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The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale – Full Report

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The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale took place from the Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada, and was headlined by a featherweight clash between former title challengers Chad Mendes (17-4) and Frankie Edgar (20-4-1).

It had been rightly hyped as a clash between two of the best fighters in the UFC without a world title. Understandably fans expected a classic five round war but were instead presented with one crushing moment of brilliance that ended the fight in a hurry. After a tentative opening that saw both men pick their shots, Edgar stayed in the pocket and dropped Mendes with a perfectly timed left hook. As Mendes flopped, referee John McCarthy was quick to stop the action with Edgar landing another punch on the mat to ensure the fight was finished with only two minutes and 28 seconds on the clock.

The win was Edgar’s fifth straight, the culmination of a stunning run that has seen him defeat Charles Oliveira, B.J. Penn, Cub Swanson and Urijah Faber. Adding Chad Mendes to that list moves Edgar ahead of the chasing pack at 145 pounds and he was quick to call for a title shot in the post fight interview. Whoever wins Saturday night’s title bout between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor could be squaring off with Edgar in the not too distant future.

With the aforementioned Edgar vs Mendes main event and fights such as Ferguson vs Barboza and Dunham vs Lauzon on the card, it would have been easy to forget that this show was the culmination of the 22nd season of The Ultimate Fighter. Artem Lobov (11-11-1) and Ryan Hall (5-1) met in the co-main event and it was Hall who became the next Ultimate Fighter winner. In a grapple-heavy contest, Hall bought all the offense whether he was on top, on his back, or as he was for much of the third round, on his opponent’s back. The judges all scored in favor of Hall who improved his official record to 5-1.

In a much anticipated lightweight clash, Tony Ferguson (20-3) and Edson Barboza (16-4) did not disappoint. The two came out pushing a frantic pace, trading heavy strikes and exciting the Chelsea audience from the opening bell. An illegal kick when both fighters were on the ground gave a brief respite, and saw Ferguson deducted a point, but it made little difference. With both fighters bringing the violence, Barboza impressed even in defeat, eventually giving up a d’arce choke in the second round which extended Ferguson’s winning streak to seven and made him a serious title contender at 155 pounds.

When Evan Dunham (17-6) and Joe Lauzon (25-11) stepped into the octagon they had 57 professional MMA fights between them. It was Dunham, two years Lauzon’s senior, who completed a resurgence in 2015 by making it 3-0 for the year. Over three rounds Dunham outworked and outpaced his opponent, landing the better strikes and putting together impressive combinations that saw him win a unanimous decision. Prior to 2015 Dunham had lost three straight, but can now look towards even bigger fights in the new year.

Veteran featherweight Tatsuya Kawajiri (35-8-2) made it eight wins from his last nine fights, as he stifled late replacement Jason Knight (13-2) over three tough rounds. Kawajiri spent the majority of the fight on top of his opponent, landing from within Knight’s active guard and getting the decision on all three judges scorecards. Knight had taken the fight on just two weeks notice, and the defeated 23-year-old showed enough to suggest he can be competitive in the UFC’s 145-pound division.

In the main card opener, TUF 22 competitors Julian Erosa (15-2) and Marcin Wrzosek (10-3) met in a back and forth contest that split the judges. Wrzosek landed the better strikes early, but it was Erosa who worked hard for a couple of submissions in the first round. With the fight in the balance going into the third, it was Erosa who came on strong again to edge it on two of the judges scorecards.

December 11, 2015 | The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan | Las Vegas, Nevada

MAIN CARD – Fox Sports 1, 7 p.m. ET

Frankie Edgar def. Chad Mendes via KO (Punch) Round 1, 2:28

Ryan Hall def. Artem Lobov via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)

Tony Ferguson def. Edson Barboza via submission (d’arce choke) Round 2, 2:54

Evan Dunham def. Joe Lauzon via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)

Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Jason Knight via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Julian Erosa def. Marcin Wrzosek via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

PRELIMINARY CARD – Fox Sports 1, 3.45 p.m. ET

Gabriel Gonzaga def. Konstantin Erokhin via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-28)

Ryan LaFlare def. Mike Pierce via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Geane Herrera def. Joby Sanchez via KO (punches) Round 2, 4:28

Chris Gruetzemacher def. Abner Lloveras via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

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UFC looks for undefeated fighters for the next season of TUF

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As the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter comes to a close in a few weeks, UFC has set tryouts for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter on December 12th but there is a catch, participates must hold an undefeated record.

Titled The Ultimate Fighter 27: Battle of the Undefeated, the next installment of TUF will be looking for male fighters with an undefeated record with a minimum of 3-0 to apply for the show. The casting call asks for featherweights and welterweights but in the early stages of tryouts, a weight class will be decided later in the process.

Fighters must be aged between 21 – 34 and will grapple and light spar in front of UFC matchmakers and must be prepared to stay in Vegas until December 16th.

It is unknown what the future of TUF will be after the TV deal with FOX ends next year but the show has been a success for the company and many fighters to emerge from The Ultimate Fighter have become champion including current interim Lightweight champion Tony Ferguson, Bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw and Strawweight champion Rose Namajunas coming from past seasons of the show.

This will be the third time in a row that a gimmick will be added to the show that has been on the decline in the ratings in recent years but yet to use only undefeated fighters. An undefeated streak can be one of the most prestigious records to keep in mixed martial arts with the wins and losses being so vital in a fighters career.

Who will keep their zero? Who will be the next Ultimate Fighter? Who will be the coaches?

These questions will be answered when the new season of TUF begins shooting in January and the show premiering later in the year.

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Tom Gallicchio on UFC Release “It’s Been a Dream of Mine to Fight in KSW”

Harry Davies

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MMA Latest spoke to TUF 22 and 25 season competitor Tom Gallicchio about being cut from the UFC, and potential promotions that he could sign for in the future.

Gallicchio (19-10) signed for the UFC after reaching the semi-finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Season 25. Losing to James Krause in his debut, “Da Tank” was informed earlier this month that the UFC had parted ways with him.


Q: Before we jump into the whole free agency stuff, talk me through how the UFC broke the news that they were going to release you?

I thought I was going to have another fight, this time at lightweight. I got a letter dated July 7th, saying they were going to keep me, I received it in September. I was getting emails to update my USADA, I never got a cut letter and I got tested by USADA on October 24th. I was hoping to fight sometime in January or February, then they broke the news to me that they need to make a room for new talent.

Q: You made your UFC debut against James Krause in July, then 4 months down the line, they cut you. How surprised were you at this somewhat out of the blue decision?

I’m thankful for my opportunity in the UFC and the fact that they gave me another shot, but it was definitely surprising how it happened.  They released a newsletter in September welcoming Jesse (Taylor) Dhiego (Lima) and myself into the UFC, all signs pointed towards another fight. Hearing that I was cut was just heartbreaking.

Q: Have any talks started with a new promotion. I saw you name a few on Twitter, the likes of  Bellator, BAMMA, KSW and ACB. Who do you see yourself signing for?

I would love to compete in any of those! A couple of them hit me up, one of which I am very happy to talk with. Since they came out, It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW. They’re taking care of their fighters, I would love to fight for them. I want to travel, I want to see the world, I want to fight. I’ve got a lot of fans overseas and I want to give them a show.

It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW.

Q: Your long time friend Jesse Taylor was victorious in the TUF 25 Finale, but he has since accepted a 1-year ban for failing a USADA test. What is your take on this given how close you two are?

I know Jesse is not a juicer, I’ve known him ever since I came down to (Team) Quest. It’s probably come from some supplement that he’s taking, it sucks for him. I think he went into a little bit of panic mode, he could have done a better job of handling it.

I don’t take supplements, if there was a way, I’d still keep myself in the USADA pool just because I believe in a clean sport. I think it’s important we keep the sport clean and if we’re cleaning up the supplement companies then good, because no one else is.

Where would you look to see Tom fight next? Let us know below!

 

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2017 IMMAF World Championships: Finals fixtures

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After 4 days of non stop action from Monday to Thursday we have our final 14 bouts to determine the 2017 IMMAF World Champions. Most of these fighters have fought four times for their slot  in the final and tomorrow will be their chance to finish off what has been a fantastic week of fights.

Kicking off the action tomorrow will be Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan. Both women have looked extremely impressive in their bouts so far, Oliveira has spent less time in the cage than her opponent after finishing two of her fights. Neilan is the Irish teams last chance of a gold in this competition and comes into this after a war of a last fight. She is constantly pressuring and has solid striking with incredible ground and pound from any position on top.

Joel Aronlainen came down to featherweight after testing the water at lightweight in the European Championships. His lanky build and impressive overall skill set has seen him pick up 3 finishes in the competition so far. His opponent Delyan Georgiev is undefeated and will be a tough challenge for him. Georgiev has dominated the featherweight division at amateur, his gold medal at the European Championships could now lead to him becoming a world champion if he continues to perform like we’re used to seeing him do.

At 155lbs, Vitali Andruhovich will take on top American prospect Quintin Thomas for the gold. Andruhovich has been on the right side of two very close split decisions in this tournament so far. His controversial win over Irishman Ciaran Clarke had many people scratching their heads at the decision. He now has the chance to prove himself with a win against Quintin Thomas. Thomas is the UMMAF National Champion and a very experienced amateur fighter. Racking up 13 wins he has been a dominant fighter in most of his fights, his sole losses coming from sustaining an injury and a split decision loss.

For the Middleweight medal we have a battle of the Nordic fighters. Iceland’s Bjorn Lukas Haraldsson has looked phenomenal in his fights so far, finishing each and everyone inside a round. The Mjolnir fighter has been to many the highlight of the tournament, but has a tough task a head of him in Laallam who’s had half the number of fights in this tournament and looked impressive in both.

Bahrain’s last hope for a medal lies in the hand of Light Heavyweight finisher Murtaza Talha Ali. Ali has finished all four of his bouts so far, 3 via TKO/KO and his last being by way of submission. Standing in his way of gold will be Pavel Pahomenko from Belarus who’s proven to be lethal with submissions once an opportunity arises scoring two submission wins inside the first round.

Here is the full fixture list for the finals tomorrow:

  • Michele Oliveira  vs.  Danni Neilan 125 lbs
  • Anna Astvik  vs.  Hannah Dawson 115 lbs
  • Chamia Chabbi  vs.  Manon Fiorot 135 lbs
  • C. McCrudden  vs.  Fabiana Giampà 145 lbs
  • Gase Sanita  vs.  Kaycee Blake 155 lbs
  • Yernaz Mussabek  vs.  Serdar Atlas 125 lbs
  • Gamzat Magomedov  vs.  O. Moldagaliyev 135 lbs
  • Joel Arolainen  vs.  Delyan Georgiev 145 lbs
  • V. Andruhovich  vs.  Quitin Thomas 155 lbs
  • Sola Axel  vs.  Benjamin Bennett 170 lbs
  • B. Haraldsson  vs.  Khaled Laallam 185 lbs
  • Pavel Pahomenko  vs.  Murtaza Talha Ali 205 lbs
  • Irman Smajic  vs.  Lev Vins 265 lbs
  • Atanas Krastanov  vs.  Marcin Kalata 300 lbs
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