TUF 19 ends on a High Note (TUF 19 Finale Review)

MMA: UFC-TUF Finale-Anderson vs Van BurenThe Ultimate Fighter has already proven to change lives and has already been mentioned as a major reason for the growth of the sport. That would be expressed during International Fight Week in Las Vegas when Pat Miletich was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. During the induction UFC President would announce potential plans for a future induction that would mean big things for the reality show. White expressed that he would love to see the entire The Ultimate Fighter season 1 cast inducted into the hall of fame. With light heavyweight finalists Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonner already inducted in 2012, White would like to see the likes of Sam Hoger, Mike Swick, Josh Koshcheck, Kenny Florian, Chris Leben, and middleweight champion Diego Sanchez inducted alongside them. The TUF 1 cast is clearly one of the best in the history of the reality show. Despite the talent that has come out of the reality show the first season remains the ultimate example of what the show can produce. Almost all of the fighters on the cast would continue on in the UFC and have successful careers. Sam Hoger would not have the most success after the show as he remained in the UFC until 2007 but could never make an impact. Mike Swick would continue fighting until 2012 and would be one of the more successful fighters with a 10-4 record. Kenny Florian would be one of the better fighters to come out of the show with multiple title shots and a now a successful announcing career for the UFC. Josh Koshcheck would also have multiple title shots and fought up until 2013 but has no scheduled fights in the promotion as of right now. Meanwhile Diego Sanchez continues to fight in the UFC and continues to be a fan favourite for putting on some amazing fights and earning fight bonuses in almost every fight. The first season of the show would produce superstars in the UFC and the promotion continues to put on these reality shows in hopes that they can find the next superstars of the UFC with mixed results. There have been a few champions found and a few solid fighters found and with the 19th season of the show closing out at the TUF 19 Finale two more fighters would look to become those next fighters to make an impact in the UFC from the show. In the middleweight division it would be Eddie Gordon and Dhiego Lima looking to become the next TUF champion and earn that UFC contract. After both had strong seasons it seemed like the final would be the chance to see both fighters stand up and trade after Gordon showed his power in the show and Lima surprisingly had two submissions in the show not being able to show his great stand-up game. The fight would be exactly what was promised as both fighters decided to stay standing. It would not last long though as in the second big exchange between the two Gordon would land a big right dropping Lima. He would jump on his opponent and force the referee to stop the fight giving Gordon the UFC contract and the title of The Ultimate Fighter. In the light heavyweight division it would be two more members of Team Edgar in Corey Anderson and Matt Van Buren. There was no doubt that Van Buren was the favourite in this fight after a great showing during the season as Anderson looked to surprise everyone and pull off what Kelvin Gastelum did in season 18 shocking everyone to earn the UFC contract. This second fight would end much of the same way as the first one did and again it would be a surprise. After Van Buren looked like the best fighter on the show Anderson would unload on him in the opening round. Van Buren would be in trouble quickly as Anderson put on relentless pressure. Eventually Van Buren would turtle up and Anderson would jump on the opportunity. With Van Buren not really fighting back the referee would stop the fight, somewhat early, and give Anderson the contract and the title. Two new fighters would enter the UFC in a big way with two stoppages and both were never expected to win. It was a finale that would just express how the reality show can end as anything is possible when you get to the finals.

After the two new UFC fighters were crowned the coaches would face off for the third time in their careers. Frankie Edgar would look to beat BJ Penn for the third time after facing off for the lightweight title twice in 2010. It would also mark the return of Penn to the UFC after two years away from the sport. Penn was one of the first superstar in the UFC when he entered the promotion in 2001. He was young but he was good as he would rise up the rankings and earn the lightweight championship in 2004. He would also rise up the rankings of the welterweight division later in his career and earn the welterweight title becoming one of the only fighters to earn titles in two different weight classes. There would always be something about Penn though as he seemed to have all of the potential in the world but as good as he was he never seemed to reach his full potential. His training and lifestyle has been criticized as he never quite got to the level that many though he could reach. After a loss to Rory MacDonald in 2012 Penn would take some time off and would apparently get refocused and get ready to come back to the UFC as a better fighter. He would do so against Frankie Edgar that has remained a thorn in his side after beating him twice. The first step was making weight as he had always struggled to make weight at 155 lbs showing his lack of discipline. He would make weight and this time would make it at 145 lbs in a new weight class showing that he was ready to make an impact. It would be another close matchup between well-balanced fighters as both looked to gain an advantage anywhere that they could after the two previous fights would be just as close. This fight would not be nearly as close though as a new style from Penn would prove to be very unsuccessful. Instead of getting low like most fighters Penn would stay tall and he would pay for it in a big way. Edgar would easily win the striking game and with Penn’s upright stance would earn takedowns at will. In the third round it would all become too much for the legend as Penn would be taken down again and Edgar would begin unleashing powerful elbows. Penn would get cut and instead of fighting back would try to block the blows forcing the referee to stop the fight. For BJ Penn the fight was a clear expression of his inability to compete at a high level and showed that he likely should not have comeback. It was not a good end to a legendary career but seeing Penn back in the UFC is very unlikely. Meanwhile Edgar made his one return from a year off and would prove that he still has what it takes to compete. He will continue to be one of the top fighters in the division and will likely get a shot at earning a title fight in the near future. It was a great night of finishes for the UFC as two more fighters entered the UFC with shorts fights highlighting the night.


Fight Bonuses

Performance of the Night
The Main Card would be full of finishes but that would not be the most impressive fights on the night as the UFC would reward some of the undercard fighters with Leandro Issa picking up a bonus for his submission win

Performance of the Night
Anther undercard fighter would pick up an extra $50,000 after he earned a big KO over Juan Manuel Puig introducing Puig to the UFC in a rough way as his UFC debut would be memorable for all the wrong reasons

Fight of the Night
Leandro Issa would get a big payday on the night as he would pick up his second fight bonus for a total of $100,000 on the night with a great fight also earning Tuerxen Jumbieke and extra bonus despite his loss


Fight Results

Main Event:
Frankie “The Answer” Edgar def. “The Prodigy” BJ Penn
(TKO; Rd. 3)

Main Card:
Corey “Big Ceezo” Anderson def. Matt “Gutter” Van Buren
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Eddie “Truck” Gordon def. Dhiego Lima
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis def. Guto Inocente
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Dustin Ortiz def. Justin “Tank” Scoggins
(Split Decision)

Kevin “The Motown Phenom” Lee def. Jesse “The Body Snatcher” Ronson
(Split Decision)

Leandro “Brodinho” Issa def. Tuerxen “The Wild Wolf” Jumabieke
(Submission; Armbar, Rd. 3)

Adriano Martins def. Juan “Fenix” Manuel Puig
(KO; Rd. 1)

Pat “The Beast from the East” Walsh def. “Dragon” Dan Spohn
(Unanimous Decision)

Sarah “Cheesecake” Moras def. Alexis Dufresne
(Unanimous Decision)

Robert Drysdale def. Keith Berish
(Submission; Knee Injury, Rd. 1)


Upcoming Events
UFC Fight Night 45: Cerrone vs. Miller (Wednesday July 16th; 8:00 pm ET)
Atlantic City, New Jersey (Revel Atlantic City)
Main Event: Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone vs. Jim Miller
Notable: Edson Barboza “Junior” vs. Evan Dunham
Notable: Rick “The Horror” Story vs. Leonardo “Macarrão” Mafra

UFC Fight Night 46: McGregor vs. Brandao (Saturday July 19th; 12:00 pm ET)
Dublin, Ireland (The O2 Dublin)
Main Event: “Notorious” Connor McGregor vs. Diego “Ceara” Brandao
Notable: Gunnar “Gunny” Nelson vs. Zak Cummings
Notable: Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall vs. Brad “One Punch” Pickett

UFC on FOX 12: Lawler vs. Brown (Saturday July 26th; 8:00 pm ET)
San Jose, California (SAP Center)
Main Event: “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler vs. Matt “The Immortal” Brown
Notable: Anthony “Rumble” Johnson vs. Antonio “Minotoro” Rogerio Nogueira
Notable: Josh “The Punk” Thomson vs. Michael “The Menace” Johnson

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