USA TODAY Sports
The Ultimate Fighter Finale preliminary card might not have had a lot of name fighters on it, but it was one of the most exciting stretches of fights you're likely to see. The opening bout was the only one of the seven that went to a decision, and it won fight of the night. The other six featured two submissions and four knockouts. Here's a recap of each of the seven bouts.
Mike Pyle vs. James Head This time last year, Mike Pyle (24-8-1) was coming off a clobbering at the hands of Welterweight Rory MacDonald. Now he's on a three-fight win streak, all won by first round (T)KO. And just like in his last fight against Josh Neer, Pyle got the KO after taking a beating of his own. Head (9-3) landed on Pyle first with solid punches and a combo ending with a knee that had Pyle rocked. Pyle clinched up and fired off a Muay Thai knee of his own that dropped Head and got Pyle the TKO victory.
Johnny Bedford vs. Marcos Vinicius The second Bantamweight fight of the event was mostly a one-sided beating. TUF 14 contenstant Bedford (19-9-1) started landing hard on Vinicius (20-4-1) early. He dropped him toward the end of the first round and followed up, but Marcos was able to survive. Johnny dropped him again in the second with a right hand in the clinch. He followed up with a brutal soccer kick to the body of Vinicius and finished the job with right hands.
Rustam Khabilov vs. Vinc Pichel It took him only seconds to secure his first takedown on Pichel (7-1) and only minutes to suplex him into unconsciousness. After hitting that first TD, Khabilov never let off the breaks. He stuck to Pichel's back like glue and slammed him to the mat 3 consecutive times. On the final suplex, he dropped Vinc on his head and followed up with punches to get the TKO victory.
Tim Elliott vs. Jared Papazian The lopsided scores in favor of Elliot (30-25 x2, 30-26) belie the competitiveness of Papazian's Flyweight debut. Throughout the three round fight, the two went back and forth on the feet and on the ground. Elliot did get the better of Jared with his dynamic takedown game allowing him to control where the fight took place.