THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER REDEMPTION FINALE LIVE REPORT
JULY 7, 2017
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA AT THE T-MOBILE ARENA
LIVE ON FIGHT PASS AND FOX SPORTS 1
The Ultimate Fighter Redemption Finale is live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main event features Justin Gaethje making his UFC debut against longtime UFC veteran Michael Johnson. The co-main event features the two finalists from the 25th season of the Ultimate Fighter as Jesse Taylor takes on Dhiego Lima.
The six-fight main card also includes Marc Diakiese taking on UFC newcomer Drakkar Klose in the lightweight division, in the light heavyweight division Jared Cannonier welcomes Nick Roehrick to the UFC, in the middleweight division Elias Theodorou takes on Brad Tavares and finally Marcel Fortuna goes up against undefeated Jordan Johnson in a battle of light heavyweights.
Fighters’ MMATorch rankings are included beside their name in the listings.
Early Prelims – Fight Pass
Todd Grisham and Brian Stann welcome viewers to the telecast. Highlight packages of Ishihara and Maynard are shown.
(1) Gray Maynard (13-7-1, 1 NC) vs. Teruto Ishihara (10-3-2) – Featherweight 145 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Ishihara comes out feinting the left knee. Maynard lunges forward and lands to the body. MAynard follows up and gets a take down. Ishihara scoots himself to the fence and works back to his feet. Maynard sweeps the feet and Ishihara is down again. Maynard working hard to keep Ishihara down but Ishihara is up. Ishihara lands a big knee but is taken down again. Maynard maintaining top control. Maynard looking for a head and arm choke but Ishihara defends it well. Ishihara back to his feet. Maynard throws a few uppercuts as he runs Ishihara to the fence. Maynard with another take down. Maynard landing big ground and pound as the round ends.
ROUND TWO: They trade punches to start the round. Maynard shoots in and lands the take down. Ishihara is up quickly but is taken back down. Maynard takes the back. Ishihara slips out and is up. They clinch against the fence and Ishihara is taken down again. Maynard landing shots from top position. Ishihara works his way back up but is taken down again. Maynard has his back but Ishihara is back up. Maynard is stuck to Ishihara like glue and takes Ishihara back down. Ishihara gets up and is back down, rinse and repeat.
ROUND THREE: Ishihara looks exhausted in his corner. Maynard baits Ishihara to throw a punch and scores yet another take down. This round is going exactly the same way the first two went. Maynard looking for a kimura. Ishihara defends it. Ishihara tries to land an up-kick but misses. Maynard working from on top lands a few knees to the body. Maynard has a guillotine but Ishihara fights out of it. Ishihara lands an illegal up-kick and is warned. Ishihara tries getting back to his feet but is unsuccessful. With ten seconds left Ishihara finally gets to his feet.
Result: Maynard by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: That was a clinic put on by Gray Maynard. Ishihara had no defense for Maynard’s wrestling. That was about as lopsided as it gets.
Prelims – FOX Sports 1
(2) #6 Tecia Torres (8-1) vs. Juliana Lima (9-3) – Strawweight 115 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Torres opens with a leg kick. Lima scores a take down and looks for a guillotine. Torres is back up. They clinch against the fence. They trade knees in the clinch. Lima almost gets a take down but Torres fights it off. A bit of a stalemate here against the cage. They get separated and back to center cage. Torres moving forward throwing kicks and runs Lima to the fence. Back to the clinch. Lima is down for a second but is back up immediately. Not much happening with both fighters looking to better their position against the fence. The round ends uneventfully.
ROUND TWO: Lima using kicks to maintain distance well. Torres lands a nice combination. Lima shoots in and Torres spins and has her back. Torres sinks in a rear naked choke and it’s over.
Result: Tecia Torres by submission (0:53 of Round 2 – rear naked choke)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: Wow, that happened fast. It looked like Lima was hurt by a combination from Torres and when she shot in Torres immediately took her back. Impressive submission win for Tecia. Torres calls out Michelle Waterson and asks for karate vs. karate. I’d be happy with that fight.
(3) Ed Herman (24-12, 1 NC) vs. CB Dollaway (16-9) – Light Heavyweight 205 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Big overhand right lands flush for Herman but Dollaway shakes it off. Dollaway gets a take down. Herman goes for an arm bar but Dollaway postures up and lands shots down on Herman. Herman goes for a knee bar but is defended by Dollaway well. Dollaway showing excellent wrestling here. Dollaway trasitions to side cntrol. Herman slowly works back to his feet. Dollaway tosses him back down. Nice elbows from Dollaway in top position. Herman goes for another arm bar but Dollaway breaks free. Herman works back up and tries fighting the hands in an effort to break free. Dollaway takes him back down and rides out the remaining seconds of the round.
ROUND TWO: Dollaway opens the round with a leg kick. Dollaway lands a high kick flush. Herman responds with a big right hand that drops Dollaway but he’s back up instantly. Dollaway can take a punch! Herman looks gassed. Both fighters land right hands. LHerman lands another big combination that puts Dollaway on the canvass. Herman works from top position. Dollaway goes sfor a heel hook. Herman breaks free and lands a big right hand to a grounded Dollaway. Herman in top position working ground and pound. Herman landing some nice ground and pound here. A nasty elbow lands for Herman. Dollaway scrambles out as the round ends.
10-9 Herman. Good fight so far.
ROUND THREE: Nice jab from Dollaway. Dollaway shoots in and lands a take down. Herman goes for a guillotine but loses it quickly. Dollaway lands short punches to the body from top position. Herman looks for a kimura and appears to have it. Dolloaway defends it and is back to landing ground and pound from on top. Herman not doing much from underneath. Dollaway continues to land big shots. Both fighters are bloody. Herman scrambles out but Dollaway stays on him. Dollaway takes the back but the round ends.
Result: Dollaway by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: Good fight, both fighters left it all out there. Both fighters had their moments, but Dollaway dominated rounds one and three. Griity performance and a much needed win for Dollaway.
(4) James Krause (23-8) vs. Tom Gallicchio (19-10) – Welterweight 170 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Front kick lands for Krause. Gallicchio lands a take down. Krause gets back to his feet and Gallicchio takes his back. Gallicchio looks for a rear naked choke. Krause fights out and scrambles back to his feet. Both fighters stand. Head kick lands for Krause. They trade jabs. Big straight left lands for Krause. Krause defends a take down attempt. Krause starting to land at distance. Leg kick for Gallicchio. Gallicchio taking damage trying to get inside. High kick lands flush for Krause. Gallicchio just smiles. Krause continues to pick apart Gallicchio from the outside. Two big shots land as the round ends.
ROUND TWO: Gallicchio starts the round with a leg kick. Krause picks up where he left off last round by landing jab after jab. Right hand dlands for Krause. Gallicchio comes back with a big right hand as Krause tries to exit. Gallicchio with more head movement in this round. Gallicchio needs to pick it up a bit here. Leg kick for Gallicchio. Gallicchio eats a big right as he tries to shoot in. Both fighters open up a little bit and land strikes. Gallicchio is bloodied as Krause makes this look easy. Gallicchio just can’t get inside. Gallicchio blocks a head kick but eats a knee for his efforts.
ROUND THREE: Gallicchio starts the round more aggressively. He shoots but Krause avoids him easily. GAllicchio is following Krause around the cage just trying to get inside. Krause doing an excellent job maintaining distance with the jab. His counter-punches are just tearing Gallicchio up. I’ll say this, Gallicchio can take a beating. Gallicchio lands an overhand right. Krause stuffs another take down attempt. The crowd chants for Gallicchio and Krause tells him the crowd can’t help him. Gallicchio lands a nice left hand. Krause lands an uppercut as Gallicchio lands a right hand. Krause follows up with a head kick. The fight ends with Krause landing a big knee.
Result: Krause by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: That was a complete mismatch. Gallicchio just could not get inside to set up the take down. Krause had an excellent game plan and executed it perfectly. As much as I like Tom Gallicchio, I just don’t see him having much success in the UFC.
(5) Angela Hill (6-3) vs. Ashley Yoder (5-2) – Strawweight 115 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Yoder misses with a front kick. Hill blocks a head kick. Leg kick lands for Yoder. Hill lands a leg kick and follows with a nice right hand. Yoder shoots and scores a take down. Hill is up quickly and pins Yoder against the fence .Yoder breaks free and both fighters are back to center. Yoder misses with another head kick. Hill lands right hand. They trade leg kicks. A hard leg lick lands for Hill. Hill doing a nice job commanding the octagon. Hill is definitely the quicker fighter as Yoder is missing a lot. Hill is mixing up her offense well keeping Yoder off balance. After the early take down from Yoder, it was all Angela Hill.
ROUND TWO: Yoder opens the second round with a take down. Yoder works from half guard. Yoder trying to free her right leg to get into full mount. Ref tells her to get busy. Yoder’s right leg is very red from all the leg kicks. Hill scrambles and is now in top control. Hill postures up and lands a few right hands. Hill decides to stand and lets Yoder up. Head kick just misses for Hill. Front kick misses for Yoder as Hill lands a nice right hand. Big right hand from Hill.
10-9 Hill, but a very close round.
ROUND THREE: Yoder opens with a kick to the body. Big right hand lands for Hill. Yoder shoots but Hill fights her off. They clinch against the fence. Yoder gets Hill to the mat. Hill fights her way back up and they clinch again. Back to center. Hill lands a right. Yoder shoots but Hill defends it and scores a take down of her own. Hill is staying bust from top position and then lets Yoder up. They stand at center cage. Hill goes back to the lead leg of Yoder. They trade kicks to the body. Nice right hand from Hill as the round ends.
10-9 Hill, another tough round to score though.
Result: Hill by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27,30-27)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: Good fight. Angela Hill looks so much better now compared to her last few fights. Yoder wasn’t an easy out by any means, she fought a good fight. Hill landed the harder shots and commanded the cage throughout.
Main Card – FS1
(6) Jordan Johnson (7-0) vs. Marcel Fortuna (9-1) – Light Heavyweight 205 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Johnson opens with a short left. Johnson lands a big straight right dropping Fortuna. Johnson pounces but Fortuna recovers and scrambles back to his feet. The action slows as both fighters look for their timing. Fortuna misses an overhand right as Johnson lands a nice combination. Johnson misses with a wild overhand right and looks for a take down. Fortuna grabs the top of the fence preventing the take down. The ref missed it. They clinch against the fence. Fortuna scrambles out and both fighters back to center. Fortuna lands a big uppercut. They circle as the round ends.
ROUND TWO: They trade left hands to open the round. Fortuna goes to the body with a nice kick. Right hand lands flush for Fortuna. Another big right from Fortuna. Johnson handled both shots very well. Good chin. They trade center cage with Johnson getting the better of the exchange. John goes to the body with a solid kick. Big left hook buckles Johnson. He recovers and lands a big right hand in return. Both fighters landing big shots. Johnson has yet to attempt a take down this round which I find odd. Right hands for Fortuna. Johnson goes for a single but Fortuna defends it. Johnson sweeps Fortuna’s leg and scores a take down. He lands a few hammer fists as Fortuna scrambles back to his feet. They trade punches as the round ends.
ROUND THREE: Fortuna goes for a take down but is unsuccessful. They stand at center cage. Fortuna goes to the body with a kick as Johnson lands a left hand. Nice uppercut from Fortuna. I’m surprised Johnson is standing at range against Fortuna. Neither fighter is overly aggressive so far this round. The each miss uppercuts. Johnson stuffs a take down attempt and runs Fortuna to the fence. Fortuna spins out and back to center. Fortuna throws three consecutive kicks and lands one. Johnson lands a combination as the fight comes to an end.
Result: Johnson by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: The take downs from Johnson made the difference. Other than that I thought both fighters were pretty evenly matched. Johnson looks like a fighter to keep an eye on going forward.
(7) Brad Tavares (14-4) vs. Elias Theodorou (14-1) – Middleweight 185 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Theodorou comes out throwing kicks. Tavares lands a left hand that stops Theodorou. Tavares lands another punch and follows with a take down. He has one hook in. Theodorou breaks free and scrambles back to his feet. Tavares goes for another take down up against the fence but Theodorou defends it. Back to center. Theodorou lands a leg kivck. Straight left lands for Theodorou. Tavraes is standing center cage as Theodorou circles around him. They clinch and trade knees. Tavares lands a right hand on the break. Theodorou back to circling. Tavares lands a clean combination. A head kick from Theodorou is partially blocked.
ROUND TWO: Tavares sets up shop at center cage. Big leg kick lands for Tavares. Theodorou goes for a take down but can’t finish. They clinch against the fence and Tavares lands a take down. Theodorou is up instantly. They fight for position along the fence. Back to center they trade heavy shots. Tavares finished the exchange off with a big right hand. Theodorou runs Tavares to the fence but he circles out and they are back to center. They clinch again. Theodorou lands a nice combination on the break.
Sorry folks, my Direct TV continues to go in and out on me here.
The round ends with Theodorou landing a left hand.
10-9 Theodorou, but a very close round.
ROUND THREE: Theodorou goes for a single leg but Tavares fights him off. They clinch and Theodorou takes Tavares down. Tavares tries to work back to his feet and is out. They clinch against the fence and trade knees. Theodorou with another take down. Tavares pops right back up, but he has to get off the fence. Tavares switches position and takes Theodorou’s back. He has both hooks in and goes for a rear naked choke. Theodorou doing a nice job fighting the hands. He looks to be too high and switches to an arm bar attempt. Theodorou slips out but Tavares has the back again. Theodorou battles up and out. Back to center and the two let their hands go as the fight ends.
Result: Tavares by unanimous (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: That was a good technical fight. Both fighters fought well, but Tavares landed the bigger shots and reversed Theodorou multiple times leading to the much deserved win.
(8) Jared Cannonier (9-2) vs. Nick Roehrick (7-0) – Light Heavyweight 205 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Roehrick lands a left to open the fight. Cannonier lands an overhand right and gets out. Cannonier showing off excellent boxing here landing nice jabs, followed by big right hands. Roehrick lands a right of his own. Cannonier lands another stiff jab. Roehrick showing a good chin early on. Surprisingly Roehrick has not attempted a take down yet. Roehrick lands a nice right hand. Both guys throwing big big punches but neither landing. A combination lands for Roehrick. Cannonier is just loading up on big right hands but missing. Roehrick runs Cannonier to the fence but he slips out of the clinch. They circle each other at center cage as the round ends.
ROUND TWO: Big leg kick from Cannonier buckles Roehrick. Another leg kick from Cannonier. Roehrick seems content to stand and trade with Cannonier but he eats a big right hand. Cannonier is encouraging Roehrick to throw more punches. A stiff jab followed by a huge right hand drops Roehrick. Cannonier pounces and lands some big shots but Roehrick eats all of them and gets back to his feet. This guy’s chin is unreal. Roehrick is a bloody mess. Kudos to Roehrick for continuing to move forward while throwing punches. Roehrick lands a nice right hand. They clinh against the fence. Roehrick lands a left hook on the break. Back to center cage and they circle as the round ends.
ROUND THREE: Roehrick starts the third throwing punches. Roehrick goes to the body with a punch and follows with a kick. They both land big left hands. A front kick rocks Roehrick and he’s in trouble. Cannonier follows with a left hand and a big knee. Another right hand and Roehrick goes down. Cannonier with massive ground and pound and Big John stops it.
Result: Cannonier by TKO (2:08 of Round 3)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: Sweet Jesus Roehrick can take a punch. Cannonier beat him from pillar to post and he just kept coming. I was very surprised to see Roehrick stand and trade with a big puncher like Cannoier. I expected him to work take downs and keep the fight on the ground. As good as Cannonier looked here, I don’t think he can compete with the divisoin’s top 10.
(9) Marc Diakiese (12-0) vs. Drakkar Klose (6-0-1) – Lightweight 155 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Leg kick for Klose to open the fight. Another one. Klose rushes Diakiese and lands a take down. Diakiese is up quickly. They clinch against the fence and Klose lands a few foot stomps. Diakiese times it perfectly and takes Klose down as he was attempting another foot stomp. Klose works back to his feet with Diakiese trying to take his back. Klose is able to reverse position and lands knees and foot stomps in the clinch. Diakiese spins away and they are back to center. Big leg kick from Klose buckled Diakiese and he goes down. Klose pounces and starts landing punches on a fallen Diakiese. Diakiese seems to have weathered the storm and is defending from the bottom well. Diakises goes for a heel hook. He lets go and is back to his feet. The round ends with Diakiese on top.
ROUND TWO: Diakiese misses with a wild right hand. Klose misses with a head kick. Klose runs Diakiese to the fence and lands knees to the body of Diakiese. Back to center of the cage. Klose lands another leg kick. Diakiese goes for a kick and gets taken down. Klose can’t keep Diakiese down though. Diakiese catches a kick and runs Klose to the fence. Diakiese lands a knee low in the clinch and time is called. Back to action and they clinch against the fence. Klose lands a kick to the body on the break. It’s hard to tell just how bad Diakiese’s leg is bothering him. Another big leg kick and Diakiese goes down. Klose jumps on him just as the round ends.
ROUND THREE: A leg kick from Klose as he eats a right hand. Switch kick lands flush for Diakiese in his best offensive move of the fight. Klose pins Diakiese against the fence but Diakiese pushes off. Back to center. Klose lands a left hand and follows up with a take down. Diakiese is back up quickly and they clinch. Diakiese takes Klose’s back against the fence. Diakiese with knees to Klose;s thigh. Klose reverses position and goes back to foot stomps. They separate and Klose lands a right hand. Klose doing a little show boating egging Diakiese on. Klose goes for a single leg and lands in a guillotine, but he loses it. A big right hand from Klose as the horn sounds.
Result: Klose by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: What a great performance from Drakkar Klose. I did not expect him to win this fight, but he definitely deserved the win. He just called all English dudes bums! Bisping didn’t like that comment. HA! I love this guy!
(10) Dhiego Lima (14-5) vs. Jesse Taylor (32-15) – Welterweight 170 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Taylor shoots but Lima is fighting it off. Taylor gets Lima’s back and breaks Lima down. Lima stands with Taylor on his back. Lima turns into Taylor and gets taken down. Taylor working from top position. Taylor landing some ground and pound. Taylor takes Lima’s back and is under the chin. Lima rotates his chin and gets out of the choke. Great job by Lima there. Taylor lands some punches from top in an effort to soften up Lima. Taylor works for another choke as the round ends.
ROUND TWO: Lima with a huge left hand drops Taylor in the opening seconds of the round. Lima tries to take the back but Taylor slips out the back door and now has Lima’s back. Taylor working for a choke and he has it in tight. That’s it, Lima taps.
Result: Taylor by submission (0:43 of Round 2 – rear naked choke)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: Well, that went exactly as I thought it would. The guy is just relentless with take downs and once he gets the back, it’s over. Excellent performance from Taylor and he was definitely the best fighter in the house.
(11) Michael Johnson (18-11) vs. Justin Gaethje (17-0) – Lightweight 155 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Johnson lands two left hands that stagger him. Gaethje eggs him on. Johnson lands a combination. Gaethje lands a big right hand and follows up with a solid knee. Gaethje is doing a great job cutting off the cage. Gaethje lands a big leg kick. Gaethje goes to the body and lands a punch and follows with another leg kick. Another leg kick. Gaethje lands a big left hand and rocks Johnson. These guys are standing in the pocket and throwing hands! I’m surprised to see Johnson engage in a fire fight with Gaethje, but here we are. Both fighters landing big shots. A huge uppercut drops Gaethje and Johnson is on top of him. Johnson takes his back. Gaethje stands and Johnson is unloading with big shots and Gaethje is in big trouble here. Somehow Gaethje survives as the horn sounds to end the round.
ROUND TWO: They come out firing to start the second round. Leg kick for Gaethje. Johnson is bouncing on his toes here and moving better now. He can’t let Gaethje walk him down. They trade left hands. Johnson rocks Gaethje again with a huge left hook and Gaethje is in trouble again. Johnson is all over Gaethje with punches and knees. He has Gaethje pinned against the fence now. Gaethje fights back with an elbow and a big knee. They are back to center. Johnson starts working the body and Gaethje looks like he can go at any time. Both guys swinging wildly. Gaethje’s output is slowing considerably here. Gaethje lands a jab and Johnson goes back to the body. Big uppercut rocks Johnson and Gaethje smothers him Two more big uppercuts land on Johnson flush with his back to the fence. Johnson covers up as Gaethje lands more punches. Johnson goes down, but Gaethje tells him to get up. Johnson is barely able to get up and Gaethje walks him down and starts unloading on him. Johnson is isn’t fighting back and just covers up. That’s it, Big John stops it!
Result: Gaethje by TKO (4:48 of Round 2)
Grocke’s Viewpoint: Words can’t describe what just happened. This man is unbreakable. Just an unbelievable debut. The majority of tonight’s card was underwhelming. The main event saved the event and it’s a must see fight. I don’t know how long he’s going to be able to fight like this, but I can’t wait to see him again. This has to be one of the best UFC debuts of all-time. Kudos Mr. Gaethje.
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