December 4, 2010 was an action packed night for both MMA fans and fighters. With the UFC’s Ultimate Fighter Finale going head to head with Strikeforce’s Henderson versus Babalu, many people were forced to use the DVR tactic to catch all the action.
With the UFC beginning the night with their free event, let’s review the action and some of the resulting storylines. The main event say Jonathan Brookins prevail over Michael Johnson for the crown as the Ultimate Fighter for season 12. In the opening frame, Johnson nearly overwhelmed his opponent with superior striking that saw Brookins hurt on multiple occasions. Unable to score a much needed takedown, Brookins was forced to stay on the feet and weather the storm. However, in the second round, Brookins was able to take Johnson to the ground and proved that is where he’s strongest. Landing multiple punches and elbows he did extensive damage to his TUF 12 teammate and convincingly took the round. Round three was more of the same as an obviously winded Johnson was unable to stuff the last takedown attempts from Brookins. Brookins maintained position and continually pushed the action on the ground to show how important cardio endurance is for any mixed martial artist. In the end he walks away with a place on the UFC roster in a lightweight division that is getting increasingly challenging.
UFC veteran Stephan Bonnar was able to out duel Igor Pokrajac for three rounds in the co-main event. The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 alumni pushed the pace of the fight and controlled the action on both the feet and the ground. An interesting incident occurred when both fighters were penalized a point for illegal strikes. In the second round, with Bonnar in his half guard and firmly laying on his back, Pokrajac landed three knees to the back of Bonnar’s head, which cut him open. Referee Steve Mazzagatti took one point from the fighter at the end of the round. However, in the third round, Bonnar landed three punches to the back of Pokrajac’s head while in a scramble for positioning. He was also deducted one point for his actions. This was one of two moments that rose the ire of UFC broadcaster Joe Rogan as he explained why he believes the striking rules for MMA need to be overhauled.
The most memorable event from The Ultimate Fighter Finale will involve an action packed fight and the resulting judge’s decision. For the first time ever, a featherweight MMA matchup was featured on a televised UFC card. Semifinalist Nam Phan stood toe to toe with UFC/WEC veteran Leonard Garcia. The back and forth action saw Garcia use his well known “full steam ahead” fighting style and push the pace while Phan landed clean strikes from various angles. With the first two rounds split 1-1, everything came down to the third round and both fighters laid everything out there. As the score cards were read, viewers could see shock on both fighters’ faces. Garcia won by split decision, 29-28(twice) and one score of 30-27 for Phan. Everyone in the arena was shocked with the outcome as fans started spewing chants and Rogan even called both fighters one their opinions. Garcia stated that he believed he had lost the fight and apologized to fans who were still booing the decision. It didn’t end there as Rogan goes on to spend multiple minutes scolding the Nevada State Athletic Commission and the judges who are assigned to these events. This result once again shows that in 2011 something needs to be done about how MMA contests are judged.
Full Fight Results
Jonathan Brookins defeated Michael Johnson by Unanimous Decision
Stephan Bonnar defeated Igor Pokrajac by Unanimous Decision
Demian Maia defeated Kendall Groove by Unanimous Decision
Rick Story defeated Johny Hendricks by Unanimous Decision
Leonard Garcia defeated Nam Phan by Split Decision
Cody McKenzie defeated Aaron Wilkinson by Submission (Guillotine Choke – 2:03 in the first round)
Ian Loveland defeated Tyler Toner by Unanimous Decision
Kyle Watson defeated Sako Chivitchian by Unanimous Decision
Nick Pace defeated Will Campuzano by Submission (Choke – 4:33 in the third round)
Pablo Garza defeated Fredson Paixao by KO (Flying Knee – 0:51 in the first round)
Dave Branch defeated Rich Attonito by Unanimous Decision
You can also follow The MMA Zone on Twitter here.