by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
One fighter exacted a measure of revenge, while another found redemption after missing weight, as the veterans looked impressive on “The Ultimate Fighter” season eight finale Saturday night.
An unfortunate eye poke brought an end to the first fight between Anthony Johnson and Kevin Burns, but the second go-around was a definitive finish, leaving no room at all for controversy.
Through two rounds of action, Johnson and Burns battled on the feet and on the ground with neither fighter gaining a dominant upper hand.
The third round was the difference maker as Johnson, who has been working with Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le and Strikeforce lightweight titleholder Josh Thomson, showed off his new kicking power as he unloaded a thunderous left high kick that put Burns out and sent him timbering to the mat.
“It just happened,” Johnson said after the knockout. “I just decided to throw it and it connected.”
After a disappointing day on Friday when he didn’t make weight, American Top Team fighter Wilson Gouveia tried to earn back part of the purse he had to give up by making quick work of Canadian Jason MacDonald. He finished the fight early in the first round by TKO.
MacDonald tried to get the fight to the ground right away, but Gouveia was able to get back up quickly, where he showed his dominant stand-up game.
A left straight from Gouveia put MacDonald down on the mat and the Brazilian born fighter followed up with a series of hammer fists and elbow strikes that opened a gash on the Canadian’s head. The stoppage came just seconds later.
“The feeling to even fight in the UFC is great, it’s unbelievable,” Gouveia said after the win. “Jason’s a really tough fight and after this fight I think I put myself in the top contention.”
Gouveia has always been seen as a top contender, but after failing to make weight for the fight he promised a new commitment going forward.
“My weight class is at middleweight. I made some mistakes. I want to apologize to the UFC, to Jason, all my fans. I promise that will never happen again,” Gouveia commented.