Refresh the page for the latest round-by-round updates from the Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale main card. The most recent updates are at the top.
[11:54] Urijah Faber defeats Scott Jorgensen by submission (rear-naked choke), 3:16 of round 4. Faber gives it up to his buddy Scott, and says Jorgensen will be fighting for a belt one day. As for Uriah, he says he’ll take on anybody Zuffa puts him against. And so, Faber gives the fans a good scrap to end the card, but the real heroes of the night were relentless underdog Kelvin Gastelum, and Cat Zingano, who has the potential to be the UFC’s next female star. But does she stand a chance against Ronda Rousey? That does it for our liveblog this evening…thanks for joining us, and let us know who impressed you the most tonight.
[11:46] Faber gets the better of Jorgensen in a striking exchange, stinging him with punches. Jorgensen defends a takedown attempt. Faber lands a pair of punches and a knee. Jorgensen with a short hook, and an elbow in close. Faber with a knee to the body in the clinch. Jorgensen tries a high kick. Faber fires a body shot and scores a takedown directly after. Faber moves to Jorgensen’s back, sets up the body triangle with his legs, and sinks his rear-naked choke. Scott Jorgensen taps, as so many have before him. Another great finish for the California Kid.
[11:39] Jorgensen landing well from outside, scoring with jabs and counter-punches. Faber with a crisp right-left combo that lands flush. And another right. Jorgensen lands some strikes from a clinch. Sharp left body-hook from Faber. He lands his jab. Jorgensen clinches and takes Faber’s back standing. He drives his knee into Faber’s thigh. Faber escapes. He throws a straight knee, and Jorgensen responds with a looping left. Jorgensen dives back into clinch and works his way to Faber’s back. Faber shakes out and they trade punches. Jorgensen adds some leg kicks to his attack. Faber explodes forward with a double-leg takedown and rides out the round on Jorgensen’s back.
[11:33] The two men come out slugging, and Jorgensen takes a low kick to the pills. After a moment’s rest, he comes back in to fight. Both men clash with punches, Faber tries to grab a low kick from Jorgensen but can’t quite get it. Faber rushes in with a knee. Faber with his hands down, baiting Jorgensen. Faber lands a right uppercut, and rushes him for a takedown, unsuccessfully. Faber lands a knee to the head. He swings at Jorgensen against the fence, but Jorgensen counters and forces Faber to retreat. Easy takedown from Faber. Jorgensen escapes and they’re back to boxing on the feet. Faber with a knee from clinch. Jorgensen with a left hand as the horn sounds. A fast-paced round, and closer than the first, but I’d still give it to Faber.
[11:26] Time for the main event, Uriah Faber vs. Scott Jorgensen. Faber tosses out some loose punches on his way in for a takedown, and settles for a clinch against the fence. Jorgensen lands a takedown off the fence, but Faber quickly escapes and flips Jorgensen with a crafty takedown of his own. Jorgensen gets to his feet after a brief scramble. Faber lands a knee to the body and Jorgensen hits the deck. Faber follows Jorgensen to the mat and takes his back. Faber looks for his trusty rear-naked choke, but Jorgensen escapes. Faber follows and attempts a guillotine choke from a couple different angles. Jorgensen pulls his head out, but Faber snaps onto his back again. The round ends with Faber in a dominant position. 10-9 California Kid.
[11:21] “California…knows how to party…” Oh yeah. Y’all know what time it is.
[11:09] The judges score it 29-28 Gastelum, 29-28 Hall, and 29-28 Gastelum…Kelvin Gastelum defeats Uriah Hall by split-decision. Dang. So much for Hall being an “immediate title contender.” But Gastelum deserved that win, without question. He wasn’t intimidated for a moment, and pressured Hall for all 15 minutes. Gastelum wins the weird glass trophy and a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle. It’s time to stop doubting this kid…although a future drop to welterweight might not be the worst idea.
[11:01] Gastelum takes a knee to the groin right away, but only needs a few seconds to collect himself. Hall firing kicks high and low, and lands a stiff jab. Gastelum bull-rushes forward and slams Hall down, but Hall immediately reverses on the ground and fires punches into Gastelum’s head in rapid succession. They’re back up, and they clinch. High kick from Hall glances off Gastelum’s gloves. Hall with a jab. Gastelum fires a wide left hand. Gastelum dashes forward with a punch. Gastelum springs forward with a double-leg and puts Hall on his back. Hall looking for submissions in the last minute. Gastelum throwing down wild punches from the top, as Hall desperately tries to escape. Hall rolls out but it’s too late. The round ends, and it looks like Gastelum might take it…although Jon Anik mentions the possibility of a “sudden victory round.”
[10:54] Gastelum is amped up, and comes out firing a kick immediately. He’s definitely not psyched out by Hall’s reputation. But Hall lands a nice spinning back kick to the ribs. Hall backs up to the fence and invites Gastelum to attack. Gastelum happily obliges, shooting for a takedown and dumping Hall to the mat. Hall with some of his dangerous elbows from the bottom. Hall reverses as Gastelum attempts to jump to mount. Hall gets to his feet and abuses Gastelum with a knee and right hand. They clinch, and Gastelum sneaks in some knees. But now Hall trips out Gastelum’s leg and takes him to the mat. Hall spending some time on top now. Gastelum struggles to his feet, Hall grabs him around the torso and completes a brilliant suplex. Gastelum gamely bounces to his feet. They clinch, and Gastelum lands a close elbow before the horn sounds. I’m giving that round to Hall, which means round 3 will decide it all.
[10:48] Gastelum takes the center of the Octagon. Hall getting comfy moving around the perimeter of the cage. Gastelum throws the first punch and clinches with Hall. Gastelum with some good knees to the body. Hall gives one back. Hall shakes him off and they trade kicks. Gastelum flies in with a Superman punch. The crowd chants “KELVIN!” Everybody loves an underdog. Gastelum continues to move forward with wide punches, and lands one on Hall’s chin, sending Hall backpedaling. Gastelum rushes in and takes Hall to the mat. Gastelum seizes the opportunity, firing punches down with authority. Hall crawls his way to the fence and gets to his feet. Sharp leg kick from Hall. Hall with a blast double leg in the final ten seconds, but Gastelum quickly stands and secures a headlock as the horn sounds. I have it 10-9 Gastelum.
[10:47] Uriah Hall vs. Kelvin Gastelum is up next. Hall has a 9.5-inch reach advantage on Gastelum. Hoo-boy.
[10:39] The $25,000 bonuses are announced for TUF 17. Kelvin Gastelum gets Submission of the Season for his choke-out of Josh Samman. Dylan Andrews and Luke Barnatt get $25k Fight of the Season checks for their war in the quarterfinals, which ended in a third-round KO win for Andrews. And Uriah Hall gets the Knockout of the Season for his now-legendary spinning hook kick of Adam Cella.
[10:30] Cat Zingano defeats Miesha Tate via TKO, 2:55 of round 3. Zingano says she’s looked up to Tate since she started fighting, and was scared to death to fight her. Cat says she belongs in the UFC and can’t wait to meet Ronda in the cage. She seems like a super-sweet lady, to be honest. I mean, other than the fact that she just turned Miesha Tate’s face into roadkill.
[10:23] Zingano sticks the takedown. Momentum is clearly on her side, Miesha is warned for putting her fingers near Zingano’s eyes. Zingano with elbows from the top. Tate rolls to her knees. Zingano grabs her body and yanks it forward, just for the hell of it. More short shots from Zingano from the top. Brutal punches from Zingano. Tate is in survival mode. Tate tries to escape to her feet and gets dropped with a knee to the face. Tate tries to escape to her feet again and Zingano lays on a hailstorm of knees and elbows. Tate drops again and the referee jumps in to stop it. Wow, what a beating.
[10:17] Zingano opens with a flying knee. Tate with another takedown, and now she’s softening up Zingano’s ribs with elbows. Tate postures up and jackhammers down on Zingano with punches, before transitioning to an armbar. Zingano rolls to escape. Tate sticks on her. Zingano tries to reverse and Tate grabs a heel hook. Zingano with some elbows to Tate’s thigh, and a punch to the face. Tate’s not in a comfortable position, here. Zingano frees herself and transitions on top of Tate, throwing down heavy leather. Tate escapes, and shoots at the bell, where she’s met by Zingano’s sprawl and fists. Cat just evened this fight up going into round 3.
[10:08] Miesha Tate gets a good-luck smooch from Bryan Caraway, while Cat Zingano stalks around the cage like a land-shark. Zingano has a five-inch reach advantage to go along with her intimidation factor. Tate rushes Zingano and is doing her best to drag her down. Zingano regains her footing. Tate pushes Zingano against the cage and licks on a very nasty looking standing guillotine. Tate survives it and pulls away. After separating, Tate lands a dead-on straight punch and Zingano is on her heels. Tate with the takedown. Zingano reverses and takes top position. Tate escapes to her feet and it briefly turns into a brawl. Zingano with a big knee to the face, but Miesha counters with a punch and takes Zingano down again. Tate tries some short elbows from the top. She gets some space and nails Zingano with a big one. And another. And the horn sounds for the end of the first round. That’s a 10-9 for Tate on my scorecard.
[9:58] The camera finds Ronda Rousey ringside, checking out the competition. In case you haven’t been keeping up, the winner of the next fight between Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano gets the next 135-pound title shot against Ronda.
[9:55] Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen show up to hype their fight on April 27th. Jones, unfortunately, has nothing to say to his current nemesis. Sonnen takes the opportunity to bust a rhyme about how awesome he is. Jones exits stage left when the segment is over. Sonnen sticks around to keep Jon Anik company. You win this round, Chael.
[9:48] Travis Browne defeats Gabriel Gonzaga by knockout, 1:11 of round 1. Browne says he was just showing the younger fighters how to get those end-of-night bonuses, and decides to chastize the media for labeling him a “striker.” For the record, he’s a “mixed martial artist.” Point taken.
[9:43] Time for the heavyweight bout between Travis Browne vs. Gabriel Gonzaga. Gonzaga is one of the least decision-prone fighters in the UFC. I say this one ends within two rounds. And here we go…Browne starts with a high kick, Gonzaga ducks it and shoot for a single-leg takedown. Browne yanks his leg free, Gonzaga clinches with him against the cage. Browne is warned for grabbing the fence. He responds by driving a series of right elbows into the side of Gonzaga’s head and neck that send the Brazilian into a heap on the mat. The ref immediately stops it. A savage, impressive stoppage…even if a couple of those elbows clearly bounced across the back of Gonzaga’s head. Illegal? Whaddya gonna do. Travis Browne is back, kids.
[9:30] The official decision…Bubba McDaniel defeats Gilbert Smith by submission (triangle choke), 2:49 of round 3. As Jon Anik says, “It looks like the haters will see Bubba McDaniel again in the Octagon.”
[9:25] Smith slips to the mat after a punch from McDaniel but he’s back up…but not for long, as McDaniel scores a takedown and works his way into half-guard. McDaniel with some shots from the top. McDaniel takes Smith’s back once again, but Smith rolls up like an armadillo and McDaniel can’t find his neck. McDaniel transitions to a triangle choke when Smith tries to escape, and Bubba sticks it. Smith taps.
[9:18] McDaniel throws some high kicks to open the round, then stings Smith with punches. Smith returns fire and they clinch against the fence. Smith grabbing a single leg but McDaniel shakes out of it and they’re back to striking. Nice leg kick from Bubba. Now Smith grabs a guillotine choke as McDaniel shoots in. It looks deep, but McDaniel escapes and scrambles to Smith’s back, laying some leather into the side of his head. Smith is able to escape the position, and works his way to his feet, dogding a head kick on the way up. McDaniel shoots, Smith sprawls and escapes. McDaniel marches forward with punches as the round ends.
[9:13] McDaniel moves forward to clinch up early, and chases Smith with strikes when Smith rolls out. Smith trips Bubba to the mat, but McDaniel reverses the position and throws down a few strikes from the top. Smith gets top position in a scramble; McDaniel doing well to control Smith’s posture and avoid damage. McDaniel slithers back to the cage and sits up against it. Smith sticking on Bubba’s legs like glue, and gets elbowed in the head for the effort. McDaniel grabs a guillotine choke, and uses it to flip Smith over. He takes Smith’s back as the round ends.
[9:11] We get the tale of the tape for Bubba McDaniel vs. Gilbert Smith. McDaniel is a full six inches taller, but he and Smith are dead even in the reach department at 75″.
[9:06] If Bubba McDaniel is unworthy of a main card spot on this show, then Gilbert Smith is really undeserving. Smith lost his first fight in the house, then spent the rest of his time on TUF getting naked while the other guys were trying to play pool.
[9:02 p.m.] The opening montage reminds us that Bubba McDaniel has been on the wrong end of both finalists’ highlight reels. And yet his fight will be leading off the main card, because the UFC knows that fans want to see Bubba get his ass kicked again. Whatever the opposite of “fan-favorite” is, Bubba McDaniel filled that role admirably on this season.
Thankfully, this season of The Ultimate Fighter was high on talent and low on idiots. After a dozen episodes, the original field of 28 middleweight hopefuls has been whittled down to two seriously intimidating dudes, who will be competing against each other tonight on FX. Explosive striker Uriah Hall brings his vicious knockout power against wrestler/brawler Kelvin Gastelum, a 21-year-old rookie who has smashed his way from underdog to dark-horse contender. Both fighters were coached by mouthy UFC star Chael Sonnen this season, which should give The American Gangster even more to brag about.
In the main event of Saturday’s card, longtime fan-favorite Urijah Faber faces off against fellow bantamweight Scott Jorgensen. Plus: Towering heavyweight Travis Browne tests his fate against Brazilian veteran Gabriel Gonzaga, and the UFC hosts its second women’s fight ever — a 135-pound matchup between former Strikeforce champ Miesha Tate and impressively jacked up-and-comer Cat Zingano.
Ben Goldstein from CagePotato.com has stepped up to help us liveblog the TUF 17 Finale, which kicks off tonight at 9 p.m. ET. Refresh the page every few minutes for the latest round-by-round updates from the main card broadcast, and let us know what you think on Twitter and Facebook. Ready? Let’s do this…