Published Saturday, June 4, 2011 | 6 p.m.
Updated Saturday, June 4, 2011 | 8:55 p.m.
- Clay Guida shows evolution as a fighter in ‘TUF’ 13 finale victory over Anthony Pettis
- Tony Ferguson hopes ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ victory is first step to redemption
- ‘TUF’ 13 finale weigh-in: Nijem and Ferguson set to duel for UFC contract
- ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ 13 Finale Section
- All MMA/boxing coverage
The Pearl at the Palms is the smallest venue the UFC uses to hold fight cards. It didn’t sound like it Saturday night at “The Ultimate Fighter” 13 finale when Clay Guida was in the octagon.
Guida gave his glut of fans plenty to cheer about by defeating former WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. Guida forced his game plan and out-wrestled Pettis to come out with a unanimous decision victory. All three judges scored it 30-27.
“We showed him what wrestling is all about,” Guida said from the octagon in his post-fight interview. “I want to show that I’m the No. 1 contender.”
But the night didn’t belong as much to Guida as it did to Tony Ferguson, who won the ‘TUF’ 13 title by knocking out Ramsey Nijem at 3:54 of the first round.
After a back-and-forth battle for nearly four minutes, Ferguson caught Nijem with a left hook that sent him tumbling to the mat. The referee stopped it shortly after and Ferugson jumped on top of the cage in celebration.
“I tried to leave it all out there,” Ferguson said afterward. “I weathered the storm.”
Before the two headlining fights, Ed Herman came back from a near two-year injury absence with a flawless showing. Herman knocked out Tim Creuder 48 seconds into their middleweight bout. Herman hit Creuder with an uppercut and followed it with two ground-and-pound strikes to finish.
Kyle Kingsbury left the octagon with perhaps the most disfigured face of the evening, but he also got a victory. Despite a disastrous third round, Kingsbury beat Fabio Maldonado by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
“My head just continues to swell up,” Kingsbury said after the fight. “(Maldonado) is like The Terminator. All the footage I saw on him came through tonight.”
Ferguson wasn’t the only “TUF” cast member to prove he could be more than a reality show contestant on the main card Saturday night. Chris Cope likely clinched a UFC future with a unanimous decision win over Chuck O’Neil.
Cope, a semifinalist on the show this season, used his striking to win every round on every scorecard against O’Neil.
Check below for full results from the preliminary card and come back to lasvegassun.com for full coverage later.
Jeremy Stephens defeated Danny Downes via unanimous decision. Two judges scored the fight 30-26 and the third had it 30-27. Although the fight wasn't close, Downes gained a lot of new fans with his performance and heart. Stephens battered Downes with punches in the first, bent his arm in a totally unnatural position in the second and severely bloodied his face in the third. Downes refused to quit from any of it and got a nice ovation for his resiliency.
George Roop scored a TKO victory over former top featherweight contender Josh Grispi at 3:14 of the third round. Roop, a major underdog, dominated the duration of the fight. It ended when he landed a power shot to Grispi’s body.
In another "TUF" 13 fight, Shamar Bailey beat Ryan McGillivray via unanimous decision. All three judges scored the contest 30-27. Bailey may have won easily, but it wasn’t pretty. Bailey relied on his strength to out-wrestle McGillivray, which took away any and all action.
Clay Harvison won a split decision over fellow "TUF" 13 cast member Justin Edwards (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) in a welterweight contest. In what went down as one of the best fights on the card, Harvison rallied to win the final two rounds after falling behind in the first. After trading blows extensively and battling on the ground for 13 minutes, both men were visibly exhausted as the fight concluded. Edwards seemed to take control, and lasvegassun.com had him winning 29-28, but it was too late.
Scott Jorgensen defeated Ken Stone via TKO at 4:01 of the third round in their bantamweight bout. Stone, as high as a 5-to-1 underdog, came out strong and caught Jorgensen with some shots. But the former No. 1 contender capitalized when the fight went to the ground, knocking out Stone with a couple of big elbows.
Reuben Duran defeated Francisco Rivera via submission (rear naked choke) at 1:57 of the third round in their bantamweight bout. Two of the three judges had it tied at 19 going into the final round.