TUF 7 FINALE REAL-TIME RESULTS & PLAY-BY-PLAY June 21, 2008

by:  Jack Bratcher

Matt Riddle vs. Dante Rivera (Riddle=Team Rampage, Rivera=Team Forrest)
Round 1 – Dante comes out swingin and with a leg kick. Clinch against the cage. Knees to Riddle’s head within clinch. Elbow by Riddle.. Knees by both still clinched. Someone’s mouthpiece flew out; looks like Dante’s. Ref lets him put it back in. Restarts action. Two big swinging overhand lefts by Rivera that miss. Clinched against cage again.. Riddle with the plum. Riddle with underhooks. Knee by Dante to the head. Leg kick by Dante twice. Right hand by Riddle. Trip by Riddle gets Dante down and delivers elbows. Riddle backs up and the bell rings.

Round 2 – Takedown by Riddle. Side control but backs out and throws some leg kicks. Rivera on his back…Rivera stands up. Clinched against the cage. Foot stomps by Riddle. Knees by Riddle. Big overhand left by Dante. Misses and Riddle gets a takedown. Full mount by Riddle, Dante reverses it and escapes. Dante is now on top in Riddle’s full gaurd. Elbows by Riddle from the bottom. Riddle looks good from the bottom looking for a triangle. Holy shit. Elbows by Riddle into Dante’s ribs, still in the triangle. Dante finally gets out as bell rings. Fucking aye that was great. Dante is the jiu-jitsu specialist so that was extra sweet for Riddle.

Round 3 – Big knee by Riddle to Dante’s face. Clinched against the cage. Riddle is just looking sharper in this fight. Muay-thai plum and knees by Riddle; picks Dante up and puts him down on his back. Rubber gaurd by Dante and delivering strikes to Riddle’s head. Riddle on top but Herb calling for work. Big elbow by Riddle. Riddle stands, Dante stands. Leg kick by Dante. Clinched against the cage. Shot to the face by Riddle from the clinch. Riddle looking for a takedown and gets it. Riddle on top in Dante’s gaurd. Rubber gaurd by Dante but releases it. Herb stands them up. Less than a minute. Big left that misses by Dante. Riddle gets another takedown with full mount now. Big punches from Riddle.

This was a really competitive match. Before the fight, Dante had said he would retire if Matt Riddle beat him. That’s how comfortable he was in his experience over Riddle. I hope Dante doesn’t mean it because Riddle won that fight as far as I’m concerned. Here’s comes the official decision:  Unanimous Decision for Matt Riddle

Spencer Fisher vs. Jeremy Stephens
Round 1 -Clinched against the cage. Stephens dumps Fisher but Fisher gets up. They go back down and Fisher is on top. Elbows by Stephens from the bottom. Fisher posturing up to throw strikes from Stephens’ gaurd. Elbows by Stephens from bottom. Lots of elbows. Stephens looking for submissions. Big elbows from bottom. Stephens looks for triangle. Side control by Fisher. Reverse elbow by Fisher. Fisher is bleeding. Elbows by Fisher. Full mount by Fisher and Stephens rolls to his stomach. Over a minute left. Stephens rolls back over and gets Fisher back in his gaurd. The blood from Fisher is coming from his arm I believe. Ground and pound by Fisher as the bell sounds.

Round 2 -Leg kick Fisher. Strikes by Stephens. Clinched against the cage. Knees then a big elbow by Stephens as he pulls out of the clinch. Toe to toe flying knee by Stephens that gets met by a fist from Fisher. Fisher’s mouthpiece came out and ref stops to let him put it back in…without washing it…spinning backfist by Stephens. Elbows by Fisher. Takedown by Fisher and he has side control Elbows by Fisher from side control. Spencer looking for mount but gets caught in half-gaurd. Big elbows by Fisher. Elbows by Stephens. Spencer stands up and comes down with a punch but misses. Spencer is being VERY active with continuous pressure and strikes. Fisher stands up and Stephens lands and upkick. Big slam by Jeremy Stephens as the bell sounds.

Round 3 -Rogan says Fisher is ahead on the card. Both guys throwing. Fisher gets caught. Clinched against the cage. Toe to toe. Both throwing. Fisher goes for takedown but ends up on the bottom. Stephens looks for the guillatine. Fisher ends up on top in side control then moves to full mount. Ref warns Fisher about back of the head. Fisher gets out of full mount and moves to side control and now back in gaurd. Both back on their feet. Fisher had FULL mount and gave it up for some odd reason. Stephens gets a takedown now and ends up on top of Spencer. Elbows by Stephens. Stephens going for guillatine but Spencer gets out….he goes for it again…really going for it this time. Bell is about to sound and that’s it. Bell sounds with Fisher still in Stephens’ guillatine.

Another very competitive fight. I think Fisher probably got it but you never know about fights this close.  And the judges rule it a Unanimous Decision for Spencer Fisher.  Congratulations on a well fought tough match Spencer! UFC commentator, Mike Goldberg, just said that Spencer Fisher has never lost two fights in a row in his whole career. That’s pretty damn impressive.

Diego Sanchez vs. Luigi Fioravanti
Round 1 – Diego looks focused. Leg kick by Luigi. Upper cut by Diego. Flying knee by Diego but misses. Head kick by Diego connects. Diego shoots but sprawl by Luigi. Rogan says no one trains harder than Diego. I like Rogan alot but twenty people can’t all be the hardest training fighters in the same sport Joe. Big punching combo by Diego. Nice head movement by Diego. Uppercut by Diego. Left shot by Diego. Luigi waves his finger “no” at Diego as Diego missed the takedown. Another good sprawl by Luigi and then he slams Diego as the bell rings. Diego looks pissed and swings after the bell.

Round 2 – We got ourselves a fight here. An exchange by both. Big right hand by Diego knocks Luigi down. Diego jumps on top and is caught in half gaurd. Diego looking for kimora. Full mount by Diego but back to half gaurd and Luigi escapes and gets up. Almost a lost chance by Diego there. Big head kick by Diego. Diego has body control from the back standing. Sanchez is looking good. Right hook by Sanchez; combination by Luigi. Sanchez attacks. Big exchange by both fighters. Amazing. Diego looks for a kimora but Luigi escapes. Both standing toe to toe now. Diego calling Luigi in. Bell sounds as Diego is about to shoot in. That was a great round. For a moment there Diego reminded me of Chuck Liddell the way he went in toe to toe in the pocket with Luigi with both guys exchanging and Diego being fearless willing to take a shot or two with confidence knowing his punch could be more devastating. That’s how it appeared.

Round 3 – Right hand by Diego. Diego is not giving up his ground even when taking shots. Nice exchange. Uppercut by Diego. Diego looking for takedown but Luigi sprawled it perfectly…again. Diego moves in swinging. Clinched against the cage. Diego looks for another takedown without success. Right hook by Diego. Combo by Diego then gets a takedown but Luigi gets right back up. Combo by Luigi that Diego blocks. Big head kick by Diego Sanchez……then he rushes forward to the stumbling Luigi Fiorvanti and delivers a big knee to the chin. Fioravanti drops to the ground, Diego jumps on him pinned against the cage and pounds him out until the ref jumps in.

A beautiful performance by Diego Sanchez and a great effort by Luigi Fiorvanti. This was a real test for Diego. Most people, including his opponent did not think he would or could stand with Fioravanti. But not only did Diego stand up with Fiorvanti when his Plan A of takedowns failed; but his Plan B of standing and striking proved everyone wrong with vicious head kicks and great boxing. This is the new and iimproved, well-seasoned Diego Sanchez. A dangerous man. This fight was ended in the third round by a head kick, big knee, followed by relentless ground and pound.

THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER FINALISTSC.B. Dolloway vs. Amir Sadollah (Dolloway=Team Rampage & Sadollah=Team Forrest)
Round 1 – History in the making. Leg kick by C.B. Straight kick by Amir. Leg kick by C.B. and then a takedown. Dolloway said he wanted to stand but so much for that. Amir had three submission wins on The Ultimate Fighter. C.B. postures up and punches. C.B. landing punches. Amir has an armbar tight. C.B. taps once really quick and Herb Deans stops the fight. This is the EXACT same way Amir won against C.B. on The Ultimate Fighter show. C.B. is saying he did not tap. But everyone saw it. He tapped once but you can’t do that and then change your mind C.B. If you tap once the ref is gonna stop it for your protection. A very anticlimactic finish and about as far as you can get from a Stephan Bonnar vs. Forrest Griffin Ultimate Fighter Finale but that’s the way it goes. It’s definitely not Amir’s fault the match ended so quick. Obviously C.B. needs to work on his submission defense. As he was posturing up and standing in Amir’s gaurd I was thinking, “this is the same thing he did in their first fight.” Honestly, I’m very happy for Amir. Many people probably thought his first fight was a fluke. But this should seal it in anyone’s mind that Amir Sadollah knows submissions. So much for the Matt Damon look-alike. C.B. was many people’s favorite coming into this fight even though Amir had clearly beat him already once. Congratulations to Amir Sadollah for being the TRUE Ultimate Fighter. It was destiny. The Gods of MMA weren’t going to let someone who already got beat on the show come back and win and neither was Amir.

Evan Tanner vs. Kendall Grove

They show a clip of Kendall Grove before the fight saying, “Evan Tanner is washed up.” That’s a pretty disrespectufl thing to say, especially from someone coming off two losses and the last one being a brutal knockout that left him crumpled in the corner.

Evan still has his beard. And it is nothing less than beautiful. Great staredown. Career defining moment.

Round 1 – Evan grabs the clinch. Evan has a body clinch and gets the takedown. Evan has side control. Kendall gets up but eats a big knee by Tanner to the face. Big elbow by Grove. Elbow by Grove that cuts Tanner. Punches by Grove. Tanner holds one of Grove’s legs and Grove jumps with the other leg and hits Evan with a knee to Tanner’s chin. Beautiful. Tanner gets a takedown and is in Kendall’s gaurd. Grove gets up. Tanner goes down and Kendall has his back trying to get hooks in. Evan has wrist control and flips Grove off. Kendall on his back, Tanner standing. Up kick by Grove. Bell rings with the fighters cliched against the cage.

Round 2 – Exchanging strikes. Tanner goes for the clinch and eats a few. Upercut by Grove. Tanner’s standup looking not so good. Jabs by Grove keeping Tanner back. Left hook by Tanner. Clinched against the cage. Tanner looking for takedown. Another jumping knee by Grove. Tanner gets the takedown. (i thought i just saw dr. phil in the audience) Kendall makes it back to his feet. Knee by Tanner. Big elbow by Grove. Muay Thai clinch and knees by Grove. Grove looking to finish. Tanner has a body lock. Grove lets up the attack but Tanner looks hurt. Elbow by Tanner. Tanner looks tired. Elbows by both. Big head kick by Grove. Jabs by Grove. Body kick by Grove as the bell sounds. Kendall Grove is winning this fight and really delivering a beating to the travelling wilbury.

Round 3 – Tanner coming in swinging. Body kick by Grove followed by punches. Clinched against the cage. Elbows by Grove. Leg kick by Tanner but he eats a jab. Punches by Tanner. Heart of a veteran in Tanner..heart of a warrior. An ancient spirit. Wise. Body lock by Tanner. Elbow by Grove. Knees by both. Jabs by Grove. Tanner coming in and eats a punch. Tanner needs a KO to win and he’s swinging for it. Superman punch by Tanner that lands. PUnches by both. Thirty seconds left. Grove slips but recovers. Ten seconds. Bell rings as Kendall Grove throws one last knee at a retreating Tanner.

I’m calling unanimous decision for Kendall Grove. It was an entertaining fight. Not a blockbuster but good. One judge for Tanner. One for Grove. Kendall Grove wins by split decision. Very surprised at the split decision. This was a good win for Kendall Grove. The highlight one-legged jumping knee by Kendall Grove looked great. He jumped about four feet in the air.

Marvin Eastman vs. Drew McFedries (BONUS FIGHT)

Round 1 – Flying knee by McFedries that leads to a huge slam by Eastman. Big strikes from McFedries. Eastman throws back. Continuous blows by McFedries. Big strikes. McFedries hits Eastman with another big bomb to his head and the ref stops it. That’s it. TKO stoppage win for Drew McFedries.

I have to add one last thing. Mike Goldberg, one of the UFC commentators, at the end of the event says, “I’m sorry Forrest Griffin but this season’s Ultimate Fighter winner, Amir Sadollah has more personality than you.” What was the purpose of that? First of all, I don’t think it’s true but that’s not even the point. It’s just a stupid thing to say. That’s like someone saying, “Sorry Goldberg, but Mauro Ranallo owns you.” Except at least my statement is true.

PRELIMINARY UN-AIRED FIGHTS:Rob Kimmons vs. Rob Yundt

Kimmons wins by guillatine choke in round 1.

Jeremy Horn vs. Dean Lister

Lister wins in round 1 by guillatine choke.

Matt Arroyo vs. Matt Brown

Matt Brown wins by ground and pound TKO stoppage in round 2.

Josh Burkman vs. Dustin Hazelett

Hazelett wins at 4:46 of round 2 by armbar submission.

Cale Yarbrough vs. Timothy Credeur

Fight cancelled. Credeur tests positive for Adderall, a drug used to treat ADD. Apparantly, the UFC and NSAC knew beforehand about Credeur’s use of Adderall and he had stopped taking it five days before this event, but becuse it still showed up in his system on fight day, the athletic commission canceled the fight. Talk about a bummer.  For more info on this fight cancellation check MMA Junkie.

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