The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale will take place tonight in Las Vegas, with Team GSP competitors Michael Johnson and Jonathan Brookins battling for the TUF 12 crown in a lightweight contest. In the light heavyweight main event, TUF 1 finalist and longtime UFC veteran Stephan Bonnar will square off against Igor Pokrajac and middleweight contender Demian Maia will look to continue moving up the ranks against Kendall Grove.
The televised broadcast begins at 9 p.m. ET. Join us here as ProMMAnow.com provides live results and play-by-play commentary of the action.
Televised main card:
Jonathan Brookins defeats Michael Johnson by unanimous decision
Stephan Bonnar defeats Igor Pokrajac by unanimous decision
Demian Maia defeats Kendall Grove by unanimous decision
Rick Story defeats Johny Hendricks by unanimous decision
Leonard Garcia defeats Nam Phan by split decision
Cody McKenzie defeats Aaron Wilkinson by submission at 2:03 of Round 1
Ian Loveland defeats Tyler Toner by unanimous decision
Kyle Watson defeats Sako Chivitchian by unanimous decision
Nick Pace defeats Will Campuzano by submission at 4:33 of Round 3
Pablo Garza defeats Fredson Paixao by KO at 0:51 of Round 1
David Branch defeats Rich Attonito by unanimous decision
Featherweight: Leonard Garcia (14-6-1) vs. Nam Phan (16-7)
Round 1: They’re swinging early. Garcia with a heavy 1-2 that just misses the mark and Phan landed some shots as they traded against the cage. Phan back in the center stalking Garcia. Nice body kick from Nam, but Garcia returns the favor. Another from Garcia, but Nam lands a NICE three punch combo ending with a left hook. Garcia’s punches are looping and Phan looking a bit more accurate. After a jab-right combo, Nam goes to the body with the left hook, something we say a lot of on TUF 12. Nam moving in and out pretty well, a lot of Garcia’s punches getting blocked. Phan counters a Garcia jab with a nice outside leg kick. Garcia once again follows suit. Phan throws a combo highlighted by an overhand right and a head kick, and Garcia responds. Close round, but I think Phan’s accuracy and effectiveness should take it. 10-9 for Phan.
Round 2: Apologize for the technical difficulties. Long story short, Garcia started off active, but Phan rocked him with some power shots, uppercuts, etc. He eventually had Garcia down and took his back, but Garcia defended the choke until the end of the round. Weird moment: at one point it looked like Garcia was tapping Nam’s arm, but not sure what he meant to do there. 10-9 for Phan.
Round 3: Garcia gets an early takedown, but Nam pushes off his head and gets back up easily. Phan lands another nice couple of punches and times a high kick nicely when Garcia tries to duck his head, just misses from landing flush. Garcia goes in for another takedown, but he’s a bit gassed and Nam sprawls out easily. Now Garcia’s wild punches are looping even more and looking slower. Overhand right from Phan scores. Garcia is pretty active, but a lot of shots are hitting Nam’s arms. However, he lands a nice hook to the body after Nam misses with a combo. Garcia has been more active this round than Phan, if sloppy. Nice 1-2 by Phan to the guy. Nam didn’t honestly do that much this round. I think he won the fight, but this one is ripe for a judges screw up. Final round, ProMMAnow.com says 10-10.
29-28 Garcia, 30-27 Phan, 29-28 Garcia. Garcia gets the split decision win. I won’t lie, Garcia got another close and questionable one. First the Korean Zombie fight, now this. The crowd is booing and chanting “bullshit” to keep Rogan from interviewing Garcia. Garcia is trying to be polite, apologizing, and offering a rematch.
Welterweight: Rick Story (11-3) vs. Johny Hendricks (9-0)
Round 1: Both guys in the southpaw stance. Story takes the center and looks to land, but Hendricks scores with a nice left before getting the clinch. Story, though, powers out and lands a nice uppercut/knee combo as they separate. Now it’s Story looking for the takedown, but Hendricks defends. Story is aggressive, backing Hendricks into the cage and throwing some bombs, forcing Hendricks to cover up. Inside leg kick from Story, followed by a 1-2 from Hendricks with the straight-left connecting. Now an outside leg kick from Story, good round so far. Hendricks catches a leg kick and tries to turn it into a takedown, but Story is having none of it. Hendricks could be in for a long night if he has this hard a time working his wrestling. Another flurry from Story with Hendricks on the fence sends Hendricks circling to get away. Hendricks does land a nice counter straight-left after Story misses with a couple punches. Hendricks again goes for the takedown off of a kick and finally gets him down and into half guard. But Story is looking strong and gets back up. Close round, but I think Story gets it 10-9.
Round 2: Nice double jab left combo from Hendricks. But again Story comes forward with an aggressive flurry and follows that up with a takedown of his own. .Story looks for a guillotine, but Story gets out. Hendricks stands up to escape, but Story almost has his back. However, he’s too high and Hendricks is out and pulls him up with a front choke. In the over-under clinch now. Body punches from Story as Hendricks holds him on the cage. Now a knee from Story. I think Hendricks needs to show more of a sense of urgency. He hasn’t been able to implement his game plan so far. Hendricks does get the takedown by pulling the foot, but Story is right back up. Joe Rogan is rambling about incompetent moron judges as the action slows. Story throws a 1-2 and ducks into a double leg into Hendricks’s guard. Nicely done. Hendricks gets back up, but Story scoring more points. Story has a body lock and throws some knees into Hendricks’s hips. That round should go to Story, 10-9.
Round 3: Hendricks shoots in and Story defends the initial push, but Hendricks gets him on his butt and tries to control the head. Nice scramble as Story goes for a guillotine and rolls onto the top, Hendricks manages to get out the back door. Hendricks now has Story down and has his knees pinched together around Story’s leg to keep it straight and keep him down. Once again, though, even when he has Story down, Hendricks can’t do much. Now looking for a far-side single as Story gets back up. Story’s combo of wrestling skills (not the same accolades as Hendricks, but good) and serious strength is giving Hendricks fits. As the fight comes to a close, Hendricks is still looking for a single and Story is fishing for a kimura. Not much action in that round. Story’s choke attempt might actually be enough. Hendricks was pushing forward a lot but didn’t do much with his wrestling and really didn’t score any damage.
All three judges give it 29-28 for Story. Probably gave the third round to Hendricks for his pressure and aggression looking for the takedown.
Joe Rogan is trying to interview Koscheck and St. Pierre via satellite. Luckily the audio is dead so we don’t have to hear more tired Koscheck trash-talk that he’s rehashing from three years ago.
Lightweight: Cody McKenzie (11-0) vs. Aaron Wilkinson (6-3)
Cody McKenzie, sporting the V for Vendetta mustache/soul patch combo, quickly shoots in for a takedown and Wilkinson looks for a guillotine against the guillotine master. Wilkinson tries to get on top but then he gets caught in a guillotine attempt. He fights off the first couple, but he keeps leaving his head in there. Nice sweep by McKenzie and he’s on top looking for his favorite move. He goes for it and cranks hard. It isn’t under the chin but Wilkinson taps, probably from getting his chin/jaw crushed. That had to hurt.
McKenzie wins via submission at 2:03 of round 1.
Middleweight: Kendall Grove (14-7) vs. Demian Maia (13-2)
Round 1: Grove lands a straight right early on as they circle. Maia, the southpaw, with a decent overhand left. Now Grove comes forward with a flurry, but Maia escapes. However, Grove gets him a second time with a right up the middle. Now, though, Maia ducks in for a single and gets it, moving to half guard. Grove stands up, but Maia has his back and trips him back down. Up on the feet again, Maia sinks one hook in, but Grove keeps him from getting the second. Grove does a good job getting Maia off his back, but Maia quickly gets another nice single, pulling him right down and into half guard. Maia works into the mount. Now Grove gives up his back and Maia is throwing some punches. Grove throws him off with his legs, like a reverse bronco buck, and spins away, but Maia stays right on top and eventually works back into the mount and delivers some more mat-crunching ground and pound. Grove is doing well trying to roll out, but Maia is so good on the mat and takes his back almost immediately and starts looking for a rear naked choke. Solid desperation defense from Grove, but a 10-9 round for Maia.
Round 2: Grove tries to come in with a double-jab right combo, but Maia backs away. Maia shoots in for a single right as Grove started to look for a kick, then Grove lands a straight right as Maia shoots. Much better start for Grove, but Maia dives in for a double and into Grove’s half guard. Relentless ground work. Big body punches from Maia to soften up Grove. Maia almost had a crucifix going, but Grove managed to push him off and escape. The reprieve is short lived, though, and Maia is right back in looking for a double up against the fence. Guess what? Down goes Grove. Had a slight disruption. The dog farted and nearly cleared the room. Maia, during the interruption, took Grove’s back but doesn’t have both hooks in. Round comes to an end with Maia dropping some good ground-and-pound. Grove had some moments early, but 10-9 for Maia.
Round 3: Maia lands a hook early. Grove scores a few moments later with a straight right. Another one lands nicely when Maia came forward. Halfway through the round and Grove hasn’t been taken down yet, so he’s scored on the feet. Perhaps Maia is pacing himself, though he just landed a nice straight left. Although Grove has the fight on the feet where he wants it, he’s not doing enough to get the win here, down two rounds to zero. Probably doesn’t help that he’s paranoid about the takedowns. Maybe Maia is just using this round to practice his stand up, throwing a nice inside leg kick. A minute or so to go, and Maia finally shoots for a single. Grove goes for a jumping knee; looks fancy but Maia isn’t letting go. Now Maia has Grove on the fence and pushing for a double. Grove is defending but the seconds are ticking away. Something tells me Maia will be happy to stay here and grind it out. 10-9 for Grove, but the fight goes to Maia, most likely.
Three scores of 29-28 for Maia by unanimous decision.
They fixed the audio feed and interviewed GSP and Koscheck. St. Pierre responded to Koscheck’s claim that the pressure isn’t on him, but GSP. St. Pierre disagrees, saying he’s beaten Koscheck already, so if he beats him again, he’ll never have to bother with fighting Koscheck anymore. I chuckled.
Another quick side note, if you watched the Spike telecast, there were a crapload of commercials for The Fighter, starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale. In case you don’t know, the movie is about Mickey Ward, a longtime journeyman, club level boxer who was tough as nails and had an incredible chin and a left hook to the body that would make Bas Rutten cringe. Eventually Ward got a much deserved payday in his legendary three-fight trilogy with Arturo Gatti. Now back to this evening’s MMA.
Light heavyweight: Stephan Bonnar (15-7) vs. Igor Prokrajac (22-7)
Round 1: After a quick exchange, they clinch, Bonnar throws a couple body shots and gets the takedown, now trying to pass into side control and looking to take his back as Prokrajac gets, but he gets back to his feet. Prokrajac throws some strikes coming forward and now he’s looking for a takedown but Bonnar tries to sink in a guillotine. Prokrajac had to work to get out of there and rolled onto his back to escape, giving Bonnar the top position. He’s standing up above Prokrajac’s guard and trying to pass his legs to the side. Now into half guard. Bonnar gets side control and once again Prokrajac gets on his knees hoping to escape while Bonnar looks to maybe sink his hooks in while working the over-under. The end the round in that position with Bonnar throwing a few punches as Prokrajac stands up. Good fight but 10-9 for Bonnar so far.
Round 2: Jab early from Bonnar, but Prokrajac charges in with a 1-2 1-2. The problem is he’s back in the clinch and Bonnar has controlled the grappling so far. Now Bonnar has a Thai clinch and throws some knees before ducking for a double. Nothing doing. Prokrajac has double underhooks but the takedown again goes to Bonnar, now into side control. As Bonnar works the position, Prokrajac tries to throw a knee that lands to the back of Bonnar’s head. Illegal on two levels and referee Steve Mazagatti tells him to cut it out. Once again, back to the feet and Prokrajac charging forward with punches, but he’s ending up with the clinch and getting worked over. Ooooh, Prokrajac lands some nice punches as they separate and get to the center. If he didn’t charge in and close the distance, I wonder if he might have some success. 10-9 for Bonnar.
Round 3: It’s now being announced that Prokrajac was deducted a point for the illegal knee. It doesn’t help that Bonnar has him down early in this round. Dropping nice elbows from Prokrajac’s guard. Bonnar doing more good ground work and gets into mount. Nice body punches from Bonnar. Now into side control. Every round has looked the same so far. There’s a ground scramble, but Bonnar still stays on top. This was like a grappling clinic. I can’t help but wonder why Prokrajac didn’t stay on the outside more and work his striking. Bonnar lands some strikes to the back of the head. Nothing brutal, but Mazagatti warned him earlier, and those were pretty clear, so now Bonnar loses a point. That makes the round 9-9 in my book, but the earlier point deduction for Prokrajac should even things out.
Three scores of 29-26 for Bonnar, the winner by decision.
We’re seeing a commercial for a Trojan vibrator. This is a wonderful development. Why? Because having a commercial for female pleasure devices on a show targeting Men aged 18-34 just seems weird. And I saw the exact same commercial during the UFC 122 telecast, but I was drunk and couldn’t find anyone else that had seen it. I feel vindicated!
TUF 12 lightweight final: Michael Johnson (9-4) vs Jonathan Brookins (11-3)
In the prefight hype video, Johnson is doing clapping pull-ups. Explosive, as Mike Goldberg would say.
Round 1: As the fight gets underway, Johnson is landing with punches. Brookins is good, but he tends to leave his chin up. But now Brookins looking for a single. He worked for it, but Johnson fights it off. Back to the striking, where Johnson has looked superior. Brookins came in and Johnson landed a big left hook that drops Brookins. He looked hurt, but manages to but back up. Another nice combo from Johnson rocks Brookins, followed up with some knees from the clinch. Big uppercut from Johnson. Brookins is taking some punishment. At this point, I think Brookin’s best hope is that Johnson gets tired like he did on the show. But I don’t know that he’ll have that problem with a proper training camp. Johnson throws a leg kick and Brookins tries to use that to get a takedown. Johnson sprawls, Brookins almost gets the back, barely, but Johnson is right back up. If you picked Brookins, things aren’t looking good. That’s a clear 10-9 round for Johnson.
Round 2: Things start off good for Brookins. He shoots in and doesn’t get the takedown right away, but gets around to get Johnson’s back. Now he is in Johnson’s half guard after landing a few punches. Good elbow from Brookins. Now Brookins is standing over him a bit trying to ground-and-pound. Back into half guard with short elbows. This is quite a turnaround. More short elbows from Brookins. Johnson works to full guard, and after a few more shots from Brookins, he’s up. But Brookins is trying to hold on for a single. Johnson trying to fight it off with some elbows to the side of the head. Brookins gets his ankle, lifts Johnson’s leg all the way up over the head and slams him down. Back into the half guard position he’s utilized. Nice end to the round for Brookins, 10-9.
Round 3: Nice combo from Johnson, but Brookins ducks in for a single. Johnson is defending well, but Brookins is relentless. Brookins is trying to step over, hold his legs tight and work to mount. This fight could come down to Brookins’s persistence and grappling. Johnson’s wrestling is certainly on par, but Brookins has the advantage in the on-the-mat maneuvering. Johnson gets mounted with his back against the cage. Nice reversal from Johnson though, and he gets back to the feet. Both guys shoot at the same time, leading to a scramble with Brookins getting a trip takedown. Less than two minutes to go, and unless Johnson gets back to the feet, this could go to Brookins. More elbows to Brookins face. The clock keeps ticking and Brookins is trying to keep busy so he can keep the ground positioning. Ten second warning and good punches from Brookins. Wow. I wouldn’t have guessed it from the start, but Brookins looks to have taken it. 10-9 round for Brookins.
Two scores of 29-28, one of 29-27, for the TUF 12 champion, Jonathan Brookins.