Join us tonight on Bloody Elbow for live results, discussion, play-by-play and round scoring as The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale: Jedrzejczyk vs. Gadelha goes down from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
A searing rivalry between pint-sized bad-ass Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Brazilian grappling menace Claudia Gadelha will crescendo in the main course. The pair first clashed in December of 2014, a gritty dogfight that saw Jedrzejczyk edge out Gadelha in a controversial split decision. Jedrzejczyk went on to snare the belt and steamroll all comers while Gadelha’s only outing since is a decision win over Jessica Aguilar.
The final bouts for season 23 of The Ultimate Fighter will lead into the main event, and they include: Khalil Rountree vs. Andrew Sanchez (light-heavyweight finals) and Amanda Cooper vs. Tatiana Suarez (strawweight finals). Rounding out the main card is the debut of former Bellator champ and once-beaten phenom “Ill” Will Brooks vs. gritty boxer Ross Pearson, a featherweight firecracker pitting Doo Ho Choi vs. Thiago Tavares and lightweights Joaquim Silva vs. Andrew Holbrook.
Live results and play-by-play will commence with the Fight Pass prelims at 7 p.m. ET. The full lineup and schedule follows. Check out this week’s MMA Vivisection for predictions, analysis and betting odds on each match up.
TUF 23 Finale
(Fox Sports 1, 10 p.m. ET)
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Claudia Gadelha
(women’s strawweight championship)
R1: Gadelha steps into a stiff jab that drops Jedrzejczyk, then hits a trip from the clinch. Jedrzejczyk goes to butterfly guard to elevate the hips, creating enough space to stand up and circle off the fence. Finally able to separate, Jedrzejczyk snaps off a stiff jab. Gadelha forces another clinch and puts Jedrzejczyk on the cage with a body lock.
Gadelha completes another outside trip, this time landing in half guard with some significant lefts to the head. Jedrzejczyk goes to deep half and partially hits a sweep but it creates enough space for her to stand up and separate. Jedrzejczyk with an inside low kick. Counter left hook lands for the champ and she follows it with a front-leg teep to the body. Gadelha scores with a counter left hook to the head. Stiff inside low kick from Jedrzejczyk. 10-9 Gadelha.
R2: Gadelha knifes into the clinch and puts Jedrzejczyk on the fence, then steps back to land a right elbow and hook. Another trip from the body lock from Gadelha, falling in half guard. Jedrzejczyk is warned for a punch to the back of Gadelha’s head. Jedrzejczyk sits up on the fence but the position leaves her face wide open for a volley of clean rights due to Gadelha’s closed half guard.
Jedrzejczyk gets back to her feet but she’s still sandwiched against the fence, and again gives up double under-hooks.
Jedrzejczyk, still trapped on the fence, lowers her level to thwart a double-leg attempt. Spiking elbow to the head from Jedrzejczyk, then another elbow. Jedrzejczyk hits a counter whizzer throw, landing on top. Jedrzejczyk lands an elbow the head but her choke attempt is immediately nullified. Gadelha gets back to her feet and again secures under-hooks way too easily.10-9 Gadelha.
R3: Jedrzejczyk fires off a jab, then lands a three-piece counter flurry. Gadelha lands a hard straight right, then another, then follows the medley with a takedown. Jedrzejczyk pops back up to her feet but Gadelha takes her back down. Jedrzejczyk is up again, standing with a wide base to resist takedown attempts. Gadelha grazes with a short elbow but
Jedrzejczyk snaps off a combo on the clinch break. Now a clean front kick to the face from Jedrzejczyk.
Keying off her busy jab, Jedrzejczyk starts to build momentum with tightly loosened combinations. Gadelha finishes a reactive double leg but Jedrzejczyk gets on one hip and secure the front headlock, then scrambles, almost getting the back-ride. Gadelha falls onto her back and Jedrzejczyk walks away, motioning for Gadelha to stand up with a curt jerk of her thumb. Gadelha plugs Jedrzejczyk with a right elbow, knocking her briefly to the canvas. Jedrzejczyk circles off the fence and steps back to unleash a volley of short elbows. 10-9 Jedrzejczyk.
R4: More snapping jabs from Jedrzejczyk, whose pace is still fervent whereas Gadelha looks drained and her output has significantly slowed. Jedrzejczyk switches to southpaw and lands an inside low kick, then glances with a straight left. Jedrzejczyk now finding rhythm with outrageously fast punching combos. Gadelha lands a clean right.
Jedrzejczyk steps off center and rattles off a three-punch combo. Jedrzejczyk is now clearly a step ahead in every exchange as Gadelha’s offense becomes more and more diluted. They trade right hands. Jedrzejczyk fires a low kick and follows with a crisp one-two upstairs. Gadelha stumbles forward into a quasi-clinch attempt and Jedrzejczyk steps back and thwacks her with a horizontal elbow to the face. 10-8 Jedrzejczyk.
R5: Gadelha, now clearly out of gas, gets countered with double left hooks by a swiftly pivoting Jedrzejczyk. Now a switch jab lands for the champ followed by a scorching two-piece. Gadelha lowers her head and barrels into range, looking for a body lock trip. Jedrzejczyk lowers her level and stays upright with her back on the fence, then she circles off and separates, though her left high kick is blocked.
Right hand lands for Gadelha, then another piston-like jab. Gadelha attempts another takedown but Jedrzejczyk reverses her, then backs away to let Gadelha stand up. Counter right hand lands for Gadelha though her punches have lost a lot of oomph. More nasty jabs being flung from range by Jedrzejczyk, the she sits down on a right cross that stuns Gadelha. Gadelha looks to clinch up but Jedrzejczyk dings her with another counter elbow off her back foot. 10-9 Jedrzejczyk. I have it 48-46 Jedrzejczyk.
- Joanna Jedrzejczyk defeats Claudia Gadelha by unanimous decision (48-46 x2, 48-45)
Khalil Rountree vs. Andrew Sanchez
(“TUF 23” light heavyweight tournament final)
R1: Sanchez switches stances a few times and shoots a double but Rountree stuffs it. His next attempt, a single leg, is successful. Rountree puts his back on the cage and looks for a get-up. He gets back to his feet but gets dragged back down despite a fence-grab, for which he’s warned. Rountree is back up and right back down again, and this time Sanchez triangles his legs in half guard to hold position.
Sanchez threads his left arm under the armpit of Rountree to trap an arm but he can’t keep it. Rountree finally manages to stand up and separate with 30 seconds left but Sanchez re-grounds him quickly. 10-9 Sanchez.
R2: Sanchez shrinks the gap and gets in on an early single leg. He has to battle for it but he eventually gets Rountree down. Uneventful top control from Sanchez. He moves to the side and digs a hook in, threatening a back-take as Rountree chills out with his head on the fence. This position persists with sporadic right hands from Sanchez for several minutes. Sanchez ups his punching intensity in the final minute. 10-8, mostly for five straight minutes of pure defense from Rountree.
R3: Sanchez telegraphs an entry but still connects and Rountree bounces an impressive pair of hammer-fists off his head. Sanchez turns the corner and finishes an outside trip 90 seconds in. Rountree again rolls onto his left hip, stays entirely stationary and covers up as Sanchez drums rights off his temple from a modified half guard. Now half back control with one hook in from Sanchez. The crowd is far from exhilarated. 10-8 Sanchez. I have it 30-25 Sanchez.
- Andrew Sanchez defeats Khalil Rountree by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-25 x2)
Amanda Cooper vs. Tatiana Suarez
(“TUF 23” women’s strawweight tournament final)
R1: Cooper slings a pair of rights, landing the second. Suarez gets deep into a clinch and hits an outside trip, landing in Cooper’s closed guard. Suarez immediately postures up and starts bombing right hands. Cooper swivels into an armbar and it’s loose, but Suarez being trapped against the fence makes it more of a threat. Suarez rolls out of it and retakes top position, looking for a knee-pin pass. Suarez stands up and Cooper hits an ankle-pick sweep, standing up in the transition.
From the clinch, Suarez finishes another takedown, stacks the legs and keeps the pressure on Cooper. Hammer-fists landed by Suarez on top. Cooper rolls onto one hip and Suarez transitions to a D’arce choke, then turns the clock to tighten the hold. Cooper taps emphatically.
- Tatiana Suarez defeats Amanda Cooper by submission (D’arce choke) R1 3:43
Will Brooks vs. Ross Pearson
R1: Pearson lands a low kick and Brooks answers with a left inside low kick and a left body kick. Brooks follows a one-two into the clinch but Pearson shoves him away. Step-in switch knee lands to the body for Brooks, who follows behind an overhand right to put Pearson on the fence. Short left elbow lands to the head from Brooks, then a knee to the body.
Brooks gets in on a single, then switches to a double that’s stopped before he disengages and resets in the center. Pearson stings Brooks with either a quick left or an accidental headbutt. Brooks wings a right and changes levels behind it, starting with a double leg and switching to a single. Pearson circles off the fence with double under-hooks but eats a knee to the gut. Brooks circles off and slips in a short up-elbow. 10-9 Brooks.
R2: Step-in knee lands square to the body for Brooks, and he tacks on a clean one-two. Pearson answers with a counter right. They exchange one-twos but Brooks closes his combo with an outside low kick to the upper thigh. Brooks knifes in and hits an outside trip, landing in Pearson’s closed guard. Pearson boxes the ears with palm strikes and Brooks catches him with a right hand.
Pearson forces a scramble and Brooks moves to the back ride, putting one hook in. Pearson ditches the hook and scurries to the fence, using it to stand up. Pearson circles off the fence with double under-hooks. They trade knees to the body. The pair trade positions on the fence, short punches and knees to the body before separating. Brooks lands another step-in knee to the body. Pearson off-balances Brooks while he’s throwing a kick but the horn sounds before he can capitalize. 10-9 Brooks.
R3: Pearson comes out with guns blazing, landing a clean one-two-three right out of the gate. Inside low kick from Brooks but it’s answered in kind by Pearson, who follows with a left hook. Brooks shoots a double and Pearson sprawls on it to defend. Brooks drills him with another step-in knee to the body but takes an unintentional low blow in the clinch, and we pause while he recovers. Pearson bobs under a right and returns fire with a left hook, then he digs another one to the body. Now a counter right downstairs from Pearson.
Pearson dings Brooks with a sharp left hook, his best shot of the fight. Pearson keeps the pressure on with punches, forcing Brooks to cover up against the fence. Brooks clinches but Pearson circles off the fence. Brooks, possibly either showboating or tired, against stands upright with a double guard while Pearson unloads on him. Pearson lands a body kick and a knee to the body before Brooks hurls him to the canvas from the clinch. Pearson pops back up and they trade knees in the clinch. Short left elbow over the top for Brooks. They end the fight trading a variety of heavy shots. 10-9 Pearson. I have it 29-28 Brooks.
- Will Brooks defeats Ross Pearson by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Doo Ho Choi vs. Thiago Tavares
R1: Choi rushes out for the glove touch and flings a jab. Choi lands a lightning-fast counter knee as Tavares is shooting but gets put on his butt. Choi sits up on the cage as Tavares pinches Choi’s knees together with a leg triangle. Choi tries to push down on the head and Tavares looks to flatten him out with a double, but Choi keeps his back on the fence and gets up. Tavares keeps him on the fence and hits an outside trip, and they return to the previous position.
Choi gets back to his feet and separates. Tavares curiously engages despite being somewhat cornered, and Choi peels off a vicious one-two that slumps Tavares to the canvas.
- Doo Ho Choi defeats Thiago Tavares by KO (punch) R1 2:42
Andrew Holbrook vs. Joaquim Silva
R1: Silva catches a left kick and uses it as a lever to off-balance Holbrook, then thumps him with a blistering right as he’s getting back up. Holbrook is down and out.
- Joaquim Silva defeats Andrew Holbrook by TKO (punch) R1 0:34
(Fox Sports 1, 8 p.m. ET)
Fernando Bruno vs. Gray Maynard
R1: Bruno vaults forward with an unending hail of successive right and left hooks — one seems to wobble Maynard but he lowers his head and swats Bruno with a hard counter. They hunker down and swing heaters at one another until Bruno shoots a takedown, and Maynard reverses it. Bruno takes a knee and looks for a get-up with Maynard weighing down on him. Maynard pulls back on a right hand and Bruno finds his chin with two short punches. Now a left gets through for Bruno followed by a clubbing right hand.
Maynard forces a clinch and puts Bruno on the cage with a body lock. Bruno separates with a left hand, then they briefly stagger one another with simultaneous left hooks. Maynard looks for another clinch but Bruno flurries his way out of it. Maynard off-balances Bruno with a single leg but he pops back up. Maynard keeps him on the cage and glances with a knee to the head. Bruno circles off the cage and goes for a double leg, and he gets it. Maynard turtles and gives up his back, but manages to power back up to his feet. 10-9 Bruno.
R2: Bruno lands a body shot, then comes high with two hooks to the head. Counter right lands upstairs for Maynard. Bruno scoops up a single leg but Maynard reverses him, landing in half guard. Hard forearm to the body from a postured up Maynard, who then scrambles into the rear waist lock. Bruno falls on his back, then goes for a counter single leg.
Maynard falls back for a sacrifice guillotine, then he bails on it and returns to the back ride. Bruno scampers to the cage and puts his back on it, spinning to face Maynard with a knee to the body. Maynard forces a clinch and gets warned for grabbing the cage while taking Bruno down. Bruno gets back but Maynard takes him down again, this time with a high crotch. Bruno’s up and back down again courtesy of a body-lock trip. 10-9 Maynard.
R3: Bruno shoots a double and Maynard hits a slick arm-drag reversal. Bruno settles on an open guard but eats a left hand. Maynard hooks a leg as Bruno turtles and returns to the back ride. Rear waist lock from Maynard to stay adhered during a Bruno escape attempt.
Maynard stays stuck to Bruno via the rear waist cinch, then he goes for a trip and tries to switch to a single. Bruno goes for a guillotine and makes it somewhat of a threat with a Gable grip, but Maynard peels his head out. Bruno attempts a single leg but Maynard shuts it down from the front headlock. In a brief moment of separation, Bruno whiffs on a haymaker and loses his balance. 10-9 Maynard. I have it 29-28 Maynard.
- Gray Maynard defeats Fernando Bruno by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
John Moraga vs. Matheus Nicolau
R1: Moraga chops away with an outside low kick after a minute plus of uneventful exchanges. Nicolau catches Moraga clean with a counter left hook. Another counter left from Nicolau though Moraga sneaks in a short uppercut. Periodic stance switches from Moraga but he gets tagged with a two-piece after switching to southpaw. Nicolau stuffs a Moraga takedown and scores with a left hand. 10-9 Nicolau.
R2: Nicolau chops out Moraga’s footing with a sharp outside low kick, the glances with a counter left after evading a Moraga flurry. Lead left to the body from Nicolau. Heavy counter right lands for Nicolau, who’s commanding the exchanges more consistently. Moraga stuffs a straight right into Nicolau’s chest after deflecting a kick.
Nicolau lands an outside low kick. The pace is a tad … flat. Moraga with an outside low kick. Glancing right from Nicolau and Moraga answers with a low kick and a body kick. Hard counter right lands for Nicolau. 10-10.
R3: They trade left hands. Moraga lands an uppercut. Not much cookin’ here and the crowd lets them hear it. Nicolau glances with a counter right and Moraga answers with a stiff outside low kick. Short right upstairs from Nicolau. Moraga shoots but gets reversed by Nicolau, who lands in full guard. Moraga tries to scramble free and stand up but Nicolau moves to his back as the horn sounds. 10-9 Nicolau. I have it 30-28 Nicolau.
- Matheus Nicolau defeats John Moraga by split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)
Cory Hendricks vs. Josh Stansbury
R1: Hendricks lands an outside low kick to the upper thigh. Inside low kick from Hendricks. They clinch up and Stansbury puts Hendricks on the fence but can’t keep him there. Stansbury glances with a big overhand right, then an inside low kick. Counter left is on the mark for Stansbury. Hendricks answers with a punch downstairs and a body kick. Stansbury fires a body kick back at him.
Another straight left downstairs for Hendricks. Stansbury catches a kick and puts Hendricks on the fence. A lot of subtle stance switching for Hendricks. Hendricks lands two short lefts. Stiff step-in jab from Stansbury. Hendricks lands a quick-release right high kick but Stansbury answers with a clubbing left to the mouth. Stansbury puts him on the fence and they trade knees to the body. 10-10.
R2: Glancing right cross from Hendricks. Stansbury changes levels but comes high with a clean right to the face. Jab/hook combo from Stansbury. Hendricks goes for a sloppy outside trip and Stansbury reverses him with a front headlock, landing in a closed half guard. Hendricks regains full guard at the halfway mark.
Head/body punches from Stansbury on top. They’re stood up with 90 seconds left. Hendricks with a short knee to the body in the clinch, then a straight left. Now a left round kick that lands to the body followed by an inside low kick. Glancing push kick from Hendricks on his way into the clinch. 10-9 Stansbury.
R3: Another sloppy trip attempt from Hendricks leads to a reversal and top position from Stansbury, falling in half guard. Now Stansbury passes to side mount. Hendricks tries to buck Stansbury off to no avail. Henricks gets back to half guard but Stansbury pins the knee to regain side mount. Sporadic hammer-fists from Stansbury.
Stansbury reaches over and gets two-on-one for a brief Americana attempt, then he traps Hendricks’ right arm to move into the crucifix position, but he can’t keep it. Still in side control, Stansbury grinds short forearms to Hendricks’ face. Now it’s cross-face elbows from Stansbury in the final half-minute. 10-8 Stansbury. I have it 30-27 Stansbury.
Josh Stansbury defeats Cory Hendricks by majority decision (29-27 x2, 28-28)
Cezar Ferreira vs. Anthony Smith
R1: Ferreira prods with a lead-leg side kick. Glancing body kick from “Mutante,” then a short, straight left to the kisser. Smith lands a lunging left hook but he can’t find the mark on the follow up. Ferreira steps in to jam a kick and, despite eating a knee to the body, finishes a double leg. Full guard for Smith and he restrains Ferreira well enough to force a referee stand up.
Inside low kick lands for Smith on the reset. Ferreira answers with a left body kick, then he stuffs a straight left in Smith’s mouth. Glancing one-two from Smith, then he gets tagged by a right-hand counter while throwing another. Ferreira hits a duck-under takedown and pins Smith’s head on the fence in full guard. Smith angles for a triangle or armbar but his position along the fence won’t permit it. Glancing elbow from Ferreira. 10-9 Ferreira.
R2: Ferreira with an inside low kick, then a counter body kick that glances. Another inside low kick, and this one sets up a clean blast double. Ferreira in half guard, looking to pass. Smith half-hits a sweep but it creates enough space for him to stand up and separate. Inside low kick from Ferreira; Smith is yet to check any. Smith catches Ferreira clean with a right upstairs, then another on the next exchange.
Ferreira ducks a left hook and hits an easy takedown, quickly staving off a triangle attempt in full guard. Ferreira pins Smith’s head on the fence and Smith is content to hang out until the ref jumps in to split them. Glancing elbow from Smith, who’s still just marching forward in a straight line. Smith covers more ground on his next advance, lunging into the clinch and clipping Ferreira with a heavy horizontal elbow. Smith repeats the process and stiffens Ferreira’s legs with an even crisper elbow. 10-10.
R3: Pawing counter left lands for Smith after a glancing inside low kick from Ferreira. Now a body kick from Ferreira but Smith answers in kind. Smith steps in to land another right but Ferreira times another duck-under takedown and finishes it easily. Smith, again, lays flat on his back and fights to get posture control. Ferreira goes to the can opener to loosen Smith’s guard but they’re stood up by the ref.
Ferreira fires off a blast double immediately after the reset and finishes it, however he finds himself trapped in a deep guillotine. Ferreira gives the thumbs up and starts throwing rights to the ribs. Ferreira pulls his head out of danger, collars the head and lands light ground-and-pound. Step-over pass into half guard for Ferreira, and he’s looking to pull his other leg free as well. 10-9 Ferreira. I have it 30-28 Ferreira.
- Cezar Ferreira defeats Anthony Smith by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Fight Pass Prelims
(UFC Fight Pass, 7 p.m. ET)
Kevin Lee vs. Jake Matthews
R1: Matthews opens with a few front kicks from range until Lee knifes in and hoists him off the ground for a power double, falling half guard. Lee stabilizes, then postures up to land two nice forearms. Matthews regains a full, high guard with double wrist control but Lee postures up to break his rhythm. Matthews creates space and takes a knee, then works back to his feet.
Matthews denies a double-leg attempt, uses a chin post to get off the fence and breaks the clinch with a sneaky elbow. Now a right hand from Matthews and a glancing right kick to the face. Lee responds by belting Matthews’ mouthpiece loose with a stiff combo. Lee goes for a reactive takedown as Matthews rushes in with a right, then takes his back in the scramble. Lee puts both hooks in, flattens Matthews out and starts bombing punches to his head. Matthews tries to gut it out but the ref eventually waves it off.
- Kevin Lee defeats Jake Matthews by TKO (punches) R1 4:06
Li Jingliang vs. Anton Zafir
R1: Zafir pivots off-center to land a body kick. Jingliang with a short right counter. Zafir steps in on a low kick attempt and knocks Jingliang off-balance with a double leg, landing in half guard. Zafir plays it safe with a heavy base until Jingliang hits a half-guard guillotine sweep. Jingliang gets to his feet but is on his back an instant later. He once again fights to stand and, after nullifying a halfhearted guillotine attempt, takes Zafir down with a body-lock trip.
Jingliang postures up and catches Zafir with a clean right, then another that has a lot more mustard on it. Zafir goes limp and the ref jumps in.
- Li Jingliang defeats Anton Zafir by KO (punches) R1 2:46
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