The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale is probably not going to live up to the excitement of last night's epic UFC 189 card, but it will try. Today's event from the MGM is welterweight-heavy on the main card, with the top four fights all being contested in the 170-pound division.
We'll cover the preliminary card in this post. The prelims will feature five fights, with one airing on UFC Fight Pass and four on Fox Sports 1. The Fight Pass bout will kick off at approximately 6:30pm ET/3:30pm PT, with the FS1 prelims starting at 7pm ET/4pm PT.
The featured prelim for the TUF 21 Finale is something many Bloody Elbow enthusiasts will be interested in, as our own Josh Samman takes on Caio Magalhaes in a middleweight bout. The prelims also feature the return of longtime UFC fighter Dan Miller.
Round 1 - Low leg kick from Samman. Another. And a third. Front kick. Magalhaes hasn't done a thing a minute in. Hard body kick for Samman but Caio scored with a left in return. Body kick and some pressure from Samman. Well-timed leg kick chops Magalhaes to the ground and Samman jumped into his guard. Magalhaes bleeding. Body shots from Samman, who moved Caio over to the cage. Samman takes his back, but he's a bit high. Magalhaes stands up but Samman stays on him and sinks the choke! He falls back and Magalhaes taps! BE's Josh Samman with the submission win! Atta boy Josh!
Josh Samman defeats Caio Magalhaes by submission (rear naked choke), 2:52 of round 1
Round 1 - Sanders with a right. Sanders went for a takedown but Doane is scrambling. Sanders remained stuck to Doane and eventually took his back. Doane got back to his feet with two minutes to go. He looked for his own takedown and managed to take Sanders' back. Pretty dead even. I rarely do this but I'll go 10-10.
Round 2 - Doane with the quick start, landing a body kick and a left. Sanders immediately looked for a takedown. He stayed on Doane's back and dragged him down. Doane able to reverse and passed to side. Doane on his back again. Sanders stood up with the human backpack. Doane finally jumped off and connected with a bevy of strikes. Sanders spammed takedown attempts but Doane controlled him. Sanders managed to get Doane to his back though. Now he's on Doane's back. I've typed the word back way too many times in this fight already. Sanders with a few punches. Man, this fight is tough to score. I'm leaning Sanders by just a tiny bit. 10-9 Sanders.
Round 3 - Sanders charged forward with punches but got dropped with a counter. Doane worked from the top. He's trying to pass while Sanders grabbed the fence and was warned. Guess what? Doane took the back. Sanders reversed halfway through the round though. This time, Doane scrambles back to his feet quickly. Flying knee from Doane almost put him on his back but a choke attempt got him back to his feet. Doane is gassed. Sanders with a left and he spun around to the back. Sanders with a few punches to the grill. Yet another tough round to score, but I'll go 10-9 and 30-28 Sanders.
Jerrod Sanders defeats Russell Doane by unaimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
Round 1 - Overhand right from Smith lands. Miller with a combo. Another winging right for Smith. Hard right from Miller, then a three-punch combo. Smith backs him into the fence. They exchanged knees. They finally separate with two minutes to go. Smith with the right. Miller with a hard leg kick. Smith caught the kick and looked for a takedown but a guillotine attempt scared him off. Miller went for another choke but couldn't secure it. Smith got Miller onto his back and looked to land some strikes. Tough to score, but I'd lean 10-9 Smith.
Round 2 - Leg kick from Miller. Nice winging left from Smith. He backed Miller against the cage with a couple of uppercuts. Knees from both men. Smith gets Miller to the floor. Smith kept it there in half guard, landing enough strikes to not get it stood up. Short elbows. Not a lot of action but Smith firmly in control. 10-9 Smith.
Round 3 - Smith with a right and a knee to the body. He got the takedown. Miller is tired. Smith grinded away with a few punches and tried stacking Miler a few times to do...something, but nothing really happened. Miller was just stuck. A few elbows from Smith. Forearm smashes. 10-9 and 30-27 Smith.
Trevor Smith defeats Dan Miller by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)
Round 1 - Inside leg kick from Sullivan. More kicks, Waters responded with a right. Jab from Sullican. Waters with a nice combo while coming forward. Straight right gets through for Sullivan. Waters landed a combo that sent Sullivan reeling backwards. Waters charged in looking for a takedown. Sullivan back to his feet and scores with a right uppercut that made Waters think takedown right away. Sullivan with another big combo. Waters looked for a takedown but it ended up with Sullivan on top dropping elbows. Waters was busted open. The round ended with Waters in big trouble. 10-9 Sullivan.
Round 2 - Waters came out with a spinning back kick. He caught a kick and worked from the top. Sullivan got up and Waters pulled guard. After dropping a few shots, Sullivan looked for a submission but couldn't get it. Instead he moved to mount and landed some more punches. Waters managed to escape and get back to his feet, but was taken down again. Sullivan looked for a kimura but he's tiring. 10-9 Sullivan.
Round 3 - Waters came out and jumped on Sullivan's back. He looked for a choke but settled for elbows to the head. He sunk hooks with full back mount. Body triangle. Hard body punches. Sullivan defending the choke well but he's stuck. Sullivan busted up now. He rolled right through the body triangle and took top position with 75 seconds to go. Short elbows from Sullivan. Waters tried to control him but he's really tired. Sullivan stacked him up and dropped punches to the horn. 10-9 Waters, but 29-28 Sullivan.
George Sullivan defeats Dominic Waters by unanimous decision (29-27, 30-25 (?), 29-28)
Round 1 - Gates with some front kicks,. Montague responds with a body kick. Two rights connect for Gates. A right staggered Montague and a followup put him down. Montague came up and tried to get a leg but there was nothing. Gates jumped on him and beat him down. Referee Kim Winslow was forced to wave it off.
Willie Gates defeated Darrell Montague by TKO (strikes), 1:36 of round 1