The Ultimate Fighter concluded its 28th season on Friday with The Ultimate Fighter: Heavy Hitters Finale at Pearl Theatre at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. The event drew 2,020 spectators generating $204,600 in gate receipts.
Those in attendance witnessed Kamaru Usman potentially set himself up for a welterweight title shot in the fight card’s main event with a unanimous decision over former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. Usman took the fight to the Brazilian landing combinations on the outside. From the clinch, Usman delivered elbows and dishing out heavy shots from the top position on the ground. It was a dominating performance by the Nigerian.
The event also crowned two new The Ultimate Fighters. Juan Espino earned the heavyweight accolade and a UFC contract with a first-round submission win over Justin Frazier. Espino had his way with the American on the ground. After securing his second takedown of the round, Espino moved to the crucifix position and finished with a straight arm bar.
Macy Chiasson emerged as the winner of the women’s featherweight portion of TUF 28 with a second-round stoppage of veteran Pannie Kianzad. Chiasson dictated the action of the fight by closing the distance and controlling Kianzad in the clinch. She nearly finished the fight at the end of the opening round but the bell saved Kianzad from a rear-naked choke.
In the second frame, Chiasson dropped Kianzad with a combination. Kianzad threatened with an arm bar but the New Orleans native escaped and took the Iran’s back. She sunk in a rear-naked choke that forced Kianzad to tap out.
The Ultimate Fighter: Heavy Hitters Finale featured 13 fights. Five bouts went the distance, five ended in submission finishes, and three resulted in knockouts.