The Ultimate Fighter 13 closed out one of its most disappointing seasons with a memorable finale. Tony Ferguson won the UFC contract with a fantastic performance over Ramsey Nijem. Yet it was Clay Guida’s upset over Anthony Pettis that had people talking.
Clay Guida has turned into something of a “Mr. Spike TV” for the UFC. Guida fought in his third live The Ultimate Fighter finale special but did something he hasn’t done in his previous two fights…won. Guida defeated Anthony Pettis by unanimous decision in one of his best technical showings to date.
[adinserter block=”1″]Anthony Pettis was the last WEC lightweight champion before the UFC integrated the WEC into the company. Pettis was set to fight the winner of Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard UFC 125 fight for the UFC lightweight title. Unfortunately nobody expected Edgar and Maynard to fight to a draw and the decision changed everything. An immediate rematch was signed which put Pettis back in play for a fight, a fight that he was supposed to win.
Guida just simply out-wrestled Pettis for three rounds at The Ultimate Fighter Season 13 finale. Guida timed Pettis’ kicks perfectly and took him down at will. Pettis spent most of the fight on his back, yet fought a hell of a fight. Pettis was constantly working for submissions throughout the fight which Guida kept slipping out of. Pettis caught Guida in a real bad way as the second round closed with Guida arguably saved by the bell. Pettis got Guida’s back in the third round for the first time in the fight and looked like he was going to pull off a spectacular come-from-behind win. However, Guida was able to slip out of it and stayed relatively out of harm’s way for the rest of the fight.
I think the amount of talent that Pettis has at 24 is just downright scary. The guy is lethal off of his back and is one of the most crafty submission fighters in all of MMA. Yet I think Pettis’ youth and immaturity killed him in this fight. Remember, Pettis gained national fame with his kick off of the cage against Ben Henderson. It appeared to me that Pettis was more concerned with making Sportscenter again than defending Guida’s wrestling. Pettis would randomly attempt spectacular kicks throughout the fight only to be taken down by the Carpenter. I think tonight’s loss was a humbling experience for young Pettis and with a little bit of maturity, he could turn himself into a machine.
Pettis came into the fight as a -250 favorite while Guida came in at a +190 underdog. Make no mistake about it, this was a huge win for Guida and an absolute MMA upset.
Guida’s win continues to put the UFC lightweight division in total chaos. The good news for the UFC is that the lightweight division has never been this competitive. Clay Guida, Jim Miller, Pettis, and Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez freshen up one of the more stale divisions in the promotion. Unfortunately the division is at a standstill with injuries to Gray Maynard and the champion, Frankie Edgar. Until they can return and decide a winner, nobody is likely getting a title shot.
A win over the number one contender would theoretically put Guida to the head of the pack right? Wrong. UFC president Dana White told reporters after the fight that Jim Miller is still ahead of Guida in the pecking order. With Edgar and Maynard potentially fighting at UFC 133 or UFC 134, I think a Guida vs. Miller fight makes a ton of sense. At the same time, there are a ton of rumblings that Gilbert Melendez will be the next fighter to sign a hybrid UFC/Strikeforce contract like Nick Diaz did, with intentions of shooting Melendez right to the front of the line over everyone. Needless to say the division has never been in more doubt or as exciting.
Tony “Where’s Your Kid” Ferguson knocked out Ramsey Nijem in Round 1 to win the 13th season of The Ultimate Fighter. Ferguson continued to train with Brock Lesnar’s camp coming into the fight. Ferguson looked good and exceptionally confident with his hands. Ferguson dominated the fight for the most part and knocked out Nijem with a fast left hook to end the fight at the 3:54 mark of Round 1.
Ferguson is going to be a real tough fighter to market. Ferguson tried after the fight to cut a sympathetic promo telling Joe Rogan how he wanted to be a role model for kids. However, Ferguson was painted as the villain of the season and arguably stepped over the line in the second to last episode of the season with a house fight. Fortunately for the UFC, TUF 13 didn’t draw the same audiences past shows did so maybe Ferguson will get more of a clean slate than past winners.
[adinserter block=”1″]The early classes of The Ultimate Fighter produced some exceptional talent. Early winners like Rashad Evans, Forrest Griffin, and Matt Serra all won UFC championships. Unfortunately the well has dried up for the UFC with Strikeforce, Bellator, and numerous other MMA companies popping up taking fighters who would have probably wound up on the program, thus offering a smaller pool of quality talent to the competition. Since The Ultimate Fighter 4, no winner has gone on to have any kind of resounding success. Ryan Bader would probably be the best prospect at this point, but he was dominated in his last fight against Jon Jones.
Is Tony Ferguson going to turn it around? I doubt it but I never would have predicted that Rashad Evans would be a world champion either.
Full The Ultimate Fighter Finale 13 results…
Tony Ferguson defeated Ramsey Nijem via first-round TKO
Clay Guida defeated Anthony Pettis via unanimous decision
Ed Herman defeated Tim Credeur via first-round TKO
Kyle Kingsbury vs. Fabio Maldonado via unanimous decision
Chris Cope defeated Chuck O’Neil via unanimous decision
Jeremy Stephens defeated Danny Downes via unanimous decision
George Roop defeated Josh Grispi via third-round TKO
Shamar Bailey defeated Ryan McGillivray via unanimous decision
Clay Harvison defeated Justin Edwards via split decision
Scott Jorgensen defeated Ken Stone via first-round KO
Reuben Duran defeated Francisco Rivera via submission
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