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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER FINALE
JUNE 1, 2012
LIVE FROM LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
=====FACEBOOK AND FUEL TV PRELIMINARY CARD QUICK RESULTS=====
* Erik Perez def. John Albert via verbal submission (armbar) 4:18 of the first round (Ed. Note - There was no tap or verbal submission, referee Kim Winslow halted the bout early. Controversial finish.)
* Joe Proctor def. Jeremy Larsen via TKO at 1:59 of the first round
* Sam Sicilia def. Cristiano Marcello via TKO at 2:53 of the second round
* Myles Jury def. Chris Saunders via submission (guillotine choke) at 3:05 of the first round
* Daron Cruickshank def. Chris Tickle via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
=====FX MAIN CARD=====
-Jon Anik and a newly retired Kenny Florian welcome fans to the FX broadcast and bring everyone up to speed on tonight's "TUF: Live" finalists, Michael Chiesa and Al Iaquinta. First up tonight on the main card, "TUF: Live" competitors Justin Lawrence and John Cofer.
FIGHT ONE: JUSTIN LAWRENCE VS. JOHN COFER (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Lawrence went for a side kick early, but Cofer sidestepped it and took him to the mat. Lawrence tried to get to the cage, then kicked Cofer off him. He popped up, then caught a kick from Cofer and took him down. Lawrence bounced back up and let Cofer stand. They traded punches. Cofer rocked Lawrence with a left, but missed a knee as he rushed in and Lawrence recovered. Cofer landed a knee to the body. He landed a short uppercut coming in. Lawrence landed a punch. Lawrence landed a good counter left. Cofer got in with a clinch and tried to throw a couple of knees. Lawrence pressed in and landed a good left. Lawrence landed a short combo. They collided, then traded strikes in close. Lawrence landed a hard two punch combo. He connected on a couple, but Cofer landed back. They traded punches again. Lawrence threw a switch kick. Cofer tried to rush in and Lawrence countered. He landed a knee at the end of the round.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Lawrence. Cofer had some good offense early, but Lawrence continued to land more often than not. Pretty close opening round, though.
ROUND TWO: Some tentative action through the first minute. Cofer landed a short flurry. Lawrence tried to engage. They traded strikes. Lawrence stalked. They traded punches again, with Lawrence landing more. Cofer landed a couple of punches. Lawrence again connected on several punches in a flurry. His output has certainly been higher than Cofer's, but Cofer is in the fight much more than the commentary is suggesting at the moment. They exchanged left hooks. Cofer landed a short flurry and a nice knee. Lawrence tried a spinning kick, and Cofer took his back standing and took him down. He dragged him back and tried to get his hooks in. Lawrence got free. He dropped down with a strike into Cofer's guard. Cofer held control of him and landed a few strikes from his back.
Penick's Analysis: 10-9 Lawrence. Another very close round, but Cofer's in it much more than Florian and Anik are suggesting right now.
ROUND THREE: They traded strikes early. Lawrence came forward, faked a knee, stepped to the side and landed a vicious head kick, right to the jaw. Cofer went out cold and crashed to the canvas. Fantastic kick to finish the fight.
WINNER: Lawrence via KO (head kick) at :19 of the third round
STAR RATING: (**) It was an "ok" fight, but the finish was certainly a highlight. Nothing special in the first ten minutes, but Lawrence delivered with that head kick in a fight that was really close prior to the finish.
FIGHT TWO: MAX HOLLOWAY VS. PAT SCHILLING (FEATHERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Schilling tried to rush in early but Holloway avoided him. Schilling shot in again and grabbed a single leg. He picked Holloway up, but Holloway used the fence to keep himself upright. Schilling went for a double leg, then back to a single, and scored a brief takedown but Holloway popped back up. Holloway landed a body kick. He landed a short combo and kept Schilling on the outside. He landed a good jab. Schilling shot in. He rolled for a knee bar but Holloway broke free. Holloway landed a few punches as Schilling was forced to stand. Schilling tried to rush in but didn't connect. Schilling landed a spinning back fist. He tried to rush after Holloway, but he was kept at bay. Holloway landed some body strikes. He missed a flying knee. Holloway landed a few kicks. Schilling landed a couple of body punches. Holloway backed him to the cage and landed a few strikes. Holloway sprawled as Schilling shot in. Schilling landed a right as they got back to their feet. Holloway backed him up again and went on the attack. Schilling shot in and got a clinch. He rolled for a knee bar as the round ended.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Holloway. Schilling's getting some offense in, but Holloway is clearly the more comfortable striker. Not a great round, but there was some decent action.
ROUND TWO: Holloway went back on the attack early and landed a good right. Schilling ducked away from a jumping attack and grabbed a clinch. Holloway eventually worked free. Holloway landed a few punches in succession on the cage, then backed off. Holloway landed a hard right. Holloway hurt Schilling with a punch and knocked him down. He backed away and made Schilling stand. Holloway backed him up again and unloaded a few strikes. Schilling circle away, but Holloway kept him on the cage. He shot in but was stuffed and made to stand. Holloway landed another body shot and continued to unload on the cage. Schilling again dropped for a takedown, but Holloway just walked away. The crowd booed as Schilling kept dropping to his back. Schilling caught a kick and went for a takedown desperately but Holloway got out again. He got up slower and slower each time. Holloway backed him up to the cage again. Schilling tried to shoot and Holloway easily got away. Holloway landed a few more strikes on the cage. Schilling landed a spinning back fist but Holloway landed a right before he could get back. He landed a flurry on the cage before the round ended.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-8 Holloway. Schilling had a couple desperation strikes land, but he did nothing in that round. This isn't a good fight, and Schilling has nothing to offer on the feet right now.
ROUND THREE: Schilling tried to rush in with some offense. Holloway landed a few body shots. Schilling got in with a nice right. They traded strikes. Schilling tried to grab a clinch, then shot in, but Holloway avoided them both. Holloway landed a few more body shots. The pace for both fighters was slowed in this round. Holloway landed a few jabs. Holloway landed several strikes, avoided a shot and landed a couple more. Schilling's just got nothing for him. Holloway landed a few strikes and knocked Schilling down. He backed off and made Schilling stand. He's had moments he could have stopped the fight throughout here. He landed another flurry on Schilling. Holloway tried a kick off the cage but it tripped him up. He landed a few kicks. He landed another nice flurry. Schilling landed a strike at the end of the round.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Holloway. He was the better striker throughout, but his finishing instincts are a little lacking as he had Schilling in a lot of trouble on a few occasions. Still, he's only 20 years old, so he's got plenty of time to improve on that front.
WINNER: Holloway via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
STAR RATING: (**-) Holloway's got a nice, diverse striking game, and at 20 years old he could develop into something at featherweight, but this really wasn't a "UFC-level" fight. Holloway's killer instinct is lacking, and he could have finished the fight on numerous occasions, and Schilling, while he had heart sticking in there through a beating, didn't have enough to offer on the feet when he couldn't get the fight to the ground. Not a good combination.
-We get a look at some numbers for Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen, before heading into a preview of the event. Seriously, why are they still trying to put on the Brazil card? This is the pay-per-view people will order. I can't imagine many people paying for Wanderlei Silva vs. Rich Franklin II with this fight coming two weeks later.
FIGHT THREE: JONATHAN BROOKINS VS. CHARLES OLIVEIRA (FEATHERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Oliveira landed an early leg kick. Brookins tried to walk him down and Oliveira pressed back. Oliveira landed a good kick to the body. Brookins popped in with a couple of strikes in close. They clinched and traded some vicious knees against the cage. Oliveira then took the center. Oliveira landed a hard body kick. He landed a real nice right. He kept the pressure on with a elf kick. He landed a right and a left behind. He landed a flying knee, but Brookins grabbed a hold of him and scored a takedown. Oliveira went for an armbar and forced Brookins off of him. Oliveira kept him off with the threat of upkicks before finally being allowed up. Oliveira went back on the attack. Brookins landed a couple of short strikes. Oliveira walked Brookins down and landed several strikes on the cage. Oliveira rocked Brookins with an overhand right. Brookins clinched but Oliveira got separation. He landed a leg kick. They traded strikes as Oliveira continued to stalk. Oliveira landed a hard right. He landed a left and kept on a hurt Brookins. Brookins fought back with a short flurry of his own. Oliveira kept him not he cage. He landed a body kick and Brookins circled away. Oliveira landed a good leg kick. He got in a knee. Brookins landed an uppercut. Oliveira threw the flying knee again and Brookins caught it. Oliveira stayed on him and they squared off to end the round. Awesome start.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Oliveira. He was peppering Brookins throughout the round, but Brookins can take a punch, and his chin held up throughout the round.
ROUND TWO: Oliveira landed a leg kick. He then landed one low, but Brookins was alright to continue. Oliveira threw a jumping straight kick that almost landed. Brookins landed a right. He threw several punches in a flurry before clinching. He ate a knee as he pressed Oliveira to the cage. Oliveira got separation again. Brookins threw a few short strikes, then got sent back by a response from Oliveira. Oliveira landed a hard right. He rushed Brookins with a flurry. Brookins tried to throw him down, then Oliveira tried to set up a takedown as Brookins grabbed for a guillotine. Oliveira tried to break free but was in the guillotine as he scored the takedown. He broke out, and landed a few elbows. He grabbed a modified D'Arce/guillotine choke up against the cage, then pulled guard and had it tight, forcing the tap. Kim Winslow was out of position and Brookins had to tap several times. Great performance by Oliveira.
WINNER: Oliveira via submission (guillotine choke) at 2:42 of the second round
STAR RATING: (***+) That was an awesome fight, and a great performance by Oliveira. His striking was on point throughout, and even though Brookins fought back against him he still had the better of it. Then he got that takedown, got out of the guillotine and set that beautiful choke up against the cage. Awesome stuff for the resurgent Oliveira, and he definitely could be a force in this weight class.
-$25,000 bonus time. Joe Proctor earned the "Submission of the Season" bonus, Al Iaquinta the "Knockout of the Season," and then Iaquinta again with Myles Jury for the "Fight of the Season." Those bonuses were voted on by fans.
FIGHT FOUR: MICHAEL CHIESA VS. AL IAQUINTA ("TUF: LIVE" LIGHTWEIGHT FINALS)
ROUND ONE: Iaquinta sent Chiesa back early with a punch. He tried to back him up to the cage. Iaquinta caught a kick and pressed Chiesa to the cage. He unloaded a few bombs before Chiesa grabbed a leg. Iaquinta tried to counter and worked to his feet. Chiesa landed a left. Chiesa landed a leg kick. Iaquinta pressed him back. Iaquinta landed a superman punch and a jab shortly behind it. He caught another kick and went for a big strike. He overshot and Chiesa got a body lock and took his back with both hooks in as he dragged him down. Chiesa locked on the rear naked choke. Iaquinta tried to fight out of it, but then went out cold. Good work by Chiesa as soon as he got that body lock on the feet. Very nice.
WINNER: Chiesa via technical submission (rear naked choke) at 2:46 of the first round
STAR RATING: (**+) Great finish from Chiesa after surviving Iaquinta's early offense. As soon as he got that body lock, he worked into position, dragged him down, locked on that choke and finished the fight.
-Anik interviewed an emotional Chiesa and his mother as well, who was reunited with him this week after 12 weeks in the house. With everything he battled through away from his family, this was certainly the feel-good end to the season.
MAIN EVENT FIGHT FIVE: JAKE ELLENBERGER VS. MARTIN KAMPMANN (WELTERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Tentative start from both fighters as they were preparing for five rounds. Then Ellenberger pressed Kampmann to the cage and dropped him with a huge left. Kampmann survived the initial onslaught with Ellenberger in his guard. Ellenberger tried to set up for a guillotine, but Ellenberger popped his head out. Ellenberger stayed patient in the guard and Kampmann continued to try to work his arms into position for a submission. Kampmann sat up against the cage. Ellenberger exploded with a short combo and stayed in guard. Kampmann continued to work for the guillotine. Ellenberger completely let Kampmann back in the fight by engaging on the ground. The crowd booed a bit at the slowed down action. I really don't know what Ellenberger was trying to accomplish on the ground. Kampmann finally worked to his feet and turned Ellenberger around on the cage. Kampmann held the clinch as the round ended.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Ellenberger. Barely. That was mind boggling from Ellenberger. He had Kampmann hurt badly with that knockdown, but he got himself caught up in his guard for almost the entirety of the round without doing much more.
ROUND TWO: Kampmann landed a good counter punch early. He pressed Ellenberger back, but Ellenberger rushed back with a big flurry. He wobbled Kampmann and busted him open as he landed another big flurry. Kampmann landed a counter and Ellenberger slowed the attack. Kampmann's face was a bloody mess. Kampmann tried to be the aggressor and walked Ellenberger down. Ellenberger slipped and Kampmann pressed him to the cage. Kampmann then unleashed a quick flurry of knees in the clinch out of nowhere that sent Ellenberger crashing down and Steve Mazzagatti stepped in almost immediately. Wow. Huge win for Kampmann.
WINNER: Kampmann via KO at 1:40 of the second round
STAR RATING: (***-) The second round was fantastic, but the first was just kind of puzzling. Ellenberger had Kampmann hurt badly twice, but then got clipped and stumbled before Kampmann pulled out that vicious flurry of knees. That's a huge win, and he moves back into legitimate contention near the top end of the division.
-Thanks for joining us here tonight as always. We'll have reaction on this event and more as we move on to next week's UFC on Fox 3 card from Florida, with the rematch between Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson and Ian McCall!
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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Chris Park - Matt Pelkey
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