Starting at 6:30pm ET, Kevin Haggerty will be blogging live updates from the TUF Season 13 Finale. We welcome you to stay tuned to our site for all the updates. Even if you're watching it live yourself and don't need the updates, hang out and comment on the fights and events as they happen. We can play a Cageside Seats drinking game and do a shot every time Joe Rogan says "Oma Plata". Who knows? We'll play it by ear.
Here's the fight card lineup:
Preliminary card (Facebook)
- Bantamweight bout: Reuben Duran vs. Francisco Rivera
- Bantamweight bout: Scott Jorgensen vs. Ken Stone
- Welterweight bout: Clay Harvison vs. Justin Edwards
- Welterweight bout: Ryan McGillivray vs. Shamar Bailey
- Featherweight bout: Josh Grispi vs. George Roop
- Lightweight bout: Jeremy Stephens vs. Danny Downes
- Welterweight bout: Chuck O'Neil vs. Chris Cope
- Light Heavyweight bout: Kyle Kingsbury vs. Fabio Maldonado
- Middleweight bout: Ed Herman vs. Tim Credeur
- Lightweight bout: Clay Guida vs. Anthony Pettis
- Welterweight bout: Ramsey Nijem vs. Tony Ferguson
Reuben Duran and Francisco Rivera on deck. Fighters making their ways to the cage.
Duran vs. Rivera - Round 1
Duran shoots in with his head/neck out for the taking. Rivera very close to getting the choke. Duran finally wiggles out. On their feet, Rivera going for the standing side-choke. Duran out again. Duran pushing pace, dirty boxing against cage. About dead even on the standup IMO. Duran gets the takedown at 1:22. Needs to get leg out for side control. Rivera trying to get up. Duran now working the guillotine. The tables have turned. He's out. Rivera now on top, working elbows. Some very nice G&P by Rivera. Duran working for triangle or armbar but unsuccesful.
Duran lands a good shot but then gets dazed by Rivera's counter. Both fighters throwing combo's and landing. Rivera seems to be landing more effective strikes that are causing more damage. Low kick (accidental) by Duran. Rivera walks it off. Back to action (3:18 left). Standing guillotine attempt by Rivera again. He keeps going for choke. He will either get it or gas his arms out and lose because of it. Live by the sword...etc, etc. Duran now on top in Rivera's guard. Duran working side control. Working for kimura. Transitions to back. May be able to RNC from here. Body triangle in place, 15 secs left. Horn sounds and Duran in control.
Very nice spinning back kick landed by Duran. Duran with the take down, directly back into side control. Working for mounted crucifix. If he can get it, may be end of fight. Rivera used so much energy on those chokes. Just looks like he's totally spent. Duran has the RNC. In tight. Tap out.
Duran by RNC Submission win at 1:57 of the 3rd round. Very entertaining fight to kick things off.
Scott Jorgensen vs. Ken Stone coming up next. Can't say I've ever seen a boring Jorgensen fight. Should be exciting. Ken Stone got slammed unconscious by Eddie Wineland in his last fight (in December). Hopefully he has a stronger showing tonight.
Joe Warren, Bellator's Featherweight champ, walking out with Jorgensen. Interesting. Surprised Dana didn't blur his face. Rogan even mentioned him. Doubly interesting.
Clay Harvison vs. Justin Edwards up next...
Both fighters were competitors on the TUF show this season. Harvison made his impression by fighting much of his fight with a dislocated finger (that broke the skin!).
Edwards mainly known for looking like the love child of Randy Couture and someone short.
High five fail as fighters miss then get to furious action. Edwards presses action against the cage. Both fighters working knees. Edwards with takedown into side control. Harvison able to slip out and up. Edwards takes him down again (double leg). Edwards lands a knee to head as Harvison gets up. Edwards takes him right back down again. Edwards works for arm in guillotine. Let's it go. Harvison eats a knee. Hematoma now growing on Harvison's left forehead. Combo's exchanged. Edwards takes Harvison down again. Goldberg references Hominick in relation to Harvison's swelling. Poor Mark Hominick. Harvison up, Edwards goes for take down, misses and gets hit a few times. Edwards goes for it again and lands it. Textbook clinic on takedowns by Edwards. Harvison seems to have no answer. Harvison goes for armbar, very deep but Edwards out. Now Edwards on bottom, workin for triangle or armbar. Harvison out and in side control with Edwards against cage. Action is super fast. Constant position reversal. Tough to call, but I give the round to Edwards due to takedowns and position.
Both fighters look tired from Round 1. Edwards goes for take down a couple times but they are much less effective and slower now. Harvison landing elbows to body and now a knee. Now Edwards lands a nice knee to body. Spinning back kick landed by Edwards after lumbering a bit. Harvison starting to land strikes. Edwards goes for another spinning back kick but super slow and easy to block this time. This round has been spent alrgely against the cage with not a lot of action. Harvison lands a combo of punches. Edwards goes for TD and misses. Working for single leg. Harvison on top and hitting him with elbows on back and head. Sloppy round.
Edwards wobbled, Harivson hitting him with a bevy of strikes. Edwards trying to answer but not connecting. Edwards shoots, Harvison sprawls. Back to the feet and against the cage. Harvison working under hooks and gets takedown. Harvison on top in Edwards' guard. Harvison working the ground and pound, landing hard shots. Rosenthal says he needs some action. Sounds like a personal problem. Edwards working for armbar, but gives up side control, Edwards works out of trouble and gets up. Edwards gets the takedown and is on top now. Working elbows. 2:00 left. Lots of time. Back on their feet. Harvison with a hard knee to the body. Both fighters laboring. Edwards lands the takedown again. Edwards takes his back but is very high on his back. Slides off. Edwards shoots again but is totally out of gas. One more time. Edwards finishes on top throwing punches. Probably won the round and the fight for Edwards.
My Decision: 29-28 Edwards (IMO)
Officially: Split Decision = 29-28 for Edwards.
McGillivray vs. Bailey next...
I personally don't think this is an even matchup. If Bailey's weird back issue from the show is worked out, this could be a bad match for McGillivray. Who knows? That's why Joe Silva gets paid the big bucks and I'm doing this.
Joe Rogan: "As you can see, Bailey is a very muscle-ly stroooong man." Hmm. Not a lot to say really.
Ryan McGillivray couldn't get his shirt off. Always awkward. Jason MacDonald in his corner.
Less than a minute in, Bailey gets the takedown. Has side control. McGillivray wiggles out, but Bailey pinning him down again. Bailey on top. Ground and pound. Side control again. Working knees to ribs. McGillivray goes north-south, works for d'arce. Gets up, but eats two knees to head from Bailey. Bailey shoots again but TD attempt stuffed. Bailey landing several strikes, follows up with TD. Bailey pushing head down, works for side control. Now trying for crucifix. Ref, Chris Tognoni says to stay busy, showing that he clearly has no idea what he's watching. Fight back on the feet. Both fighters have taken damage to face so far. McGillivray lands left hook. Bailey lands body kick. Bailey finishes round with TD.
First minute spent exchanging punches. Bailey gets TD with 3:56 left. Bailey working top control, trying to get leg out of McGillivray's guard. 3:07 left, Bailey still on top. Lots of tactical work going on. McGillivray offensive on back, but not damaging. Bailey landing occasional strikes, but controlling. Bailey throws legs aside and in side control. 1:24 left and Bailey still on top and controlling. Bailey jumps to side, and is softening up to try and get his back. Bailey landing punches and knees to side of opponent. McGillivray practically turtling up. McGillivray is now cut and bleeding on forehead.
10-8 Bailey (though I'm confident the judges won't score it that way)
McGillivray probably needs to finish Bailey here to get a win. Bailey gets takedown but McGillivray right back up, throwing head kicks, landing a few strikes but gets taken down again. Bailey with side control. 3:30 left, Bailey softening up again with strikes. Bailey controlling. Bailey looks like he knows he could work a submission, but confused as to how to do it. He needs BJJ training badly. McGillivray back up. Bailey looking tired. Bailey goes for takedown and McGillivray doesn't even try and stop it, he collapses. Bailey in side control, landing elbows to head. Crowd boo-ing. Love that Vegas crowd. Bailey landing more elbows to forehead. McGillivray back up, 30 secs to go. McGillivray swinging for the fences. Bailey catches kick, now pushing him up against the cage. Round/fight ends with both fighters totally out of energy and leaning on each other.
My Decision: 30-26 for Bailey
Official Decision: 30-27 Unanimous Decision Win for Bailey
Grispi vs. Roop up next...
Again, not sure about this matchup. Roop got destroyed by Hominick. Grispi is also a top contender and I don't think Roop can hang with him. If Roop gets dominated again, he may be facing the unemployment line (sadly, because I like Roop).
Am I the only one who thinks Roop just looks totally emaciated at 145 pounds?
Grispi shoots immediately, eats some elbows, gets takedown. Grispi on top, trying to get head out. Roop up against cage. Grispi trying to get Roop's arm, possibly for kimura attempt. Grispi switched to guillotine attempt. Roop up and landing nasty elbows to side of Grispi's head. Grispi is getting takedowns and position but really paying a price for it. Grispi gets Roop's back, Roop rolls and is mounted. Grispi to the back again, Roop totally smothered and looks overwhelmed. Roop keeps landing those elbows but is not able to de-rail Grispi, who is currently getting whatever he wants. Dirty boxing against cage. 1:25 left. Grispi pushing and controlling pace. Roop has Grispi up against cage now. Grispi tries to jump to guard but slips. Roop on top. Roop raining elbows. Roop landing lots of shots from top. I think he stole the round.
Roop lands nasty front kick and Grispi goes down immediately. Roop on top, landing punches and elbows. See last sentence, repeat several times. 3:23 left. Roop in control. Grispi really not doing much at all from bottom. Roop going body-body-head with punches from guard. Roop takes Grispi's back. Roop still raining shots. Roop maneuvering to take back fully but can't. Grispi ties up Roop's right arm, rolls to guard. Roop still on top and hitting him with a ton of elbows and punches. Grispi appears to have quit, no show of heart. Knee to body by Roop. Another one. And another. Punches to the head. Roop is all over him.
10-8 Roop, easy (again, the judges won't score it that way).
(Note: Someone near the cage has now yelled "Remember to breathe" in between almost every round. Keep drinking. It gets funnier)
Grispi needs to finish. He has to be losing badly. Roop putting together punch-kick combo's and landing a lot of shots. Grispi catches leg, gets TD and is on top. Roop goes for "oma plata". There you have it folks. It took 50 minutes into the broadcast, but we got it. Thanks Rogan. Grispi is on top and pushing toward cage. Herb Dean stops fights to replace mouthpiece of Grispi. Back to feet. Roop knees the mouthpoiece out of Grispi's mouth (again). Nasty. Hard leg kick by Roop. Huge combo's by Roop. Incidental low kick by Roop in the process. Unfortunate. Back in action. Roop back on it and landing a flurry of kicks and punches. Roop appears to land a liver punch (may have just knocked the wind out of him, hard to tell). Grispi crumbles to the ground.
Roop gets the TKO stoppage win at 3:14 of Round 3.
I was wrong. Joe Silva was right. I'm dumb. He's smart. He is good looking. I'm not attractive. etc.
Very disconcerting for Grispi. He came out like a fireworks display, but as soon as Roop starting landing elbows, Grispi practically GAVE his heart away.
Props to Roop. He's a soldier.
Stephens vs. Downes is next.
You don't care, but I'm really amped to see this one.
Downes really does look 12.
I have a feeling this one is going to be re-aired on Spike later tonight. It has FOTN potential for sure.
As a person of Irish heritage/background, I love seeing/hearing Downes come out to "Oh Danny Boy". Fantastic. I feel like I'm watching Tom Cruise in 'Far & Away'.
I think a lot of people are not giving Downes a chance in this one. I just have a hard time not giving a chance to a Duke Roufus fighter. I've been wrong a lot so far tonight though.
I've never seen a ref who gets boo'ed like Mazzagatti.
Stephens looks massively bigger than Downes. We'll see how that factors in. Lots of positioning against the fence. Stephens throwing combos of punches. Downes being careful. Stephens lands uppercut. Downes appears to be wary of Stephens' power. Downes reverses against cage. Stephens lands knee to body. Downes lands a couple knees to body. Stephens lands stiff jab, then uppercut. Downes not really being offensive at all. Stephens catches him with combo. Stephens is just landing a barrage of punches. Nice leg kick by Stephens. Downes comes forward but doesn't land anything. Downes has a ton of heart, but is getting technically picked apart on the feet.
Nice inside leg kick by Downes. Downes catches kick, pins him against cage. Lands knee to body. Stephens reverses and takes him down. Full guard. Downes goes for guillotine but he's out. Stephens backs up, lands strike from top, transitions to side control. Stephens has an arm. Deep kimura. Downes in big trouble. Downes rolls but arm is being bent like crazy. This looks super painful. Stephens lands big elbow. Another big elbow. Goldberg just said Downes is one tough kid. He's not lying. Downes back up. Wow. Downes lands body kick. Inside kick by Downes. Kick again, misses low by Downes. Time. Absolutely an accident but gives Downes time to recover. Downes lands combo. Stephens answers. Inside leg kick again by Downes. Stephens goes for TD, gets it, has Downes pinned against cage. Knee to head by Stephens. Downes is VERY lucky to get out of this round.
Roufus just told Downes he's gotta go for broke. He's right. Stephens immediately nails Downes with a punch to side of head. Lands takedown after but Downes right back up. Downes is bleeding pretty badly over left eye. Stephens picks up Downes, and slams him violently. Stephens on top. Downes trying for triangle but Stephens is smothering him. Downes gets back up again but eats a knee in the process. Stephens gets takedown again. Downes back up, eats knee again. Becoming a broken record. Stephens landing multiple elbows and punches on the feet now. Stephens takes him down and is in the guard of Downes. Stephens landing elbows and punches from guard. Downes surviving but barely. 39 secs left. Side control for Stephens. Stephens finishes on top with brutal elbows. Round finishes with Stephens working the RNC, and Downes doing everything he can to stop from tapping.
I have it 30-25 Stephens in a very one-sided decision, but man, Danny Downes is one of the toughest kids I've ever seen in my life.
Decision: 30-26 for Stephens
Main cards are up next on Spike TV...
Chuck O'Neil vs. Chris Cope
Sidenote: They're playing the first commercial I've seen on TV for upcoming MMA movie 'Warrior'. I'm at least mildly curious about it. Watch the trailer for it while you're waiting for the next fight to start:
Ok. Back to the fight card.
O'Neil vs. Cope
Interesting potential fight. Not that technical of fighters. Just brawlers for the most part.
Josh Rosenthal always looks like he just smelled a fart. Maybe he did.
Very even first round. Cope probably got the better of things though with more effective and damaging strikes. He landed a lot of good leg kicks. In particular, Cope landed a very good spinning back kick striaght to the mid-section. Cope fans are super annoying with incessant "woo!!!!!'s". I hope this ends soon.
Second round even closer. Both guys slowing down a lot. Cope probably took it again though by continually pushing forward and deciding where the fight was going. He's still woo-ing. It's still annoying.
Not a lot stands out about this round, or this fight in general. Cope was just constantly moving forward, constantly landing leg kicks, and landing way more combo's.
At one point, Rogan said: "I can see how the 'woo' could get annoying." At that point, I'd argue it already was.
My Decision to Cope 30-27
Official Decision to Cope 30-27
Next up is Kingsbury vs. Maldonado...
Kingsbury made excellent use of kicks and jabs to keep Maldonado at bay and at a distance. At one point, early on, Kingsbury grabbed his opponent in the Muay Thai clinch and punished him with multiple knees. By the middle of the round, Maldonado had a huge welt on his right ribs from kicks. Inexplicably, Kingsbury went for the takedown with about 3 min left, and got put in a very bad position. Fortunately, he was able to escape. Maldonado did a much better job in the exchanges afterwards, and landed some good shots. Kingsbury went for another successful takedown with about 1 min left. Maldonado was able to get up, and landed some good body punches on the way up. Near the end of the round, Kingsbury got him in the clinch again and nailed Maldonado with a couple of nasty knees.
Kingsbury gets the TD about 30 secs in. His leg is pinned, but if he can get out, he'll have full mount. Somehow, Maldonado reverses him. Fight stands back up. Kingsbury has gotten away from the kicks and it's hurt him. Maldonado is beginning to allow Kingsbury to clinch so he can land body punches and set up the uppercut. Kingsbury goes for sloppy unsuccessful TD. Tries again and is successful. Maldonado uses arm in guillotine to sweep. Back up. Maldonado's nose is bleeding, possibly lip too. Kingsbury clinching again and attacks with knees. Kingsbury lands some jabs. Kingsbury clinches again and lands a knee. Maldonado swings and it's pretty clearly after the horn. Cut to commercial so can't see repercussions. Odd that Kingsbury is shying away from the leg kicks and not jabbing as much, but he's winning the standup.
Maldonado stalking. Picking his shots a little. Kingsbury seems to be slowing. Kingsbury clinches again and knees., then gets TD. Right back up. TD's are very ineffective, and he's doing nothing with them. Kingsbury's left eye is almost swollen shut. Maldonado really outstriking at this point and has painted a bulls eye on Kingsbury's swollen eye (which looks terrible!!). Maldonado gets TD with 1:40 left. Kingsbury into the rubber guard. Ref stands them up. More knees from Kingsbury. Fight ends with Maldonado on top.
I score it 29-28 Kingsbury. Will be interesting to see how the judges scored it. If it was on total damage, you'd give it to Maldonado, but I think he lost round 1 and 2.
Decision: 29-28 for Kingsbury. Man is his eye a mess!
Up next is Herman vs. Credeur...
Ed Herman's first fight since 2009 (a loss to Aaron Simpson). I'm interested to see how he handles the cage rust.
Joe Rogan is interviewing the always energetic and charismatic Shane Carwin. Carwin's face looks banged up. Must have had some rough sparring sessions. He says he is a new fighter, due to a recent back surgery, and his new diet and training. Carwin says he is getting goosebumps about the opportunity to fight JDS. He says they're both stand-up guys, and there will be some brutal blows come Saturday. Joe Rogan can't wait for the fight. I can;t either.
I'll make my summary quick...just like the fight. Apparently "Short Fuse" was trying to make up for lost time as he clipped Credeur with an uppercut, then pounced on him to stop the fight via TKO (strikes) just inside 1 minute of Round 1. Very impressive comeback to the cage by Herman. Credeur will be left with some questions to answer after this one. Hopefully he is able to remain a Zuffa employee.
Guida vs. Pettis on deck....
Rogan is interviewing Junior Dos Santos. JDS says he has only had to change his strategy a little due to the change in opponents (Carwin for Lesnar). He says Carwin is a great fighter and will try to take him (dos Santos) down. Also says that if Carwin tries to stand up and bang that he will knock him out.
The traditional Steve Mazzagatti boo-ing. Fight underway. Pettis started things off with a nice head kick, then follows up with a hard kick to the ribs. Guida takes Pettis down, but Pettis did the majority of the damage off his back. Guida really didn't land anything from the top at all. Pettis was constantly maneuvering and several times almost got Guida stuck in a triangle. The judges undoubtedly gave the round to Guida for being on top, but I score it...
10-9 Pettis - due to control, offensive/effective strikes
Guida scores big TD 1 minute in. Guida on top, doing the equivalent of dry humping. No move to finish is being made. Guida is trying to fluster Pettis. Pettis is up. Guida has Pettis pinned to fence. Pettis breaks away and lands a couple nice strikes to head. Pettis lands a very slick jumping spinning back kick. Crazy. Guida close to catching leg kick. 1 min left. Guida gets TD with 49 secs left and is on top. Pettis has him tied up. Pettis gets VERY close to tying up an armbar at the horn. 20 more seconds and he may have been able to get the submission. It may have been too little though.
Guida lands big overhand right early on and follows with TD. Guida is starting to get some elbows through from on top. Guida on top and staying busy. He's fighting a 'smart' fight, but doing little to no damage. Lay and pray would be a kind way to describe his strategy. A win is a win, I guess. Pettis is up, but he'll probably be right back down in a minute. Guida goes for takedown and Pettis makes a crazy reversal and now has his back! Body triangle-lock in. Pettis trying to flatten him out, possibly transitioning to armbar as he does have his wrist. Somehow Guida slips out the back! 38 secs left. Guida back on top, trying to take his back. 13 secs left. Round/fight ends with Guida on top. I'm sure the judges didn't, but I scored this round...
I have the decision 29-28 in Pettis' favor. I'm 100% the judges (who think top position is everything) scored it the exact opposite. Sigh.
Decision: 30-27 Guida
Next up: Nijem vs. Ferguson for the TUF Championship...
People have been underrating Ramsey since the beginning of the show. He's proven every time that that's a mistake. I think he's going to do it again tonight. He reminds a lot of Amir Sadollah, in the way that he wins fights he isn't supposed to.
Does Tony Ferguson train with jewelry on, or does he just wear jewelry when he's preparing to train when the cameras are rolling? Is it any less douchey either way?
I think there are a few people in the arena Ramsey forgot to hug.
Ferguson walks through a couple of Ramsey's shots to take him down immediately. After a few secs on the mat, Nijem is back up on the feet. After a few exchanges of punches, Ferguson appears to be winning the exchanges. Nijem comes back with some well timed combo's of his own. 1:15 left. Ferguson clips Nijem on the jaw line with a looping right that his opponent never saw. Lights out. Fight over. Tony Ferguson is the winner of The Ultimate Fighter: Season 13.
Ultimately, his striking was too much for Ramsey.
It's very surreal as the entire building seems awestruck. No one was cheering for Ferguson, and no one seems happy that he won. I almost feel a little badly for him now. Weird to hear him talking about being a role model for kids. I'm willing to give anyone a second chance, but he's got a lot of work to do.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the fight card. I honestly thought it was a better card than the UFC 130 card that I paid $60 for. I like the Facebook fights feature, but I wish more of them had been on TV. I need a better setup for streaming on my LCD TV. Once, I'm able to do that, I think I'll be more okay with it. Either way, it's cool that we're getting to see entire fight cards.
Thanks to everyone who viewed the live blog tonight. Check tomorrow for some coverage of the aftermath of the TUF Finale.
If you're on Twitter, follow me at: @mmabuffet. Have a good night!