The Ultimate Fighter got back to its roots this past season with a house full of dedicated professionals trying to take the next step towards a UFC career instead of drunken buffoons boasting to the cameras. In fact, the show ran so well head honcho Dana White was inspired to sign the entire lot this time around rather than leave the bulk of the cast-members looking elsewhere for employment.
In addition to some interesting prospects, TUF 17 also introduced the world two a pair of potential-laden pugilists in the form of finalists Uriah Hall (7-2) and Kelvin Gastelum (5-0). A human highlight-reel thus far, Hall attempted to live up to a huge amount of hype by beating scrappy 21-year old Gastelum tonight at the Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale. However, victory was not to be had, as Gastelum’s wrestling and Hall’s occasional arrogance resulted in a Split Decision nod for the powerful wrestler.
Of course, a lot more was on the line this evening than a TUF championship, as bantamweight stars Urijah Faber and Scott Jorgensen headlined the card despite being friends outside of the Octagon. The showdown was a spirited one, albeit one seeing “The California Kid” come out of most exchanges on top. Faber was able to finish Jorgensen off in the fourth round after getting him on the ground, then locking up a Rear-Naked Choke to procure the tap-out.
Equally noteworthy in nature, Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano made their UFC debuts with the winner moving on to earn a title-shot and gig coaching a team on TUF 18, while heavyweight finishers Gabriel Gonzaga–Travis Browne battled it out in hopes of moving one step closer to a championship clash of their own. Zingano was down two rounds going into the third round of her rumble with Tate before turning it up and taking home a TKO win thanks to some well-timed knees. Likewise, Browne had his hand raised as the result of strikes as well, though his finish came a little over a minute into the first frame and was the result of elbows.
Read below for a rundown of TUF 17 Finale outcomes:
Daniel Pineda def. Justin Lawrence via Submission Round 1 (Kimura)
Maximo Blanco def. Sam Sicilia via Unanimous Decision
Cole Miller def. Bart Palaszewski via Submission Round 1 (Rear-Naked Choke)
Clint Hester def. Bristol Marunde via Knockout Round 3 (Standing Elbow)
Dylan Andrews def. Jimmy Quinlan via TKO Round 1 (Strikes)
Luke Barnatt def. Collin Hart via Unanimous Decision
Josh Samman def. Kevin Casey via TKO Round 2 (Strikes)
Bubba McDaniel def. Gilbert Smith via Submission Round 3 (Armbar)
Travis Browne def. Gabriel Gonzaga via TKO Round 1 (Elbows)
Cat Zingano def. Miesha Tate via TKO Round 3 (Knees/Strikes)
Kelvin Gastelum def. Uriah Hall via Split Decision
Urijah Faber def. Scott Jorgensen via Submission Round 4 (Rear-Naked Choke)
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC