While it was not a spectacular night of fights, the TUF 17 Finale was a solid night of bouts that went over without any real controversy or other disappointments. What did provide a fair amount of excitement was the fact that three of the night’s five-main-card bouts ended in major upsets. “The Menace” Bubba McDaniel (21-6) opened the card with a third-round submission of Gilbert Smith (5-2) that was not unexpected, but then “Hapa” Travis Browne (14-1-1) shut down the red hot submission expert “Napao” Gabriel Gonzaga (14-7) with a barrage of elbows from the sprawl against the cage. The ladies then stepped into the Octagon for the second time in UFC history and blue chipper “Alpha” Cat Zingano (8-0) overcame early struggles to demolish the heavily favored “Cupcake” Miesha Tate (13-4) with a “Fight of the Night” winning third-round stoppage. The upsets continued into the championship bout of The Ultimate Fighter 17 tournament as ultra-hyped number one seed Uriah Hall (7-3) came out flat and dropped a Split Decision to last-picked wrestler Kelvin Gastelum (6-0). In the main event, “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (28-6) showed the world why he is the eternal top contender at 135lbs. when he finished off fellow top bantamweight “Young Guns” Scott Jorgensen (14-7) in the fourth round.
The following fight bonuses were awarded for The Ultimate Fighter 17 Live Finale
Submission of the Night:
Daniel Pineda (over Justin Lawrence) receives $50,000
Knockout of the Night:
Travis Browne (over Gabriel Gonzaga) receives $50,000
Fight of the Night:
Cat Zingano and Miesha Tate each receive $50,000
Click here for the full list of TUF 17 Live Finale results.
The curtain has been called on the seventeenth season of The Ultimate Fighter and all that’s left is for the UFC to crown the winner on Saturday night at The Joint at The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Opening duties for the main card on FX will fall on quarter-finalist “Bubba” Robert McDaniel (20-6) as he debuts against teammate Gilbert Smith (5-1). Next out, “Hapa” Travis Browne (13-1-1) will look to rebound against former heavyweight title challenger “Napao” Gabriel Gonzaga (14-6). “Cupcake” Miesha Tate (13-3) will battle undefeated “Alpha” Cat Zingano (7-0) for a coaching position on TUF 18 to anchor the card. Filling the traditional co-main slot is the TUF Season 17 finale between Team Sonnen teammates Uriah Hall (7-2) and Kelvin Gastelum (5-0), and pulling headlining duties is a battle between former WEC Featherweight Champion “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (27-6) and “Young Guns” Scott Jorgensen (14-6).
Friday night The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada played host to the fifth annual Fighters Only MMA Awards. The awards focused on the best the world of mixed martial arts had to offer during the entire 2012 calendar year, with the 21 categories honoring fighters, media organizations, apparel companies, technical equipment, and much more. The winners though were determined by fan votes. Check out the full list of 2012 World MMA Awards below, and tune in to Fox Sports Net on January 20 to catch the ceremony broadcast.
—MAIN CARD (on Showtime)—
Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufman: Rousey via Submission (Armbar), Round 1, 0:54
Ronaldo Souza vs. Derek Brunson: Souza via KO (Punches), Round 1, 0:41
Roger Bowling vs. Tarec Saffiedine: Saffiedine via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Lumumba Sayers vs. Anthony Smith: Smith via Submission (Triangle Choke), Round 1, 3:52
TJ Cook vs. Ovince St. Preux: St. Preux via KO (Punch), Round 3, 0:20