TUF 14 – The Ultimate Fighter Finale

The Ultimate Fighter 14 saw the first bantamweights and featherweights attempt to win a six figure contract to fight in the UFC.  This was a very skillful and tactical season that saw some great fights.  There were good knockouts and quality submissions throughout the show.

The bantamweight final had T.J. Dillashaw going against John Dodson.  Dillashaw is a solid wrestler with great ground and pound.  Dodson is very athletic, and has incredible balance.  He also is super quick.

Diego Brandao and Dennis Bermudez fought it out in the featherweight final.  Brandao is very explosive, is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist, and a fantastic striker.  Bermudez is just all out rough and tough with good cardio.  He is a good wrestler, and has been working on his boxing skills.

The finale also included a middleweight fight between the two coaches of TUF 14, Michael Bisping and Jason Miller.  Bisping is one of the most talented and toughest fighters in his weight class, with good takedown defense and good cardio.  He’s hungry for another shot at the title.  Miller is a solid fighter who is making his first appearance in the UFC since 2005.  He is a ground specialist.

Bantamweight Fight – T.J. Dillashaw (5-0) vs John “The Magician” Dodson (12-5)

UFC Bantamweight John DodsonDodson snuck a left hand in on Dillashaw’s chin that stunned him fifteen seconds into round one.  Dillashaw started off with a lot of leg kicks and kicks to the body.  Dodson showed his quickness again by landing a good left hook, followed by a left kick to the chin of Dillishaw.  In an aggressive move, Dillishaw charged Dodson and attempted to throw a lead right.  Dodson stepped back and to his right, and countered with a solid left hook to UFC Bantamweight TJ DillashawDillashaw’s chin that sent him tumbling to the ground.  Dillishaw tried to get back up, but his legs were too wobbly, and he fell onto his back with Dodson landing on top.  Dodson followed up with several hammer fists, and although Dillashaw was attempting to grab hold of Dodson, referee Herb Dean stopped the fight at 1:54 in the first round.  The left of Dodson was very similar to how he finished the semi-finals fight against John Bedford.  John Dodson of Team Miller was declared the winner by TKO, and became the first TUF Bantamweight Champion, as well as the winner of the six figure contract to fight in the UFC.

Featherweight Fight – Diego “Ceara” Brandao (13-7) vs Dennis “The Menace” Bermudez (8-2)

UFC Featherweight Diego BrandaoBoth fighters came out swinging in this fight and held nothing back.  Bermudez caught the leg kick of Brandao and threw him to the ground early on.  He got a guillotine hold on top of Brandao as he attempted to get to his feet.  Bermudez released the Guillotine, and as he stepped away, landed a heavy knee to the body, followed by a strong left to Brandao’s face.  Both fighters continued to circle the ring exchanging heavy punches and landing body kicks over the next minute.  Brandao then landed a wild overhand right that dropped Bermudez to the ground.  Bermudez got to his feet, but definitely got rocked.  Brandao did not go for the kill and let Bermudez regain his legs.  After exchanging more heavy blows, Brandao landed a flying knee to the head of Bermudez that knocked him on his back.  Brandao immediately got on top in half guard and then took Bermudez’ back.  After getting caught with a hammer fist, Bermudez escaped back to his feet.  Brandao aggressively charged Bermudez, which was how he UFC Featherweight Dennis Bermudezknocked down Bermudez earlier in the round, but this time Bermudez stepped back and countered with a short, but powerful right that bent Brandao backwards and dropped him to the floor.  Bermudez tried to finish the fight with just over 50 seconds left by landing some heavy hammer fists and right hands.  Bermudez got careless in his attack and Brandao locked Bermudez’ left arm, threw his right leg over Bermudez’ head, rolled his hips, and flipped Bermudez over on his back to secure an arm bar and tap him out with 9 seconds left in the round.  Just when you though the fight was going to end via TKO, the tide turned and Diego Brandao of Team Bisping ends up getting the victory by tapout at 4:51 in round one.  He used excellent Jiu-Jitsu to become the first ever TUF Featherweight Champion and win the six figure contract to fight in the UFC.

Middleweight Fight:  Michael “The Count” Bisping (22-3) vs Jason “Mayhem” Miller (34-8, 1NC)

UFC Middleweight Michael BispingMiller started out aggressive, stalking Bisping and getting the first punches and kicks off.  As Miller went for a takedown, Bisping got Miller into a clinch.  After they separated, both fighters exchanged blows in the center of the octagon until Miller took Bisping down.  Miller stayed on top of Bisping for almost two minutes, landing a few blows to the head, but did not do a great deal of damage.  Bisping was able to wall walk back to his feet, and they continued to throw punches back in the center of the octagon.  Miller threw a big overhand right that Bisping ducked under, and Bisping countered with a left hook that landed.  Miller again tried to throw a right and Bisping ducked under and countered with a right.  Miller was most effective with his jab throughout the first round, but by the end, Bisping was starting to find his timing.

UFC Middleweight Jason MillerBisping came out, and was much more technical with his boxing in the second round.  He began connecting frequently to Miller’s face, as he became more aggressive and started moving forward.  Miller attempted another takedown but was unsuccessful this time.  The fight was paused briefly due to an accidental head butt by Miller.  As the fight continued, Bisping was ducking under every big right hand Miller threw.  Bisping continued to connect with left jabs and right hands that bloodied up Miller’s nose.  Miller waved for Bisping to come forward as he was against the cage, and Bisping obliged.  Bisping connected with a body shot, and followed that up with a left jab, right hand, left hook, right to the body, left hook, and right hook, that seemed to suck some life out of Miller.  It looked like Miller had gassed, and Bisping started to dominate the rest of the round.  He landed several effective punches that resulted in a large shiner developing under Miller’s left eye.  Bisping picked Miller apart the last minute and a half, which led Miller to a desperate attempt at a takedown.  Bisping defended once again, and the round ended with Bisping on top of Miller connecting with several elbows and strikes to the head.

Round three began with both fighters throwing some heavy blows, then Miller attempting another takedown.  Miller ended up on the ground, but Bisping wanted no part of the ground game, so he let Miller back up.  Bisping was landing some clean, solid blows to the nose of Miller, while Miller was landing glancing blows, or swinging at the air.  Miller had stopped moving forward, and that gave Bisping even more confidence to attack.  After a brief pause in the fight when Miller poked Bisping in the eye, Miller attempted another takedown.  Bisping got on top of Miller, who was on his knees, and began to throw hard left hands and hammer fists.  With Miller still on his knees, Bisping stood up and delivered some big knees to Miller’s side.  As Miller rolled to his back, Bisping continued to brutally punish him with elbows, hammer fists, and strikes to the face and body.  Seeing that Miller was not intelligently defending himself against the barrage, referee Steve Mazzagatti stepped in and called the fight.  Miller showed a lot of heart, as he took a great deal of punishment over the last round and a half.  The fight was stopped at 3:34 in round three, declaring Michael Bisping the winner by TKO.  With the victory, Bisping will be looking for a shot at the UFC middleweight title soon.

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~ by Troy Erickson on December 8, 2011.

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