Join us tonight on Bloody Elbow for live results and detailed updates as The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale: Edgar vs. Mendes takes place from The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. The main card (10 p.m. ET) and the preliminary card (8 p.m. ET) will both air on Fox Sports 1.
Top-dog featherweights Frankie Edgar and Chad Mendes clash in the main event while dynamic lightweights Edson Barboza and Tony Ferguson fill the co-main event slot. The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 22 lightweight finalists, Ryan Hall and Artem Lobov, will also battle to determine this season’s winning contestant. Also on the main card: Evan Dunham vs. Joe Lauzon (lightweight), Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Jason Knight (featherweight) and Julian Erosa vs. Marcin Wrzosek (lightweight).
Live results and play-by-play will commence with the preliminary card broadcast. The full lineup follows. Check out this week’s MMA Vivisection for analysis, predictions and betting odds for each match up.
TUF 22 Finale – Main Card
(Fox Sports 1 at 10 p.m. ET)
Frankie Edgar vs. Chad Mendes
R1: Mendes chops out Edgar’s lead leg with a harsh low kick. Now a sharp inside kick to Edgar’s front leg. Edgar flurries but Mendes deflects it and crushes Edgar’s leg with another kick. Edgar goes for a running knee-tap takedown, then backs off and lands a low kick. Counter right lands for Edgar off the back foot, then a tight, compact salvo with both hands. Mendes torques his hips into another vicious low kick.
They both collide while throwing heaters and it’s a missile of a left hook from Edgar that sails through cleanly. The shot sits Mendes down and the ref jumps in.
- Frankie Edgar defeats Chad Mendes by KO (left hook) R1 2:28
Ryan Hall vs. Artem Lobov
R1: Hall flings a few kicks from distance before rolling into a kneebar attempt, then switching to a heel hook. Lobov rolls out and Hall hops on his back with unsettling poise, immediately locking up a body triangle and a rear-naked choke. It’s a legit attempt and Lobov valiantly hand-fights his way out of danger. Still in the body triangle, Lobov wing blocks Hall’s right hands from back control.
Lobov is content to chill with the wing block as Hall persists with punches to the head, then fires a few to the ribs. Now Hall leans over and throws back-elbows to the head. Lobov moves into turtle position with Hall still fully attached and thwacking elbows and forearms to the head. 10-8 Hall.
R2: Hall stays busy with kicks from range until Lobov steps in and drops him with a counter right; either that or Hall was willing to butt flop. Lobov attacks with punches and Hall ducks under and gets deep on the hips before successfully pulling guard. Bending at nearly inconceivable angles, Hall rolls backward and transitions to a leg lock attempt but Lobov is able to slip free.
Hall with another textbook guard pull on the reset and his distracting strikes and submission attempts force Lobov to defend from the top. Lobov finally sneaks in a left elbow from the top. Hall wraps him up in a tight, high guard, then threatens with a triangle when Lobov loses his posture. Hall with another brilliant leg lock transition and he’s working a heel hook. Lobov patiently defends but he finds himself in the same position as the round closes. 10-9 Hall.
R3: Hall bides his time with busy kicks from outside before executing another rolling leg lock attempt, switching to an inside heel hook. Lobov gets back to his feet but Hall stays glued to him, looking for back control; Lobov hula-hoops Hall off and falls into full guard. Still, Lobov is unable to even attempt offense from the top as Hall forces him to defend nonstop.
Lobov gets free but Hall swarms him, jumping to back control and cinching on the body triangle. Lobov is again oddly complacent throughout Hall’s dominant positional changes. After Lobov does nothing, Hall starts throwing right hands to the head. Lobov still does nothing, just stands still with two-on-one wrist control. Hall shakes the wrist control and starts fishing for a rear-naked choke. 10-8 Hall, equally for Lobov doing absolutely nothing. I have it 30-25 Hall.
- Ryan Hall defeats Artem Lobov by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26 x2)
Edson Barboza vs. Tony Ferguson
R1: They touch up and the leather starts flying. Ferguson closes the gap aggressively but Barboza peels off a few lightning-fast punches to back him off. Ferguson lands an inside low kick, shoots a single and then throws punches upstairs as Barboza defends. Ferguson daringly goes from the standing position into a rolling kneebar attempt; Barboza stabilizes and they stalemate in an odd position. Ferguson lands an illegal kick to the face as they separate and he’s docked a point for the infraction.
They restart with full vigor: Ferguson tags him with a shovel punch, Barboza answers and Ferguson returns fire. Barboza lands a nasty body kick that causes the crowd to gasp upon impact. Another rolling kneebar attempt from Ferguson but this time Barboza shakes loose quickly. Ferguson, continually pressuring forward, pays the price when Barboza changes levels and takes him down. They separate quickly. Ferguson forces a clinch and Barboza lands a knee downstairs before circling out. Check hook lands for Barboza. Ferguson stings with a punch but walks into a straight right that freezes him. Another check hook for Barboza before easily sidestepping a forced rolling kneebar attempt from Ferguson. Now a spinning kick to the body from Barboza. Barboza catches a front kick and plants a heavy kick to Ferguson’s ribs. 10-9 Barboza.
R2: They trade heavy left kicks to the body. Ferguson lands a lead uppercut elbow and it pops a cut on Barboza’s head but he’s countered with a left hook that also seems to open a cut on Ferguson. Barboza catches a front kick and sweeps out Ferguson’s support leg, falling into his open guard. Barboza, gushing blood onto Ferguson’s chest, takes a few elbows to the head from the equally bloodied Ferguson from his back. Barboza cracks him with a straight right.
Ferguson wades forward and wings a spinning back elbow that Barboza blocks, though it lands with major impact. Barboza, who might be slowing down a little, shoots a takedown that Ferguson counters with the front headlock, then he moves to his signature transition into a D’arce choke. Barboza taps.
- Tony Ferguson defeats Edson Barboza by submission (D’arce choke) R2 2:54
Evan Dunham vs. Joe Lauzon
R1: Dunham pivots left and glances with a one-two. Dunham bobbing under and looking for check hooks before angling out. Lauzon backs him off with a big shot. Dunham’s use of angles is opening up counter-striking opportunities on Lauzon’s straight-line attacks. Lauzon clinches up and lands a knee downstairs, then clips him with a horizontal elbow.
Dunham switches to straight punches and tags Lauzon with consecutive one-twos. Now a front kick to the body from Dunham, followed by a glancing check hook. An uppercut slides through for Dunham, who goes back to attacking from angles. They both trade shots. Dunham closes his combo with a high kick that Lauzon deflects. Now Dunham closes with a low kick and it lands. More pressuring flurries from Dunham, who again closes his combo with a low kick. Lauzon shoots and Dunham defends with a front headlock before separating. 10-9 Dunham.
R2: Dunham continues to hit angles and land counter-punches as an effective tool for Lauzon’s straight-line entries. Dunham lands a counter knee downstairs that Lauzon can’t catch. They trade left hands. Dunham wades forward with a one-two and chops Lauzon’s leg out with a hard low kick. Lauzon answers in kind. Dunham again lands a front kick that Lauzon tries to catch.
Dunham switches to a body lock as Lauzon’s coming in and uses it to put him on the fence. Left underhook and short knees from Dunham. Lauzon lands a knee on on the clinch break. Another body-lock counter from Dunham and he puts Lauzon back on the fence with a horizontal elbow. Two glancing uppercut elbows from Dunham in the clinch and it’s answered by a Lauzon elbow on the break. Dunham batters Lauzon with a left/right combo and two knees to the head from the Thai plum. 10-9 Dunham.
R3: Lauzon continues to attack in straight lines as Dunham stays off-center and counters from angles. An inside low kick to close another Dunham combo, then he plasters Lauzon with a shot to the face. Lauzon lands an inside low kick but eats a straight one-two in response. Lauzon gets desperate and tries a flying scissors takedown; Dunham backs away and resets in the center.
More stinging salvos from Dunham and the prolonged hum-drum of leather is showing on Lauzon’s face. Lauzon lands an inside low kick that referee Herb Dean interprets as a low blow but Dunham voices a disagreement and they resume. Lauzon lands a lead inside uppercut but Dunham bobs his head back with a straight flurry. Dunham pivots right, throws a right uppercut, a one-two and closes with a hard low kick. 10-9 Dunham for a 30-27 sweep on my card.
- Evan Dunham defeats Joe Lauzon by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26 x2)
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Jason Knight
R1: Knight steps into a stiff jab. Kawajiri changes levels and gets the takedown though Knight seems willing to grapple, going immediately to rubber guard. Knight swivels to his left and starts to work on a triangle/omoplata combo. Knight settles on the triangle, locks the hold and starts bouncing elbows off Kawajiri’s cornrows. Kawajiri pulls his head out and lands a short right elbow in Knight’s full guard.
Kawajiri bases down to stabilize position but Knight uses his gangly legs to threaten with submission attempts as soon as Kawajiri postures up. Kawajiri grazes with more right elbows as Knight has good posture control despite having his head jammed in the fence. Kawajiri keeps grinding away with short forearms and it’s bloodied up the face of Knight. 10-9 Kawajiri.
R2: Kawajiri shoots an immediate takedown and Knight pulls guard, perhaps looking for a flying triangle. Kawajiri easily evades and starts chipping away with sharp right elbows. Knight goes back to rubber guard, working Mission Control. Kawajiri patiently and carefully clears the high guard and continues to batter Knight with short elbows and forearms.
The ref stands them up after a stalemate but Kawajiri hits an easy reactive takedown when Knight attacks with a kick. The second half is a repeat of the first with Kawajiri shutting down submission attempts and digging elbows into Knight’s face. 10-9 Kawajiri.
R3: Kawajiri opens with a spinning heel kick to the body. Knight sticks with his strategy, giving up an early takedown and trying to work rubber guard. Kawajiri passes to half guard this time, then advances to side mount. Now to north-south for “Crusher.” Knight tries to push off the cage with both feet.
Kawajiri traps Knight’s right arm in th crucifix and Knight triangles Kawajiri’s arm behind his back with his legs, causing an odd stalemate. The ref stands them up. And Kawajiri takes him down, peppering with short hammer-fists and elbows. 10-9 Kawajiri. 30-27 Kawajiri overall.
- Tatsuya Kawajiri defeats Jason Knight by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Julian Erosa vs. Marcin Wrzosek
R1: Wrzosek loses his balance throwing a left kick but he tages Erosa with a right hand. Lead left body kicks from Wrzosek at range, then he’s back into the clinch in a battle for underhooks. Erosa circles off the fence but Wrzosek follows suit. They swap positions two more times with Erosa landing a knee downstairs. And another after putting Wrzosek on the cage.
Now another body knee from Erosa, who throws it from the Thai plum, prompting Wrzosek to change levels. Erosa counters with the front headlock and then switches to a topside D’arce choke. Wrzosek goes flat on his back and breaks the hold, then scrambles to his feet. Erosa keeps him on the cage but they trade positions when he lands a knee downstairs. More knees from Erosa as Wrzosek dirty boxes. 10-9 Erosa.
R2: Wrzosek punches his way into the clinch and hits a takedown despite eating another knee to the gut. Slick get-up from Erosa and they separate shortly after. Wrzosek catches him with a counter left and then dings him with another before re-clinching. Wrzosek circles off the fence and drops for a double briefly; Erosa defends, circles off and lands another body knee.
Erosa, after switching stances, gets taken down throwing the knee. Wrzosek stacks the legs but Erosa slips out and gets back to his feet in pursuit of a double leg. Wrzosek steps back and sights in a right to the face. Now a jab lands clean for Wrzosek, who continues his momentum by hitting a double leg. 10-9 Wrzosek.
R3: Wrzosek looks a tad sluggish to start the final frame. His takedown attempt is slow and labored and Erosa easily couner-wrestles to reverse him. Lead angle uppercut lands for Erosa before shucking off a takedown attempt. Now Wrzosek is telegraphing halfhearted takedowns while Erosa defends and throws counters.
A better takedown attempt from Wrzosek but Erosa still shuts it down, then lands a knee downstairs in the clinch. Jump knee from Erosa to lead an exchange and it thuds into the chest of Wrzosek. Erosa ducks under a jab to hit a double leg, landing in half guard. Wrzosek looks for a half butterfly sweep that Erosa defends before cinching on another D’arce choke, though Wrzosek’s on top for this one and he passes to alleviate the pressure. 10-9 Erosa. I have it 29-28 Erosa.
- Julian Erosa defeats Marcin Wrzosek by split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)
TUF 22 Finale – Preliminary Card
(Fox Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET)
Konstantin Erokhin vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
R1: The big fellas get off to a pretty slow and hesitant start with little to nothing being thrown in the first minute. Inside low kick lands for Gonzaga. The crowd whistles and jeers when there’s still nothing cookin’ at the halfway mark. Gonzaga glances with a clubbing overhand right but he’s stuffed on his double-leg attempt. Erokhin with a left hook that kinda lands. Gonzaga lands an overhand right but he’s countered with a left and shoots another takedown to no avail. Gonzaga thwacks him with a left body kick and finishes a takedown. 10-9 Gonzaga.
R2: Gonzaga chops away with a few low kicks from range. Unfortunately the stagnant pace continues and nothing of note has transpired at the halfway mark. I dunno … Gonzaga misses with a kick, Erokhin fakes a lot and pumps a jab into open air, etc. Gonzaga shoots and mostly gets it but Erokhin pops right back up. 10-10. Nothing to score here.
R3: Gonzaga changes levels and comes up short but persists, finishing the takedown after readjusting his angle. Erokhin closes his half guard and Gonzaga goes two-on-one to pin Erokhin’s left arm. Gonzaga bails on the arm and lands a forearm from the top.
The ref urges him to improve position and Gonzaga postures up to throw a few blocked strikes, then goes back after the arm, this time with the kimura grip. Gonzaga passes to full mount and the ref reacts by shouting for him to improve position again, which is funny. Erokhin cage-walks and escapes before Gonzaga can transition and they reset on the feet. Where nothing happens. Erokhin throws a combination, at least. 10-9 Gonzaga. I have it 30-28 Gonzaga.
- Gabriel Gonzaga defeats Konstantin Erokhin by unanimous decision (30-28, 30-27 x2)
Ryan LaFlare vs. Mike Pierce
R1: LaFlare lands a front kick to the body. Now a hard left round kick to the midsection followed by another front kick for LaFlare. Another front kick downstairs from LaFlare, who’s capitalizing on his length advantage. Pierce slips while throwing a high kick but he’s back up. LaFlare glances with a counter right, then lands a front kick to the body as Pierce rushes in to clinch.
LaFlare shakes off Pierce’s wrist control and circles off the fence. Pierce intercepts the next kick attempt and uses it to drive LaFlare onto the fence. LaFlare is again able to circle out with an underhook. LaFlare, perhaps concerned with the clinch counter, throws his next two left kicks hesitantly. Pierce lands an inside low kick and glances with a right hand. LaFlare blinking and rubbing at his left eye. Pierce looks to land a hard right high kick with the shin. 10-9 LaFlare.
R2: Pierce lands to the body and lowers his level to defend LaFlare’s body-lock trip attempt. LaFlare comes up just short on a left high kick and seems to land a knee in the next exchange. LaFlare continues to flick inside leg kicks, then mixes things up nicely with a left kick and a left knee from the clinch.
They land simultaneous left hooks but Pierce’s has more heft and it rocks LaFlare back on his heels. Pierce barrels into the clinch but still can’t cut off LaFlare’s same escape route off the fence. Now a left hook from Pierce as he continues to find his rhythm. Outside low kick lands for LaFlare, who’s still stalking Pierce with rangy kicks. Counter knee to the body from LaFlare thuds home. Pierce barely blocks a left high kick. 10-9 Pierce in a close round.
R3: Pierce punches his way into the clinch and drops for a high-crotch takedown, then fights for double underhooks. LaFlare swims in an arm to counter and separate. LaFlare with a body kick, then a straight left downstairs. LaFlare tacks on a straight left after another successful front kick to the body. Now a counter knee lands to the ribs of Pierce.
Pierce lowers his head and forces a clinch, again looking for double underhooks. LaFlare pivots off the fence to his right; that escape’s been there all night for him. LaFlare scores with a hook before circling out, then glances with a counter left hook. Pierce has a tennis-ball-size welt growing on the left side of his head at an alarming rate. In the final half-minute. Pierce half-lands a high kick and follows with a heavy set of stiff punches and the barrage has LaFlare reeling back against the fence. Pierce made it close with the late surge but I’ll still go 10-9 LaFlare. I have it 29-28 LaFlare.
- Ryan LaFlare defeats Mike Pierce by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
Geane Herrera vs. Joby Sanchez
R1: Herrera opens with an on-balance, jumping high kick that Sanchez blocks. Herrera presses forward with one-twos as Sanchez cuts wide defensive circles. Check hook lands for Sanchez but Herrera tags him with a counter right on the next exchange. Herrera pops him with a straight one-two and then lands an up-knee from the single collar tie.
Herrera shells on a Sanchez hook and scores with another counter. Sanchez slips in a few fast jabs and a shot downstairs. Another jumping left high kick from Herrera is blocked. Sanchez bobs under and lands a right to the body. Lead left to the body lands for Sanchez. Now Sanchez has found a rhythm and he’s leading the exchanges. Sanchez’s spinning kick attempt is jammed by Herrera, who takes him down at the horn. 10-9 Sanchez.
R2: Herrera backs Sanchez with two sharp counters to open the second frame. Herrera snaps Sanchez’s head back with a straight right after eating a jab. Sanchez leads with a body shot but Herrera counters on the way out. Herrera hops forward with a jumping left snap kick and it bobs Sanchez’s head back.
Sanchez now bloodied up from a cut somewhere above his left eye. Sanchez wades forward with at least a six-punch combo, a few of which land. Herrera doubles up on jump knees and the second glances to the body of Sanchez. Leaning left hook to the body is there for Sanchez but Herrera again touches him with a counter. Herrera ignores a punch to the face and continues a deep arc on a counter left hook, and it blasts into the jaw of Sanchez, laying him flat. Herrera flurries with punches and the ref steps in.
- Geane Herrera defeats Joby Sanchez by TKO (punches) R2 4:28
Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Abner Lloveras
R1: Lloveras gets on the board first with a straight right counter.
Lloveras lands a pair of hard and unchecked outside low kicks.
Knee to the body from Lloveras on the clinch break. Inside low kick for
R3: Lloveras shoots a double immediately, then picks the ankle to transition smoothly to the back ride.
It’s not pretty but
Chris Gruetzemacher defeats Abner Lloveras by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
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