TUF 10 Finale – Roy Gets His Whopper
Despite my belief that season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter was a turd sandwich, there were several good reasons to tune in and watch the big finale. Most notably was the fact that half of the fighters on the main card were not contestants on the show. Both the lightweight and light heavyweight bouts were very intriguing and MMA fans were definitely going to be tuning in for Kimbo Slice’s UFC debut against Houston Alexander.
The night opened with a bout between season 10 contestants Marcus “Big Baby” Jones and Matt Mitrione. Mitrione didn’t earn many fans with his behavior on the show, but he gained some tonight. The first round was all Jones as he got a big takedown and spent much of the round working to advance his position and set up submissions. Mitrione definitely improved his ground defense since taping of The Ultimate Fighter because he was able to stave off Jones’ attempts. As the second round started, Jones walked right into a huge punch from Mitrione and it was lights out. I definitely underestimated Mitrione, partially because I just didn’t like how he acted on the show. If he improves, he could be a passable undercard fighter in the UFC. I really wish Jones had gotten into MMA 10 years earlier. He has the size and strength to be a Brock Lesnar-type athlete at heavyweight. Instead, he’s nearing the end of his career and his body has broken down from the heavy toll that professional football brings. Despite his athletic gifts, I don’t think he has many fights left in him.
In an intriguing lightweight battle that (as expected) won Fight of the Night honors, Frankie “The Answer” Edgar outlasted Matt Veach with a second round submission victory. The first round was all Veach as he used his size advantage to work for takedowns and he landed a couple viscous slams. In the second round, Edgar worked his stand up and steadily picked Veach apart. About two minutes into the second, Edgar dropped Veach with a beautiful right hand, pounced on his back and got the submission via rear naked choke. This was Edgar’s 3rd Fight of the Night honor as he now has a 6-1 record n the UFC. Despite being a little undersized as a lightweight, it’s time to give him a top contender matchup to see if he’s worthy of a title shot.
In one of the most bizarre fights of the night Kimbo Slice took home a unanimous decision victory over Houston Alexander. I will post more about this fight later so stay tuned. All you need to know for now is that Houston fought extremely passive and was booed on multiple occasions.
Another strange fight was the light heavyweight battle between Jon “Bones” Jones and Matt “The Hammer” Hammil. With an 84.5 inch reach, Jon Jones has the longest arms of any fighter in the UFC, including heavyweights. He had a nearly 10 inch reach advantage over Hammil, but failed to capitalize in the standup. Hammil was very game, trading blows until Jones got him in his patented clinch. Despite being an Olympic alternate wrestler, Jones tossed Hammil to the ground like a rag doll, gained the mount and started dropping bombs.
Now this is where things get goofy. Jones was landing some big shots, but Hammil was still intelligently defending himself. Eventually, Jones began to tire out from throwing so many quick punches from the mount and Hammil’s defense was getting easier. Perhaps out of frustration, Jones starting dropping illegal 12-6 elbows (elbows thrown straight down instead of from the side or at an angle). Referee Steve Mazzagatti stepped in and deducted a point from Jones and called for a standup, but Hammil was done. In a historic decision, Mazzagatti used instant replay for the first time in UFC history to decide if the illegal elbows caused the end of the fight and it was clear that the first elbow broke Hammil’s nose and the second one busted his eye. It was announced that Hammil was the winner via disqualification to a shocked Jones and audience.
I had no problem with the decision, those illegal elbows were lethal, and I don’t think it will effect Jones’ meteoric rise to the top of the light heavyweight division. Matt Hammil is a great fighter and Jones absolutely manhandled him tonight. I’ve never seen Hammil put into such a precarious position before. Jones is going to be a star as long as he can handle such an odd loss mentally.
Lastly, Roy “Big Country” Nelson took on Brandon “The Hybrid” Schaub to decide the Ultimate Fighter Season 10 champion. I immediately began rooting for Nelson when he came out to “Fat” by Weird Al Yankovic for his entrance music. Schaub looked great early, using a very quick jab to pop Nelson. After getting frustrated standing, Nelson put Schaub in the clinch and took him down. If Schaub was the same fighter as he was on the show, the fight would have been over, but he has been working on his ground game with Greg Jackson’s camp and he got it back to the feet. What happened next was simply amazing. Roy Nelson leaned in and threw a beautiful straight right that pegged Brandon Schaub right behind his left ear and he dropped like a sack of potatoes. Nelson swarmed in but it was all over, Schaub was out cold. Me and my friends went nuts, and Roy Nelson jumped on the cage and rubbed his big belly for good measure. On top of the $100,000 UFC contract, he also raked in a $25,000 Knockout of the Night bonus.
It looked like Big Roy finally got his whopper after all.