The conclusion of a back-to-back event fight weekend in Las Vegas on the forth of July weekend crowned two ultimate fighter winners in the light heavyweight and middleweight classes on the TUF 19 Finale. But what will be most remembered this weekend is the fight that concluded a 21-fight UFC spectacle, and the retirement of one of the greatest fighters the sport has ever seen.
Honorable Mentions: Leandro Issa
3rd Star – Eddie Gordon
The entire cast of TUF 19 was criticized mid-season by UFC President Dana White for their perceived boring fights throughout the season. There was nothing boring about the two finals tonight at the TUF 19 Finale. First up was the middleweight final, where Eddie “Truck” Gordon put away Team Edgar teammate Dhiego Lima in just 71 seconds. The Serra / Longo trained fighter landed his heavy right hands on the taller Lima, causing him to move backwards in retreat.
“Truck” continued to land right hand after right hand causing Lima to crumble to the mat, and the referee to step in and call a stop to the bout. Training with UFC Middleweight champion, Chris Weidman, Eddie Gordon is confident that no one he steps into the cage with will be as skilled as his sparring partner.
2nd Star – Corey Anderson
After seeing what his teammate Eddie Gordon did just moments earlier, Corey Anderson followed up and out performed his good friend, in a very similar fashion. The former NCAA finalist out of the University of Wisconsin, showcased his hands in the light heavyweight final against also Team Edgar teammate, Matt Van Buren.
Anderson connected on an incredible 24 of his 37 total significant strikes. Blitzing “Gutter” from the start of the bell, landing clean shots to the head as Van Buren was forced to cover up after taking the first few punches. For good measure, Anderson showed off his wrestling ability–landing two takedowns before finishing the fight on the ground with several follow up punches–in just 61 seconds.
Corey Anderson may just be the #1 star to come out of TUF 19, with his already strong wrestling pedigree, and his continually developing striking. Anderson plans to continue to train with his TUF coach, Frankie Edgar to improve his all-around skills.
1st Star – Dustin Ortiz and Justin Scoggins
The two young and highly talented flyweights put on the fight of the night, despite not being awarded the fight of the night bonus–that went to Tuerxun and Issa. The ATT and Roufusport flyweights gave fans a taste into the future of the division, putting a full 3 rounds of mixed martial arts display.
The pace exerted by the two fighters was incredible, never slowing down and engaging in constant scrambles on the mat. The first round saw Scoggins transition into and narrowly pull off an armbar, but Ortiz somehow escaped and allowed the fight to play out as it did. The two fighters clearly split the first two rounds, and went to the 3rd to decide it.
The 3rd round was close, but Ortiz was able to edge it out with his striking and ending the round in top position, with the judges awarding the split decision to Dustin Ortiz–which handed Justin Scoggins his first career loss in 10 bouts. The 25 year old Ortiz, went to call out Chris Cariaso, wanting to secure his place in the top 10 in the flyweight division.
Regardless of the result, expect both of these flyweights to one day contend for the championship currently held by the reigning flyweight champion, Demetrious Johnson.