The Pearl at the Palms in Las Vegas, Nev. was once again home to the Finale for The Ultimate Fighter on Saturday June 4.  The reality show’s thirteenth season came to a close with a welterweight battle between Team Dos Santos’ Ramsey Nijem and Team Lesnar’s Tony Ferguson.  In the co-main event, lightweights Clay Guida and Anthony Pettis faced off to determine their spot in the title picture.

Ferguson continues run of finishes, claims TUF crown

After finishing all three opponents during his time on The Ultimate Fighter, Tony Ferguson needed less than four minutes to do the same to fellow finalist Ramsey Nijem.

Nijem started the bout with his familiar fast pace, but despite a number of takedown attempts, he could not put Ferguson on his back.  Ferguson appeared to surprise Nijem by securing takedowns of his own.  But it was on the feet where Ferguson did his damage, landing a devastating left hook that put Nijem out and crashing to the mat.  Ferguson landed a series of follow-up blows before the referee could stop the fight.

The knockout earned Ferguson not only the title of “The Ultimate Fighter”, but a $40,000 bonus for knockout of the night.

Guida smothers Pettis, derails former WEC champ’s title shot

Lightweight mainstay Clay Guida put his stamp on the UFC title picture by controlling former WEC champion Anthony Pettis for three rounds and taking home a clear-cut decision victory.

From the opening bell, it was clear that Guida wanted nothing to do with Pettis and his creative and unorthodox striking.  Guida immediately took Pettis down on his first kick attempt.  Working inside the dangerous guard of Pettis, Guida was able to prevent Pettis from mounting any offense during the opening round.

The second round started similar to the first, but Pettis showed a more active guard, throwing up triangle and armbar attempts throughout.  As the frame came to a close, he secured an armbar on Guida’s right arm, but the bell saved him.

In the final frame, a desperate Pettis managed to gain mount and take Guida’s back, but after failing to secure a fight ending rear-naked choke, he transitioned for an armbar and lost the position.  Guida took advantage of took Pettis’ back, ensuring the fight in his favor.

The judges scored the contest 30-27 across the scorecards for Guida.

Herman impressive in return from injury

Former TUF competitors Ed Herman and Tim Credeur both returned from significant injury layoffs to face off in a middleweight collision.

Herman, who suffered an ACL tear against Aaron Simpson at UFC 102, was likely fighting for his job after losing three of four.  Credeur, meanwhile, was forced out of action for nearly the same timeframe after a scan found a brain abnormality.

With both fighters healthy, Herman wasted little time getting back on track.  Using a single-collar tie, Herman landed consecutive uppercuts flush to Credeur’s chin, sending the jiu-jitsu black belt crashing to the mat less that a minute into the fight.

Kingsbury scores controversial decision over Maldonado

Light heavyweight Kyle Kingsbury looked to show off his ever-evolving skill set against Brazilian striker Fabio Maldonado.

Kingsbury used his size advantage throughout the bout to put Maldonado on the mat, but was unable to keep the fight on the ground.  Maldonado battered Kingsbury on the feet and from the clinch with a vicious barrage of body shots.  By the end of the fight, Kingsbury’s left eye was completely closed.

In a closely contested fight, Kingsbury won the first round, while Maldonado won the third, but all three judges gave Kingsbury the edge in the second.  The battle earned the night’s fight of the night bonus.

Cope outworks O’Neil, cruises to decision

In a battle of the semifinalists from The Ultimate Fighter, Chris Cope used improved kickboxing technique to frustrate Chuck O’Neil en route to a unanimous decision victory.

Neither fighter inflicted significant damage in the fight, but Cope clearly controlled the pace and scored with more shots.  The judges scored the fight 30-27 across the board.

Undercard Summary

On the event’s undercard, which streamed live on Facebook, a number of rising contenders moved themselves up the ladder in their respective divisions.

Lightweight slugger Jeremy Stephens battered late replacement Danny Downes for three rounds, nearly ending the fight in the second with a kimura, on his way to a unanimous decision victory.

Featherweight George Roop dispersed of former title contender Josh Grispi by third round TKO after a barrage of body shots throughout the second and third stanzas.

TUF competitor Shamar Bailey impressed with both his wrestling and his striking to claim a decision over Ryan McGillivray.

In a back-and-forth war, Team Lesnar’s Clay Harvison went home with a split decision win over Team Dos Santos’ Justin Edwards.  Both fighters had momentum swings in the fight, but two of the three judges saw the fight for the Team Lesnar fighter.

Former WEC bantamweight title challenger Scott Jorgensen made his mark on the UFC in his promotional debut, knocking out opponent Ken Stone from inside the full guard.

Featherweights Reuben Duran and Francisco Rivera put on a show in the first fight of night, with both fighters landing big shots and attempting submissions.  In the end, it was Duran who locked in a third round rear-naked choke, earning the night’s submission of the night bonus.

FULL RESULTS

MAIN CARD – Spike TV

Tony Ferguson defeated Ramsey Nijem by KO (punches) – Round 1, 3:54

Clay Guida defeafted Anthony Pettis by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Ed Herman defeated Tim Credeur by TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:48

Kyle Kingsbury defeated Fabio Maldonado by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Chris Cope defeated Chuck O’Neil by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

PRELIMINARY CARD – Facebook

Jeremy Stephens defeated Danny Downes by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)

George Roop defeated Josh Grispi by TKO (body punch) – Round 3, 3:14

Shamar Bailey defeated Ryan McGillivray by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Clay Harvison defeated Justin Edwards by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Scott Jorgensen defeated Ken Stone by KO (punches) – Round 1, 4:01

Reuben Duran defeated Francisco Rivera by submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 1:57