The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale had its ups and downs, but all in all it was a good night of fights. The event showcased the first ever featherweight fight in the UFC, a brutal knockout, a few submissions, and very controversial decisions.

The night started off in spectacular fashion as Leonard Garcia took on Nam Phan in the first televised featherweight bout. Both guys fought hard and gave the fight and the fans their all, but it looked as if Phan would win a decision victory. In the judges’ eyes, however, they had Garcia winning a split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28).  The majority of crowd appeared shocked, as did both Phan and Garcia. Garcia even said in his interview that Nam Phan should have won the fight. Phan got robbed in this one, but on the bright side, picked up $30,000 for Fight of the Night honors.

In the second televised fight, Johnny Hendricks fought Rick Story. With all of the pre-fight talk between the two competitors this fight was expected to be a war, but it turned out to be a slow-paced fight. Both guys looked very patient, and tried to impose their will on one another. Story looked impressive throughout the fight, striking well and attempting submissions when needed. The former collegiate wrestler, Hendricks, did not look as he did in his previous fights. He did get a takedown toward the end of round one, but could not capitalize on anything. This allowed Story to slow the fight down and wear down Hendricks. Story ended up winning a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

The third televised fight of the night featured Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu artist Demian Maia vs. Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove. Grove came in with a significant reach advantage, being the tallest middleweight in the UFC, and could be a potential problem for Maia. Grove looked to use his length early in fight, but was countered by Maia who secured two takedowns in the first round. At one point, Maia was in full-mount, and was landing good punches from top position. Maia came out quickly in the 2nd round, using strikes to get another takedown. Even when Grove got to his feet, he was taken down yet again. The round ended with Maia on Grove’s back. With two rounds in the book, Grove knew he had to come out swinging. In the third round, both guys stayed on their feet as Grove tried to give whatever he’s got left. Grove won the third round but it was not enough as Maia wins via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

In the co-main event of the evening, Stephan Bonnar took on Igor Pokrajac in a light heavyweight bout. Surprisingly, Bonnar did not come out in his typical aggressive style.  Bonnar worked on Pokrajac in the clinch and took him to the ground. Bonnar at one point looked to possibly finish Igor with a darce choke, but couldn’t execute it. The first round was close throughout, but was won by Bonnar. Both guys came out quickly in the second trying to land punches but it was Bonnar who was able to work his Muay Thai once again and landed a nice takedown. While in side control, Pokrajac was hitting Bonnar with knees to the back of the head. This was recognized by referee Steve Mazagatti who deducted a point from Pokrajac. Another close round to score but it went to Bonnar.  Bonnar came out with the same mindset in the third, putting Pokrajac against the cage and getting another takedown. Pokrajac wasn’t able to do anything as Bonnar stayed on him the entire round. But as the round was nearing the end, Mazagatti took a point away from Bonnar for illegal strikes to the back of the head. The round was now 9-9 instead of 10-9. The point did not affect Bonnar, however, who won by unanimous decision (29-26, 29-26, 29-26).

In the main event, Jonathan Brookins battled Michael Johnson to determine who would get a UFC contract. Both guys were a part of Geroges St. Pierre’s team on the show, and were both impressive as the season went on. Michael Johnson came out like a man on a mission, throwing bombs early. It looked as if the fight wouldn’t get past round one, but Brookins showed how much heart he has and was able to survive. Johnson was impressive and took round one 10-9. Round two started with Johnson continuing to test the chin of Brookins. Brookins got some momentum going as he takes Johnson to the mat. He was able to land some good punches and elbows throughout most of the round, but Johnson was then slammed by Brookins to end the round. Brookins 10-9. Both guys knew the 3rd round would determine who would win the fight, and both came out strong. Brookins continued to try and take the fight to the ground, and did so by putting Johnson’s back to the cage and taking him to the canvas. A scramble allowed both to get to their feet, but Brookins used a quick maneuver to land another takedown. Brookins continued to land shots and control Johnson until the horn sounded. Bruce Buffer got on the microphone and read off the score cards: (29-28, 29-28, 29-27) all for the winner by unanimous decision, Jonathan Brookins.

Undercard Results:
Cody McKenzie def. Aaron Wilkinson via 1st round submission (guillotine choke)
Ian Loveland def. Tyler Toner via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-26)
Kyle Watson def. Sako Chivitchian via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Nick Pace def. Will Campuzano via 3rd round submission (modified guillotine)
Pablo Garza def. Fredson Paixao via 1st round KO (knee)
Dave Branch def. Rich Attonito via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

About The Author

Josh Davis
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Josh Davis is the owner and President of The MMA Corner, LLC. He has been a fan of mixed martial arts since seeing UFC 1 in his hometown. In addition to his The MMA Corner responsibilities, Josh is the editor of Scrapp! Fight Magazine. Josh has also written for MMA Unleashed and MMA Sports magazines. Josh also manages some of Colorado's best up and coming fighters and is dedicated to the positive promotion of the sport.