Las Vegas, Nevada — Amir Sadollah may have earned the title of the winner for the seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” but it was Dustin Hazelett who perhaps is walking out of the TUF 7 live season finale as the event’s biggest winner.
Hazelett, a member of Team Jorge Gurgel in Ohio, fought Josh Burkman during the non-televised portion of the fight card. Despite giving up noticeable strength to Burkman, Hazelett still walked away the victor after executing an armbar following a whizzer.
The beautiful sequence earned Hazelett a bonus for “Submission of the Night,” which will be paid to him on top of his guarantee and win bonus. However, Hazelett was awarded a second bonus when both he and Burkman were awarded”Fight of the Night” honors.
The value of each bonus for the event is $20,000, meaning that Hazelett will receive a total of $40,000 in bonus money.
Drew McFedries was also awarded a bonus for the “Knockout of the Night,” following his lopsided first round TKO over veteran Marvin Eastman.
News and Views:
— A source has revealed to FiveOuncesOfPain.com that Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is likely to defend his interim UFC heavyweight title against Frank Mir during the UFC’s year end event on December 29.
— Conspicuous by its absence from the card was an advertised undercard matchup between Tim Credeur and Cale Yabrough. The UFC did not make an official announcement that the bout had been canceled. However, Five Ounces of Pain learned from a source speaking on the condition of anonymity that the bout was pulled from the show because Credeur failed a drug test. The source indicated that Credeur tested positive for Adderall. While we were not able to contact Credeur for comment, the source indicated that the drug is prescribed to Credeur to help counteract the effects of Attention Deficit Disorder.
— There was a rumor making the rounds at the Palms Hotel & Casino that former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz had re-signed with the company. When contacted by Five Ounces of Pain via text message, Ortiz indicated that the rumor was false.
Speaking of Ortiz, as he had stated on the Underground forum, he was indeed in attendance during the TUF 7 Finale. However, there was no confrontation of any kind between he and UFC President Dana White.
— No one can dispute that Hazelett vs. Burkman was a great fight, however, my vote would go to the undercard welterweight matchup between Matt Brown and Matt Arroyo. Saturday’s bout was actually a rematch between the two, as they had fought each other once outside of the UFC in 2006. Brown was victorious in the first encounter and won last night’s bout as well. However, it didn’t look like he was going to come away a winner initially. Arroyo got out to a fast start and stunned Brown. Showing improved standup since his last UFC appearance, the Gracie Tampa product was able to bruise Brown’s face in several places.
The outcome of the fight could have proved differently had Arroyo not injured his ankle in the first round. Brian Bereck sponsored Arroyo through his company The Abacus Group and also cornered him as well and according to him, Arroyo was taken to the hospital following his fight. His ankle was so swollen that there was concern it might be fractured. Arroyo had not gotten his test results back as we went to press.
Arroyo and Brown were very verbal during their fight. During the fight’s finish in the second round, Arroyo was on his back while Brown was reigning down punches on him. According to Arroyo’s corner, he kept challenging Brown to drop down in order to test his jiu-jitsu. Brown obviously declined and finished the fight via strikes. Arroyo’s corner indicated that Brown’s posture during the closing sequence was superb and made it difficult for Arroyo to escape.
— Many people, including the fighters themselves, had speculated that the loser of Saturday’s main event between Kendall Grove and Evan Tanner would be released by the UFC. However, the UFC itself has never made such a proclamation. And while Tanner did not look like the fighter he’s been in the past, he still went the distance and showed amazing toughness. Nobody can say for sure, but I consider it highly unlikely that the promotion will drop him at this point.
— According to a public relations official from the UFC, the TUF 7 Finale was a sellout.
— The TUF 7 finale was the first event I have ever seen at the Pearl at the Palms. I must say, that it is without question the best venue I’ve ever seen an MMA show in.
— Matt Riddle now trains with Todd and Trevor Lally of Arizona Combat Sports, which is also home to C.B. Dalloway. The 22-year old still looked somewhat green, but showed marked improvement. Also showing tremendous signs of improvement were Hazelett, Arroyo’s standup, and Diego Sanchez’s standup. In regards to Diaz, it was the longest duration in which we’ve seen him fight on his feet.
— Phil Baroni was in attendance at the event and has stated publicly that his next fight will be at welterweight. Baroni looked extremely slim and it doesn’t appear as though cutting down to the 170 pound weight limit will be too much of a problem for him.
— It’s a shame the undercard wasn’t televised, because it was outstanding. There wasn’t a bad fight on it.