Finalist Forced Out of The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale Due to Legal Issue

December 9, 2015

On the final episode of The Ultimate Fighter 22: Team McGregor vs. Team Faber, two fighters punched their ticket into the finals, but only one will compete at the finale on Friday.TUF 22 Logo McGregor vs Faber 750

England’s Saul Rogers defeated Poland’s Marcin Wrzosek by rear-naked choke in the first semi-final bout to seemingly advance to the finals.

Europe’s Artem Lobov completed his second-chance journey to the finals in the second semi-final round bout against American Julian Erosa.

Lobov, real life training partner of UFC interim featherweight champion Conor McGregor, was brought back on the show by his coach and friend after losing a close majority decision to France’s Mehdi Baghdad during the preliminary round of fights. He made the most of the opportunity.

Lobov knocked out James Jenkins, Chris Gruetzemacher and Erosa to earn his spot in the finale.

“Artem has been a huge surprise,” said UFC president Dana White. “The guy gets a second chance to get back in, and he knocks out three guys. That’s the most impressive display of power we’ve ever had on The Ultimate Fighter.”

The Europeans eliminated the Americans, but Rogers was removed from the finale fight card due to legal issues.

“After the competition, Saul Rogers was removed from the finale card due to a legal issue. The UFC was forced to choose a replacement,” read a statement at the end of the episode.

“So Saul lied on his visa application and now has problems getting into the country and cannot fight in the finale for The Ultimate Fighter,” explained White. “Ryan Hall, who fought Saul to a majority decision will now get the opportunity.”

Hall traveled to Ireland after the show and trained with Lobov.  Little did they know that they’d be facing off in the finale.

“It’s an interesting match-up,” White said.  “America vs. Europe, grappler vs. striker, it’s a very intriguing fight.”

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