I figured since I taped the show I may as well review it. In all honesty, I watched most of the season and even though I did miss a couple of episodes, it seemed like the most boring season of The Ultimate Fighter outside of the Comeback season. Hopefully the finale will make up for an overall bland season.
In addition to bouts from members of Team Serra and Team Hughes, the main event is a lightweight battle between Roger Huerta and Clay Guida. First up however, is a rematch of a preliminary fight between Dan Barrera and Ben Saunders.
Dan Barrera vs. Ben Saunders (Welterweight)
Referee: Yves Lavigne
Saunders knocked Barrera out of the competition with a bloody majority decision. Saunders begins this fight with the leg kicks that battered Barrera in their first fight. Barrera shoots for a takedown but Ben does a good job of keeping from going to the ground. They finally do go the ground but they are up against the cage which limits both fighters’ movements. Saunders gets Barrera’s back but an armbar attempt turns into Barrera getting top position. The round ends with little more action.
Dan shoots to open the second round and gets the takedown but it doesn’t look like he really knows what to do from here. Dan wants to ground and pound but Ben is far too flexible and defensive-minded for Dan to have any success in the mount. Lavigne stands them up. Ben was waiting for Dan to shoot and just barely missed a flying knee. Dan gets the takedown but again little happens. Lavigne stands them up again and Ben lands a well-timed kick before they go back to the ground to finish off the round.
Saunders gets Barrera’s back to start the third round. Saunders has a body triangle on Barrera and is even able to take time to smile and wave at the camera. Barrera is playing defense here as he does a good job avoiding all the submissions that Saunders could attempt from this position. Barrera is able to flip the position but still unable to land any punches from the top position. The fight is restarted. Barrera tries a takedown but can’t quite take Ben down to the ground cleanly.
Winner: Ben Saunders by unanimous decision.
George Sotiropoulos vs. Billy Miles (Welterweight)
Referee: John McCarthy
Billy comes out fast and storms George against the cage. George ends up getting Billy’s back and drops hammerfists. They roll and George gets better back position. George works Billy over some more and is able to sink in the rear naked choke.
Winner: George Sotiropoulos by rear naked choke at 1:36 in round 1.
Richie Hightower vs. Troy Mandaloniz (Welterweight)
Referee: Steve Mazzagatti
Troy refuses to lose to a guy with a peacock haircut. We shall see. Richie throws with Troy to start and then gets a takedown. Troy scrambles to his feet. Richie is definitely the aggressor here. Mandaloniz nails a hard clean right hand and Hightower shakes it off. Troy starts to land some clean kicks as Hightower shows signs of fatigue. Richie is also keeping his hands down, probably not the best defense against a guy that intends to knock your stupid haircut off. They get into a clinch. Troy pushes out and lands a jab that puts Richie down. Two more hammerfists bust Richie open and force Mazzagatti to stop the fight.
Winner: Troy Mandaloniz by TKO at 4:20 in round 1.
Jon Koppenhaver vs. Jared Rollins (Welterweight)
Referee: Steve Mazzagatti
Jared gets an early takedown but Jon gets up and returns the favor. Rollins lands some elbows while Koppenhaver is on the top. There is far more wrestling than striking at this point. Jon lands some elbows to Jared that really seem to piss Jared off as Rollins explodes with a flurry of elbows from the bottom position. Jon’s elbows opened up a pretty nasty cut on Jared towards the end of the round. The blood is getting into Jared’s eyes. Jon is cut on the top of his head from Jared’s retaliatory shots.
The second round begins with wild punches from Koppenhaver. They clinch and Jared gets the takedown but Jon winds up on top when they get to the ground. Both fighters are a bloody mess. The ref stands them up due to a lack of action. Jared misses a superman punch and Jon lands a nice counter right. Jared is rocked and goes in for the takedown. He gets it but is having trouble landing any strikes of consequence. Rollins briefly gets Jon’s back but is finding more success landing shots on Koppenhaver the second time he gets a mount. Rollins closes out the round with a nice series of shots. Jon apparently defended well enough to keep the ref from stopping the fight. Good thing for him that Herb Dean wasn’t assigned this fight.
The crowd is really getting into this fight and moreso into Jon Koppenhaver. “War Machine” chants have even broken out. I don’t understand his appeal but it seems to be there. Jon blocks Jared’s takedown attempt and gets top position as they both sort of sink to the canvas. Jon lands some good shots from the top as another War Machine chant makes an appearance. They are stood up and Jon goes in for the takedown. Jared stops it and lands a knee out of the clinch. A left hand drops Jon into a squatted position where Jared lands a knee and another clean left that then put Jon to the ground. Joe says the knee was legal since Jon was squatting and not officially down. Jared gets on top of Jon but Jon does a hiptoss reversal and gains the top position. Jon unloads with right hands and has Jared in trouble. So much trouble that the ref has to come in and stop it because Jared is knocked out. A great fight and a great show of heart from both men.
Winner: Jon Koppenhaver by TKO at 2:01 in round 3.
Mac Danzig vs. Tommy Speer (Welterweight)
Referee: Yves Lavigne
Tommy combos into a clinch. Mac tries to trip him up and pushes him against the cage. Mac gets a takedown in the center of the octagon. Mac gets full mount on Tommy and unloads with punches. Tommy gives up his back and Mac sinks in a rear naked choke for perhaps the easiest win of all the Ultimate Fighter finales.
Winner: Mac Danzig by rear naked choke at 2:01 in round 1.
Matt Arroyo vs. John Kolosci (Welterweight)
Referee: John McCarthy
Kolosci swings wild to begin and Matt lands a nice counter left. Matt tries to get John’s back and ends up with a guillotine instead. John escapes the guillotine but then finds himself in an armbar. John powerbombs his way out of the armbar only to find himself in a deeper version of the same armbar. John is able to roll and spin his way out of the second attempt. Watching this fight just reminds me how lame it was that Matt was unable to fight Mac. That would have been an interesting matchup. John is in the top position with Matt. Nothing happens and the ref stands them up. Matt brings John down with another guillotine but is unable to put him away. John is working from the top and Matt transitions into an armbar out of nowhere.
Winner: Matt Arroyo by armbar at 4:42 of round 1.
Roger Huerta vs. Clay Guida (Lightweight)
Referee: John McCarthy
Guida gets a single-leg takedown to start but Huerta scrambles back up to his feet. Guida gets another takedown. They roll around for a bit and get into positions that I don’t really know the names of. Guida has Huerta’s back but that doesn’t last long. Huerta lands a knee to Guida’s head and Guida retaliates with the same but Huerta had a knee on the ground. Big John haults the action and gives Guida a warning for the illegal blow to a downed opponent. They slug it out and Huerta lands a good head kick but Guida comes back with a nice right hand. Guida tries for Huerta’s back and ends up flattening him. Huerta scrambles out and these guys trade positions until the first round ends.
They trade combos until Guida goes for and gets the takedown. They get back up to their feet and exchange one-twos. Guida gets another takedown. They are lightweights so they don’t remain in one position for a long time. That turns recapping into a frustrating task. Huerta lands some nice punches that back Guida up to the cage. Guida comes back and destroys Huerta with a right hook. Huerta grabs hold of Guida as he tries to prevent a ground and pound stoppage. Guida turns batshit crazy and throws double hammerfists. It looks like he’s throwing a temper tantrum on Huerta’s face.
They exchange punches as they always do to begin rounds. Huerta finally catches on that Guida will shoot after about ten seconds and lands a good knee when Guida does in fact shoot in. Another knee puts Guida on the run. Huerta follows and lands a nice left right combo. Guida goes for a lazy takedown because he didn’t have strong legs underneath him. Huerta is able to spin onto Guida’s back and secure a choke for the tapout.
Winner: Roger Huerta by rear naked choke at 0:51 in round 3.
– Roman Mitichyan defeated Dorian Price by ankle lock submission at 0:23 in round 1.
– Jonathan Goulet defeated Paul Georgieff by rear naked choke at 4:42 in round 1.
It was a good night of action mixed in between Rambo commercials and hype for Dana White’s announcement. Does Rambo really need a return? I guess Rocky kind of worked out for Stallone but not enough to warrant a return for Rambo. Whatever. And then I had to hear about Dana’s announcement all show long. That turned out to be that Forrest Griffin will be a season 7 coach of The Ultimate Fighter. Dana also said that TUF is becoming monotonous and promises a revamped version of the show next season. It was later revealed that the other coach will be Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Tags: Mixed Martial Arts