On Friday, December 11, the UFC brought fight fans their second fight card in two days with The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale: Team McGregor vs. Team Faber live from the The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan.

In the night’s main event, former title contender Frankie Edgar and Chad Mendes clashed in a highly anticipated featherweight contest.

Edgar (19-4-1), also a UFC lightweight champion, was looking to extend his four fight win streak. In his most recent contest ‘The Answer’ was seen earning a dominant decision win over Mendes’ teammate Uriah Faber in May. He entered this bout with nine career stoppage wins, including five by way of knockout, and a UFC record of 12-4-1.

Mendes (17-3), a three-time title contender, was coming off a heartbreaking second round TKO loss to Conor McGregor following the pair’s interim title fight at UFC 189 in July. This setback came after filling in for an injured Jose Aldo against McGregor on just a two weeks notice. He entered this bout with nine career stoppage wins, including seven by way of knockout, and a UFC record of 8-3.

Also a appearing the card was the lightweight finals of the 22 season of the Ultimate Fighter, which featured Team McGregor’s Artem Lobov face Team Faber’s Ryan Hall.

Hall (4-1), a multiple time grappling champion, previously lost to Rogers in the quarterfinals by majority decision. He previously Frantz Slioa and Johnny Nunez, both by first round heel hook, earlier in the tournament.

Lobov (11-10), McGregor’s SBG Ireland teammate, initially lost the bout to get into the house by decision but was brought back in by UFC President Dana White in the second episode. Lobov would go on to rattle of three straight knockouts over Hall’s teammates, including a first round KO over Julian Erosa in the semi-finals.

MAIN CARD SUMMARY

Frankie Edgar vs. Chad Mendes

Quick touch of the gloves and this one got under way. Both men looked tentative early with Frankie circling on the outside. Mendes continued to attack the lead of his opponent before Edgar connected with a vicious right hook. With his opponent reeling, Edgar followed up with another left hook, sending Mendes crashing to the canvas, forcing John McCarthey to stop the fight, giving Edgar the first round knockout.

Edson Barboza vs. Tony Ferguson

Ferguson turned the heat up in the opening seconds of fight by coming directly at Barboza and rolling for a kneebar. Barboza fought his way out of it but ate an illegal upkick from Ferguson. After the fight reset, both men traded strikes, with an inside leg kick from Ferguson connecting at the same time as an outside leg kick. Throughout the remainder of the round, Ferguson attempted to pressure Barboza enough to try and roll into another kneebar, but Barboza evaded both attempts and found homes for two spinning kicks that connected flush on Ferguson, despite not rocking him.

Ferguson continued to pressure Barboza in the opening minutes of round two, and attempted another rolling kneebar, but Barboza escaped and found himself in Ferguson’s guard. Both men reset to the feet, but a tired Barboza would get his neck trapped inside Ferguson’s grip and have no choice but to tap due to a D’Arce choke by “El Cucuy”, who upped his winning streak to seven straight victories.

Ryan Hall vs. Artem Lobov – TUF 22 lightweight tournament final

Hall demonstrated creative striking early on against Lobov before trying for a leg lock. Lobov had none of it, but Hall still took the back and hunted for a rear naked choke. Hall couldn’t get the choke, but he maintained the body lock and landed punches everywhere possible in order to do damage to Lobov before the end of a very strong opening frame.

Hall continued to throw unorthodox kicks, but pulls Lobov into his guard. Lobov attempted to throw shots, but ended up being controlled and struck from the bottom. Both men scrambled back to the feet, but Hall pulled Lobov back into the guard momentarily before finding the opportunity to rolling into a heel hook attempt. He worked to get the best of the attempt, but could not do so before the end of the round.

Still, Lobov would not see the last of the ground game, as he fought through a third leg-lock attempt and battled to break away from Hall, who pulled guard yet again and transitioned well to take the back. Hall looked once more for a choke, but could not get it, though he did briefly celebrate the job he accomplished after Lobov got taken down towards the end of the round.

Evan Dunham vs. Joe Lauzon

Round one saw Lauzon and Dunham engage on the feet, with Dunahm using his range well to stick combinations and move. Lauzon scored with a big elbow when he broke away from a clinch and turned up the volume with his striking, but Dunham responded well by continually moving and flurrying, before sealing the round in his favor by scoring a late takedown.

Lauzon kept looking for big shots in round two, but Dunham, who kept his range more in the first frame, took a more clinch-heavy approach in round two. Despite a smothering offensive assault from Dunham, as well as an inability to break through Dunham’s defense in order to find a takedown of his own, Lauzon would find an opportunity to stick another elbow while breaking away from Dunham’s clinch towards the end of the round.

Dunham discovered the durability of Lauzon through the third round, as he kept the strikes coming in combinations, and Lauzon kept coming back for more. Still, Lauzon found himself unable to keep up with this version of Dunham, who never took his foot off the gas for a second in the fight. Lauzon showed an incredible will to fight, even while taking a vicious flurry in the final seconds of the fight, but Dunham’s striking excellence nabbed him the better end of a dominant unanimous-decision win.

Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Jason Knight

Kawajiri started out the first round in typical “Crusher” fashion by creating opportunities to take Knight down, and by way of leg kicks, as well as a mistimed spinning back fist, he found the takedown. Knight would not be denied, though, as he demonstrated a beautiful guard and a will to fearless threaten Kawajiri from off his back.

Knight found less success with his guard in round two, as Kawajiri again found a takedown and worked well with vicious elbows inside Knight’s guard, which turned from a rubber guard to a traditional closed guard rather quickly in the early part of the round. Eventually, Kawajiri would hold down Knight, causing referee John McCarthy to call for a restart, but Kawajiri still ended the round by putting Knight on his back and leaving him there.

Outside of a spinning body kick from Kawajiri, round three played out much similarly to how the first two rounds, as Kawajiri took Knight down, Knight looked for options from the guard, and Kawajiri’s brutalizing offense from inside the guard left Knight unable to find any real options. Referee McCarthy called for another restart, but Kawajiri would almost immediately score another takedown afterwards, and remain comfortable on top, knowing that Knight could not do much, despite his most valiant efforts. The takedown-heavy strategy of Kawajiri helped Crusher take a shutout on the scorecards for a well-earned unanimous-decision win.

Julian Erosa vs. Marcin Wrzosek

Both men came out in round one with intentions of feeling each other out. Wrzosek fired off a head kick, but fell to the ground and could not rattle Erosa. Wrzosek pressed Erosa against the cage, only to get taken down by a guillotine sweep from Erosa, who sunk in a D’Arce choke. Despite locking the choke in deep, Wrzosek escaped the choke before the end of the first frame.

Wrzosek told a much different story in round two, as he stuck a takedown of his own early on, and stayed on top of Erosa all throughout. Ever the aggressor, Wrzosek picked his shots wisely, making sure every strike connected, but despite being hurt, Erosa would stay in the fight and defend himself from Wrzosek’s onslaught.

As round three progressed, the pace of the fight took its toll on both men, but Wrzosek still made it a point to try and take the fight against the fence. Despite some tremendous efforts, Wrzosek would fall victim to a late takedown from Erosa before escaping another choke attempt. Erosa’s late efforts paid dividends, as he would take home a split-decision win after a hotly-contested battle.

FULL RESULTS

MAIN CARD

Frankie Edgar def. Chad Mendes by knockout (punches). Round 1, 2:28
Tony Ferguson def. Edson Barboza by submission (D’Arce choke). Round 2, 3:54
Ryan Hall vs. Artem Lobov – TUF 22 lightweight tournament final
Evan Dunham def. Joe Lauzon by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Jason Knight by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27
Julian Erosa def. Marcin Wrzosek by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

PRELIMINARY CARD

Gabriel Gonzaga def. Konstantin Erokhin by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-28)
Ryan LaFlare def. Mike Pierce by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Geane Herrera def. Joby Sanchez via TKO (punches). Round 2, 4:28
Chris Gruetzemacher def. Abner Lloveras by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)