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411’s Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale Report: Gaethje Wins

July 8, 2017 | Posted by Robert Winfree
Justin Gaethje

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MAIN CARD (FS1, 9 p.m. ET)
#5 Michael Johnson (155 lbs.) vs. Justin Gaethje (155.75 lbs.)
Dhiego Lima (170.5 lbs.) vs. Jesse Taylor (171 lbs.) – TUF 25 final
Marc Diakiese (154.5 lbs.) vs. Drakkar Klose (155.5 lbs.)
Jared Cannonier (204 lbs.) vs. Nick Roehrick (205.5 lbs.)
Brad Tavares (186 lbs.) vs. Elias Theodorou (186 lbs.)
Marcel Fortuna (205.5 lbs.) vs. Jordan Johnson (205.5 lbs.)

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 7 p.m. ET)
Angela Hill (114.75 lbs.) vs. Ashley Yoder (115.5 lbs.)
Tom Gallicchio (170 lbs.) vs. James Krause (170 lbs.)
C.B. Dollaway (205 lbs.) vs. Ed Herman (205.5 lbs.)
Jessica Eye (134.5 lbs.) vs. Aspen Ladd (135 lbs.)

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET)
Teruto Ishihara (145 lbs.) vs. Gray Maynard (145.5 lbs.)
Juliana Lima (115.5 lbs.) vs. #5 Tecia Torres (115 lbs.)


Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of The Ultimate Fighter‘s 25th season. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening. This season of TUF has been, well it’s been something I assume. I haven’t watched TUF in well over 10 seasons, and if Larry Csonka’s coverage was any indicator this season was a lot of one note coaching personalities rehashing the same stuff week after week while the two or three decent fighters from the season did what everyone expected them too. The main event here should be good though as Michael Johnson tries to confirm his top ranking against the only WSOF lightweight champion ever Justin Gaethje. Gaethje is a wild man who brings tons of violence for those who’ve never seen him fight, and Johnson is desperately trying to shore up his inconsistencies and get back on the winning side of things after he got mauled by Khabib Nurmagomedov. Dhiego Lima and Jesse Taylor will fight for the TUF crown, and really that’s about it in terms of notable things. Fortunately the fights can still be awesome and the UFC has to be hoping they are given how underwhelming the buzz for international fight week has been this time around. This event comes to us from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA with Todd Grisham and Brian Stann on commentary.

Also a quick note, about an hour or so from start time we lost the fight between Jessica Eye and Aspen Ladd. Good times, mostly this has pushed back our start time by half an hour so apologies for the later than expected start time. Also the Torres vs. Lima fight will kick off the FS1 prelims, so just Maynard and Ishihara on Fight Pass. And for those not aware, Nevada hasn’t adopted the new unified rules of MMA so one hand down is downed as well as the lack of more definitive language on scoring.

Gray Maynard was a top lightweight for a bit, but has been on a massive skid lately. Maynard is just 1-5 in his last six fights and is just 1-1 since dropping to featherweight, it’s kind of a marvel he still has a spot on the roster really. Maynard is coming off of a loss to Ryan Hall, a fight that most people thought sucked and one in which Maynard looked as bad as he’s pretty much ever looked in the UFC. Maynard cannot afford another losing streak here as he could easily be cut. Teruto Ishihara is coming off of his first loss in the UFC, but it was a rather terrible outing against Artem Lobov. Ishihara needs to rebound here as the UFC’s decision to cut back in most foreign markets has given him a little less stable position on the roster, and while a second consecutive loss wouldn’t necessarily cost him his job it would put him on very thin ice. The odds here favor the younger Isihara at -350 while a Maynard win pays out at +265.

Featherweight Bout: Teruto Ishihara (9-3-2, 145 lbs.) vs. Gray Maynard (12-6-1 1 NC, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Maynard is two inches taller, has an inch of reach advantage, and is thirteen years older. Ishihara fighting southpaw. Maynard circling a bit early, Ishihara faking with kicks. Maynard lands a bit of a right. Ishihara lands a knee to the body but gets double legged for his trouble. Ishihara moves to the fence to wall walk, Maynard keeps the clinch as he gets up and trips him down again. Ishihara trying to wall walk again. Maynard holding a front face lock, he’s pushing Ishihara into the fence and smothering him. Ishihara still trying to wall walk but Maynard stays close. Ishihara back up and lands a right then a knee to the body as they break. Ishihara tries another jumping knee but he timed it poorly and Maynard takes him down again into half guard. Ishihara nearly giving up an arm triangle, Maynard really fishing for it but can’t lock it up. Ishihara to his knees, Maynard towards the ride position but Ishihara is back up and they disengage. Ishihara lands a bit of a body kick, Maynard lands a solid right and hits another double leg. Ishihara is on the fence this time though and looking to wall walk immediately. Maynard flattens Ishihara out in half guard and lands a few elbows to the head. Maynard nearly has mount, lands a few lefts as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Maynard

ROUND TWO: Ishihara backing up Maynard again, Maynard lands a couple of short hooks. Ishihara lands a bit of a knee but again Maynard takes him down against the fence. Ishihara back up almost instantly but Maynard scoops his legs again. Ishihara to his knees, Maynard tries for a cradle and gets to full mount as Ishihara sits on the fence. Maynard has the back now, but he slips trying for hooks and Ishihara is back up in the clinch again. Maynard reaps a leg and lands on top in half guard again. Ishihara is fading a bit and he’s just fighting to get up over and over again. Maynard has the legs mounted and lands a few rights as Ishihara moves to his knees. Maynard lands a knee to the body, and pushes Ishihara over with a front face lock. Ishihara still fighting to wall walk but he can’t get Maynard off of him. Maynard towards the back, Ishihara can’t get off of his knees now and Maynard is rag dolling him with a half nelson. Maynard towards the back, Ishihara escapes and lands a knee as Maynard holds the clinch. Maynard pushes him to his knees again then gets the top of a sprawl position as Ishihara fights back to his feet. Maynard still has him on the fence and hits one more double leg. Maynard holds him down for the last ten seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Maynard, 20-17 Maynard overall

ROUND THREE: Both guys sucking some wind but Maynard has more bounce in his step all things considered. Ishihara getting a rhythm, and Maynard hits an easy double leg. Ishihara to the fence, Maynard mounts the legs and keeps Ishihara on the mat. Ishihara trying to get to his knees, Maynard stands holding a rear waist lock and lands a few knees to the body before dragging Ishihara to the mat again. Maynard after a kimura now, Ishihara trying to spin off of the fence, Maynard bails on the kimura to get to north-south position. Maynard lands a couple of knees to the body. Ishihara trying to buck off of the fence, he gets to his knees, Maynard drops for a guillotine and uses that to roll into top position holding the choke. Ishihara has half guard and Maynard can’t pass to the side to finish because of the fence and so bails on it to land a short elbow. Ishihara lands a blatantly illegal up kick and we’ve got time. The ref warns him, and restarts them in the half guard position. Maynard rolls over to side control, Ishihara tries to stand, and does but Maynard has a rear waist lock and drags him down over and over again. Ishihara just has no answer. And the fight ends with Maynard holding a rear waist lock.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Maynard, 30-25 Maynard overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Gray Maynard via unanimous decision (30-26 x3)

Well, that was certainly 15 minutes. Maynard gets an interview, kind of surprised given the short time. Maynard says that was hard fought and that wrestling is the hardest way to win. He thanks his coaches for getting him to this point. He says wrestling may have beat Ishihara easy but the next guy might need a different style, then says he’d like to fight Artem Lobov in October.

That’s it for Fight Pass, to Fox Sports 1.

Tecia Torres is 3-1 in the UFC and coming off of a win over Bec Rawlings, Torres has long been thought of as a top strawweight and currently holds a top five ranking. With strawweight being a tad light on contenders Torres could get herself into title contention with a win here and a little luck out of the cage. Juliana Lima is 3-2 in the UFC and coming off of a win, but before that she lost to Carla Esparza. Lima is looking for a career best win here over a top five opponent that would put her back into the rankings. The odds are with Torres at –450 against +325 for Lima

Strawweight Bout: Juliana Lima (9-3, 115.5 lbs.) vs. #5 Tecia Torres (8-1, 115 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Lima is four inches taller and has five inches of reach on Torres. Torres with early pressure, Lima misses a high kick. Torres lands a leg kick but Lima catches it and gets a takedown. Lima stands, just avoids an up kick and gets in the guard of Torres again. Torres kicks her off, grabs a single leg and sweeps to her feet in the clinch. Lima after another takedown, Torres grabs a standing guillotine to stall that out on the fence. Torres spins Lima into the fence. They trade a few knees while jockeying for position. Lima able to get Torres against the cage, Torres spins her quickly and tries a trip that Lima blocks but grabbing the fence. The ref separates them after they stall out. Torres has a head kick blocked. They trade inside leg kicks, Torres still pushing forward. Torres lands a left hook and gets the clinch. Torres after a single leg against the fence, she can’t finish it though and settles for holding Lima on the cage. Torres doing a good job of controlling here. Lima lands a knee to the body. Knees to the body go back and forth, Torres lands another couple of knees as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Torres

ROUND TWO: Both women showing jabs that fall short. Torres pressuring Lima back towards the fence again. Torres avoids a high kick and lands a left hook then a right. Lima reaches badly for a takedown, Torres slips to the back and has the choke. Torres calmly applies more squeeze while moving the arm under the chin and Lima has to tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Tecia Torres via Submission, rear naked choke, at :53 of Round 2

That’s the first finish for Torres ever. Torres on the mic now. She’s very happy to get her first finish, she moves into second in terms of most wins all time at strawweight in the UFC, she’s three behind Joanna Jedrzejczyk. She talks us through the finish and says she’s excited for the future, she’d like one more win and then a title shot. She specifically calls out Michelle Waterson for her next fight, then thanks her old team and her new team for their work and dedicates the fight to a friend who was murdered very recently then wishes her girlfriend a happy anniversary.

Here’s the finish, Lima bends at the waist and doesn’t drive forward, Torres is able to spin over the shoulder a bit to get the back and her arm is already basically across the neck. Nice minor adjustments to the arm position to finally get the tap.

Ed Herman has been with the UFC since way back in 2006, he’s been trading wins and losses over the last few years and is 1-1 since returning to light heavyweight. Herman is coming off of a loss and is trying to avoid his first UFC losing streak since 2008, a losing streak that could easily see a veteran on the downside of his career get the ax. Speaking of fighters on the downside of their career/on significant losing streaks (seems to be a theme for the evening) CB Dollaway is on a three fight losing streak and was last seen being knocked out by Nate Marquardt in 2015. Dollaway is moving up to light heavyweight here hoping to revitalize his flagging UFC career. Dollaway is a slight -190 favorite here while Herman’s odds sit at +155.

Light Heavyweight Bout: C.B. Dollaway (15-8, 205 lbs.) vs. Ed Herman (23-12 1 NC, 205.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Dollaway is half an inch taller while Herman has an inch of reach on him. Touch of gloves to get things going. Herman lands an overhand right that backs Dollaway into the fence. They clinch up, Dollaway lands some knees to the body then hits a trip and lands in side control. Herman grabs an armbar attempt, Dollaway spins free and eats a bit of an up kick that I couldn’t speak to the legality of. Herman tries another armbar from guard, Dollaway escapes again but those are getting closer each time. Dollaway lands a couple of short blows as he’s pushing Herman into the fence. Herman tries a knee bar, Dollaway just floats free and lands a few more blows. Herman to his knees, Dollaway holds a rear waist lock and is riding him. Dollaway pulls Herman down and is in side control again. Herman to his knees again and is back up again. Dollaway drags him back down again and this time basically lands on the back. Dollaway moves to the ride position, Herman to half guard. Dollaway trying for a kimura, he’s stepped over the head and is starting to crank on it but can’t hold the grip. Heram hits a single leg from his knees, Dollaway scoops a leg to keep top position and lands a few rights from the ride position. Herman back to his feet, Dollaway holding a rear waist lock again and rolls Herman down. Herman to full guard quickly this time. Dollaway lands a bit of a left as the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dollaway

ROUND TWO: Herman is sucking some serious wind already. Dollaway lands a leg kick. Another leg kick from Dollaway, Herman trying to counter with a one two but Dollaway is covering up. Dollaway lands a head kick, Herman just eats it. Herman lands a right that drops Dollaway, Herman on top but Dollaway kicks him off quickly. Herman lands a left to the body. Dollaway lands a jab, this is getting sloppy in a hurry. They trade lefts, they might as well be under water now. They trade rights then plod some more. Dollaway lands a bit of a leg kick, eats a left to the body. Herman lands a stiff left, Dollaway is off balance and Herman is on top in half guard. Herman lands a few knees to the body, Dollaway slips under and goes for a heel hook, Herman spins out and lands a right as he returns to the guard. Herman to half guard almost immediately. Herman floats over a bridge attempt and lands a few elbows. Herman ties up an americana, Dollaway gets his arm free. Herman with elbows to the body. Herman lands a bit of a right. Herman with a few more punches and elbows. Herman lands a couple of elbows, one of them opens up Dollaway around the eyebrow. Dollaway able to hit a reversal into half guard as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Herman, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Herman circling, Dollaway plodding forward. Neither man looking all that good. Dollaway falls for a double leg, he does get it though as Herman tries for a guillotine. Herman only has half guard and Dollaway gets his head free. Dollaway will now try to just hang out on top for the remaining four minutes and save his job. Herman tries a kimura from the bottom, he’s got it pretty high and nearly sweeps but Dollaway uses the fence positioning to stop it and retain top position. Dollaway after a kimura now, can’t get the double wrist lock though and lands a few elbows. Herman gets to full guard but he’s got to get off of the bottom. Dollaway trying to land blows but he’s missing most of these. Dollaway lands a couple of elbows. Herman doesn’t have enough left to get up and Dollaway can’t muster the energy to finish. Herman trying to set up a guillotine, Dollaway blocks the arm position. Herman tries to dive for a knee bar, nearly reverses but sells out for the submission and Dollaway rolls through back to top position. Dollaway hangs out in the ride position as time expires.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – CB Dollaway via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27 x2)

Well, that might have been a good fight five years ago, today it kinda sucked. You could give that third round a 10-8 I suppose, I don’t agree but it’s not the worst 10-8. Neither man can really stand even as the result is read, no interview. Moving on.

James Krause is on a two fight winning streak and was the only active member of the UFC roster to compete on the current season of TUF. Krause has fought exclusively at lightweight in the UFC but is up at welterweight for this fight, he’s hoping to keep that winning streak alive and build some momentum after failing to make the finals of TUF. Tom Gallicchio was another competitor on this season of TUF, he previously competed on TUF 22 and never made it into the UFC officially. Gallicchio lost his last official fight and is trying to rebound and get the all important first UFC win under his belt. The odds favor Krause pretty heavily at -450 to a tempting long shot +325 for Gallicchio.

Welterweight Bout: Tom Gallicchio (19-9, 170 lbs.) vs. James Krause (23-7, 170 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Krause is four inches taller and has just half an inch of reach on Gallicchio. Krause circling early, lands a straight right then a bit of a left. Krause lands a front kick to the face, Gallicchio catches it and gets a takedown into guard. Krause working a high guard so far, Gallicchio passes, Krause back up and Gallicchio jumps for the back. Gallicchio has the back with one hook in and is after the choke. Krause is trying to pull him around and wind up on top, he stands instead and spins free. Krause trying out southpaw now, lands a straight left. Krause lands a head kick then goes orthodox. Krause doing a lot of stance switching here. Krause lands another straight left. Gallicchio tries a double leg, Krause easily avoids it. Krause lands a straight right, he’s got a good read on Gallicchio and is counter his sloppy punches with straight shots after they miss. Krause lands a straight left. Gallicchio tries a single leg, Krause avoids it. Krause lands a left. Krause lands another high kick, he’s just levels above of Gallicchio when it comes to striking at distance. Krause lands a left hook. Krause lands a stiff counter one two then a follow up right. Krause lands a front kick to the body to close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Krause

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Krause circling again, looking to fight on the outside. Krause lands a jab. Krause lands a straight right then avoids a poorly set up takedown from Gallicchio. Krause lands another counter straight right. Krause sticks out another right that lands. Gallicchio lands a bit of a right. Krause lands a short uppercut and avoids a clinch attempt. Krause lands a bit of a left. Krause working the jab, then lands a right. Krause lands a couple of more punches while avoiding the pressure of Gallicchio. Gallicchio is landing to the chest now a bit, he’s still lumbering and getting countered but he’s adjusted from aiming at the head to aiming at something he can hit. Krause lands a couple of more straight punches. Krause with another step away straight left. Krause lands a bit of a left uppercut. Krause has a head kick blocked but lands a knee to the head. Krause misses a left as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Krause, borderline 10-8 in terms of numerical disparity, 20-18 Krause overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Gallicchio pushing forward, misses a few punches then lands a body shot. Krause lands a right. Krause still evading and countering mostly. Krause lands a jab. Gallicchio tries an ugly single leg, Krause easily avoids it. Krause lands a bit of a left. Krause lands a bit of a left again. Krause lands a straight right, he might not be landing a fight ending shot but the basics of angling and countering Krause is displaying here should be studied by those getting into fighting. Krause lands a leg kick. Gallicchio’s nose is kind of a mess at this point. They both land glancing rights, Krause misses an uppercut and eats a bit of a right. Krause lands a right then a left hook and avoids a takedown attempt. Krause blocks another double leg attempt. Gallicchio lands a right. Krause lands a straight counter left. Another left from Krause lands. Krause lands a right. Krause lands a couple of punches then a head kick, Gallicchio dives for a takedown but Krause sprawls. Krause lands a stepping knee to the head then they trade rights as time runs out.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Krause, 30-26 Krause overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – James Krause via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Krause looked pretty good there, and he gets an interview now. He says this is the first time he’s ever fought a friend and gets the crowd to applaud for Gallicchio. He says he couldn’t start slow and puts over Gallicchio again. Asked about Gallicchio’s toughness, he says he was a little surprised that he ate those head kicks but he’s never been a one punch kind of guy but more of a volume striker. He puts over his head coach to close out his mic time.

Nothing terribly fancy but again, this is textbook angling and countering from Krause.

Angela Hill was the most recent Invicta strawweight champion and returned to the UFC early this year in a wild fight with Jessica Andrade that she lost. Hill is after her first UFC win since 2014. Ashley Yoder lost her UFC debut and is trying to avoid going 0-2 in her first two fights, something that could easily lead to her getting cut from the UFC. The odds lean towards Hill at -325 while they sit at +250 for Yoder.

Strawweight Bout: Angela Hill (6-3, 114.75 lbs.) vs. Ashley Yoder (5-2, 115.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Yoder is four inches taller and has five inches of reach on Hill. Yoder fighting southpaw. Some circling to start, both women feinting early and trying to get a read on the other. Yoder lands a front kick to the body. Hill lands a bit of a right. Yoder tries for a takedown, it stalls on the fence. Yoder is able to get her hands together and gets Hill down. Hill wall walks, Yoder tries to climb for the back but can’t secure it and they wind up clinched with Yoder on the fence. Hill lands a knee to the body before they break. Hill lands a bit of a right. Hill lands a leg kick. Hill lands a straight right, Yoder lands a bit of a body kick. They trade leg kicks then Hill lands another long right. Hill lands a leg kick after taking a body kick. Hill misses a couple of punches and lands a leg kick. Hill really doing a good job of keeping the center of the cage and keeping Yoder off balance. Hill lands a right then a leg kick. Yoder lands a body kick but her strikes are visibly more labored. Hill lands a head kick. They both fail to connect solidly over the last few seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hill

ROUND TWO: Yoder tries a single leg, she gets Hill down quickly and moves to half guard. Hill looking to regain her feet but Yoder does a good job of securing top position. Yoder trying to set up a knee slide towards mount but Hill is blocking her. Hill to full guard now. Hill is able to kick Yoder off, Yoder tries to get her back but slips again and now Hill is on top and lands a right. Yoder has full guard. Hill trying to get some posture but Yoder is holding on. Hill stands free and lands a leg kick as Yoder stands. Hill pressuring forward, has a head kick blocked. Hill lands a straight right. Hill has another head kick blocked. Hill lands a straight right, she’s got a good bit of hand speed on Yoder. Hill lands a body kick to close out the round.

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

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Yoder lands a bit of a body kick. Hill lands a solid right. Yoder tries a single leg, can’t finish it and Hill steps over to take the back. Yoder able to pull free and is after a double leg against the fence. Yoder gets an inside trip but Hill is looking to wall walk immediately. Yoder just holding on, Hill gets a leg free, gets the other free and lands a knee to the body then a right as they separate. Yoder is fading a bit, Hill still pressuring her. Yoder lands a bit of a left and avoids a high kick. Hill blocks a takedown attempt, spins Yoder into the fence and hits a double leg. Yoder trying for a guillotine but Hill pulls her head free quickly. Hill trying to keep out of danger, lands a few punches then backs out of the guard and makes Yoder stand. Hill lands a leg kick. Hill lands a glancing right. Yoder lands a body kick, Hill returns it but eats a left. Hill landing leg kicks at a higher pace now, Yoder’s lead leg is a little compromised. Hill lands a right, they both miss as the final round runs out.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Angela Hill via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Solid stuff from Hill, if you missed her run in Invicta you’d never believe she’s the same woman who the UFC cut not that long ago. Hill on the mic, she jokes that she’s never been booed and the crowd cheers her on. She says she stepped up too far too soon early in her career, I’d agree, but now that she’s taken the time to develop she feels really good. She’s not afraid of anyone and wants to fight sooner rather than later, there were six months from her last fight to this one and says that’s too long. She talks about some of her decisions in the cage to close out the interview.

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

Jordan Johnson is undefeated as a professional including a successful UFC debut when he defeated Henrique da Silva. Johnson is trying to remain perfect and prove that he’s someone to watch in the diminished light heavyweight division. Marcel Fortuna made a bit of an impact when he debuted up at heavyweight on short notice and knocked out the much bigger Anthony Hamilton, Fortuna is trying to keep an overall six fight winning streak alive and prove himself just as effective at light heavyweight. The odds lean towards Johnson at -210 against +170 for Fortuna.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Marcel Fortuna (9-1, 205.5 lbs.) vs. Jordan Johnson (7-0, 205.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Johnson is an inch taller and has a significant five inches of reach advantage as well. Touch of gloves and we’re fighting. They probe with some jabs early. Fortuna lands a leg kick but eats a right and drops, Johnson lands a follow up right as well. Fortuna able to scramble back up and separate. Still a lot of posturing going on, neither man wants to over commit. Fortuna lands a bit of an inside leg kick. Johnson lands a right to the body then a bit of a left hook. Not a whole lot going on here from either man. Johnson misses a windmill overhand right but does get close and has a rear waist lock. Johnson elevates Fortuna and gets him down but Fortuna is back up and they’re clinched on the fence. Fortuna able to spin free. They trade a few ugly jabs. Fortuna lands a right uppercut. Fortuna lands a bit of a body kick, and they circle away the last seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Johnson

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Fortuna misses a head kick. Fortuna lands a body kick. Fortuna lands a bit of a right. Fortuna lands a right, then escapes a brief clinch. Fortuna lands a jab, Johnson looks really gun shy this round. Johnson lands a left hook then a bit of a right. Fortuna lands a straight left. Johnson lands a body kick. Fortuna lands another left hook, that certainly got Johnson’s attention. They trade a bit in close and both land before they disengage. Johnson blocks a high kick. Fortuna lands a leg kick, then another one. Johnson really needs to get things in gear because he’s getting out worked. Fortuna lands a couple of punches, Johnson tries a single leg against the fence that Fortuna blocks and we’re clinched up. Johnson hits the single leg and lands a few punches from guard. Fortuna rolls under for a knee bar, they scramble then both miss as they stand back up.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Fortuna, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves again. Some more jabs, Johnson lands a bit of a right then a left hook. They clinch up, Johnson trips Fortuna to his knees then disengages. Johnson ducks under a left hook. Fortuna lands a bit of a right. Fortuna lands a bit of a right, that might be a generous call on my part. Commentary trying to sell this fight as exciting, well they tried as well with Herman vs. Dollaway so at least they’re consistently wrong tonight. Johnson blocks a takedown attempt. Fortuna lands a bit of a right then eats a left hook. They both miss a few punches. They clinch up then break without incident. Johnson lands a bit of a right uppercut in close. Johnson pushes close and they clinch up on the fence. Fortuna able to spin free. Johnson lands a left and avoids a right. Fortuna lands a left body kick. Johnson lands a glancing high kick, Fortuna kicks the body again as time runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-10 DRAW, 29-29 overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jordan Johnson via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Well, that was certainly a way to pass time as long as time moves in a linear fashion. Johnson gets an interview, no idea why. He says sometimes when you put two good fighters together you get this, he had a tough weight cut, and wants a USA chant, then says that’s all he’s got. There is no USA chant.

Brad Tavares was thought to be a top middleweight but he’s just 2-3 in his last five fights with losses to Yoel Romero, Tim Boetsch, and Robert Whittaker during that stretch. Tavares is coming into this fight off of a win and he’s trying to get his first UFC winning streak going since 2014. Elias Theodorou is on a two fight winning streak and is 5-1 overall in the UFC. Theodorou is trying to move from middle of the pack prospect towards being a top flight fighter, possibly even a contender, and a win here is critical to maintaining his career trajectory. The odds here are a -115 pick ’em.

Middleweight Bout: Brad Tavares (14-4, 186 lbs.) vs. Elias Theodorou (13-1, 186 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Theodorou has an inch and a half of reach on Tavares. Touch of gloves to get us going. Theodorou lands a bit of a leg kick after missing some punches. Theodorou lands a leg kick after having a head kick blocked. They clinch and Tavares lands a right as they break. Tavares lands a double leg from a brief clinch and Theodorou moves to his knees, Tavares into the ride position. Tavares tries for the back, can’t get both hooks in and Theodorou uses a single leg to regain his feet and they separate. Theodorou lands a body kick, Tavares lands a leg kick. Theodorou has a head kick blocked. Tavares blocks a double leg attempt and they clinch up. Tavares has Theodorou on the fence and they start jockeying for position. They trade a bit and then separate. Tavares lands a short left, he’s not biting on the posturing of Theodorou at this point. They clinch up again, Tavares lands a knee to the body. Tavares lands a short right. They break, Tavares just misses a right and blocks a high kick. Tavares lands a bit of a right. Tavares lands a bit of a head kick and a punch to follow it up. Tavares blocks a high kick. Tavares lands a leg kick, then they both miss some kicks. Theodorou lands a body kick, eats a bit of a counter right and the round closes.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Tavares

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Theodorou circling still, Tavares lands a bit of a leg kick. Tavares lands a left hook. Theodorou gets a rear waist lock, elevates and slams but Tavares is back up and they’re fighting in the clinch now. Theodorou looking for a double leg against the cage, Tavares hits a counter but neither man secures position and they’re still clinched. Theodorou lands a knee, they both miss punches as they break apart. They punch in close and trade a bit from a half collar tie. They clinch, Theodorou lands a bit of an elbow as they separate. Theodorou catches an inside leg kick and gets Tavares down, Tavares scrambles before he gets on top and Theodorou is holding a front face lock, he lands a few knees to the shoulders before they settle into the clinch. Theodorou lands a body kick as they break apart. Tavares lands a bit of a right and they clinch again. They both land glancing rights as they separate. Theodorou lands a bit of a left body kick. Tavares misses a high kick. They clinch briefly then Theodorou lands a left hook as they break. Tavares lands a knee to the body and avoids a high kick. They trade inside leg kicks. Tavares just has a head kick blocked. Theodorou lands a bit of a left hook just before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Theodorou, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Touch of gloves for the final round. Theodorou ducks a right and tries a single leg, it stalls out on the fence and they break. Theodorou dives for another takedown, he’s able to elevate and get Tavares down. Tavares quickly to the fence and is looking to wall walk. Tavares looking to hit a switch, Theodorou holding both legs and trying to keep Tavares flat. Tavares hits the switch and then scrambles upright and they’re still clinched. Theodorou holding Tavares on the cage, Tavares blocks a double leg attempt, Theodorou switches to a single and hits it but Tavares goes belly down and is back up. Theodorou tries for another single leg against the fence, Tavares moving to counter by taking the back. Tavares towards the ride position, Theodorou back up and they’re fighting for eventual top position. Tavares slips to the back, just one hook though. Tavares gets the other hook in and he’s after the choke now. Theodorou is hand fighting, Tavares gives up the hooks to take the ride position. Theodorou trying to go out the back, Tavares trying to switch to an armbar. Tavares has the double wrist lock, Theodorou spins free but Tavares hits another switch and gets the back, Theodorou stands and we’re upright. Tavares lands a left head kick, Theodorou catches it but can’t do anything with it before the fight ends.

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

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Brad Tavares via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Well our streak of unremarkable fights rolls on, Tavares gets some mic time though. He’s happy with his performance and puts over Theodorou as a tough guy. He wishes he’d stuffed more takedowns or hit a few more reversals but he’s happy to get the win and wants to fight whoever is next in line. He closes by thanking friends, family, and team.

Jared Cannonier is 2-2 in the UFC and just had a two fight winning streak snapped when he failed to mount any real offense against Glover Teixieira. Cannonier is looking to get back on the winning side of things and get his UFC record above .500. Nick Roehrick is undefeated and took this fight on short notice when Steve Bosse was pulled from the card, Roehrick knows you only get one chance to make a first impression and plans on making his a good one. The short notice nature of half of this fight has Cannonier a moderate -300 favorite against a possible +230 payout on Roehrick.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Jared Cannonier (9-2, 204 lbs.) vs. Nick Roehrick (7-0, 205.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Roehrick is three inches taller while Cannonier has two inches of reach on him. Touch of gloves to get us going. Some jabbing from both men, probing mostly. Cannonier lands a jab. Cannonier lands a bit of a right. Roehrick lands a few jabs of his own. Roehrick’s right punch is ugly as sin and Cannonier is avoiding it thus far. Cannonier lands a couple of jabs and a bit of a right. Roehrick lands a glancing right after angling and turning Cannonier. They trade rights, get close and Cannonier lands a hard combination. Cannonier lands a couple of hooks, he’s getting dialed in quickly at this point. Roehrick lands a bit of a right, he’s struggling with the distance though and he’s not moving his feet during combinations. Roehrick lands an overhand right. Cannonier reaches for a left to the body and eats a counter right. They both miss rights. Cannonier lands a bit of a right, Roehrick fires back with a one two. Cannonier misses a right, Roehrick gets the clinch as Cannonier committed too hard but he can’t do much before they separate. They split jabs to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Cannonier

ROUND TWO: Roehrick misses a jab to start the second. Cannonier lands a leg kick. Cannonier lands a jab. Roehrick misses a right. Cannonier lands an inside leg kick then a left hook. Roehrick lands a left of his own. Cannonier digs two hard hooks to the body. Cannonier lands a jab. Roehrick slips a couple of punches and lands a counter. Cannonier lands a right. Roehrick lands a jab. Cannonier lands a wicked blow, Roehrick drops and Cannonier follows up but Roehrick fights back to his feet and is still throwing back. Roehrick has a heck of a chin and a fair amount of heart because he’s not beaten mentally yet either. Roehrick’s face is kind of a mess, swelling under both eyes and bleeding from the nose and under the right eye. They trade some jabs, Cannonier misses a right and Roehrick lands a counter right. They clinch up, Cannonier gets Roehrick on the fence. Cannonier lands a knee to the body, Roehrick lands a left as they break. Cannonier lands a left, and round closes with a bit of a body kick from Cannonier.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Cannonier, possible 10-8 depending on how close you thought that was to being finished, 20-18 Cannonier overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves again. Cannonier lands a leg kick. Roehrick lands a bit of a body kick then a right. They split jabs, Cannonier has a head kick blocked. Roehrick really needs to move his feet when he throws a one two, if he’s using either hand in isolation he moves well enough but he plants way too much on that combination. Cannonier lands a left hook. Cannonier lands a left high kick, Roehrick is wobbled. Cannonier lands a right, Roehrick crumples, Cannonier on top in half guard lands a few elbows to prompt the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jared Cannonier via TKO, head kick and elbows, at 2:08 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Cannonier for his work this evening. No issues with that stoppage personally. Cannonier on the mic now. He’s wearing sunglasses, Stann jokes with him about that. Cannonier says Roehrick is tough, he thanks God and everyone for coming out, he says it’s a blessing to be able to come here and fight. Stann asks about a possible hand injury, he says it’s a little “owie” but he’s got weapons besides that and he’s a fighter. He tells anyone out there who wants some to come get some. Asked specifically about the top ten, he says he wants each and every one of them, then specifically calls out Gokhan Saki, he’ll fight him in Saki’s backyard, his own backyard, or the moon, because with hard work and the blessing of God he can’t lose.

Here’s the finishing sequence, nice change to the front kick to set up the sequence. Cannonier is certainly someone to watch in a division that needs guys like that.

Marc Diakiese is undefeated as a professional including being 3-0 in the UFC. Diakiese has generated some hype around himself and he’s trying to prove he’s the next big thing at lightweight, a win here being crucial to that career path as he tries to become a contender. Drakkar Klose is also undefeated and looking to derail the hype around Diakiese while proving he’s a lightweight to watch. The odds are with Diakiese at -140 while Klose pays out at +190.

Lightweight Bout: Marc Diakiese (12-0, 154.5 lbs.) vs. Drakkar Klose (7-0-1, 155.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Diakiese is an inch taller and has three inches of reach on Klose. Klose lands a low leg kick, then another. Diakiese misses a wheel kick. Klose with another calf kick, and Diakiese switches his stance. Klose pushes into the clinch and hits a rather easy double leg. Diakiese wall walks quickly and they’re fighting in the clinch now. Klose lands a knee to the body. Some foot stomps and a knee to the body from Klose. Klose tries that same sequence but Diakiese reads it and hits a takedown landing in half guard. Klose wall walks, Diakiese is holding a rear waist lock, he elevates and gets a takedown, Klose back up and Diakiese tries to take the back but has to settle for a hip as they clinch. Klose with some elbows to the thigh, Diakiese takes him down but Klose reverses him immediately, they scramble back to the clinch. Klose lands some heel strikes to the calf, he tries for a single leg but bails on it to spin Diakiese into the fence. Diakiese spins free and lands a front kick to the body. Diakiese lands a hook kick but Klose takes his legs away with another low leg kick. Klose on top now in half guard landing elbows then a couple of knees to the body. Diakiese rolls for a heel hook, no control over the knee line though. Diakiese gets on top, Klose rolls for a foot lock of his own but Diakiese spins and stays on top in the guard of Klose as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Klose

ROUND TWO: Diakiese was limping between rounds, that lead leg is a little compromised from those calf kicks. Diakiese misses a right and avoids a head kick. Diakiese jumps over a low leg kick attempt. Klose fakes a right and gets the clinch off of a single leg attempt. Diakiese tries a judo throw, nothing doing and Klose knees him in the body. They trade knees to the body. Diakiese struggling to get free, finally is able to spin out though. Diakiese switches to southpaw, Klose lands an inside leg kick. Another inside leg kick from Klose, and Diakiese is switching frequently now. Klose ducks a wheel kick attempt, gets on top, stands and lets Diakiese up. Mistake there in my opinion to let him up that easily. Klose lands another inside leg kick, Diakiese is breathing kind of hard now. Klose lands a jumping knee to the body, and they clinch up again. Diakiese has Klose on the fence, and lands a knee to the groin. We’ve got time for Klose to recover. Klose is ready to continue quickly, Diakiese gets a stern warning and we restart in the middle of the cage. Klose lands a body kick then a low leg kick and they clinch up again. Klose has Diakiese on the fence this time. Klose lands a body kick as Diakiese slips free. They clinch up again and Klose has Diakiese back on the fence. Diakiese lands a body kick as they break then Klose kicks his calf again. Diakiese still southpaw now, protecting that left leg. Klose sweeps the leg on a spinning kick attempt and he lands some leg kicks while Diakiese hangs out on his back. Diakese back up, Klose kicks his calf and the left leg goes again, Klose gets on top and ends the round in half guard.

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

ROUND THREE: Diakiese southpaw to start the third round. Klose lands an inside leg kick. Diakiese lands a couple of rights then a body kick. Klose lands an outside leg kick. Diakiese lands a jumping switch kick but Klose just grins and asks for more. Klose ducks a left and gets a clinch but Diakiese slips free. Klose after another single leg, he’s not controlling Diakiese as much in the clinch now and Diakiese spins free. Klose lands a bit of a left after missing some rights. Klose ducks a left and hits a double leg. Diakiese uses a guillotine to sweep and they wind up clinched on the fence again. Diakiese has a rear waist lock, Klose lands a few back elbows. Diakiese can’t get a takedown from this position. Diakiese misses a high kick as they break. Diakiese lands a bit of a left but Klose has him clinched on the fence now. Diakiese able to spin free. Klose lands a right hook. Diakiese misses a spinning back kick. Klose misses an uppercut. Klose lands an inside leg kick. Diakiese has a wheel kick smothered. Klose lands a body kick. Klose with a low inside leg kick. Klose tries a single leg, Diakiese jumps for a guilltoine choke, can’t get it but does roll and sprawl free then separate. Klose tries another single leg, lands a right as he bails on that and then a knee to the body in close as time runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Diakiese, 29-28 Klose overall

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

Not sure I can trust the judge who gave Diakiese two rounds. Klose on the mic now. He says controlling the emotion was easy, he says no disrespect to Michael Bisping who’s in the audience but all English guys are bums. Bisping is unamused. Klose says he wasn’t going to bite on trash talk or let Diakiese get him off of his game. Asked who he wants next he says anyone and then thanks his coaches for getting him the victory tonight.

This is the finale of this season of The Ultimate Fighter, for whatever you think that title is worth at this point in time. Dhiego Lima went just 1-3 in his previous UFC run before being release. Lima is coming off of a loss as well, despite that if he can win here he’ll earn the title of TUF champion and get at least another couple of fights in the UFC. Jesse Taylor had one UFC fight back in 2008, he got submitted by CB Dollaway, and has spent the intervening years trying to make his way back to the UFC. Taylor has a chance here to finally get a win in the UFC. The odds are with Taylor at -165 against +135 on Lima.

Welterweight Bout: Dhiego Lima (12-5, 170.5 lbs.) vs. Jesse Taylor (30-15, 171 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Lima is two inches taller and has an inch and a half of reach on Taylor. Lima fighting southpaw, and they touch gloves. Taylor tries a single leg immediately, Lima fighting it off against the fence. Taylor trying to switch from knee tap to double leg, back to single leg and gets Lima to a knee. Taylor has one hook in, Lima hand fighting while Taylor drags him down and is still trying for both hooks in. Lima standing again, Taylor holding that waist lock. Taylor gets Lima down and Lima has full guard. Taylor lands an elbow. Lima just holding on, Taylor working small offense to avoid getting stood up. Taylor lands an elbow. Lima now looking to wall walk, Taylor grabs for the choke, but has no body control and has to settle for just being on top again. Lima again trying to wall walk, Taylor content to smother from the ride positiong. Taylor has the back now, nearly has the choke but Lima defends and Taylor moves to side control. Taylor is starting to maul Lima, Lima really struggling to get back to his feet. Taylor mounts the legs, tries for an arm triangle, spins for the back but wont get much beyond a few punches before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Taylor

ROUND TWO: Taylor was breathing pretty hard between rounds, bears watching going forward. They touch gloves, Lima orthodox now. Lima lands a fade away left that floors Taylor. Lima tries to get on top, he fails to control the body and Taylor spins free and gets the back himself. Taylor after the choke, he’s under the chin and Lima has to tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jesse Taylor via Submission, rear naked choke, at :43 of Round 2

Taylor gets a trophy and a novelty check for $290,000. Taylor on the mic now, he seems a little overwhelmed. He remarks about his record being long, he says this is for everyone who ever messed up but got up and never stopped going. Asked about the knockdown, he jokes that he still doesn’t know what’s going but he’s got a hard head. He calls himself an RNC master due to perseverance, he might get dropped but he gets up and keeps going.

That, boys and girls, is why you control the body and position before getting over zealous. Lima was way too high on the back just seconds after dropping Taylor, gave up his back and got tapped.

Michael Johnson retains a top five ranking despite just being 1-3 in his last four fights. Johnson lost back to back fights to Beneil Dariush and Nate Diaz before salvaging that ranking by beating Dustin Poirier. Johnson then got rolled over by Khabib Nurmagomedov, and if he wants to keep that top ranking he absolutely can’t afford a second two fight losing streak. Justin Gaethje was the most recent WSOF lightweight champion and is undefeated as a professional, in addition he’s finished his last four opponents. Gaethje has long been thought of as one of the best lightweights outside of the UFC, tonight he has a chance to prove he belongs with the promotion and could immediately enter himself into the top of the division. The odds lean towards Johnson at -155 while Gaethje pays out at +125.

Lightweight Bout: #5 Michael Johnson (17-11, 155 lbs.) vs. Justin Gaethje (17-0, 155.75 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Gaethje is an inch taller while Johnson has three and a half inches of reach on him. Johnson fighting southpaw. Johnson showing the jab early, lands a body kick then a straight left. Gaethje lands a right in close. Gaethje happy to just push forward, lands a leg kick. Johnson lands a left, Gaethje lands an uppercut then a knee, Johnson backs into the fence. Gaethje lands a couple of leg kicks. Gaethje lands another leg kick. Inside leg kick from Gaethje. Another leg kick from Gaethje. Johnson is really flat on his feet now and getting backed into the fence. Gaethje with more leg kicks, both inside and outside. Johnson lands a bit of a left. Gaethje lands a hard right to the body. Another leg kick from Gaethje, and another. Gaethje lands a right then a left and yet another leg kick. They trade power hands in close and Gaethje wobbles Johnson with a left hook. More leg kicks from Gaethje and a right hook. Gaethje just walking Johnson down. More leg kicks from Gaethje. Gaethje lands a short right. They clinch and trade knees, Gaethje lands an elbow before they break. Gaethje covering up when Johnson throws then landing leg kicks or short punches. Gaethje lands a right. Johnson lands a right that wobbles Gaethje. Johnson gets a takedown, lands a few punches but Gaethje is back up and throwing back. Knees go back and forth as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Johnson

ROUND TWO: Johnson might be the more fatigued party here, and Gaethje looks recovered from that big punch. Gaethje back to forward pressure and lands a leg kick. Gaethje lands a couple of leg kicks. They trade lead hands, Gaethje also lands a bit of a right. Johnson circling more this round, and he eats a leg kick. Another leg kick from Gaethje. More leg kicks from Gaethje. Johnson lands a left to the body. Johnson lands a left that badly wobbles Gaethje. Johnson pushes forward but Gaethje clinches up and lands a knee to the body. Johnson lands a couple of elbows, Gaethje lands one of his own then a knee as they break. This is wild, but a good introduction to Gaethje for those who’ve never seen him. Johnson digs a couple of lefts to the body, Johnson lands to the body and an inside leg kick as well. Gaethje lands a left hook. Gaethje lands a bit of a right. Both guys are breathing hard, I can’t imagine this going five rounds at this pace. Johnson lands a couple of body shots, Gaethje lands a leg kick. Johnson lands a left to the body. Gaethje lands a knee to the chest from a brief clinch. Gaethje lands an uppercut that hurts Johnson. Johnson is wobbled, Gaethje lands another, he’s teeing off along the fence. Johnson has to lean on the fence, Gaethje kicks his leg and lands another couple of uppercuts then an elbow. Johnson collapses and Gaethje makes him stand. They clinch, Gaethje knees the body then lands a straight right. Another leg kick from Gaethje, Johnson is dead to rights and Gaethje makes him stand off of a failed takedown. Gaethje lands a jumping knee, he’s flurrying, lands a knee that drops Johnson one more time and the ref ends it. Gaethje fails to climb the fence a couple of times but finally lands the back flip.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Justin Gaethje via TKO, knee, at 4:48 of Round 2

Fight of the Year candidate there, both rounds could be Round of the Year if you go in for that sort of thing. Gaethje on the mic, grabs it and asks who’s next and says he wants to find his equal. He says this feels fantastic and he loves this. He says you can drop him all you want but if you don’t put him to sleep he’s coming for your head, your leg, or your body, reiterates “who’s next”. He puts over his coaches for getting him to work the body, he says he was never out of that fight despite what the ref said. Asked for a specific opponent, he says he’s 18-0 with a bunch of knock outs, he wants to find his equal. Gaethje closes by saying “Octagon jitters my butt”.

That was absolutely wild, but that’s what Justin Gaethje does in basically every fight. Here are some highlights, I’m at an utter loss to adequately describe the chaos of a Gaethje fight.

Thank heavens for Justin Gaethje, the man is a savage with zero sense of self preservation and likely saved that card on balance. Thanks for being here guys, I appreciate you tremendously. I’ll be back tomorrow evening for UFC 213, hopefully you’ll be here as well. Until then thanks again everyone, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.