The Ultimate Fighter: A Tournament of Champions Finale Recap & Results

Saturday, December 3, 2016— Live from The Palms in Las Vegas, the #1 pound for pound fighter in the world Demetrious Johnson defended his title against the winner of The Ultimate Fighter season 24 Tim Elliot. The tournament of champions was put together with some of the best flyweights in the world, all champions from other organizations put everything on the line for a chance at UFC gold. Out of all the competitors former UFC contender Tim Elliot fought with nothing to lose and not only walked out as the winner but earned the right to face Johnson for the title. There is no doubt that the champion is the favorite to win but as everyone knows anything can happen in MMA. In the co main event the two head coaches from this season went head to head as the number 1 and number 2 contenders fight for the next shot at Demetrious. Cejudo had earned his shot and was finished in the 1st round, and as for his opponent Benavidez he has had two shots at Johnson and has come up short both times. Now with both coaches knowing a lost can set them back so far that they may never earn another shot again this fight is a must win. Also on the card a big welterweight showdown between the surging Jorge Masvidal and Jake Ellenberger, Jorge knows he needs to keep winning to climb the ladder towards a future title shot and after his last win Ellenberger knows that he needs to keep winning to stay active in the UFC. A big women’s bantamweight match between the returning Alexa Davis and Sara McMann, with the division wide open and both women already trending down a win here is a must if they want to stay relevant. TUF 24 competitor who has already made an impact in the UFC Brandon Moreno took on Ryan Benoit, both guys are young and on the rise and a win will help them keep climbing the ladder. Also in the featherweight division Gray Maynard took on TUF 22 winner Ryan Hall, and in the strawweight division Kailin Curran looks to get back on track when she takes on Jamie Moyle. All the action kicks off on the UFC Fight Pass before heading to FS1. The tournament of champions comes to an end with the flyweight title on the line. Live from The Palms.


We kick thing off in the light heavyweight division were TUF 23 competitor Josh Stansbury (8-3) took on Devin Clark (6-1), It was a stellar showing for Clark as he dominated Stansbury through three rounds. Stansbury had a little flurry but it just wasn’t enough to sway the judges. Winner: Devin Clark (7-1) by Unanimous Decision (30-27,30-27,29-28). – Loser: Josh Stansbry (8-4). In the Fight Pass prelim headliner, we head to the middleweight division were Elvis Mutapcic (15-4-1) took on Anthony Smith (25-12), a rocky start for Smith wasn’t going to be an issue for Lionheart as in the second he started to turn it on by overwhelming Mutapcic with some big strikes. After a nasty elbow that knocked down Mutapcic, Smith followed with some ground and pound and that was all she wrote. What a finish. Winner: Anthony Smith (26-12) by TKO Round 2.- Loser: Elvis Mutapcic (15-5-1). As the card switches to FS1 we head to the strawweight division as Kailin Curran (4-3) took on Jamie Moyle (3-1), a great back and forth fight between two ladies that are looking to take that next step in their careers. Moyle was able to takeover early with a very strong ground game and even with Currans strong striking that did bust her up, Moyle was able to stay calm and seal the deal. Winner: Jamie Moyle (4-1) by Unanimous Decision (30-27,30-27,30-27). – Loser: Kailin Curran (4-4). Next we head to the lightweight division as Dong Hyun Kim (13-8-3) took on Brendan O’Reilly (6-2), a strong performance for Kim as he dominated O’Reilly early with a consistent striking game and a couple of big takedowns. O’Reilly tried to mount a comeback but Kim was just too much. Winner: Dong Hyun Kim (14-8-3) by Unanimous Decision (29-28,29-28,29-28). – Loser: Brendan O’Reilly (6-3). Next up in the bantamweight division Rob Font (12-2) took on TUF 24 competitor Matt Schnell (10-2), Rob Font wasted no time getting to work as he bombards Schnell with big strikes, and before you knew it Schnell was rocked and that’s all she wrote. A statement win for Font. Winner: Rob Font (13-2) by TKO Round 1. – Loser: Matt Schnell (10-3). Next up in the featured prelim bout we head to the featherweight division were former title challenger Gray Maynard (13-6-1) took on TUF 22 winner Ryan Hall (5-1), not a lot of action in this fight with the style of Hall being so different Maynard couldn’t gain any kind of offensive momentum. Hall fought his game and did enough to get the win. Winner: Ryan Hall (6-1) by Unanimous Decision (30-27,30-27,29-28). – Loser: Gray Maynard (13-7-1).

The main card kicked off with a big flyweight fight between TUF 24 competitor #12 Brandon Moreno (12-3) who in his first UFC fight beat a top 5 contender took on Ryan Benoit (9-4). A heck of a fight to kick off the main card as these two young flyweights tore the house down. Moreno showed that his first win in the UFC wasn’t a fluke as he stood toe to toe with Benoit, though there were times that Benoit had Moreno shook in the end it wasn’t an issue as Brandon was able to land his takedowns and close out the fight. Winner: Brandon Moreno (13-3) by Split Decision (29-28,29-28,29-28). – Loser: Ryan Benoit (9-5). Next we head to the women’s bantamweight division were two former title challengers in #7 Sara McMann (9-3) and Alexa Davis (17-6) went head to head. A beautiful statement win for McMann, as she rode her strong ground game all the way to the end of the fight where she sunk in the arm triangle for the finish. Winner: Sara McMann (10-3) by Submission (Arm Trianlge Choke) Round 2. – Loser: Alexa Davis (17-7). Next we head to the light heavyweight division were Ion Cutelaba (12-2) took on Jared Cannonier (8-1). What a fight between these two big bad heavyweights. From the early moments of the 1st round all the way to the final bell they were throwing bombs, but it was Jared Cannonier that was able to land more significant shots to help seal the deal. Winner: Jared Cannonier (9-1) by Split Decision (29-28,29-28,29-28). – Loser: Ion Cutelaba (12-3). We roll on into the welterweight division were the red-hot Jorge Masvidal (30-11) took on #15 Jake Ellenberger (31-11). A fast start for Masvidal as some big combos and swift striking had Ellenberger rocked, but Jake got out of danger and worked his way back into the fight. Then one of the craziest endings to a fight I have ever seen happened, Ellenberger goes for a running strike misses and gets his foot stuck in the cage and Masvidal starts to strike and that is all she wrote. Herb Dean called the fight due to the fact that Ellenberger couldn’t defend himself. Crazy ending but Masvidal fought an amazing fight. Winner: Jorge Masvidal (31-11) by TKO Round 1. – Loser: Jake Ellenberger (31-12). In the co main event the two head coaches from TUF season 24 went head to head to see who gets the next shot at the flyweight championship. Former title challengers #1 Joseph Benavidez (24-4) and #2 Henry Cejudo (10-1) went head to head. What a banger! The co main event tore the house down and the man driving the bobcat was Joseph Benavidez. Cejudo came out strong with an on point striking game and Benavidez was rocked at one time but managed to get back on track and get back into the fight. Cejudo fought a good fight but just couldn’t do enough best Benavidez. Winner: Joesph Benavidez (25-4) by Split Decision (27-29,30-26,29-27). – Loser: Henry Cejudo (10-2).

Main Event Flyweight Championship
C. Demetrious Johnson (24-2-1) Vs Tim Elliott (14-6-1)

In the main event the #1 pound for pound champion in the world Demetrious Johnson put his title on the line one more time against the TUF season 24 winner Tim Elliott. Mighty Mouse is chasing history for the most title defenses in UFC history and to cement his legacy as one of the best fighters to ever step into the octagon. His opponent Tim Elliott a former UFC fighter who was fired by the company found himself looking for the spark to make another run, and when his daughter was born he found the spark. Elliott worked hard to make it back to the top, and when he found himself TUF champion he knew he was where he was supposed to be. Mighty Mouse puts it all on the line against his challenger who won a tournament to get this shot at gold. Into the 1st we go, the action starts out fast as Johnsons lands a quick takedown but the strength of Elliott finds himself on top of the champion. Elliott uses his strength to sink in a guillotine choke that has the champion shook. The champion sneaks out and get back in control on the mat. Elliott lands another takedown on the champion and steals the 1st round. A lot of action early and the challenger has the edge. Into the 2nd and the champion looks as fresh as he did when the first bell rang. Elliott throws a big combo that finds himself on the ground courtesy of Mighty Mouse takedown. Johnson stayed in control on the ground but a strong defensive ground game by Elliott kept the champion from doing anything significant. They get back to their feet and Elliott works the fight back to mat with a trip, but the bell sounds and that’s the end of round 2. A strong answer from the champion after losing the 1st round. Into the 3rd we go, the champion works the fight back to the mat where he tries to slip in a submission but Elliott works his way out and takes top position. After a failed ground and pound attempt Johnson retakes top position. The champion starts to land some big ground and pound while in complete control on the mat. The 3rd round comes to an end and it’s all Mighty Mouse going into the championship rounds. Into the 4th and both fighters decide to stand and bang for the first minute, then the champion decides that’s enough and he lands another big takedown. On the ground Johnson sinks in a rear naked choke that was deep, but Elliott works his way out yet again. Demetrious continued to dominate on the mat and it was starting to show that the challenger was starting to gas out. After 4 rounds the champion has a commanding lead. Into the 5th and final round we go and Elliot starts out with landing a big takedown but before you know it the champion gets out takes top position and goes into side control. Johnson dominates the round again and closes out another title defense. A great performance from Elliott but Johnson was just too much. No shame on the part of Elliott he showed the world why he won the tournament and why he deserves to be In the UFC. Johnson showed the world once again why he is the best In the world.

Winner: #AndStill Flyweight Champion of The World Demetrious Johnson (25-2-1) by Unanimous Decision (49-46,49-46,49-45)
Looser: Tim Elliott (14-7-1)

By: Rick San Bartolome
“The Franchise”