Feel Good Story for the New TUF Champion (TUF Live Finale Review)

The UFC has added many new fighters over the years as The Ultimate Fighter franchise continues to grow. With versions of the show popping up in every corner of the world the UFC has created a true feeder system into the main league. This year was no different as The Ultimate Fighter took on a new format but again provided some great moments. Throughout the show fans were able to follow along with the new fighters and pick their favorites. For many their favorite quickly became Michael Chiesa. Only a few days into the show Chiesa lost his father who passed away after a long battle with Leukemia. One of the last things that his father had wished for him was to make the show and win so that he could achieve his dream of becoming a UFC fighter. Chiesa’s father did live long enough to see his son make the show but that was about it. After his death Michael Chiesa went home to be with his family but returned to the show and was determined to win it in honour of his father. He made his way to that as he made it through the first rounds of the show and into the finals where he would take on Al Iaquinta for a chance to earn a 6-figure UFC contract and a 3-fight Tapout Apparel sponsorship contract. Iaquinta did not have the same story behind him as he was the typical fighter who grew up in Long island. What Iaquinta did have for himself was the fact that he was clearly the most prepared fighter to come on to the show. After training with Matt Serra in New York for years Iaquinta came in to the competition with more experience than most fighters. He proved this after steamrolling through most of the show with a balanced attack that only few veteran fighters have. Iaquinta was able to showcase his standing and his wrestling throughout the show and put everyone on notice up until the finals. Both Chiesa and Iaquinta would face off in the Finale for their chance at the championship and a spot in the lightweight division. The fight was a microcosm of the TV season as both fighters came out ready for a war. Iaquinta seemed to be in the driver’s seat immediately as he landed a number of straight rights that visibly stunned Chiesa. He did not just stand there and take the shots though as he answered with kicks to find his range. Iaquinta caught one of the kicks to put the fight against the fence and unload on Chiesa to continue to make many believe he would win. Chiesa was looking to turn the tide but much of the same happened in the fight with both fighters exchanging and Iaquinta pushing the fight to the cage. The second time was not a good decision for Iaquinta though as Chiesa did not stand there and take punishment like before. Instead he took Iaquinta’s back and began looking for a submission. The fight went to the ground with Chiesa in control and looking to sink in a rear naked choke. It was only a matter of time for Chiesa as he sunk the choke in and ended the fight as Iaquinta went to sleep refusing to tap. Chiesa finished off his great story with a UFC contract as he honoured his father by winning the first season of The Ultimate Fighter Live and the 15th season of The Ultimate Fighter. Now Chiesa will take some time after a whirlwind stint on the show but will be the newest member of the lightweight division where he will hope to make the climb up the ladder in a very stacked division. Iaquinta will hope to get another shot in the UFC as a lightweight but is not guaranteed the shot and will need to work that much harder to get in after the loss.

After the newest fighter was introduced in the final fight the main event took place between two welterweights looking for their shot. Both Jake Ellenberger and Martin Kampmann were looking for their chance at the UFC Welterweight title and their fight could determine who would get this shot. Kampmann was coming off of a submission win against Thiago Alves that saw him come back in the final minutes to end the fight. Meanwhile Ellenberger had gone through most of the division on a tear showcasing his amazing skill and power as he moved up the division. Both would face off with a chance to get a potential title shot but likely not because of the situation with Carlos Condit having to face an injured Georges St. Pierre. One thing was sure though as a win in this fight would bring them closer than ever to a title shot in the near future. The fight started with Ellenberger showing his strength again in the first round knocking Kampmann around. It was clear that Ellenberger was on his way to a win but somehow Kampmann was able to get out of the round even though he was worse for the ware. In the second round Ellenberger again asserted his dominance breaking Kampmann’s nose in the process. Then Kampmann, in what is becoming common practice for him, mounted a comeback after Ellenberger missed a big shot. With Ellenberger off balance Kampmann pushed the fight against the fence and began using his Thai boxing. Against the fence kempmann landed three solid knees that dropped Ellenberger and forced the referee to stop the fight. Kampmann took the win and will now fight Johny Hendricks where the winner will face the champion after Condit and St. Pierre fight. Ellenberger will likely stay at the top of the division but will have to wait a little longer for his shot at the title.

In a night that saw only two fights go the distance the UFC bonuses were hard to decide on and in that respect Dana White decided to hand out two of the $40,000 bonuses in one category. The “Knockout of the Night” had two bonus winners as TUF competitor Justin Lawrence KO’d John Cofer with a head devastating kick in the first fight of the main card. The second “Knockout of the Night” went to Kampmann for his KO of Jake Ellenberger in the main event. The “Submission of the Night” went to Ultimate Fighter winner Michael Chiesa for his Rear Naked Choke against Al Iaquinta to become the newest member of the UFC roster. The “Fight of the Night” went to Justin Lawrence and John Cofer as they fought in a vicious three round war that ended with a Lawrence head kick KO that also earned Lawrence the KO of the night. A great night of fights led to some great bonus fights and a host of potential new fighters to watch out for in the future.

 

Full Results:

Main Event:

Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann def. Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger

(KO; Rd. 2)

 

Main Card:

Michael “Maverick” Chiesa def. Al Iaquinta [UFC Contract/The Ultimate Fighter Live Champion]

(Submission; Rear Naked Choke, Rd. 1)

 

Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira def. Jonathan Brookins

(Submission; Guillotine Choke, Rd. 2)

 

Max “Blessed” Holloway def. Pat “Thrilling” Schilling

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Justin “The American Kid” Lawrence def. John Cofer

(KO, Rd. 3)

 

Undercard:

“Detroit Superstar” Daron Cruickshank def. Chris “Bad Boy” Tickle

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Myles Jury def. Chris Saunders

(Submission; Guillotine choke, Rd. 1)

 

Sam Sicilia def. Cristiano Marcello

(TKO; Rd. 2)

 

Joe Proctor def. Jeremy Larsen

(TKO; Rd. 1)

 

Erick “Goyito” Silva def. John “Prince” Albert

(Verbal Submission; Armbar, Rd. 1)

 

Upcoming Events:

 

UFC on FX: Johnson vs. McCall (Friday June 8th; 9:00 pm ET)

– Free Live on Sportsnet/FX

– Sunrise, Florida (Bank Atlantic Center)

Main Event: Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson vs. Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall [Flyweight Tournament]

Notable: Erick Silva vs. Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman

 

UFC on FX: Maynard vs. Guida (Friday June 22nd; 9:00 pm ET)

– Free Live on Sportsnet/FX

– Atlantic City, New Jersey (Revel Casino)

Main Event: Gray “The Bully” Maynard vs. Clay “The Carpenter” Guida

Notable: Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout vs. Spencer “The King” Fisher

 

UFC 147: Silva vs. Franklin II (Saturday June 23rd; 10:00 pm ET)

– Belo Horizonte, Brazil (Mineirinho Gymnasium)

Main Event: Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva vs. Rich “Ace” Franklin

Notable: Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum vs. Mike Russow

Notable: Yuri “Marajo” Alcantara vs. Hacran Dias

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