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TUF 18 Finale results: Niinimaki takes decision, Blanco gets disqualified

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The TUF 18 Finale prelims saw Tom Niinimaki pick up a win in his UFC debut, while Maximo Blanco was disqualified in just 25 seconds.


The last two bouts of The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale were very, very different. In the first, Finnish fghter Tom Niinimaki showed no fear of Rani Yahya's vaunted submission game and picked up a split decision victory. In the other, Maximo Blanco got a little overexcited early and landed an illegal knee on Akira Corassani which got him disqualified. The finish came in just 25 seconds.

Niinimaki brought the fight to Yahya immediately, taking the BJJ world champ down and fighting off his submission attempts. He controlled position and even threatened with his own subs at a couple of points. The first round was pretty close. The second round was clearly Niinimaki's, who stayed on top and completely shut Yahya down. Yahya came back in the third to threaten with a couple of guillotines, but it wasn't enough for the judges. The scores were 29-28, 28-29, and 30-27.

In the final prelims bout, Blanco came out fast with punches and got a takedown. While Corassani had his knees down and a hand on the floor, Blanco blasted him with a knee to the face that hurt him badly. Referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the bout immediately, and Corassani said he couldn't see. He consulted the instant replay, and decided that the foul was intentional. Corassani was granted the win via disqualification.

The loss dropped Blanco's UFC record to 1-2, while Corassani improved to 3-0 in the promotion.