The War is Won (TUF 21 Finale Review)

tuf_21_finaleThe UFC made some major changes to one of their biggest marketing tools this year as they completely changed The Ultimate Fighter.

Instead of a regular tournament the UFC decided that it was time to take the fans into the world of MMA teams.

It is an interesting world and one that is rarely touched upon in the UFC, largely because teams don’t matter.

MMA is an individual sport as two fighters go head to head and have no help inside the octagon, it is all about the will of one person over another.

When the UFC first began being an MMA fighter was a lonely occupation as fighters traveled from gym to gym to get their training.

They made sure they went to gyms that had training in boxing, judo, karate, wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and many more.

The problem was that in its infancy MMA was not too popular and so these gyms were spread out and rarely housed under one roof.

Fighters had to drive around to train and ensure they were getting enough balance to be effective in the octagon.

That all started to change when the UFC began to grow into the sports franchise that it is today and gyms began to realize they could capitalize on housing everything in one location.

New MMA gyms were beginning to pop up everywhere and they all included more than one discipline to train.

These gyms formed and along with them formed groups of fighters who didn’t have to leave anymore as they could train together.

So the team era of MMA began and has now grown to the point where the fighter who travels to train is almost an extinct species.

Every fighter is a part of a gym and a team and often the UFC is the last to embrace that as team members usually refuse to fight.

Sometimes that can include two fighters who are at the top of their game and now will not get to see which is better because they refuse to fight.

It can also lead to some of the great rivalries when one fighter leaves the gym in order to fight that old teammate or because they believed that the teammate was more important to that gym than they were.

Team dynamics in MMA is always a hard thing to understand but with the 21st season of The Ultimate Fighter fans got a peek inside that world.

The Ultimate Fighter 21 gave fans a look inside the world of teams in the UFC and showed one of the best rivalries in the sport.

The Blackzillian-American Top Team rivalry was for bragging rights in South Florida and to settle the long bitter rivalry between the two owners of the gyms.

The first battle went to the American Top Team when they took home $200,000 for winning the show’s tournament.

Extra bragging rights were on the line in the Finale though as another $300,000 was on the line between the two fighters that each gym picked to be their representative.

For the Blackzillians it was the wrestler with some powerful hands that had won two fights for the Blackzillians in Kamaru

For American Top Team it was the fighter that they had leaned on in the most important times of the show in hard-hitting Hayder Hassan who had won three fights during the show including the final fight of the show that won the show for ATT.

The final match-up was for all of the bragging rights and after a tough loss on the show where ATT had to win the last three fights and did just that the Blackzillians were looking for revenge.

Usman had a clear idea of what he wanted to do as he didn’t want to stand with Hassan instead trying to take the fight to the ground.

In the first round he did just that but couldn’t keep it on the mat with Hassan getting up quickly and trying to get his offence going.

Usman put the fight on the ground again at the end of the round and showed his dominance on the mat landing big shots and eventually taking Hassan’s back.

With the second round came Hassan’s offence as he began to unload better shots even stunning Usman early.

In an attempt to recover, Usman took the fight back to the mat where he easily recovered and went for the finish.

He got it locking in an arm triangle and finishing the fight to give Blackzillians the final win for the 21st season of The Ultimate Fighter.

The season did not immediately provide a new fighter to the UFC as no contract was attached to the winning fighter but the likelihood of Usman earning a contract is fairly good.

There will be plenty of fighters from the show that will be seen in the UFC in the near future but ultimately this was about two rival teams settling a beef in the only way they know, fighting it out.



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