Welcome to FightLine’s live coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale.
Tonight’s card comes to us live from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. We’ll have complete coverage of the entire event, which streams live on Facebook and airs on FUEL TV and FX.
Now, on to the action! Remember to keep hitting F5 on your keyboard for the most up-to-date results.
Justin Lawrence vs. Daniel Pineda
We begin action with the first of three featherweight bouts on Facebook, as Justin Lawrence (4-1) seeks to rebound from his first career loss against Daniel Pineda (17-9), who is on a two-fight losing skid. The referee in charge will be Chris Tognoni.
Round 1: Pineda with a big takedown off a power-shot, working quickly to pass. Lawrence, using the cage, is able to get up. Trip gets Lawrence back to the canvas, with Pineda in half-guard. Pineda locking in a kimura and this one is over, as it was locked in a little longer than needed but the ref couldn’t see the tap from the other side. Perfect kimura, as he had Lawrence stuck.
Daniel Pineda def. Justin Lawrence via submission (kimura) at 1:35 of Round 1
Sam Sicilia vs. Maximo Blanco
We remain in the featherweight division, as Sam Sicilia (11-2) and Maximo Blanco (8-4-1) each try to likely keep their job with a win. Both fighters are on losing streaks. Kim Winslow is the referee.
Round 1: Blanco throws a high kick that misses, Sicilia pounces, but is unable to control him. Blanco attempting to secure position, while Sicilia is searching for a kimura. Nice exchange, as Sicilia lands a right and Blanco fires back with a combo to the body. Both have strong wrestling bases, so this has turned into a stand-up war, with Sicilia getting the better of it so far. Blanco working his jab now, adding in some solid kicks. Nice little flurry by Sicilia to secure the round on my scorecard.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Sicilia
Round 2: Sicilia lands with the right, dropping Blanco and going on the attack. Sicilia unable to keep him down, and now holding him against the fence. Blanco coming back strong now, landing with ease and no defense. It’s time for action, as they stand and trade for several seconds before Blanco lands a double-leg takedown. Blood pouring out from Blanco’s nose, as Sicilia gets back to his feet. Big left uppercut just lands by Sicilia, but he has no defense for the jab, eating several right to the face. Swooping right hook crushes the jaw of Sicilia.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Blanco
Round 3: Blanco lands the first big blow of the third, as a right backs Sicilia up. Just like that, Sicilia comes back with a right of his own, and a left lands by Blanco. Possible guillotine attempt from Blanco, but Sicilia gets free, and escapes a crucifix attempt, as well. Takedown from Blanco, Sicilia quick gets back to his feet and lands with a pair of strikes. Very exciting, very close fight that could land a TV spot if time allows. Blanco gets a takedown and lands some rights to the head with a minute left. Knee lands by Blanco to the shoulder, but Sicilia with an upkick and they finish on the feet.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Blanco
Maximo Blanco def. Sam Sicilia via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Cole Miller vs. Bart Palaszewski
The third and final featherweight tilt takes place next, as Cole Miller (18-7) takes on Bart Palaszewski (36-16). Both veterans are on two-fight losing skids entering the bout. The referee will be Herb Dean.
Round 1: Miller was more excited to give a fist-bump to Bruce Buffer than Palaszewski, but we are ready to go. Miller misses with a big high-kick, and he quickly goes back to working the jab. Kick gets slightly through the defense of Palaszewski, who comes back with a right-combo. Right connects from Palaszewski, who tries for another overhand right. Miller stuck up against the fence and in trouble with two minutes to go. Miller appears to have re-grouped, scoring with a takedown and taking the back with just over a minute to go. Miller attempting a neck-crank, drops back and gets it.
Cole Miller def. Bart Palaszewski via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:23 of Round 1
Clint Hester vs. Bristol Marunde
It’s time for the FUEL TV prelims, as fighters from TUF 17 are placed center stage. First up is a battle between Clint Hester (7-3) and Bristol Marunde (12-7). Marunde was on a previous season of TUF, and fought in Strikeforce earlier this year. The referee will be Steve Mazzagatti.
Round 1: Hester was the top pick by Jon Jones on TUF, while Marunde’s last fight came against Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. Bit of a feeling out process by both men. Not much action, as both men are acting more like they are looking in a mirror, afraid to mix it up. Marunde offers up a right that misses. After Hester comes in, Marunde lands an uppercut-jab combo. Hopefully this isn’t the start of an uneventful set of prelims. Big left by Hester misses, but it appears to have more confidence, getting caught with a takedown off a front-kick attempt. Marunde looking to pass the guard with under a minute to go. Hester gets free and lands a massive right that floors Marunde, but he’s able to cover up and grab a takedown.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Marunde
Round 2: Hester likely scared Marunde with that closing shot, as he won’t want to eat one of those again. Into the clinch, and an exchange of knees to the body. Marunde offers up a head-kick that is just a glancing blow, but the uppercut connects. Marunde slips after throwing a head kick and Hester pounces. Marunde able to work a takedown as we go under two minutes left in the round. Hester nearly locks in a submission from his back, but instead gets to his feet. Big right from Marunde is followed by a pair of knees to the body from Hester. Left hook by Hester connects, who also avoids a takedown and hits another big left.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Hester
Round 3: Hester still going for the knockout, throwing everything he has into each punch. Marunde drops for a takedown off a wild throw, but is unable to score with it. Hester doing a much better job with his takedown defense. Flying knee lands from Hester, but Marunde is quickly back up to his feet, working for another takedown. Several lefts from Hester are followed up by a right from Marunde. Hester, out of nowhere, catches Marunde with a right elbow that knocks him out on his feet. This one is over, as the ref steps in before any more damage can be done to Marunde.
Clint Hester def. Bristol Marunde via KO (elbow) at 3:53 of Round 3
Dylan Andrews vs. Jimmy Quinlan
Our next match is the first of five featuring TUF 17 fighters against each other, as Dylan Andrews (16-5) takes on Jimmy Quinlan (3-0). Chris Tognoni is the referee.
Round 1: Joe Lauzon in the corner of Quinlan, so he has that going for him, and a fast start, coming right after Andrews. Quinlan wants to get this to the mat, and the former NCAA wrestler does for a brief moment. The ref has seen enough of the clinch game, breaking the two. Andrews catches him with a right, flooring Quinlan and finishing this fight with a flurry. The ref gave Quinlan all the time in the world to survive, but Andrews didn’t let up. All he needed was that brief moment of separation, hitting him with a shot behind the ear.
Dylan Andrews def. Jimmy Quinlan via TKO (strikes) at 3:22 of Round 1
Luke Barnatt vs. Collin Hart
One of the early favorites to advance to the TUF finals, Luke Barnatt (5-0), takes on Collin Hart (4-1-1) next. The referee will be Kim Winslow.
Round 1: Hart goes right to work on the body of Barnatt, likely surprising him by striking. Quickly to the clinch, and Barnatt scores a takedown. Hart is getting the better of this one with is left-hook, rocking Barnatt several times. To the back he goes, and scores with a massive suplex takedown. Both hooks locked in by Hart, but Barnatt shakes himself free. Hart is unleashing with everything, bloodying up Barnatt’s right eye with his left hook. Hart’s face is also busted up, and Barnatt finds his distance. Big-time slugfest through five minutes. It will be interesting to see if both men do the same in the second.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Hart
Round 2: Hart with a big right that knocks Barnatt up against the fence, and they exchange spinning back kicks and a flying knee attempt. Barnatt with a nice body blow, as these two have went right back to a boxing match – minus defending anything. Hart catches a spinning elbow, but is unable to score a takedown. Barnatt rolls, but can’t quite lock up the submission. The punches are still coming, just not as strong, as Barnatt slips and the round ends with Hart on top.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Barnatt
Round 3: Hart really looking smooth with his striking, much improved since his time on TUF. Barnatt, though, continues to land the more damaging shots thanks to his reach advantage. Barnatt doing more backing up than Hart, who connects with a left. Hart searching for a single-leg takedown, moves to the back, and scores with it. Exchange of nice, straight jabs from the two as we head under a minute. Barnatt with a right, and nearly secures a guillotine as the round – and fight – ends.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Barnatt
Luke Barnatt def. Collin Hart via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Josh Samman vs. Kevin Casey
We conclude the FUEL TV prelims with Josh Samman (9-2) taking on Kevin Casey (5-2). The referee will be Herb Dean.
Round 1: Nasty leg kick drops Samman, but Casey locks in an arm triangle, and has it in tight. Samman tries to slam him down, but Casey keeps hold, moves to a straight armbar and Samman slams him this time – getting the break. The first minute gets an “OH MY GOD!” from Kenny Florian. Casey is an accomplished grappler and submission expert, so for Samman to survive those holds showed a lot. Casey unloads with some nice ground-and-pound, and remains on top despite an attempt at a sweep. Under a minute, and Samman gets to his feet finally, landing a pair of solid knees to the body. A series of knees from the Thai clinch for Samman.
FightLine scores the round 10-8 for Casey
Round 2: Right back to where we ended round one, as Samman gets the Thai clinch and unloads a series of knees and elbows. Casey goes down to one knee after a barrage of strikes, but he remains in this one despite being in obvious pain. Blood pouring from the face of Casey after a knee lands. Almost two-plus minutes after being stuck in the clinch, and Casey drops. This one is all over, as Samman scores the victory.
Josh Samman def. Kevin Casey via TKO (strikes) at 2:17 of Round 2
Bubba McDaniel vs. Gilbert Smith
We begin the main card with a pair of TUF 17 alums, as Bubba McDaniel (20-6) takes on Gilbert Smith (5-1). In charge of the action will be Steve Mazzagatti.
Round 1: No touch of gloves from the former Team Jones teammates. McDaniel quickly works to tie up Smith, landing some nice lefts and knees. Three straight elbows nearly floor Smith, but it is Smith who scores and lands in top. Smith with a single-leg takedown two minutes into the round. Not much damage being inflicted by Smith, as McDaniel has nearly made it to his feet. McDaniel attempts a guillotine before switching to the top and landing some nice ground-and-pound.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for McDaniel
Round 2: McDaniel connects with a combo, and Smith comes firing back. McDaniel attempts a kimura, releases the hold and goes back to fending off the takedown attempt. Smith tries to kick the lead-leg out, does and works for a choke. McDaniel counters and gets out thanks to getting on the opposite side of the hold. McDaniel takes the back, locks in his hooks and has well over a minute to work. Big shots being hammered down upon Smith, who forward rolls and McDaniel winds up in side control.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for McDaniel
Round 3: Exchange of lefts, as these two seem to want to engage. Smith shoots, and McDaniel winds up on top, moving to half-guard. McDaniel unloading, tries to transition to the mount, but winds up back in half-guard. McDaniel, again, to the back, and gets his hooks in. Smith reverses, but looks for a triangle with two minutes to go. Quickly, McDaniel transitions to the armbar and gets it, scoring a UFC victory in his debut.
Bubba McDaniel def. Gilbert Smith via submission (armbar) at 2:49 of Round 3
Travis Browne vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
The heavyweights hit the Octagon next, as Travis Browne (13-1-1) returns from his first defeat to tangle with Gabriel Gonzaga (14-6). Browne lost to Antonio Silva last year, tearing his hamstring in the process. Gonzaga returned to the UFC last January and has won three straight fights overall. The third man inside the Octagon will be Chris Tognoni.
Round 1: Gonzaga grabs a leg off a high-kick, but is unable to keep Browne on the ground – locking him up against the cage instead. Browne doing a fine job of remaining upright, and he finishes Gonzaga with some nasty, powerful elbows to the head. What a shocking conclusion, and I think it is safe to say we have “Knockout of the Night.” It was a series of short elbows to the side of the head that knocked Gonzaga out.
Travis Browne def. Gabriel Gonzaga via KO (elbows) at 1:11 of Round 1
Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano
The second female fight ever inside the Octagon is next, as Miesha Tate (13-3) meets Cat Zingano (7-0). The winner will be the next contender to Ronda Rousey and the UFC bantamweight title, along with a spot on TUF as a coach opposite Rousey. The referee will be Kim Winslow.
Round 1: A very intense staredown, and Tate charges right after her, scoring a takedown. Zingano moves and gets up, as Tate locks up a possible guillotine. Zingano bull rushes her into the cage. As expected, these two are not wasting anytime. Zingano looking for a guillotine of her own, as she uses a trip takedown to get free. Tate lands a left, followed by several rights, and Zingano goes again for a choke to avoid the stand-up game. Tate moves into side control with three minutes to go. Zingano rolls into side control. Zingano catches her with a kick, and Tate unloads right back. Big knee, but Tate is unfazed. Credit Tate, as she can take just about anything delivered by any female out there – maybe beside Cris Cyborg, in terms of striking. Julie Kedzie, in there Strikeforce fight, hit Tate with everything but the kitchen sink and couldn’t stop her. Tate lands some nice elbows now from the top position. Tate finishes up strong, in control and doing damage.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Tate
Round 2: Zingano offers up a smile, and Tate looks like she’s had a long, rough night. Flying knee to start by Zingano, who quickly moves to half-guard once the fight goes to the ground. Tate mounts for a brief period, and transitions to an armbar, but Zingano gets out. Both going for a possible leg-lock or heel-hook, and Tate appears to have the left foot locked up. An interesting situation, as Tate still has the leg, but Zingano is free enough to counter and get herself out of it. Now, Zingano is getting through with some ground-and-pound as we go under 30 seconds.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Zingano
Round 3: Zingano shoots and scores with a takedown right off the start. Tate potentially going for an armbar, but Zingano doing a nice job of folding her up. Zingano mounts and unloads, and continues unloading, as Tate’s nose is busted open. More lefts to the face, followed by a nasty knee. Tate is taking an enormous amount of punishment, as several knees get through and the ref is forced to step in. This one is over, and Tate took a lot of punishment.
Cat Zingano def. Miesha Tate via TKO (strikes) at 2:55 of Round 3
Uriah Hall vs. Kelvin Gastelum in finals of The Ultimate Fighter 17
It’s time to crown another Ultimate Fighter winner, as Uriah Hall (8-2) squares off with Kelvin Gastelum (4-0). Both were part of Team Sonnen on the recent season of TUF. The referee will be Herb Dean.
Round 1: Gastelum quickly takes the center of the Octagon, not looking afraid of the striking of Hall at all. Hall, like Anderson Silva does, backs against the fence and lets Gastelum unload before tying things up. He’s no Silva, but he looked just like him doing that. Superman punch by Gastelum is blocked, as Hall appears to be waiting for his opening. Gastelum finds Hall twice, rocking him and forcing a retreat. Let’s see if this gets a different attack going from Hall. Gastelum continues to push forward, scores a takedown and moves to mount. This has been all Gastelum as we go under two minutes. Half-guard for Gastelum, who is looking to mount again with 90 seconds left. Hall throws an inside leg kick that nearly sweeps Gastelum off his feet. Hall with a rush-in takedown to conclude the round.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Gastelum
Round 2: A much-more intense Hall, as his corner told him to stop playing around between rounds. Hall looking to get his jab going, lands a quick counter to the side of the head. Spinning back kick and head-kick combo land from Hall, who has found his range. Gastelum scores a takedown, and hits a quick elbow on the ground. Hall scores with a reversal and lands a knee to the body, along with a left. Scramble leads to Gastelum working the clinch, but it’s Hall that gets a trip takedown. Hall takes the back and lands a belly-to-back suplex.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Hall
Round 3: Accidental low blow by Hall causes a stoppage, but Gastelum is quick to recover and ready to go. Hall throwing some heavy kicks now, as his corner is calling for it. Hall gets caught, as Gastelum scores a takedown. Hall quickly recovers and gets his own takedown, following up with some heavy rights. Gastelum recovers and comes firing back, as we have three minutes left in the fight – barring a draw, in which there will be a fourth round. Head-kick glances off Gastelum. Small cut under the right eye of the underdog, who unloads with a big overhand left. Gastelum with a double-leg takedown, but loses control and nearly allows Hall to get a triangle submission. Just 30 seconds left, and Gastelum is on top, but Hall is firing off from the bottom with just as powerful of strikes.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Hall
Kelvin Gastelum def. Uriah Hall via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Urijah Faber vs. Scott Jorgensen
We’ve arrived at the main event, as Urijah Faber (27-6) takes on Scott Jorgensen (14-6). Faber actually got Jorgensen started in MMA, and the two are friends, but they still plan on having a war. The referee in charge will be Steve Mazzagatti.
Round 1: Jorgensen going right to the legs, and Faber catches him quickly and drops him. Faber ties things up, but it’s Jorgensen who gets double under hooks. Faber counters, but gets taken down via trip. Faber counters and is inside the half-guard. Faber takes the back, but Jorgensen quickly gets to his feet. Faber with a knee that might have caught the chin, dropping Jorgensen. He takes the back, again, and has a figure-four around the waist with two minutes to go. Some lefts to open him up, and a big elbow. Jorgensen escapes and rolls, but gives up his head for a guillotine. Faber rolls again with the guillotine, but Jorgensen survives – for now.
FightLine scores the round 10-8 for Faber
Round 2: Jorgensen takes a groin shot off an inside leg kick, and we have a lull in the action. Faber using his striking well, keeping Jorgensen from getting in close enough for a takedown. Knee to the body lands by Faber as he catches him coming in. Quick left hook gets through by Faber, as does a stiff right to the body. Takedown by Faber, who is looking smooth and effective with his attacks. Jorgensen searching for a kimura with 90 seconds left, but Faber gets out – only to catch a quick right to the face.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Faber
Round 3: Strictly a stand-up round so far, as the two are exchanging lefts and rights through the opening minute. Faber appears to hurt Jorgensen, who winces after a left lands. Big knee, followed up by an uppercut from Jorgensen connects. Jorgensen gets a takedown and mounts the back, showing signs of life in the third. Faber goes body-head to back Jorgensen up. Faber concludes the round with a double-leg takedown.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Jorgensen
Round 4: Faber snaps off a quick left that seems to ignite Jorgensen, who answers right back. Back to more of the stand-up game, as these two are willing to exchange and trade. Jorgensen shoots, and Faber fends it off with a guillotine attempt. Elbow from Jorgensen lands with conviction. Faber with a takedown, and transitions to the back with two minutes left in the round. He has a figure-four locked up again and his right arm around the neck, and this one is over, as Faber does it again, scoring his second submission victory in the last six weeks.
Urijah Faber def. Scott Jorgensen via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:16 of Round 4
That’s it for this week, but we will return next Saturday with UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Melendez. The card features UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson defending his title against Gilbert Melendez.