The time has come once again for the UFC to name its newest Ultimate Fighter champion with this season’s final being comprised of exciting lightweight prospects Jonathan Brookins and Michael Johnson. Joining the two rising stars on the card are original TUF finalist Stephan Bonnar, as well as Season 3 winner Kendall Grove facing highly-respected BJJ artist Demian Maia.
TUF 12 Finale action is now underway and Five Ounces of Pain will be here to bring you live results as they unfold from Las Vegas!
Read below for a rundown of TUF 12 Finale results….
Dave Branch def. Rich Attonito via Unanimous Decision
Fredson Paixao def.. Pablo Garza via TKO Round 1 (Strikes)
Nick Pace def. Will Campuzano via Submission Round 3 (Hybrid Triangle/Guillotine Choke)
Kyle Watson def. Sako Chivitchian via Unanimous Decision
Ian Loveland Tyler Toner via Unanimous Decision
Cody McKenzie def. Aaron Wilkinson via Submission Round 1 (Hybrid Neck Crank/Guillotine Choke)
Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan
Men start out swinging with Phan attempting to land a few early body shots. Phan looking much crisper at 145 pounds than he did on TUF 12 so far. Nothing unexpected from either thus far, as 99% of the action has involved stand-up. Hard round to score, though Five Ounces Scores it 10-9 Phan based on a bit more accuracy.
More of the same in the second frame until Phan lands a few big shots and drops Garcia a few minutes in. He drops some shots from the top but can’t finish the always-tough “Bad Boy”, then takes his back and starts working for a Rear-Naked Choke. Garcia defends for the final ninety seconds. Another round for Phan has the 5 Oz. scorecard reading 20-18 thus far for the TUF 12 semi-finalist.
Garcia comes out throwing leather in the third. His corner has clearly emphasized the need to either finish or at least dominate. He cuts Phan with a punch, then shoots in for a takedown and secures it. Phan gets back to his feet and the two start striking again – “Rock Em Sock Em Robots” in the words of Joe Rogan. Action has slowed a bit, likely due to both men being a bit tired. stuffs a takedown attempt and they go back to standing. As has been the case for most of the fight, Phan looks a bit more technical and Garcia loads up on power-shots. A few nice exchanges over the final minute as the round expires. Five Ounces has this as a unanimous decision for the proud representative of Vietnam, Phan.
Turns out I’m wrong and, at least according to the crowd’s overwhelming disapproval of the outcome, I’m not alone in my surprise.
Winner – Leonard Garcia def. Nam Phan by Split Decision
Johny Hendricks vs. Rick Story
Stand-up to start out with, though more of a feeling-out process than some of the wild exchanges seen in the previous bout. Story seems to be getting the better of things but only slightly. Hendricks for whatever reason hasn’t opted to use his amateur wrestling background, where he won two national titles, to work any significant takedown attempts until the last thirty seconds of the round when he successfully gets Story onto his back after timing/catching a kick attempt. Close round with the former Oklahoma State Cowboy All-American getting a ho-hum nod by scoring the late takedown.
Story gets a semi-takedown after landing a few body shots to open things up though Hendricks nearly locks in a Guillotine Choke in the process. Hendricks uses the cage to get back to a standing position but ends up back on the mat with Story closing in on his back after a failing to break free. However, Story is too high on Hendricks’ body and slides off. Hendricks grabs a Front Choke and the two end up standing again while clinched. They eventually separate but Story soon scores another takedown, though ultimately Hendricks gets back on his feet within seconds. They remain clinched against the cage with “Horror” landing a few knees to Hendricks’ lower extremities. They break with less than ten seconds left and the round ends. Five Ounces has the fight 19-19 thus far after giving this round to Story.
Both corners understandably tell their fighters to avoid leaving the decision in the hands of the judges. Hendricks comes out with a double-leg takedown attempt and scores, albeit briefly before Story wall-walks and then quickly sinks in a Guillotine Choke attempt. He gives up the submission based on positioning and Hendricks defense, then throws a few shots to Hendricks ribs and goes after a Kimura. Hendricks keeps working and fights his way out of it to end up on top of Story. The two go back to a familiar position – clinched on the fence – with neither landing a lot of offense. On the 5 Oz. scorecard, Story picks up the win by way of unanimous decision while also handing Hendricks the first loss of his career.
Rick Story def. Johny Hendricks via Unanimous Decision
Demian Maia vs. Kendall Grove
Grove and Maia start out standing with both looking to be in solid shape and are carrying more muscle-mass than usual. Maia shoots in and gets a single-leg takedown after a bit of work to procure it successfully. The Ultimate Fighter Season 3 champ gets back to his feet but his BJJ-savvy goes stays latched on and gets his back from the standing position. They end up against the cage with Maia switching back around to the front, then scooping Grove’s legs out from under him. Maia ends up in half-guard then quickly works his way into a mount. Grove turns, gives up his back, and eats a few more shots from the top. Grove scrambles and at least manages to make it back into half-guard. Maia uses his high-level grappling to control Grove and drop down some more punishment from above. Grove somersaults forward but Maia isn’t shaken and regains a dominant position. All Maia as the round ends, giving him a clear 10-9 advantage entering the next frame.
The second stanza opens up with a feeling-out process on their feet. Grove looks a bit worn down but Maia’s overwhelming attack from earlier. Maia presses the takedown and gets it after a pair of attempts. He throws a few powerful body shots from the top, once again exhibiting his newfound interest in complimenting his BJJ with punches. Grove eventually scrambles and temporarily gets to his feet before once again finding his back planted against the canvas. “Da Sypder” is doing everything he can to weather Maia’s ground-based attack but isn’t able to do more than survive. Another clear-cut round for Maia makes it 20-18 with two in his favor thus far.
More tentative stand-up starts things out with neither man showing a great deal of confidence in their striking. However, between the two, Maia looks a little better and at times forces Grove to back up even though he’s almost certainly down on the judges’ scorecards. Maia grabs a hold of his Hawaiian adversary with about a minute left in the fight, eats a jumping knee, but isn’t phased and continues his attempt to drag Grove down one last time. Action has stalled with Grove throwing a few strikes into Maia’s body as the round expires. With the UFC’s recent approach to releases, and based on that performance along with a few other recent stumbles, it won’t be surprising if Grove finds himself having to notch a few wins outside of the Octagon before getting a call back to the promotion.
Winner – Demain Maia def. Kendall Grove via Unanimous Decision
Stephan Bonnar vs. Igor Pokrajac
Both men come out swinging but no clean shots land. Bonnar ties Pokrajac up against the cage and lands a few body shots. “The American Psycho” trips Pokrajac up and ends up in side-control. Bonnar switches things up and moves to a position where his Croatian opponent’s back at risk. The two scramble and end up back on their feet. Bonnar almost locks in a Guillotine choke but Pokrajac is able to adjust using the nearby cage and escape the submission attempt. The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 finalist ends up on top in half-guard, then moves to side-control and drops a couple serious elbows to Pokrajac’s body. The two adjust again with Bonnar retaining an advantage as the round ends. Easily Bonnar’s round 10-9.
Things start out similarly to the first frame. The light heavyweights end up entwined against the cage with Bonnar ultimately getting a Judo-based takedown after exchanging a few nice knees from the clinch. Bonnar keeps working from the top, but takes an illegal knee to the head from downed Pokrajac which opens up a minor cut. The foul results in a point being taken away by Steve Mazzagatti. The two scramble a bit and once again end up standing while clinched with Pokrajac landing some respectable knees before connecting on a few punches after separating. A much closer round than the first but clearly the point deduction could play into the ultimate decision. Still, another round for Bonnar at 10-9 (10-8 after the illegal knee).
Bonnar comes out attacking and is able to get Pokrajac down on the ground after pulling a leg out from under him. He rains down a few strikes while standing in the Croat’s guard, then drops down before posturing back up and advancing into a loose full mount. Pokrajac twists/turns and escapes the full mount but isn’t able to shake Bonnar’s superior position in general. Bonnar attempts a Kimura with less than a minute left but can’t lock it in fully. Round ends up with Bonnar on top for what should be an obvious unanimous decision win. However, he lost a point at the end of the third for a few hammerfists to the back of Pokrajac’s head so nothing is guaranteed.
Winner – Stephan Bonnar def. Igor Pokrajac via Unanimous Decision
Jonathan Brookins vs. Michael Johnson
The two TUF 12 finalists are in the ring and both representing their Team GSP colors. Lots of love between the friends and former teammates. Action starts out with a couple of stand-up exchanges where Johnson’s speed pays off, allowing him to land a few glancing blows. Brookins times Johnson’s approach out and locks in a single-leg takedown. Johnson backs up to the cage and maintains his balance. They separate and go back to striking with Johnson again getting the better of the technique and eventually dropping Brookins. He attacks from the top but is unable to finish things. Brookins stands back up but looks to still be feeling the effects of Johnson’s punches. He takes another shot to the jaw but stays on his feet, even after getting blasted a THIRD time in the round. Johnson stuffs a few half-hearted takedown attempts and action slows as the round draws to a close. A case can definitely be made for a 10-8 round in favor of “The Menace” but Five Ounces will go 10-9.
After a few punches the two lock up with Brookins out-powering his opponent in the scramble and ending up on top of a turned-over Johnson. He throws a solid shots from the postured position while locking Johnson’s arm behind his back but can’t prevent him from eventually rolling onto his back. Brookins continues to control things from above, now in half-guard, and feeds Johnson a steady diet punches/elbows in the process. Johnson takes advantage of a small window of opportunity and scrambles back to his feet, then sprawls to prevent another takedown attempt from Brookins. The long-haired Mixed Martial Artist scoops Johnson up and slams him fairly hard, then goes back to work from the top. As much as Round One belonged to Johnson, the second stanza clearly goes to Brookins in 10-9 fashion.
The evening’s final five minutes has begun with fans in attendance, and at home, hoping all five main-card fights don’t go the distance. Johnson lands a quick flurry before Brookins locks him up in a single-leg takedown attempt. He drags Johnson to the mat, back against the cage, and attempts to suck him into a guard situation with Johnson actively defending. However, Brookins eventually gets the mount and is about to go to work before being reversed. The two stand again briefly before Brookins gets another takedown resulting in a half-guard situation. Nothing much outside of the norm occurs over the final two minutes of the bout. As long as Johnson didn’t earn a 10-8 score in the opening round the TUF 12 title should belong to Brookins courtesy of his superior grappling and durable chin.
Winner (and Ultimate Fighter 12 Champion) – Jonathan Brookins def. Michael Johnson via Unanimous Decision