So after several weeks of eliminations we were at the final stage, and once again my dislike of reality television meant that I hadn’t watched any of it. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy a few good scraps for the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s 14th Ultimate Fighter Finale, shown live in the early hours of this past Sunday on the FX channel here in Britain.
The show began with bantamweight action as Louis Gaudinot, a guy with awful green hair, went up against Johnny Bedford.
Bedford came into this fight with a huge height and reach advantage, and he used this to great effect, dominating the action throughout.
From the moment the fight started Bedford took control, and it seemed as if Gaudinot just didn’t know what to do as Bedford overwhelmed him, taking him down at will and going to work with the ground and pound.
But try as Bedford might Gaudinot just wouldn’t give up, and as the fight entered it’s final round Bedford went in for the kill, connecting with numerous combinations to the body before going for the ground and pound, with the referee wisely stepping in when Gaudinot failed to defend himself, giving Bedford the impressive TKO win.
Then it was up to the lightweight division as Tony Ferguson took on Yves Edwards.
This battle between the veteran and the former Ultimate Fighter proved to be an exciting back and forth affair. Although there were brief trips to the ground these two engaged in a great striking battle.
Both men gave their all, and both men had their moments as they put together some crisp combinations, with both men in trouble a number of times.
By the time the third round began both fighters looked as fresh as daisies as they kept up their fast pace, but as they couldn’t put each other away it went to the judges decision, with Ferguson taking the unanimous decision.
The final of the bantamweight tournament followed as T.J. Dillashaw went up against John Dodson.
This one didn’t make it out of the first round. They began with a couple of exchanges before a big right sent Dillashaw back a few steps.
From there they went back to testing the waters with kicks and combinations, but when Dodson caught his man with a big left Dillashaw staggered again. Dodson went in for the kill, and a few seconds later the referee stepped in to give Dodson the TKO win and TUF Season 14 bantamweight crown.
The featherweight final saw Diego Brandao taking on Dennis Bermudez.
No testing of the waters for these two. They went all out as soon as the fight began.
Both fighters went all out with their striking and rocked the other early on, and as they traded blows it reminded me of the first ever TUF final.
As the first round entered it’s final minute Bermudez connected with a short right that sent Brandao crashing to the mat. Bermudez followed him down, looking for the ground and pound finish, and it looked as if the referee could stop the fight at any time as Bermudez continued the assault.
Then it happened. From out of nowhere Brandao went for an arm bar, locked it in and quickly secured the submission win in a matter of seconds, just when he looked as if he was about to go down. An impressive win for the new Ultimate Fight featherweight king.
Filler material in the form of the bantamweight bout between Dustin Pague and John Albert followed.
This quick affair saw both men exchanging blows at the beginning before Albert dropped his man with a big right. Albert followed him to the ground, and after gift wrapping Pague’s right arm he went to work with the ground and pound, and it wasn’t long before the referee stepped in to give Albert the TKO win.
The main event saw the battle of the coaches as Michael Bisping took on Jason Miller in the middleweight division.
Mayhem looked good early on, coming forward with the first kick and taking the fight to the ground, tying Bisping’s legs up with a leg triangle. But the move to the mount gave Bisping the chance to escape back to his feet.
From there the Count took control with a tremendous display of striking. Miller looked exhausted from the second round onwards and had very little to offer as Bisping teed off on him, bloodying his nose and generally messing up his face.
The end came in the third round. Once again Bisping took control, and when he went for the ground and pound Miller had no answer to the onslaught, and it wasn’t long before the referee stepped in to give Bisping the TKO win.
In conclusion - once again this has proven my point, the point being that if, like me you don’t like reality television but you like watching MMA fights you can still enjoy The Ultimate Finale.
The six fights here certainly delivered, and while the two finals made for a great spectacle the main event was the fight of the night for me as Michael Bisping moved ever closer to a shot at the middleweight title.
So in all The Ultimate Finale gets the big thumbs up from this particular writer.