Last night will be one 21-year old Kelvin Gastelum will never forget. Not only did Gastelum win the right to call himself a TUF champion by beating the heavily-favored Uriah Hall at the Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale, but the unbeaten wrestler also became the youngest fighter in the longtime franchise’s history to win a season crown.
Were those feats not enough, Gastelum also learned he’d won $25,000 for his Rear-Naked Choke of Josh Samman in the semifinal round of the Ultimate Fighter 17 tournament based on the finish being named the best submission of the season.
Similarly, Hall scored $25,000 as expected for his scintillating strike-based stoppage of Adam Cella. “Prime Time” put his over-matched foe away with a perfectly-timed spinning head-kick that sent Cella to the canvas (and subsequently the hospital for follow-up testing).
The top fight of the season was awarded to Dylan Andrews-Luke Barnatt for their quarterfinal clash. Barnatt, a #1 pick, was expected to run through Andrews, a last pick, though the tilt was actually quite competitive. When the smoke cleared, Andrews scored a TKO in the third round but ultimately both men came out winners with an extra $25,000 in their pockets for the effort.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC