the welterweight division as Chuck O’Neil faced Chris Cope.
The Team Lesnar buddies put in a highly entertaining opener, but from the early moments it was obvious how this was going to turn out.
Cope put on an excellent striking display, getting better as the fight went on. By the time the third round started he was using O’Neil for target practice.
No surprise with the judges decision, with all three giving everything to Cope.
Then it was up to the light heavyweight division as Kyle Kingsbury faced Fabio Maldonado.
This fight gave us a second example of great striking, but this time it came from both fighters.
Kingsbury began strongly, and his knees from numerous muay thai clinches looked great. But most of the time Maldonado countered with some hard shots to the body.
Add in some trips to the ground and a couple of guillotine attempts and you’ve got an entertaining three rounder.
The judges were called into action again, with all three giving the fight to Kingsbury.
After an interview with Shane Carwin it was on to middleweight action as Ed Herman took on Tim Credeur.
This one lasted less than a minute. Herman had already connected with a couple of good lefts when an uppercut sent Credeur down. Herman joined him on the ground before the referee stepped in to give Herman the TKO win.
Following an interview with Junior Dos Santos it was on to the lightweight encounter between Anthony Pettis and Clay Guida.
Pettis came into this fight with a great deal of fanfare, and most of it was justified.
Whenever the fight went to the ground Pettis always seemed to be looking for ways to attack, and he had some success in that respect, especially when he took Guida’s back towards the end of the third.
The only problem was that Guida was able to impose his will on the fight, turning it into an ugly but effective affair, taking Pettis’ back as the fight came to an end.
Once again the judges were called into action, with all three giving the fight to Guida.
The main event featured welterweight action as Ramsey Nijem faced Tony Ferguson in the final of The Ultimate Fighter.
This one began with Nijem coming forward early with combinations, Ferguson countering with a take down.
From there we saw some nice exchanges with a few brief trips to the ground before Ferguson connected with a left hook that sent Nijem crashing. Ferguson went down to finish the fight, with the referee stepping in to give Ferguson the TKO win and the big money contract.
The show rounded out with filler material, beginning with the bantamweight clash between Scott Jorgensen and Ken Stone.
This featured some nice striking from both men, with Jorgensen getting the upper hand before Stone came back with some good work of his own.
When the fight went to the ground Stone looked for the submission, but a big right from the guard by Jorgensen knocked Stone out, which is something I’ve never seen before. The referee wisely stepped in to confirm Jorgensen’s stunning win.
The final fight saw Josh Grispi taking on George Roop in the featherweight division.
Grispi started the fighting by going for a take down, and it was from there that Roop began his great work, countering Grispi with a series of elbows.
It was from the second round onwards that Roop really upped his game, controlling the fight on the deck with his ground and pound, Grispi offering little in return.
Grispi began the third round well enough on the ground, but it wasn’t long before Roop took control again, and after Grispi complained of a low blow that looked borderline at best Roop took the win with a hard body shot, the referee stopping the action as soon as Grispi went down.
In conclusion - once again this show has proven my point, that you don’t need to watch The Ultimate Fighter to enjoy the finale.
This was a great night of fight action. There wasn’t a bad fight here, although I can’t decide if I enjoyed the Guida/Pettis or the Roop/Grispi fight the most. So in all The Ultimate Finale 13 gets the thumbs up.
And who knows, now that Michael Bisping has been confirmed as one of the coaches for the next series I might actually watch it again!