LAS VEGAS – The HeavyMMA.com team is live and reporting from the Palms Casino Resort for tonight’s “Utlimate Fighter 12 Finale.”
The first preliminary card bout between Rich Attonito and Dave Branch is scheduled to begin at approximately 6:20 p.m. ET. The Spike-televised portion of the event begins at 9 p.m. ET with a featherweight bout between TUF 12 standout Nam Phan and veteran Leonard Garcia.
The event is headlined by the final bout of the Ultimate Fighter 12 tournament between Michael Johnson and Heavy.com blogger Jonathan Brookins.
- Dave Branch def. Rich Attonito via unanimous decision (30-27) on all cards
Matt Brown: Branch wins a pretty uneventful fight. Very little action with neither guy getting much on the other.
- Pablo Garza def. Fredson Paixao via KO at 0:51 of the first round
Matt Brown: Garza wins by spectacular flying knee KO. Scary moment in the ring as Paixao was out cold for quite a while. The medical staff worked their magic and Paixao was able to stand by his own power and walk out of the cage.
- Nick Pace def. Will Campuzano via “Pace Choke” at 4:33 of round 3
Matt Brown: Pace spent much of the first two rounds stalling and holding Campuzano. However, the third round had some nice standup action until pace took the fight to the mat. Once down, he essentially invented a choke he called “the pace choke” where he used his leg over the head of Campuzano and his forearm underneath Campuzano’s neck. He used a gable grip and started squeezing. It worked and he walked out a winner with one of the most interesting chokes we’ve seen in the Octagon.
- Kyle Watson def. Sako Chivitchian via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Matt Brown: I suppose I was watching a different fight than the judges in this one. I had it scored two rounds to one for Sako. To me, he won the first two rounds by landing many more effective strikes. Watson certainly fought well and wasn’t dominated, but I think the decision went to the wrong guy.
- Ian Loveland def. Tyler Toner via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-26)
Matt Brown: Ian loveland was just first to the punch all night long. He really hurt Toner on two different occasions, dropping him in the first and second rounds. The second knockdown came via a very nice spinning backfist. Loveland was very impressive and took all 3 rounds on my card.
- Cody McKenzie def. Aaron Wilkinson via guillotine choke at 2:03 of round 1
Matt Brown: Yes folks, another guillotine choke win. He’s won every single fight in his career via guillotine. Joe Rogan was beside himself and even said he’d pay him for guillotine lessons. He worked it for the entire fight and sunk it in. Great win.
- Leonard Garcia def. Nam Phan via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
Matt Brown: WOW! Nam Phan just had too much technique for Leonard Garcia here and the judges were completely blind to it. Garcia, known for his wild, looping punches, got countered more times than not and was even dropped in the second round and nearly finished. Every single one of my colleagues had the fight scored for Phan. Taking nothing away from Garcia’s effort, it was good, but he was beaten here tonight in everyones eyes except for the judges. I guess that’s all that matters. All in all, It was a great start to the night and a great introduction of featherweights into the UFC.
- Rick Story def. Johny Hendricks via unanimous decision (29-28 on all cards)
Matt Brown: Not a ton of action in this fight. A couple of wrestlers in a grapple fest. No serious damage done by either guy and it really sucked the energy out of the crowd. Joe Rogan spent the majority of the second round going after the NSAC and the poor judging that keeps showing up in MMA. I had it 29-28 for Story like the judges, so maybe I’m crazy too!
- Demian Maia def. Kendall Grove via unanimous decision (29-28 on all cards)
Matt Brown: I was very impressed with Demian Maia. He was able to get inside in both the first and second rounds and get Grove to the ground. He showed massive improvement in his ground and pound and was able to actually do some damage from the top. Grove took the third round by landing the bigger shots and avoiding the takedown, but it was too little too late. Maia’s standup also looks to be coming along.
- Stephan Bonnar def. Igor Pokrajac via unanimous decision (29-26 on all cards)
Matt Brown: Stephan Bonnar really took it to Pokrajac. After a rough patch, Bonnar has made it two wins in a row and will probably get a “name” guy next time out. The strange score is due to Pokrajac getting a point taken away in the second round for illegal knees and Bonnar getting a point taken with just seconds left in the fight for punches to the back of the head.
- Jonathan Brookins def. Michael Johnson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27) to become the new Ultimate Fighter
Matt Brown: Jonathan Brookins survived a rocky first round to capture the title of Ultimate Fighter. Michael Johnson showed much improved striking and really took it to Brookins in the first round. Brookins came out with a new gameplan in the second and took Johnson down. He used his wrestling perfectly and held position for much of the round. Round 3 was much of the same. He fought a very smart fight and showed a ton of heart surviving the first round. Props to our Heavy MMA blogger.
Be sure and check out all of our post fight interviews with tonight’s winners.