The ‘Ultimate Fighter’ finale prelims on Facebook brought some early candidates for all of the bonuses set to be handed down by UFC President Dana White including Scott Jorgensen’s jaw dropping knockout, and two former TUF 13 competitors who left it all in the cage on Saturday night.
Jeremy Stephens vs. Danny Downes
A game performance from Danny Downes didn’t stop a dominant win for Jeremy Stephens, pulling out a one sided decision when it was all over.
Stephens punished Downes while throwing everything including the kitchen sink at the young Duke Roufus trained fighter. A kimura attempt in the 2nd round may send Downes to the doctor after Saturday night because Stephens had the submission in as deep as it could go without literally going home to San Diego with a new trophy.
Somehow Downes survived and he survived again in the final round after a knee busted him open, and as blood flowed down his face he simply refused to give up. Stephens stayed on the attack, but the fight ended before he could get the finish.
“Danny Downes, that kid is a tough son of a gun,” Stephens said complimenting his opponent.
Stephens gets his 2nd win in a row, moving forward in the tough UFC lightweight division.
Josh Grispi vs. George Roop
Following a loss to Mark Hominick in his last fight, George Roop came back a much stronger and more agile fighter and he showed it off by blasting through former WEC title contender Josh Grispi.
From the very beginning when Grispi looked for a takedown, it was Roop blasting away like a hammer on a nail with elbows to the Massachusetts’ native’s head. In the 2nd round with Roop on top, he leveled Grispi time and time again with hard elbows and forearms shots causing damage on top of damage.
It was do or die in the 3rd round for Grispi, but he failed to pull the trigger. Roop did so just fine however.
Attacks came from every angle and with the breadbasket opened up, Roop unloaded a right hand that buckled Grispi, and sent him down to the canvas. Referee Herb Dead saw enough and came in for the stoppage.
“All I can promise you guys is every time you see George Roop step in the Octagon, you’re going to see a better fighter,” Roop said. “Every, single time.”
Shamar Bailey vs. Ryan McGillivray
Control, control, control.
That was the strategy for Shamar Bailey in his fight against former housemate Ryan McGillivray and while it didn’t result in the most exciting fight or finish, he did grind out a 3 round decision win.
Bailey took McGillivray down at will and outside of a D’arce choke attempt thrown up a few times from the Canadian on the bottom, it was Bailey working from the top for control.
Lacking cardio hit Bailey hard, but he was still able to outwork McGillivray for all three rounds getting the 30-27 nod on all of the scorecards, picking up his first win in the UFC.
Clay Harvison vs. Justin Edwards
It’s not uncommon to see two former competitors from the ‘Ultimate Fighter’ leave it all in the cage when they battle during the finale because they know that the only guarantee that they will walk out of the Octagon with a job is with a win. Well, Clay Harvison and Justin Edwards both deserve a 2nd shot in the UFC after their battle on Saturday night.
Edwards who trains with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Jorge Gurgel showed off his ground skills in the first round, taking Harvison down at will and throwing a flurry of submissions at his opponent. The plan worked perfectly except he didn’t finish any of the submission attempts, and it left his cardio in question for the rest of the fight.
Harvison fired back in rounds 2 and 3 taking advantage of Edward’s waning gas tank, hitting big shots and leaving the Ohio native on wobbly legs. Edwards wasn’t about to give up though and with every ounce of energy he had left he managed a couple of late takedowns to put Harvison on equal ground cardio wise.
After three hard fought rounds, Harvison ended up on the positive side of a judges’ split decision, but Edwards can’t walk away feeling too disappointed after a tough, gritty performance.
Scott Jorgensen vs. Ken Stone
Things were looking good for Ken Stone early in his fight with Scott Jorgensen at the ‘Ultimate Fighter’ finale. It didn’t end well for him unfortunately.
Stone began training with American Top Team recently and it showed off in his performance during the first few minutes. Stone tagged Jorgensen on the feet with some stiff punches and kicks, but eventually the former Boise State wrestler got the fight to the mat.
Even there Stone was having success looking for a triangle choke, but he wasn’t able to land it and that’s where it all went wrong. Jorgensen locked up in Stone’s guard unloaded a huge right hand that absolutely knocked him senseless. Jorgensen followed up with a few more quick shots as the referee crashed in to stop the fight.
It was Jorgensen’s first fight since losing a unanimous decision to UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and he couldn’t resist shouting ‘I’m back!’ after the win.
“I’m on a mission, I had a poor performance against Dominick, I’m fighting my way back and it started tonight,” Jorgensen said after the victory.
Francisco Rivera vs. Reuben Duran
In a match-up between two fighters looking for their first win under the Zuffa umbrella, Reuben Duran bested Francisco Rivera with a slick 3rd round rear naked choke submission.
The early going saw the fighters exchanging guillotine chokes, but it was Rivera who was getting the best of the exchanges. Duran battled back and got stronger as the tick clicked away, taking Rivera’s back to close out the 2nd round and then seized a similar moment in the 3rd.
Moving from mounted crucifix to taking Rivera’s back, Duran wasted no time locking up a rear naked choke. Within moments, as Rivera’s face turned crimson red he had no choice but to tap out or go to sleep. The win gives Deuran his first win in the UFC and an impressive performance to boot.