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411’s TUF 28 Finale Report: Usman Wins

December 1, 2018 | Posted by Robert Winfree
Kamaru Usman UFC

Keep Refreshing For The Latest Results
#3 Rafael dos Anjos (170 lbs.) vs. #5 Kamaru Usman (170.5 lbs.)
Juan Espino (260 lbs.) vs. Justin Frazier (264 lbs.) – TUF 28 heavyweight tournament final
Macy Chiasson (144.5 lbs.) vs. Pannie Kianzad (145 lbs.) – TUF 28 women’s featherweight tournament final
#14 Bryan Caraway (135.75 lbs.) vs. #9 Pedro Munhoz (135.5 lbs.)
Edmen Shahbazyan (185.5 lbs.) vs. Darren Stewart (185 lbs.)
Ji Yeon Kim (130.5 lbs.)* vs. Antonina Shevchenko (124.5 lbs.)

Kevin Aguilar (144 lbs.) vs. Rick Glenn (148.5 lbs.)*
#3 Joseph Benavidez (125.5 lbs.) vs. #12 Alex Perez (126 lbs.)
Michel Batista (262.5 lbs.) vs. Maurice Green (259 lbs.)
Julija Stoliarenko (145.5 lbs.) vs. Leah Letson (146 lbs.)

Darrell Horcher (155 lbs.) vs. Roosevelt Roberts (155.5 lbs.)
Tim Means (170.5 lbs.) vs. Ricky Rainey (170.5 lbs.)
Raoni Barcelos (135 lbs.) vs. Chris Gutierrez (135.5 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 28’s season finale. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be suffering through this event, relaying all of the action to you just as I see it. I’m not going to lie to you guys, I hate TUF finale cards, they’re the worst paced events the UFC does and inevitably feature at least four fights that are just the worst of the event if not the worst of the year. That said the main event is pretty solid when two top welterweight contenders, Rafael dos Anjos and Kamaru Usman, battle for position in the title picture. Beyond that, there will be two TUF finals bouts featuring the heaviest weight classes the UFC has for men and women, heavyweight and featherweight respectively, but I assume none of you actually watch TUF and instead have been relying on Larry Csonka’s coverage.

Outside of the top fight there are a couple of possibly relevant fights, Joseph Benavidez is trying to avoid his first ever losing streak, Pedro Munhoz and Bryan Caraway battle for bantamweight position and Valentina Shevchenko’s sister Antonina makes her UFC debut. We also had a couple of big time weight misses, Rick Glenn missed weight by two and a half pounds for a non-title fight or three and a half over 145 and then there’s Ji Yeon Kim who missed by a catastrophic four and a half pounds at 130.5 for a 125 pound fight. For non title fights commissions give you a pound allowance, I’m not sure why but they do. In both cases that’s a bad thing to miss by those large amounts.

The Ultimate Fighter finale show comes to us from the Pearl Theater at Palms Casino Resort (most TUF finale’s take place in small venues like this) in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. On commentary we have Brendan Fitzgerald and Jimmy Smith who’ve been a pretty solid if unspectacular duo. As for the rules, Nevada has not adopted the new unified (?) rules of MMA so anything besides the soles of your feet on the mat means a fighter is considered downed and scoring language is needlessly nebulous. We do have the use of replay for a fight ending sequence though.

Raoni Barcellos is riding a five fight winning streak that includes a successful UFC debut, now he’s trying to extend that streak and establish his position in the division. Chris Gutierrez is making his UFC debut on the back of a three fight winning streak and is looking to make the best first impression he can. The odds like Barcelos at -550 against +375 for Gutierrez.

Bantamweight Bout: Raoni Barcelos (12-1, 135 lbs.) vs. Chris Gutierrez (12-2-1, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Gutierrez is two inches taller but they have identical reach measurements. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men probing with lead leg kicks or jabs, Gutierrez is doing a bit of stance switching to get a read on Barcelos. Leg kick from Gutierrez lands. Barcelos pushes forward but misses the punches. Gutierrez lands another leg kick. A few jabs from Gutierrez lands. Barcelos pressuring Gutierrez to the fence and lands a glancing right but he’s doing a better job of cage cutting now. Gutierrez avoids a right and gets off of the fence with movement. Barcelos lands a right then trips Gutierrez from a clinch but doesn’t follow him down yet. Now Barcelos goes into the guard of Gutierrez and lands a few rights. Barcelos stands, lands a leg kick, then passes to side control. I’m not sure what Barcelos is after here, he tries to mount but got too eager and Gutierrez kicks him off with butterfly hooks then regains his feet. Barcelos pushes forward but neither man lands anything else before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Barcelos but a close one

ROUND TWO: Another touch gloves for the round. Gutierrez lands a leg kick but eats a jab. Barcelos blocks a high kick then punches into the clinch which allows him to get a body lock takedown. Gutierrez has full guard right now and closes it, Barcelos lands a few short elbows. They trade some elbows and Barcelos is cut. Barcelos passes and gets the back in a scramble but only has one hook in. Lefts from Barcelos as Gutierrez gets his back to the fence then turns into Barcelos and gets half guard on the bottom. Barcelos lands a few more elbows and is looking to posture up. More elbows from Barcelos as Gutierrez gets full guard back but he’s stuffed on the fence and has limited hip mobility. Barcelos is landing punches that are opening up the pass opportunity, he gets the back again and this time gets the choke almost immediately and forces the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Raoni Barcelos via Submission, rear naked choke, at 4:12 of Round 2

That’s a pretty bad cut on the right eyebrow, might have stopped the fight between rounds. Barcelos gets an interview with his translator and says he felt the cut was deep and knew he had to use it for motivation. He talks about his background in jiu-jitsu, puts over his father who just got a white stripe on his red belt, and thanks his opponent for stepping in on short notice.

Here’s the finish. Barcelos lands rights while keeping pressure on Gutierrez’s body with his left hip, when Gutierrez tries to get to his knees that pressure lets him slide to the back and his arms are in proper position to grab the choke.

Tim Means has been a solid fighter for the UFC with largely entertaining bouts, but he currently finds himself just 1-3 in his last four fights and riding a two fight losing streak. Means needs a win badly here as going 0-3 is bad, but hitting that third loss on the Fight Pass prelims tends to signal a UFC release. Ricky Rainey has gone 2-2 over his last four fights but lost his UFC debut when he was knocked out by Muslim Salikhov, he’s after that all important first UFC win here. The odds are with the veteran Means at -350 against a +270 comeback for Rainey.

Welterweight Bout: Tim Means (27-10-1 1 NC, 170.5 lbs.) vs. Ricky Rainey (13-5, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Means is an inch taller while Rainey has two inches of reach advantage. Means fighting southpaw as they touch gloves to get us going. Quick aggression from Means, he doesn’t want Rainey to settle in. Means takes a finger to the eye but is quickly able to return to action. Rainey lands a few jabs before they clinch and Means gets a body lock takedown despite a blatant fence grab. Means pushes Rainey back over when he tried to get up and just pummels him with lefts from top position until the ref stops the fight.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Tim Means via TKO, punches, at 1:18 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Means for his work this evening. That was a straight up whuppin’ from Means, who gets an interview. He says he’s been annoyed at himself for not using all of his skills and wanted to fix that tonight, thanks his coaches for all of their work as well. He talks us through the finish then tells Diego Sanchez that if Sanchez wants to go around town saying he’ll teach him a lesson he’s welcome to bring his ass to the cage.

Here’s the finish. Means essentially big brothers Rainey on the mat and punches him repeatedly in the face.

Roosevelt Roberts is undefeated as a professional and is making his UFC debut on the back of a win on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, now he’s hoping to introduce himself to a larger audience with another win. Darrell Horcher has gone just 1-2 in the UFC and is coming off of a loss, he’s trying to get a win here while avoiding the first losing streak of his career. Roberts is your -315 favorite against +245 for Horcher.

Lightweight Bout: Darrell Horcher (13-3, 155 lbs.) vs. Roosevelt Roberts (6-0, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Roberts is much longer, he’s four inches taller but only has three inches of reach on Horcher. Horcher fighting southpaw and looking to circle at first. Front kick to the body from Roberts then an inside leg kick. Bit of a head kick from Roberts is blocked. They both miss power hand punches. Stepping knee to the body from Roberts then a right hand behind it. Body kick from Roberts but Horcher lands a glancing counter left. Horcher is the one pressing forward now, Roberts lands a knee to the body then they clinch up. Elbows from Horcher before they break and reset at distance. Horcher with a glancing left then Roberts lands a counter right. Another right from Roberts lands, there’s damage on the left eye of Horcher but he bulls forward and tries a combination that’s mostly blocked. Roberts lands the right again. Another couple of rights from Roberts then they clinch up and Horcher gets Roberts on the fence. Foot stomps from Horcher. Roberts grabs a standing guillotine, it’s really tight and he switches to a a power guillotine that forces the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Roosevelt Roberts via Submission, standing guillotine, at 4:50 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Roberts for his work this evening. Mic time for Roberts after that one, he says the win feels great and thanks his family and friends for coming out. He talks about the game plan being feint and right hand heavy, then tells everyone in the division he’s coming for them, specifically Mike Trizano.

Here’s the finish. Quick catch motion from the arm of Roberts, then look at his grip shift to really crank the pressure around the neck of Horcher as he spins him into the fence and leans into him. Pretty nasty standing guillotine.

Here’s a better look at it. The grip adjustment from Roberts is the key thing here, he switches it to apply maximum pressure from the standing position and Horcher never tries to defend appropriately once that shift is made.

That’s it for Fight Pass, on to Fox Sports 1 for the rest of the prelims.

Next we have our contractually obligated bouts featuring competitors from this season of TUF who didn’t make the finals. Leah Letson is on a four fight winning streak and has finished three of those wins, she’s hoping to extend that streak and position herself in the essentially non-existent women’s featherweight division. Julija Stoliarenko is on a longer winning streak than her record indicates as she had several custom rules bouts that aren’t counting towards her overall record while officially winning her last three MMA bouts. Now she’s trying to get that all important first UFC win under her belt. The odds are with Letson at -210 against a +170 comeback on Stoliarenko.

Women’s Featherweight Bout: Julija Stoliarenko (4-2-1, 145.5 lbs.) vs. Leah Letson (4-1, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Letson has a whopping six inches of reach on Stoliarenko despite them being the same height. They touch gloves, Letson fighting southpaw. Letson lands a left right off the bat. Stoliarenko looking to land rights, Letson looking for lefts. Technique isn’t really evident here, they’re just punching each other in the face. Body kicks go back and forth then Letson off balances Stoliarenko with a jab. Sloppy kicks from both women miss. Letson lands a couple of lefts then Stoliarenko lands a right and they’re both starting to swing in close. Stoliarenko lands a right then a bit of a left after a really ugly kick attempt from Letson missed. Stoliarenko misses a high kick and eats a few hard counters before they clinch up. Letson has Stoliarenko on the fence with a body lock. They trade punches on the break, Letson landed the better punch though. Stoliarenko is bleeding from the nose after that left. They feint away the last few seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Letson

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. A few kicks clash, and a bit of a jab from Letson. Sloppy spinning back fist from Stoliarenko misses. Letson is landing a few leg kicks now to off balance Stoliarenko. Letson lands a body kick. Now a side kick to the body from Letson. Stoliarenko with an ugly as sin shot that Letson avoids with ease. Body kick from Stoliarenko lands but there wasn’t much on it. Stoliarenko misses a high kick and eats a jab. Letson lands a body kick. Stoliarenko tries a single leg, Letson stuffs it and pushes her over then makes her stand back up. Left to the body from Letson. Stoliarenko misses a high kick but lands a right and they both try to brawl but miss most of their offense. A quick exchange of close punches and elbows, then Letson lands a straight left to the chin as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Letson but close, 20-18 Letson overall

ROUND THREE: Both women are bleeding a bit from under an eyebrow. A few leg kicks go back and forth, Letson lands a left as Stoliarenko was stepping in. Inside leg kick from Letson. Stoliarenko tries a double leg, it’s ugly but she gets to the target, then tries to jump for a guillotine, she’s got full guard but the arm is in and she’s stretching rather than crunching like you need to with the arm in. Letson gives a thumbs up and punches the body before getting her head free. They’re both stalling out a bit in the closed guard of Stoliarenko, Letson steers them into the fence and starts looking to get her posture. Short elbows from Letson but they’re not terribly effective. The ref has seen enough and resets them on the feet. Tornado kick attempt from Letson misses and Stoliarenko lands a couple of punches. Letson lands a left and a body kick. Stoliarenko is dead on her feet but there’s short time and the clock runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Stoliarenko, 29-28 Letson overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Leah Letson via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)

Crappy action, nothing interesting. Letson gets mic time, because we’re going to drag this out, and she feels humbled to be in the UFC as this is her dream. She feels confident in her conditioning after this fight given how she felt.

Also from this season of TUF we have these two. First up is Maurice Greene who was last seen officially losing at LFA 38, now he’s hoping to avoid his first losing streak and make a positive impression to the UFC audience. Michel Batista is undefeated and hoping to stay that way after this fight is over. The odds are close but lean towards Greene at -165 against +135 for Batista.

Heavyweight Bout: Michel Batista (4-0 1 NC, 262.5 lbs.) vs. Maurice Greene (5-2, 259 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Greene is four inches taller but has just an inch and a half of reach on Batista. They touch gloves, Greene doing some stance switching right away. Greene probing with some leg kicks, mostly range finding and getting a read on Batista. Left from Greene lands but Batista is in on a double leg against the fence. Elbows from Greene but Batista sucks his hips away from the fence and gets him down in full guard. Batista lands a few short punches but leaves his arm in bad position and Greene gets a triangle attempt. Greene slowly increases the pressure and position of the choke and Batista eventually has to tap out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Maurice Greene via Submission, triangle choke, at 2:14 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Greene for his work this evening. Greene gets mic time for that one, he says he wasn’t happy with how he performed on the show but hopes to have set the tone for his career and for his team for the rest of the night. He puts over his jiu-jitsu coach and his general grappling game as better than people think and tells everyone else to fight hard and leave it all in the cage. To close he thanks his coaches and children for their support.

I’ll get a better version of this as soon as possible. Batista doesn’t keep his right arm safe, Greene uses elbow/biceps control to push it back and toss his left leg around into the triangle position then locks it up as time goes on. It was a bit labored and Batista was really bad about getting free, staying on his knees is a major no-no, but Greene locked it up and got the tap. The way he uses wrist control to force the arm of Batista across his neck is especially nice.

And here’s the better version.

Joseph Benavidez just had a six fight winning streak snapped when he returned from a long layoff and lost a lack luster decision to Sergio Pettis. Benavidez is now trying to avoid his first ever losing streak and position himself to move back up to bantamweight after the UFC folds flyweight with a win. Alex Perez isn’t here to be a stepping stone though, he’s on an eight fight winning streak including being 3-0 in the UFC and a win here over a former multiple time title challenger would easily be the biggest of his career. the odds lean towards Perez at -135 to a +105 payout for a Benavidez win.

Flyweight Bout: #3 Joseph Benavidez (25-5, 125.5 lbs.) vs. #12 Alex Perez (21-4, 126 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Perez is two inches taller but has just half an inch of reach on Benavidez. Benavidez comes out southpaw and they touch gloves to get us going. Body kick from Perez and Benavidez counters with a couple of body shots. Perez is swinging quickly, he’s looping his punches a bit too much but he’s pressing things and looking to force action. They get close, Perez tries a standing arm triangle but Benavidez breaks free and swings punches to the body. Perez avoids a charging right and they trade body shots. Benavidez is kicking more than punching so far, they trade body to head punches and Perez is wobbled for a second. Perez lands a right and they clinch up on the fence. Some knees go back and forth before they break without incident. Benavidez avoids a right and lands the body to head hooks again, he’s clearly worked hard on using that combination to counter. They clash and Perez is off balanced, Benavidez tees off and the ref touches both men which is usually a signal to end but the ref changes his mind and they keep scrambling. Horrible moment for the ref there. Benavidez is holding a front headlock looking to spin to the back. Now Benavidez spins top the ride position and lands punches until the ref steps in and this time sticks with his decision.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Joseph Benavidez via TKO, punches, at 4:19 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Benavidez for his work this evening. Mic time for Benavidez, who thanks the ref for letting him get two finishes in one fight before putting over Perez as a tough up and comer. He thanks the fans and Vegas generally, tells the flyweight division generally and wants the division to continue and wants the winner of the title fight as he’s the last guy to beat Cejudo before proclaiming that flyweight isn’t going anywhere.

Here’s the finish, both the aborted one and the real one. I do kind of wonder if the ref wasn’t trying to reset the action because of the blows to the back of the head on that first sequence.

Rick Glenn has gone 3-2 in the UFC but is coming off of a win and is hoping to get another winning streak up and running here. Glenn has some added pressure as he missed weight rather badly by two and a half pounds (though not as badly as another fighter on this card) and missing weight plus losing the fight is frequently a recipe for career disaster. Kevin Aguilar is riding a seven fight winning streak that includes a win on Dana’s Contender Series that led to his UFC debut, he’s trying to take out a recognized veteran and get that all important first UFC win under his belt. Glenn is your favorite at -130 to an even +100 for Aguilar.

Featherweight Bout: Kevin Aguilar (15-1, 144 lbs.) vs. Rick Glenn (21-5-1, 148.5 lbs.)*

ROUND ONE: Glenn is five inches taller while Aguilar has two and a half inches of reach on him, and of course Glenn missed weight rather badly. Glenn is fighting southpaw, and is feinting while coming forward. Head kick from Glenn is mostly blocked. Body kick from Glenn lands. Aguilar lands a body kick of his own. Left from Glenn off balances Aguilar but he recovers quickly. Aguilar lands a right to the body. More lefts from Glenn have the nose of Aguilar bleeding. Aguilar is ducking then countering with an uppercut to the body, Glenn doesn’t like that and gets a clinch but Aguilar quickly gets free. Left from Aguilar and a right wobble Glenn, Aguilar is looking to stalk him down. There’s already swelling around the right eye of Glenn from that flurry. Aguilar wings a right to the body, Glenn responds with a body kick and they clinch. Body shots from Aguilar in the clinch and they disengage with a right to the head from Aguilar. That uppercut from Aguilar is money so far and he’s timing it well. Hard body shot kick from Aguilar after he ate a hook, they trade punches in close then Aguilar has a combination partially blocked as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Aguilar

ROUND TWO: Glenn showing the jab to start the second round and looking to back up Aguilar. Aguilar lands a left hook over the top of Glenn’s defense. Again that left from Aguilar in combination, Glenn is landing inside leg kicks though. Right to the body from Aguilar and Glenn is after a takedown against the fence. Aguilar breaks free and they reset in the middle of the cage. Left from Glenn lands, Aguilar responds with a couple of rights. Right to the body from Aguilar. Another uppercut from Aguilar to the body of Glenn. Glenn lands a straight left. Aguilar lands a body kick. A bit of a pull back left from Aguilar lands then a right to the body. They get close and trade elbows before separating. More body shots from Aguilar as Glenn lands an elbow, these two are throwing down if nothing else. Glenn lands a body kick. Aguilar digs to the body again then lands a right to the chin. Knee from Glenn lands, both men bleeding a bit at this point. Left from Glenn, Aguilar responds with a right. They clinch up and end the round there.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Aguilar, 20-18 Aguilar overall

ROUND THREE: Aguilar lands a body kick to get the last round going. They clinch up, then break without incident. Aguilar keeps digging the right to the body of Glenn then lands a body kick as well. Glenn lands a left and eats a counter right. Right from Aguilar lands. Another right to the body from Aguilar, Glenn lands a right elbow in close and we get some brawling. Glenn is firing the power leg kick then they trade inside leg kicks. Aguilar steps into a jab, Glenn lands a body kick as well. Hard overhand right from Aguilar drops Glenn, Aguilar follows him down and starts landing punches form top position while Glenn tries to recover. Elbows from half guard from Aguilar but he’s not pressing this as Glenn is looking to shrimp. Aguilar moves to the back, gets both hooks in but has to settle for the ride position after a scramble. They settle back into half guard with Aguilar on top landing short punches. Glenn’s left eye is shut completely, Aguilar lands a right as they get up to the feet. Hard inside leg kick from Aguilar then a right to the body. Left hook from Aguilar but Glenn clips him with an elbow that wobbles him. Aguilar is after a takedown against the fence, Glenn trips him down, they’re back up and the clock runs down there.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Aguilar, 30-27 Aguilar overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Kevin Aguilar via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

That turned into a heck of a fight by the end.That’s Fight of the Night so far, and Aguilar gets an interview and calls the UFC fans the best fans in the world and promises more bloody wars in the future. He puts over Glenn as a tough guy and calls the UFC fighters the best and he must increase his game accordingly.

That’s it for prelims but we’re still on Fox Sports 1 for the main card.

Ji Yeon Kim has gone 2-1 in the UFC and is on a two fight winning streak but likely finds herself in hot water after this. Kim took this fight on short notice, which likely contributed to her missing weight by a whopping four and a half pounds and she now finds herself in desperate need of the win because a big weight miss plus a loss never looks good. Antonina Shevchenko is the younger sister of flyweight contender Valentina Shevchenko and brings an undefeated record into her UFC debut, she’s looking to remain perfect and start her own march up the division rankings. The odds are with Shevchenko at -300 against a +230 comeback for Kim.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Ji Yeon Kim (8-1-2, 130.5 lbs.)* vs. Antonina Shevchenko (6-0, 124.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Shevchenko is an inch taller but Kim has five inches of reach advantage in addition to missing weight so badly. Shevchenko is fighting southpaw and they touch gloves to get us going. Leg kicks from Shevchenko, Kim lands a bit of a left. Kim is probing with the right, neither woman having a lot of success just yet. Shevchenko lands a jab, then a delayed one two combination. Side kick to the face from Shevchenko and she avoids a right. There’s a Thai clinch and Shevchenko lands some knees to the body before they break. Kim lands a bit of a right, they trade in close and Shevchenko loses her balance for a moment but recovers quickly. There’s a pull back counter available for Shevchenko every time Kim leans to throw her right. Shevchenko lands a couple of front kicks to the face before they clinch up and Kim winds up no the fence. Kim is able to turn Shevchenko into the fence and they resume jockeying for position. They trade knees to the thigh and body while spinning a few times. Things stall out and the ref separates them because of it. Shevchenko lands a counter left then a right hook. They clash off of a left from Shevchenko then Shevchenko hits a head and arm throw to land on the mat where they just hang out for the last few seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shevchenko

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. One two from Shevchenko lands. Again Kim leans too far with that right and Shevchenko lands a couple of counter shots, that’s been working for her. They clinch up off of a spinning attack from Shevchenko and Kim pushes her into the fence. A few knees go back and forth but there’s not much going on. Shevchenko is able to land more knees and spin Kim into the cage. The ref breaks them up after they’d stalled out and we’re at distance again. Jabs from Shevchenko and she catches Kim off balance with a left. Shevchenko lands a body kick. Kim is still single shotting too much, Shevchenko’s volume is wearing her down. A series of lefts land for Shevchenko. They clinch up and Shevchenko lands knees to the body from a Thai clinch. More knees from Shevchenko then an elbow as they break. Stiff jab from Shevchenko lands. Spinning elbow from Shevchenko mostly lands thena right to follow up. Front kick from Shevchenko then a jab. The more comfortable Shevchenko gets the more she’s pulling away from Kim in this fight. Body kick from Shevchenko. They clinch up and hit the fence where they just hang out for the last seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shevchenko, would be 10-8 under the new rules, 20-18 Shevchenko overall

ROUND THREE: Kim comes out jabbing, Shevchenko catches a leg kick and punches Kim down then follows her into the guard. Elbow from Shevchenko but Kim is fighting for wrist control and keeping her guard closed but is working her legs up the body of Shevchenko. Shevchenko looking to posture up but Kim is fighting for some kind of arm control constantly to keep her from landing damage. Shevchenko stands, and lands knees to the chest/face when Kim was getting up, that first knee was to the chin and the ref stops the action to warn Shevchenko and let Kim recover. Kim is good to continue and Shevchenko lands a body kick but eats a counter right. They clinch, Shevcheno lands knees to the body before they hit the fence. They break without incident. Left from Shevchenko lands. Kim ducks under a spinning attack but Shevhcenko grabs a Thai clinch and lands knees to the body and head before they break. Shevchenko lands another body kick. Another clinch position, Kim gets Shevchenko to the fence but isn’t doing much. body shots now for Kim but Shevchenko spins her and lands knees. More knees and punches, then a left from Shevchenko, another clinch, more knees and time runs out.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shevchenko, 30-27 Shevchenko overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Antonina Shevchenko via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Mic time for Shevchenko, she says the training camp was hard but thanks her sister for helping out and puts over her sisters upcoming title fight. She talks strategy a bit and wanted to win technically against a fighter known for her striking.

Darren Stewart was on a three fight losing streak coming into 2018, but has won twice this year and is looking to improve that streak here while proving he’s finally finding his UFC footing. Edmen Shahbazyan is undefeated and coming into his UFC debut based on his win on Dana’s Contender Series, he’s looking to remain perfect and score that all important first UFC win. Shahbazyan is a -130 favorite against a +100 comebackon STewart.

Middleweight Bout: Edmen Shahbazyan (7-0, 185.5 lbs.) vs. Darren Stewart (9-3 1 NC, 185 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Shahbazyan is two inches taller while the reach is identical. I missed the start but come back in thirty seconds in as Shahbazyan is after a body lock takedown against the fence. Shahbazyan is riding Stewart, lands a knee as they’re upright and Stewart is cut above the right eye. Another knee from Shahbazyan and he switches from a rear waist lock to a double leg, then back to the waist lock and gets a hook in as they’re standing. Shahbazyan bails on the hook for securing the body lock and lands a few rights then a couple of knees and hits a mat return but Stewart is back up. Credit to the tenacity of Shahbazyan as he gets the double leg against the fence, he’s hitting mat returns but Stewart is bouncing up even if he can’t get free. Head kick from Shahbazyan as they break. Another clinch from Shahbazyan, both men looking for trips before Stewart gets pressed into the fence and Shahbazyan lands an elbow. Stewart lands an elbow as they break. Shahbazyan ducks under a right and gets another clinch. Stewart lands another elbow as they break, Shahbazyan might be slowing down. Knee to the head from Shahbazyan but Stewart just eats it and chases Shahbazyan to the fence where they start brawling in close. They clinch, knee from Shahbazyan and they break then Shahbazyan gets a double leg against the fence. Stewart is sitting on the fence as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shahbazyan

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Stewart is trying to use crisper striking, Shahbazyan gets a single leg to the fence and is looking to dump Stewart onto his back. Shahbazyan gets the double leg against the fence and moves to the ride position with one hook in. Stewart back up, Shahbazyan switches to a front headlock to control Stewart on his knees. Stewart back up, eats a knee and they trade elbows in the clinch. High crotch attempt from Shahbazyan now, he gets a rear waist lock off of the attempt and lands knees to the thigh. Stewart turns chest to chest and they start jockeying for position. Shahbazyan after another double leg but Stewart’s base is too wide so he comes up for another body lock on the hip. Double leg now from Shahbazyan but Stewart threatens a switch, Shahbazyan rides him down and gets the ride position again. Both hooks in now for Shahbazyan then a body triangle and he’s after the choke but can’t get it yet. Stewart stands and Shahbazyan has the backpack position. Shahbazyan bails on that bot keeps a body lock and lands a knee to the head, then another. More knees from Shahbazyan as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shahbazyan, 20-18 Shahbazyan overall

ROUND THREE: Touch of gloves for the last round. Stewart showing the lead hand but missing mostly. Bit of a right from Stewart. Shahbazyan gets a double leg but Stewart moves to the fence and looks to wall walk immediately. They’re up but Shahbazyan has a clinch. Stewart lands an elbow and blocks a double leg attempt. Shahbazyan breaks and is wobbled from that Stewart offense. Another clinch after Stewart landed a left hook, and Stewart finds himself on the fence. Shahbazyan gets the double leg, Stewart wall walks but Shahbazyan is on his back with a waist lock again. They jockey for position a bit and Stewart winds up on the fence again. The ref breaks them up and we’re back at distance. Shahbazyan is mostly gassed, but ducks a right and gets a clinch that Stewart trips him off of. Stewart lands punches to the body and head as Shahbazyan is on his hands and knees. Shahbazyan tries to roll for a knee bar, can’t get it and Stewart lands blows from top position. They’re upright ant distance, Shahbazyan gets a double leg and has Stewart down again. Stewart back up, Shahbazyan gets a single leg against the cage. Shahbazyan has the back without hooks, Stewart wall walks but can’t get free before the clock runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Stewart, under the new rules would be 10-8, 29-28 Shahbazyan overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Edmen Shahbazyan via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x3)

Not sure on Stewart taking either of the first two rounds. Mic time for Shahbazyan who thinks this is just the first of many UFC wins, then says he wasn’t hurt in the third round just tired but he pulled through. He wants Fight of the Night, wont get it based on that.

Pedro Munhoz has an impressive recent record of 5-1 and is coming off of a win over Brett Johns, now he’s looking to get his second UFC winning streak up and running while scoring a win over a durable veteran. Bryan Caraway has gone 2-2 over his last four fights and is coming off of a loss to Cody Stamann, he’s trying to avoid what would be his first UFC losing streak and reassert himself as a relevant top level fighter. The odds are with Munhoz at -275 to a +215 comeback on Caraway.

Bantamweight Bout: #14 Bryan Caraway (21-8, 135.75 lbs.) vs. #9 Pedro Munhoz (16-3 1 NC, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Caraway is two inches taller and has three inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to start things off. Munhoz opens with leg kicks and avoids a takedown attempt. Caraway lands a right. More leg kicks from Munhoz, Caraway lands a jab and tries a double leg that hits the fence and stalls out. They break without incident and Munhoz lands a left. Caraway is bleeding under the right eye. Munhoz lands another leg kick, this time Caraway returns it. Defense isn’t a priority for either man, they’re just trading blows. More jabs from Munhoz and a right. Caraway lands a jab. They trade in close, Munhoz is the more accurate striker so far and clips Caraway with some hooks. Front kicks to the body from Munhoz, one crumples Caraway and Munhoz pounds him out quickly on the mat.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Pedro Munhoz via TKO, body kick and punches, at 2:39 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Munhoz for his work this evening. Solid win for Munhoz, though Caraway is really unhappy with the stoppage. Munhoz gets an interview and puts over Caraway as a tough opponent but he wants to take over. He talks us through the finish, notes that he hurt Caraway tot he leg and body and he just capitalized on an opening. Asked who’s next for him, he says he doesn’t call out anyone but he’s always ready to fight.

Now we come to the two TUF finals bouts. Macy Chiasson is undefeated overall and is looking to remain that way while claiming whatever value winning a season of TUF has. Pannie Kianzad is on a two fight winning streak but had lost three in a row before that, now she’s looking to score the biggest win of her professional career in her UFC debut. The odds are with Kianzad at -120 against a -110 for Chiasson.

Women’s Featherweight Bout: Macy Chiasson (2-0, 144.5 lbs.) vs. Pannie Kianzad (10-3, 145 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Chiasson is three inches taller and has a significant six inches of reach on Kianzad. Chiasson comes forward quickly, they trade body work while trying to figure each other out. Kianzad lands a right, Chiasson lands a few knees from a brief Thai clinch. They clinch up after a failed takedown from Kianzad and Chiasson gets things tot he fence. Kianzad lands a knee to the body as they jockey for position. A few more knees go back and forth while they fight for position but Chiasson can’t get a takedown. More knees go back and forth then Kianzad lands a left, Chiasson lands a knee to the head and goes for a single leg. Chiasson after a takedown but can’t finish so they wind up spinning and trading knees while Chiasson keeps Kianzad on the fence. More knees and spins, Kinazad lands an elbow as they break. Right from Kianzad then Chiasson lands a body kick. Chiasson sprawls on a long single leg attempt, then she spins to the back and gets a body triangle immediately. Horrible shot from Kianzad but there’s short time so she might see the end of the round. Chiasson is after the choke but time will run out on the attempt.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Chiasson

ROUND TWO: Chiasson comes out quickly, they trade front kicks then Chiasson gets a clinch on the fence and we’re back to this position. A few knees go back and forth then Kianzad lands a right palm strike and spins Chiasson to the fence. They break with punches, Chiasson lands a couple of punches that drop Kianzad then dives into her guard on the ground. Kianzad is pressed into the fence limiting her offense as Kianzad gets an armbar. Chiasson tries to walk over the body of Kianzad, and does to release the pressure and then she gets the back with both hooks in. Chiasson is after the choke, she’s under the chin and traps an arm with her legs then goes palm to palm with her grip and forces the tap from Kianzad.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Macy Chiasson via Submission, rear naked choke, at 2:11 of Round 2

Generic action but at least it didn’t go any longer. Mic time for Chiasson and she gets a glass trophy, she says winning is amazing and thanks her coaches for getting her to this point. She puts over Kianzad as a tough opponent and talks through the armbar escape. She thanks her fans, she has a vocal contingent in the crowd, to close her interview.

Here’s the finish. Kianzad goes for the armbar but doesn’t seem to have the proper grip, and more importantly doesn’t bail on the belly down variation when Chiasson starts moving around her. It’s important when going for that version of the armbar to know when to abandon it because otherwise they spin around and get your back, just like this.

For the last TUF finals bout we have this affair. Juan Espino is riding a six fight winning streak and his only professional loss is to Vitaly Minakov, he’s hoping to extend that streak and make a good impression to the UFC audience as well as take home that glass plaque they give winners of this show. Justin Frazier has won his last three bouts and is similarly looking to announce himself as a heavyweight of possible relevance with a win here. The odds are with Espino at -160 against +130 for a Frazier win.

Heavyweight Bout: Juan Espino (8-1, 260 lbs.) vs. Justin Frazier (10-2, 264 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Espino is three inches taller and has a massive seven and a half inches of reach on Frazier. Frazier is southpaw, and they touch gloves. Espino immediately ducks under a punch and gets a takedown into half guard with ease. Punches form Espino, Frazier looking to wall walk but that just lets Espino get to the ride position and punch him more. Lots of pressure and control from Espino as he looks for openings to strike from. Espino lands a couple of lefts to the head, he’s also getting wrist control to strip the posts from under Frazier when he tries to stand. Full back mount for Espino and he starts landing punches while trying to flatten Frazier out. Espino after the choke, he’s got more of a crank but Frazier gets out of it. Frazier scoots out the back door and is up but Espino drives him back tot he fence and lands knees from a clinch. They trade then Espino gets a knee tap and this time moves to side control almost instantly. Mounted crucifix position, Espino is after an americana, switches to a straight armbar and gets the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Juan Espino via Submission, straight armbar, at 3:36 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Espino for his work this evening. At least it didn’t go very long. Espino on the mic now along with his translator, he speaks with broken English but doesn’t seem to understand all of it. He dedicates the win to his family, thanks the fans and says El Guapo is here. I don’t see Bas Rutten anywhere so I’m just taking his word for that. He says he worked hard to adapt on the fly and find the right way to take out his opponent. He’s back to speaking Spanish now, he hopes to be fighting more in the UFC and hopes more Spanish fighters will make the effort to get here.

For whatever it’s worth here’s the finish.

Rafael dos Anjos is one of the best technicians in MMA history and a former UFC lightweight champion, after moving up to welterweight he won three in a row but is coming off of a loss when he battled for the interim welterweight title. Dos Anjos is trying to avoid another losing streak and maintain a relevant standing in the division. Kamaru Usman is riding a very long twelve fight winning streak and has yet to lose in the UFC, now coming off of a win over Demian Maia he’s looking to position himself as either the next title challenger or at least force a guaranteed title eliminator bout by taking out dos Anjos. Usman is your -285 favorite to a +220 comeback for dos Anjos.

Welterweight Bout: #3 Rafael dos Anjos (28-10, 170 lbs.) vs. #5 Kamaru Usman (13-1, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Usman is the much bigger man, he is four inches taller and has six inches of reach on dos Anjos. Dos Anjos fighting southpaw, and is visibly smaller once they get next to each other. Both men probing with the lead hand, Usman lands a front kick to the body. Usman grabs up a single leg attempt that hits the fence but dos Anjos breaks the grip and forces him up chest to chest. They trade knees then dos Anjos lands an elbow as they break. Dos Anjos is trying out the orthodox stance occasionally, they both land punches in close then Usman gets an elevated double leg takedown into half guard. Dos Anjos is looking to wall walk, he’s back up but still in the clinch with Usman. They wind up chest to chest in the clinch trading knees and hammer fists to the body. Usman after another takedown but dos Anjos is defending so far. They trade some dirty boxing combinations then dos Anjos gets free and separates. Usman wings a right that lands to the body when dos Anjos tries a jumping knee and Usman winds up in the clinch on the fence looking for a double leg. Dos Anjos thinking about selling out for a guillotine, he thinks better of it to land elbows and keep defending the takedown. Usman hits an angle on his single leg attempt and gets on top in the guard of dos Anjos. Some punches land elbows land for Usman, dos Anjos pushes him upright with his feet and lands a good up kick. Usman back into the guard, dos Anjos lands a few elbows as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Usman

ROUND TWO: Dos Anjos lands a couple of punches in close then an inside leg kick. Usman has a kick blocked but pushes into the clinch and lands an elbow. Dos Anjos defending in the clinch, lands a knee to the body but can’t get free from Usman. Usman is mixing things up more here in the clinch instead of just being in one mode. Dos Anjos keeps blocking the takedown attempts but can’t get out of the clinch. Knees go back and forth then Usman goes for a takedown, dos Anjos lands an elbow while defending. Usman switches to an ankle pick and gets dos Anjos down landing in his guard. Dos Anjos lands some elbows from his back. Usman has good control but isn’t doing much with it yewt. More elbows from dos Anjos, he’s after a kimura, he’s nearly got it and is after it but Usman is able to avoid the legs coming into play and move to relative safety. Dos Anjos still with the kimura, gets the sweep and is back up landing punches. Usman lands a jab, dos Anjos lands a leg kick. Another clinch, Usman lands an elbow after taking a knee to the body. Bit of an uppercut from dos Anjos then a leg kick and a high kick. Another leg kick from dos Anjos, Usman comes forward but eats kicks and they tend the round trading knees in the clinch.

SCORECARD: 10-9 dos Anjos, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Usman coming forward early, lands some heavy body shots, dos Anjos lands a body kick. They both land punches in the pocket, dos Anjos is staying on the cage too much, and Usman is back into the clinch. There’s blood coming from the bridge of dos Anjos’ nose. Usman gets a takedown, dos Anjos looking to wall walk from his knees. Dos Anjos is back up but Usman has the clinch and hits a mat return then a few knees as dos Anjos gets back up. They break and dos Anjos lands an uppercut. Right from Usman lands, and another one. More leg kicks from dos Anjos, Usman dives on a double leg against the fence and gets dos Anjos down again this time landing in half guard. Dos Anjos is holding a double wrist lock position looking for a sweep again, he’s really going for it but Usman gets his arm free and looks for a front headlock but dos Anjos is back up looking for a takedown of his own against the fence. The single leg from dos Anjos is countered with a crotch flip from Usman and dos Anjos is back on his knees with Usman holding a front headlock. Dos Anjos back up, still in the clinch though. Knees from dos Anjos, Usman with lefts to the body. They break without incident and dos Anjos misses a head kick. Left lands for dos Anjos and a jab behind it. Leg kick from dos Anjos, and another one. Usman lands a right of his own. Jabs go back and forth, dos Anjos avoids a takedown as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Usman, 29-28 Usman overall

ROUND FOUR: Dos Anjos working the jab, Usman stalking forward. Left lands for dos Anjos, Usman lands a right. High kick from dos Anjos is mostly blocked. Usman lands an uppercut as dos Anjos angles away from the fence. Dos Anjos lands a heavy leg kick. More leg kicks from dos Anjos but he eats counter hooks this time and Usman looks to swarm on the fence. Usman gets a rather academic double leg into the guard of Usman and lands some elbows that have opened up dos Anjos even more. Dos Anjos is trying to wall walk, but give sup the ride position and Usman is free to mat return dos Anjos and get on top in half guard. Usman lands a few lefts and left elbows. More lefts as dos Anjos looks to wall walk but dos Anjos is fading in the grappling positions. Mat return from a rear waist lock for Usman and he’s in half guard again working short shots to the head of dos Anjos. Usman is working a front cradle now to keep dos Anjos from getting up then lands some punches as he stands over dos Anjos. Hammer fists from Usman. Usman lands short elbows from the guard as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Usman, 39-37 Usman overall

ROUND FIVE: Dos Anjos likely needs a finish if he wants to win this. Left to the body from dos Anjos, Usman lands to the body as well and is putting his hands together with that offense. Usman has the clinch now and is tripping dos Anjos down, he’s looking for the back as dos Anjos is bleeding from his ears. Dos Anjos tries a sweep but Usman hits him and forces a wall walk then uppercuts him in close quarters. Dos Anjos lands an elbow of his own but Usman is out working him consistently in this position. More body work from Usman and he gets a double leg, dos Anjos tries to sell out for a guillotine but Usman is in side control so he’s not in danger at all. Dos Anjos is fighting to get his guard back but can’t and bails on the attempt to avoid the Von Flue choke. Usman on top and starts swinging hammer fists at dos Anjos. Dos Anjos lands an elbow but Usman is over whelming him consistently. Closed guard now for dos Anjos, Usman lands short elbows and moves to half guard after using a can opener to force the guard open. More offense from Usman, dos Anjos wont go away but he wont score the miracle comeback before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Usman, 49-45 Usman overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Kamaru Usman via unanimous decision (50-43, 49-45, 49-47)

I’m not sure you can give Usman more than the one 10-8 under the new rules, under the old ones yeah there’s at least two 10-8’s in there. Mic time for Usman, he puts over dos Anjos and then says he’s on a missing and wants a fight for the strap soon. He says winning in front of Rashad Evans means a lot, Evans is cage side, then reiterates that he wants a shot at the belt. Asked about the champ, he says he’s tired of talking because no one responds and hopes that dominating this fight shows he’s ready for the next title shot.

Well that brings The Ultimate Fighter season 28 to a close, and may there never be another one. Seriously, this thing was six and a half hours and there were obviously spots that could have been trimmed. I’ll be back tomorrow evening for UFC Fight Night 142 when the UFC returns to Australia for a heavyweight fight between Junior dos Santos and Tai Tuivasa. I hope you’ll follow along for that as well, until then stay safe out there and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

article topics :

TUF 28 Finale, Robert Winfree