The Ultimate Fighter's run on Spike TV has come to a close. The UFC and Spike's relationship has soured and fans will no longer watch episodes of TUF lead into Blue Mountain State. This season though was stacked with great talent and two coaches who are both charismatic and talented. The Ultimate Fighter 14's finale didn't disappoint by any definition of the word. From top to bottom, fans were able to enjoy some extremely fast paced fights from the bantam and featherweight divisions. The headlining bout between Michael Bisping and Jason Miller was an exciting affair which saw Bisping dominated in the first only to come back and wear out Miller in the second to finish him in the third round. With the fight's fresh in mind, let's take a look at the night.
The way that Bisping can make any of his opponents likable is a great character trait. His ability keep a pace of output shows how far he's come since winning the third season of the Ultimate Fighter. It should be said that there were various illegal strikes thrown by Bisping including the attempted headkick at a downed Mayhem as well as the 12-6 elbows. It was nice seeing him humble in victory.
- Mayhem Miller cared more about the walkout than the actual performance in the fight. He gassed after the first round and just couldn't implement any kind of offense. His chin is phenomenal but that doesn't win fights when he can't actually do anything to change the tide. The final round was as one sided as I've ever seen and really calls into question his desire to put in the time to be a full time fighter.
- Diego Brandao is a monster. The stand up he displayed was explosive. His punching power shouldn't ever be doubted and his ability to regain his faculties after being rocked by Dennis Bermudez shows that he's definitely going to be a must-watch fighter at featherweight. That was one of the slickest arm bars I've ever seen and can't wait to see him enter the octagon again. He's still sloppy but his power and grappling with take him far in the UFC's featherweight division.
- John Dodson will be a monster at flyweight if he chooses to drop when the UFC adds the division in 2012. The big question is will he still have the speed and power advantage at 125 that he displayed tonight at 135? For the man that was the "villain" of the season, he's definitely made me a fan after the performance that he put on tonight. The kid is nonstop and like his teammate Diego Brandao, I can't wait to see him fight in the UFC again. He's just too fun to keep sidelined.
- While Tony Ferguson picked up a nice win over Yves Edwards, I don't agree with the score cards. Scoring the fight 30-27 is hilarious to me. I personally had the fight 29-28 for Yves and wasn't upset with the 29-28 card for Ferguson, but there is no way that was 30-27. Tonight was the best that Edwards has looked in years and showed us that Ferguson may not be as good as advertised. I hope that Zuffa gives Edwards another shot because of the questionable judging.
- The Johnny Bedford-Louis Gaudinot match was ridiculous. The size difference was apparent and was essentially a lightweight vs. a flyweight. Gaudinot may not be a great fighter, but he deserves a better matchup than a guy who is absolutely massive for 135. Bedford is a nice addition to bantamweight but he's gotta show he can beat up people that are his same size.
Additional thoughts after the jump...
The undercard was highly entertaining. Steve Siler looked great in the clinch using the thai plumb to batter Josh Clompton with knees. I've never seen that dominant usage of the thai clinch before and if he can figure out how to generate more power on those knees, he'll be a monster. He's only 24 and can become a bit of a force if he can develop as a fighter.
It's a shame that Dennis Bermudez' night ends with a broken arm because he looked great against Diego Brandao before the arm bar. I have no doubt that he'll be back in the UFC but it's gonna take time for that wound to heal both physically and mentally.
T.J. Dillashaw still has a future in the UFC but he's obviously not the bantamweight prospect that we were led to believe he was. He opted to stand and trade with a faster, stronger, and more technical striker and paid the price. Was the stoppage a bit premature? Probably. But that doesn't change the fact that he was getting annihilated on the ground before Herb Dean stepped in.
John Albert's ground work was so good. That was an incredibly dominant performance. It's a shame that Dustin Pague went out like that since he was one of the more likable fighters of the season.