By Jaime C. Feal
A great card did not disappoint as the fights lived up to the hype, and it was a great night of entertainment. In a heavyweight clash, Travis Browne made short work of UFC veteran Gabriel Gonzaga with a TKO via vicious short elbows in the first round. Browne’s only loss is to current #1 contender Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. In the next fight, Mieshta Tate took on Cat Zingano in an extremely important Women’s Bantamweight match. Zingano took over in the third round with brutal knees and stopped Tate. With the win, Zingano is set to coach opposite Ronda Rousey in the next season of The Ultimate Fighter. As always, at the conclusion of the season the coaches will fight, so Zingano not only earned a TUF coaching stint but also a title shot with her win over Tate. In the TUF Season 17 finals, Kelvin Gastelum upset Uriah Hall, and in doing so Gastelum became the youngest Ultimate Fighter winner ever at just 21 years old. Finally, Urijah Faber put on a show, ultimately choking out the always dangerous Scott Jorgensen.
Cat Zingano reacts to defeating Miesha Tate during the TUF 17 Finale at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Women’s Bantamweight Division (135 lbs.): Miesha Tate (13-3, 0-0 UFC) vs. Cat Zingano (7-0, 0-0 UFC)
Tate rushes in and gets a trip takedown. The fighters scramble on the ground with Tate briefly gaining dominance, then Zingano getting back up to her feet. Grappling on the cage, Zingano works for a guillotine choke, and Miesha narrowly escapes. Zingano with a nice left. Tate lands a hard three punch combo that backs Zingano up against the cage. Tate gets a single leg takedown and passes into side control. Zingano reverses the position beautifully and gets in side control herself. Tate gets back to her feet, and the women exchange wildly, with Tate getting the better of it. Zingano lands a big knee. Nice stiff jab from Tate, but then she gets rocked by Zingano and is forced to take her down. Tate working from half guard now. Miesha landing some good elbows. More elbows and a hammerfist from Miesha close out a strong first round. 10-9 round for Tate.
Zingano comes out aggressive and misses with a flying knee. Tate gets another takedown. Miesha in side control again, working elbows to the body. Zingano regains half guard, but ate islanding big shots. Tate passes to mount and is trying for an armbar. Tate loses the position but wisely gets back on top. Tate landing more good punches from mount. Zingano reverses, gets on top, Tate working for a leg lock. Tate in good position but Zingano looks relaxed and ok. Zingano spins out and starts landing nasty elbows. Tate is betting beat on now, heavy shots from Zingano. Tate is turtled up now, finally gets back to her feet, fails on a takedown attempt. 10-9 round for Zingano.
Zingano misses a high kick, Tate with a jab. Zingano gets a takedown. Zingano controlling Tate on the ground, and scoring with nice shots. Tate trying to escape but gets thrown to her back again. Zingano is all over her and taking over the fight, Tate’s nose is busted and bloodied. Zingano landing hard left after hard left hand, Tate is getting rocked. Tate is turtled up, tries to get back up, eat a huge knee, falls right back on her face. Still turtled up, Zingano is unloading with shots, this fight is in danger of being stopped. Tate gets back up and eats three HUGE knees, and an elbow for good measure. Tate crumbles on the cage, ref Kim Winslow finally steps in to stop the massacre.
Cat Zingano wins by TKO at 2:55 of Round 3.
The Ultimate Fighter 17 Middleweight Final (185 lbs.): Uriah “Primetime” Hall (7-2, 0-0 UFC) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (4-0, 0-0 UFC)
Uriah Hall hits Kelvin Gastelum during the TUF 17 Finale at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Hall circling the outside, hands low. Gastelum trying to implement forward pressure. Gastelum clinches with Hall on the cage. Hall trying to muscle his way out, but Gastelum doing a good job of keeping him up against the cage. The middleweights exchange knees to the body then separate. Inside leg kick for Gastelum. High kick for Hall just misses. Nice still jab from Hall. Good left hand rom Gastelum, sends Hall staggering backwards. Hall needs to keep his hands up or he could get dropped. Gastelum gets the takedown and starts unloading on Hall with nasty ground and pound. Gastelum shocking the world right now, completely dominating Hall in the opening round. Gastelum looking to pass to mount, but splits back in guard. More ground and pound from Gastelum. Hall gets up and lands a jab. Inside leg kick from Hall. Hard jab from Hall, goes for a takedown and gets it. 10-9 round for Gastelum.
Jab from Hall. Nice straight right from Hall, good spinning back kick to the body. Hall starting to score. Hall backs himself into the cage, looking to counter. Gastelum dumps him and scores another takedown. Hall is trying to fight like Anderson Silva and its not working. Gastelum controlling from the top position, working from half guard. Hall trying to sweep, gets it. Now Hall is on top, gets up to his feet. Big knee from the Thai clinch by Uriah Hall. Gastelum presses him against the cage. Hall gets a trip takedown, landing some light ground and pound from half guard. Hall lands a good series of elbows with a minute left. Gastelum gets to his feet but Hall has his back standing. Huge suplex from Uriah Hall, Gastelum gets up. Knees to the body from Hall. 10-9 round for Hall.
Good straight left for Gastelum. High kick from Hall, then an outside leg kick. Gastelum gets a nice takedown, but Hall with a great reversal! Hall gets the takedown now, absolutelyt wailing away on Gastelum with nasty ground and pound. Gastelum neblievably gets out and up to his feet. What a fight. The middleweights are clinched up now, exchanging knees. Hall gets free and lands a jab. High kick from Hall is checked. Nice jab from Hall. Gastelum is cut over his right eye. Nice left from Gastelum, then gets a takedown. Hall on his back. Gastelum landings ground and pound, Hall throwing punches from the bottom, scramble to end the round. 10-10 round.
The judges score the fight 29-28, 28-29, and 29-28 for the winner by split decision, and the Season 17 Ultimate Fighter champion, Kelvin Gastelum.
Bantamweight Division (135 lbs.): Urijah “The California Kid” Faber (27-6, 3-2 UFC) vs. Scott “Young Guns” Jorgensen (14-6, 3-2 UFC)
Urijah Faber pins Scott Jorgensen during the TUF 17 Finale at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Jorgensen lands an inside leg kick. Faber lands two good strikes then sprawls nicely. Jorgensen clinches with Faber, looking for a trip but can’t get it. Jorgensen gets the trip takedown. Faber wall walks to his feet, Jorgensen has his back standing up. Faber counters and gets on top. Faber looking for a choke on the ground, now looking to take the back. Jorgensen gets to his feet. Good left hook from Faber. Inside leg kick from Jorgensen. Nice knee from Faber, then sprawls and starts nailing Jorgensen. Faber has taken Jorgensen’s back. Both hooks are in, Faber looking for the finish. Big elbow from Faber. Jorgensen gets to his knees, now Faber rolls for a guillotine. Faber had it deep, but Jorgensen escapes. Faber again taking the back, looking for submissions. 10-9 round for Faber
Low blow temporarily pauses the fight. Action resumes, Faber lands a jab. Good blitz from Faber, used a knee and some punches there. Jorgensen looks bewildered. Good front kick from Faber. Jorgensen tries for a takedown but is thwarted. Straight right to the body from Faber, then a good knee. Faber with some body shots. Faber gets a takedown, lands some light ground and pound. Jorgensen is able to scramble back up and land a hard left hand. Nice uppercut from Jorgensen. The bantamweights jockey for position on the cage, Faber breaks free. 10-9 round for Faber.
Both fighters swinging and missing to start the round. Jorgensen lands a jab after eating a knee. Good right from Jorgensen. Inside leg kick from Faber. Nice combo from Faber, punctuated by a left hook. Beautiful right counter from “The California Kid.” Nice knee and dirty boxing from Jorgensen. Faber gives up his back standing, but is able to escape. Good left hand for Scott Jorgensen. Faber shoots for a takedown and misses, Jorgensen jumps on his back. Faber breaks free, eats a short elbow. Outside leg kick for Jorgensen. Nice punches from both men now. Faber lands a huge takedown, takes the back to close the round. 10-9 round for Jorgensen.
The pace has slowed significantly. Both men throwing still, but not nearly as much on the strikes. Jorgensen is stopped on a takedown attempt. Faber eats a hard elbow. Good knee from Faber. Left hook lands for Urijah, then he gets a takedown. Faber taking the back again, both hooks in. Faber looking for a rear naked choke. Faber slipping the arm under the chin, has it fully locked in. Jorgensen forced to tap out.
Urijah “The California Kid” Faber wins by submission (rear naked choke) at 3:16 of Round 4.