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TUF 23 Finale results and post-fight analysis

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Tim B. takes a look at a TUF Finale that featured a barnburner of a main event.

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How about that headliner? Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha will never be friends, but they make great dance partners in the cage. Gadelha came out incredibly strong, dropping the champ and basically dominating her over the first two rounds. But her tank was empty, and Joanna's wasn't even close. Jedrzejczyk completely took over, battering Gadelha over the final three rounds to the point where she got at least one 10-8 score on every card.

It was the kind of fight that the strawweight division needed. No offense to Valerie Letourneau or the other challengers that Joanna has faced so far, but no one brings out the best in her like Gadelha. Even with it 2-0 for Joanna, I'd love to see them fight again. I could watch them fight 10 times. I was very impressed with both of them, and I hope Gadelha can shore up the tank issues to get another shot.

  • The two TUF fights were okay. Tatiana Suarez looks to be a solid addition to the strawweight division, and she's pretty tenacious. Andrew Sanchez is definitely a grinder. We'll see how that plays out at middleweight (or welterweight).
  • I thought Will Brooks looked excellent against Ross Pearson for two rounds. Instead of a pressure wrestling game, he actually beat Pearson on the feet. Pearson got loose in the third though, and Brooks was a little too lax in letting his opponent back him up against the cage and tee off. It didn't end up costing him though. He's an instant contender in a division that is changing very quickly.
  • Joaquim Silva and Doo Ho Choi opened the main card in a big way with some nasty KOs. Choi has looked amazing in the UFC so far, and the UFC could really use a breakout Korean star to keep putting on cards in Seoul. He's so unassuming too - it just makes his viciousness in the cage even cooler.
  • I would normally write something for each fight in this post, but the four FS1 prelims were pretty terrible. Cezar Ferreira and Josh Stansbury used wrestling to stifle their opponent after a shaky first round. John Moraga and Matheus Nicolau was timid and terrible. And while Gray Maynard vs. Fernando Bruno was fun for the first round, it was also sloppy as all hell. Maynard then went back to being a bully and picked up his first win in 17 years.
  • Kevin Lee looks better and better every fight. After dominating Efrain Escudero, he came in here against a tough young prospect in Jake Matthews and schooled him.
  • Li Jingliang looks like a beast on top. After getting taken down early, he powered his way back up and earned his own takedown. As soon as it hit the floor, he opened up with some nasty GnP to put away Anton Zafir.