The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 – Finale – Episode 12 aired last night. The show had a little something for everyone – grappling, striking, take downs and questionable decisions by the judges.
One of our favourites, Nam Phan, started out the show with his bout against Leonard Garcia, with both fighters as featherweights. Garcia came in as a very experienced fighter, one of whose fights qualified for fight of the year.
Round one began with the men trading kicks and then Phan hurting Garcia with a strike to the jaw. Garcia tried a superman punch and a spinning back fist, neither of which worked. His giant looping strikes were not very effective, but his straight jabs connected. Phan was a far more technical striker than Garcia, with more shots hitting their target.
Round two had Garcia more effective with strikes and kicks and achieving a double leg take down. Phan hurt Garcia, though, and followed up with multiple strikes causing Garcia to go down. Phan then applied ground and pound, got on Garcia’s back and had both hooks in. The remainder of the round continued on the ground, with Phan controlling the situation.
Round three began with Garcia coming in quickly for multiple strikes and kicks. Phan’s face was bleeding from what looked like many scratches. Garcia had another double leg take down. He was exhausted after this onslaught and moved about the octagon with arms down at his sides, still striking on occasion, but with limited energy. Phan’s strikes were effective.
Unanimous decision in Garcia’s favour. The audience booed at great length: Joe Rogan complained about the judging for some minutes and even Garcia said that he thought he had lost and would fight Phan again.
Johny Fredericks fought against Rick Story next. Round one had Story in total devastating control while standing. The second round was more even with the men trading take downs and trying chokes.
In round three, Fredericks had a take down and both men fought for control.
Unanimous decision in Story’s favour.
Cody McKenzie fought against Aaron Wilkinson in the next fight. Both men were in The Ultimate Fighter Season 12. McKenzie’s favourite (only?) technique is the guillotine and he has won all his matches with it. It didn’t matter how much his opponents trained to avoid it, they invariably stuck their necks in the crook of his arm and were goners. Prior to this fight, he had had only lost one and that was in the quarterfinals of TUF12.
Wilkinson is a strong fighter, but McKenzie rushed him right away and he was taken down, with McKenzie trying for the guillotine. Even when Wilkinson managed to stand up, McKenzie still had the makings of the guillotine there. Wilkinson dropped to the floor and kept getting out and then going back into the choke. The match ended with McKenzie on his back holding Wilkinson, his forearm across Wilkinson’s face, not his neck. Tap out. When we saw Wilkinson immediately after McKenzie let go, he looked as though his jaw were dislocated. Frightening.
In the fight between Demian Maia and Kendall Grove, the much shorter Maia displayed his take down techniques multiple times in rounds one and two. When on the ground, in the superiour positions, Maia scored with ground and pound. He attempted chokes, but Grove defended. Unanimous decision in Maia’s favour.
Stephan Bonnar then battled Igor Pokrajac in the co-main event. Bonnar achieved a take down in round one and attempted a guillotine afterward. In round two, Bonnar threw Pokrajac with a tight harai goshi. On the ground, Pokrajac kneed Bonnar’s head from the bottom and had a point deducted.
In round three, on the ground again, with Bonnar in control, Pokrajac got loose and tried a juji on Bonnar. Bonnar had a point deducted for punches to the back of the head.
Unanimous decision – Bonnar.
The finale of The Ultimate Fighter came next, between Jonathan Brookins and Michael Johnson. The bout began with Brookins trying a single leg take down which Johnson stuffed. Johnson connected with his strikes and Brookins was tagged and dropped. Johnson attempted a guillotine and then struck Brookins’s jaw two more times. The guy was dazed and completely unstable on his feet. I was surprised that he managed to survive the round. Brookins had his hands too low, head too high and hair too long (he kept brushing it out of his face even though he had it tied up.)
Round two had Brookins taking Johnson down and connecting several times when in half guard. He trapped one of Johnson’s arms under his leg and used his forearm to strike Johnson. Johnson got up, but Brookins had one of Johnson’s legs. Johnson struck Brookins with elbows to the face, but Brookins retaliated with a huge take down.
Round three began with shots to Brookins’s jaw from Johnson. Brookins then took Johnson down with a single leg. On the ground, Brookins began in full mount, but Johnson rolled out. Standing again, Brookins took Johnson down again, but in a dangerous move, throwing himself to the ground, landing on his back and immediately turning over and getting into Johnson’s half guard. Ground and pound followed.
Unanimous decision in Brookins’s favour.
Both these guys have real skills, but Johnson needs to work seriously on his ground game. He was completely dominated. Brookins, on the other hand, needs to work on stand up: he stands straight up; his hands are far too low and his jaw was the perfect target. He can take a punch, though.
The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 Finale had boxing and submission attempts, so whoever watched, had something to relate to. There were FAR too many commercials for games; there are always far too many commercials for the free shows, but perhaps that just annoys me. Brookins is a truly nice guy and fought and won against another nice guy (how unusual in the UFC!)
December 6, 2010