THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER 22 FINALE
DECEMBER 11, 2015
LIVE FROM LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
The TUF 22 Finale comes live to Fox Sports 1 tonight with one of the best cable television main events the UFC’s put on this year between Frankie Edgar and Chad Mendes. As always, we’ll have live round by round coverage of tonight’s excellent main card as it kicks off at 10PM ET, along with quick results and commentary on the prelims as they begin at 8PM ET. Follow along with us right here tonight for full event coverage!
=====Fox Sports 1 Prelims Quick Results=====
-Chris Gruetzemacher def. Abner Lloveras via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
-Geane Herrera def. Joby Sanchez via KO at 4:28 of the second round
NOTE: Herrera caught Sanchez with a massive left hook in an exchange that dropped him, and finished it off with a few brutal strikes on the ground.
-Ryan LaFlare def. Mike Pierce via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
NOTE: Sloppy striking battle with LaFlare connecting on a lot more through the first two rounds. Pierce did some significant damage late in the third, but it wasn’t nearly enough. Not a great fight overall.
-Gabriel Gonzaga def. Konstantin Erokhin via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-28)
NOTE: Not sure you can call that one a fight. They had 22 combined strikes through the first 11 minutes; Gonzaga scored a couple takedowns, but almost nothing happened in that one. Awful.
=====Fox Sports 1 Main Card=====
-Jon Anik and Brian Stann on the call once again tonight. Nice.
MAIN CARD FIGHT ONE: JULIAN EROSA VS. MARCIN WRZOSEK (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Wrzosek landed a combo right off the bat. He connected on a couple strikes. He slipped, but popped up and landed a hard right hand. He clinched up, but Erosa eventually backed him off and landed a body kick. Wrzosek continued connecting and pressed Erosa to the cage. Erosa turned him around and landed a few knees. They jockeyed for position for a while and the clinch battle slowed things down. Erosa got in a couple knees. Wrzosek went for a takedown, but got reversed. Erosa went for a guillotine and got top position. He went for a modified D’Arce choke, but wasn’t able to finish it and Wrzosek popped to his feet. Erosa got in a few knees, Wrzosek landed some punches, and the clinch battle brought them to the final ten seconds. They broke and threw a few minor strikes before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Erosa. Wrzosek might have gotten it with his early strikes, but Erosa’s sub attempt and some strikes in the clinch edged it slightly for me.
ROUND TWO: Wrzosek threw out a few strikes, closed distance, and took Erosa down. He stood up and Erosa landed an upkick. Wrzosek briefly dropped into his guard, but Erosa worked up the cage and it was back to a clinch battle. They separated and traded strikes. Wrzosek landed a hard strike and then they clinched up again. Wrzosek dropped for a takedown but got stuffed. Erosa landed a couple knees to the body. He landed a hard elbow and they continued battling for position in the clinch. Wrzosek scored another takedown up against the cage. He didn’t do much there and Erosa got up. Wrzosek landed a right hand as he broke away. Wrzosek landed a straight left. Wrzosek scored his third takedown of the round. Erosa tried to score something off his back, but Wrzosek avoided any of it to the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Wrzosek. This is not a good fight right now, but Wrzosek took that round clearly.
ROUND THREE: Erosa landed a few strikes early, then caught Wrzosek low with a kick. Just what we needed on a card that’s already going to have bad pacing. They restarted and Erosa landed a few strikes. He popped in with a flying knee and avoided some of Wrzosek’s attacks. Wrzosek connected on a left. Erosa stuffed a takedown attempt, then scored one of his own. Wrzosek attacked for a guillotine, but Erosa popped out. Wrzosek landed some elbows off his back. Erosa tried to pass but Wrzosek popped to his feet. Erosa landed an uppercut, then stuffed a takedown attempt. He landed another strike and stuffed another takedown. Wrzosek was getting desperate for the takedown, but wasn’t having any success. Erosa backed him off, then held off another attempt. He turned Wrzosek around and landed a knee. They traded clinch strikes before finally separating. Erosa landed another flying knee but landed back in a clinch. He backed off it and landed a body kick with a minute left. Erosa scored a takedown into half guard. Wrzosek tried to escape, but Erosa held top position. Erosa went for a late choke, he lost it but used it to sweep again. Wrzosek scrambled up, clinched, and they traded strikes at the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Erosa. Second and third were clear, decision will come down to a dull first round.
WINNER: Erosa via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
STAR RATING: (*) Third round was OK, but that wasn’t a good fight.
MAIN CARD FIGHT TWO: TATSUYA KAWAJIRI VS. JASON KNIGHT (FEATHERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Knight moved straight to the center. Kawajiri landed a hard inside leg kick. He missed a spinning strike. Kawajiri shot in and took Knight down. Knight tried to work a high rubber guard, and he transitioned to a triangle choke attempt. Kawajiri blocked it, but Knight landed some hard elbows from the bottom. Kawajiri finally popped out and tried to pass. He moved to Knight’s guard and threw down a couple elbows. He passed to half guard. He tried to get to side control but got pulled back to guard. He landed a couple elbows. He held position as Knight tried to scramble and landed some punches. He dropped down a couple more elbows and punches. Knight tried to kick him off but got held down. Knight got cut open on the left cheek. Kawajiri looked to pass again, but Knight got him back into guard. Kawajiri postured up and landed a strike. He ended the round on top.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Kawajiri. Knight had a solid attempt on that high rubber guard to triangle position, but he couldn’t lock it down, allowing Kawajiri to control most of the round from there.
ROUND TWO: Kawajiri missed another spinning strike. He shot, Knight sprawled, and tried to toss up his legs. Kawajiri avoided the triangle attempt and got into Knight’s guard. Kawajiri landed several elbows and opened Knight up some more. Kawajiri landed some more elbows and punches, keeping busy in Knight’s guard. They were eventually stood up due to some inactivity. Kawajiri almost immediately took him back down. (Aside from Rich Hansen as that takedown happened: “I think I hate this fight”). Kawajiri passed to half guard. He tried to lock up Knight’s arm for an arm triangle choke, but gave it up and landed a few strikes before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Kawajiri. Not doing a whole lot, but it’s more than enough to win these rounds.
ROUND THREE: Kawajiri landed a big strike early but Knight shrugged it off. Kawajiri took him down again and tried to pass to half guard. Knight locked him up in guard, but Kawajiri got out right after and passed. He stayed heavy on Knight and was trying to secure a pass further, but got stood up. Ok then. Kawajiri went for another takedown and got him down again. This time he passed to side control. He got to north-south position, but was still just holding Knight down. Knight tried to kick off the cage but got held down. Kawajiri passed back to side control. Knight locked up Kawajiri’s arm in an awkward pretzel-like contortion. It just locked them down, so they were stood up again. Knight pressed forward with a strike. He threw several more, but Kawajiri dragged him back down. He held position on top for the final 30 seconds.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Kawajiri. Dull round, not the greatest fight, but clear once again in Kawajiri’s favor, as Knight couldn’t secure anything off his back.
WINNER: Kawajiri via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
STAR RATING: (*+) Ok first round, lots of rinse and repeat takedowns with little in the way of entertaining action from there.
MAIN CARD FIGHT THREE: JOE LAUZON VS. EVAN DUNHAM (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Dunham landed a quick combination early. He popped Lauzon’s head back with a right hand. Lauzon tried to walk him down, but Dunham held him off. Lauzon landed several punches and backed Dunham up. Dunham landed a solid counter right,. Lauzon landed a hard body punch and clinched, tossing in an uppercut. Dunham returned fire. They traded strikes and clinched again. Dunham got in a knee to the body and Lauzon backed out with a big elbow. Dunham got in a knee on another brief clinch. Dunham landed a short combo. Lauzon landed a big left. They traded punches in the center. More minor strikes traded in the center. Dunham landed a decent combination to the body and then the head. Dunham landed a hard uppercut in the midst of another combination. Lauzon went hunting and grazed him with a couple strikes. Lauzon landed a right hand. He covered up from a combo. Dunham landed several strikes in combination, spun Lauzon around with a leg kick, and landed a couple more. He tossed out a few more strikes. Lauzon shot in and got Dunham down briefly, but Dunham scrambled up. Lauzon landed a right hand late, then Dunham drove him to the cage and took him down at the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Dunham. Out-struck Lauzon in a striking heavy round.
ROUND TWO: Lauzon tried to play aggressor moving in, and Dunham fired off strikes as he circled around. Dunham landed a hard body kick that was caught, but he held off a takedown attempt. Dunham landed two hard punches in combination. He connected again with several strikes. Lauzon landed a big strike. Dunham again fired back. Dunham grabbed a body lock and nearly tripped Lauzon up. Lauzon kept himself up on the cage. Lauzon landed a big knee in the clinch, but Dunham stayed on him and landed a few strikes of his own. He finally got pushed off and they reset. Lauzon landed a punch, and Dunham grabbed a clinch and drove him to the cage. Dunham landed a few elbows. The clinch battle continued, and Dunham landed a few more elbows. Lauzon finally backed hi off with an elbow. Dunham moved ahead and landed a big knee followed by several strikes. He again landed a combination. Dunham landed several more body strikes, with Lauzon firing back at the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Dunham. So much more activity from Dunham, with Lauzon only throwing a couple strikes at a time.
ROUND THREE: Dunham continued to throw combinations as Lauzon tried to move forward. He landed a few push kicks. Dunham landed a right hand. Dunham landed a nice uppercut and went up high with a kick. Lauzon landed an inside leg kick. Dunham pressured and got Lauzon to the ground, but then stood and made Lauzon get back up. Dunham went back to firing several at a time. Dunham again connected. Lauzon plodding foreward but unable to do much. Dunham landed another significant combination. He landed another uppercut. Lauzon landed a groin shot but Dunham continued. Dunham landed another combination with significant strikes popping Lauzon’s head back. He landed another hard left hand. Lauzon got in with a right hand, but Dunham countered in return. Dunham again landed another combination. He ended another with a leg kick. He circled around, and landed several more before the horn. He out-struck Lauzon by nearly 100 strikes in that one.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Dunham. Lauzon’s chin held up, but that’s about it for him.
WINNER: Dunham via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
STAR RATING: (*+) 10-8 third is fine, lots more from Dunham with nothing from Lauzon. One-sided, just ok fight. This has been a rough night thus far from a fight quality standpoint.
MAIN CARD FIGHT FOUR: TONY FERGUSON VS. EDSON BARBOZA (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Ferguson landed a hard early jab. He pressured Barboza early. Barboza fired back. They traded strikes, Barboza threw out a hard kick. Ferguson did a cartwheel and rolled for Barboza’s leg! They traded strikes in an awkward position as Ferguson tried to get Barboza’s leg free to attack. Barboza threw some elbows. Ferguson kicked Barboza in the head while both were down and Barboza was rocked. Ugh. That could end this one. Wow. Doctors let Barboza continue and Ferguson had a point taken away. Ferguson started pressing back in. They traded huge strikes. Ferguson landed a big combination, then Barboza fired out a heavy head kick. Furious pace to this one. Ferguson again went for the cartwheel to leg grab, but Barboza blocked it. Barboza got in a couple body shots. Barboza caught a kick and took Ferguson to the ground. Ferguson kicked him off and stood up. Barboza landed a big counter left as Fergus stepped in. He landed a nice left from the outside. Ferguson landed a big left kick and fired off a nice combination. Barboza landed another hard combination and threw a spin kick that was partially blocked. Ferguson continued pressing forward. Barboza landed a hard left hand. Ferguson again missed the cartwheel to leg. Barboza landed a hard spin kick to the body. Ferguson landed a push kick with a few strikes behind it. A kick was caught. Barboza landed a spin kick. Ferguson clinched late. Close round before the point deduction.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-8 Barboza (due to point deduction). Ferguson was strong through three and a half minutes in a competitive back and forth, but Barboza came on stronger with some bigger strikes late, clearly slowing Ferguson down.
ROUND TWO: Ferguson tried to press forward, but Barboza fired off a big combination. He landed a hard kick. Both landed huge strikes to cut the other open, and they were bleeding heavily. Ferguson stalked. Barboza caught a kick and kicked out Ferguson’s leg. Ferguson attacked with elbows from the bottom. Barboza bled heavily over Ferguson’s stomach and finally stood up. Ferguson came forward but ate a big right hand. Barboza again landed better. Ferguson ducked under a spinning kick. Barboza landed a nice body punch. Ferguson came in with a spinning back elbow. Ferguson landed a straight elbow. Barboza shot in, but Ferguson countered in a scramble, and then went for a D’Arce choke! He locked it up, and Barboza had to tap! Lived up to every expectation on that one. That transition off the scramble was fantastic.
WINNER: Ferguson via submission (D’Arce choke) at 2:54 of the second round
STAR RATING: (****) First rate savagery (credit Shawn Ennis). The exchanges between the two of them were brutal, technical, flashy, and exciting as all hell, and Ferguson pulled off such an excellent submission in a brilliant transition. Beautiful finish to a thrilling fight, and that really brought things up on a card that’s been dragging badly.
MAIN CARD FIGHT FIVE: ARTEM LOBOV VS. RYAN HALL (TUF 22 LIGHTWEIGHT FINAL)
ROUND ONE: Hall threw a few kicks. He rolled in for a takedown and grabbed a leg. Lobov tried to transition, and hall rolled up and behind Lobov! He went for a rear naked choke, but was in an awkward position. He improved position to get the body lock on, but lost the choke. Lobov getting free from the hold thrilled the Irish contingent in the crowd. Then there was a big “USA” chant for Hall. Hall tried to look for an opening from behind Lobov, landing some punches and elbows as Lobov tried to hold onto his left arm. Hall continued working patiently, but he wasn’t improving on the position he already had locked down. Lobov continued to cover up, but Hall kept active with punches and elbows as best he could to the side of the head. He finally tried to roll Lobov over. Lobov got to a knee. Hall landed punches and elbows to the shoulder and head, riding out the round to the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-8 Hall. That was one of the slickest and most unique back takes I’ve ever seen, just almost somersaulting over Lobov to take his back. He nearly had that choke finished as well.
ROUND TWO: Lobov landed a couple hard strikes early. Hall tried to roll to bring it to the ground to no avail. He then grabbed a clinch and pulled guard. Hall threw some short strikes from his back as Lobov just sat in his guard. Hall rolled through and tried to grab a leg, but Lobov got out and to his feet. Hall again tried to roll in, only to have Lobov back out. Lobov walked forward with his hands down. Hall shot in and pulled guard. Hall landed a few strikes off his back. Hall continued working offensively off his back. Lobov postured up and landed a strike. Hall tried to explode to attack an arm, then landed a couple hammerfists. He went for the heel hook again, but Lobov defended. Hall landed some more strikes from his back, still trying to lock up a leg. He attacked again late for a heel hook, landing a few heel strikes of his own to the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Hall. One of those rare rounds where the guy on his back has all the offense. Lobov just hasn’t been able to do much here.
ROUND THREE: Lobov desperately came in with a strike but missed. Hall dropped down with an excellent attack on the leg. He landed several strikes and tried to straighten him out. Lobov got up, but Hall pressed forward with a takedown. Lobov got to his feet but Hall pulled guard. Hall again attacked the leg, with Lobov defending and scrambling out. As he did, Hall popped up and took his back. He locked on a body triangle and tried to improve. Herb Dean told him to work or he’d be separated. Some in the crowd booed as Hall stayed on his back. Hall slowed down a bit. Lobov continued to defend well. More boos rained down as Hall couldn’t improve position much. They remained in that standing back spot with Hall holding the body triangle. Lobov just not able to get free, while Hall couldn’t improve much further. Hall tried to pull him off balance and finally brought it down. He threw his arms out in celebration before the horn.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Hall. Lobov completely ineffective, and though Lobov wasn’t able to do a ton that round, it was still enough.
WINNER: Hall via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
STAR RATING: (**) The first round was really entertaining, and that transition from Hall to Lobov’s back was beautiful. From there, Lobov had enough defense to avoid getting finished, while Hall had enough offense to win rounds off his grappling. Not thrilling down the stretch, but good, effective performance from Hall.
MAIN EVENT FIGHT SIX: FRANKIE EDGAR VS. CHAD MENDES (FEATHERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Edgar took the outside early, circling around as Mendes tested range himself. Mendes landed a nice inside leg kick. Edgar landed a nice short combo, though Mendes countered with a right hand. Mendes landed a hard leg kick. Mendes missed an uppercut and ate a right hand. Edgar got in with a short combo. Mendes landed another hard leg kick and avoided a return rush. Edgar knocked Mendes down and out with a right hand! He followed with another strike on the ground and the ref stepped in. Wow. Hell of a finish. On the replay, it was a right hand, followed by a left across the nose, and Edgar landed another big strike that put Mendes’ lights out briefly on the ground. Again: just wow.
WINNER: Edgar via KO at 2:28 of the first round
STAR RATING: (***) Awesome finish in a big fight. Edgar’s the clear No. 1 contender without question, and deserves his opportunity almost regardless of what happens tomorrow night.
-Thanks for joining us once again tonight, we’ll be back tomorrow night for our live UFC 194 coverage!