It will be an all-Team Sonnen finale for The Ultimate Fighter 17 as Uriah Hall and Kelvin Gastelum defeated Team Jones’ Dylan Andrews and Josh Samman, respectively, in the final episode of TUF 17.
For most of the season Hall has been touted as the favourite due to the fact he tends to finish his opponents in devastating fashion.
UFC president Dana White has called him “the nastiest guy in Ultimate Fighter history” and Hall’s coach Chael Sonnen believes he can not only win the show but become a UFC champion.
Prior to his bout against Andrews, Sonnen reaffirmed his feelings about Hall already being one of the best middleweights in the sport in his opinion.
Sonnen told the 28-year-old, "you can beat them all,” and then pointed to a picture of Anderson Silva – the UFC middleweight champion who's widely regarded as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time – that was hanging in the TUF Gym. “Now, I’m not saying that puke’s name, but you can beat them all,” Sonnen added.
Hall vs. Andrews
For the first part of round one Hall and Andrews exchanged strikes but it was Hall doing most of the damage, landing crisp, quick punches and kicks. Later in the round Hall began really picking Andrews apart, even landing a couple spinning kicks to his opponent’s midsection.
In the second round, Hall landed two fast left head-kicks that opened a cut on the side of Andrews’ head. Hall then began finding a home for his jab that busted Andrews open even further. At the halfway point of the round, Andrews shot in and secured a takedown. Hall immediately locked in a kimura from half-guard while Andrews landed punches to Hall’s body.
With 30 remaining in the round Hall released the kimura, retained full guard and began throwing elbows and punches. He then quickly swept Andrews into mount where he landed short right hands that forced a stoppage.
Hall’s win over Andrews was his third straight win by knockout. He also KO’d Bubba McDaniel in mere seconds and sent Adam Cella to the hospital with a spinning wheel kick to the jaw.
Gastelum vs. Samman
Samman started their bout off by landing several strong kicks, but Gastelum followed that up with a takedown. While on his back, Samman attempted two armbars, but Gastelum escaped. Samman went for a kimura and ended up back on his feet in the clinch. Samman went to throw Gastelum to the ground but the 21-year-old Team Sonnen fighter ended up on top and began raining down elbows.
As the two were on the ground Gastelum passed to side control, took Samman’s back and sunk in a rear-naked choke that forced the tap.
It was the second rear-naked choke win for Gastelum on the show. Earlier in the season he tapped McDaniel and picked up a TKO win over Collin Hart.
Gastelum is the youngest competitor in TUF history and by default becomes the youngest fighter to advance to a TUF finale.
Fans can watch two hours of live TUF 17 finale prelims Saturday on Sportsnet ONE starting at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT and catch the main card at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT first on FX Canada then later Saturday night on Sportsnet. Also, bonus early prelims will be streamed on sportsnet.ca starting at 5:30 p.m. ET / 2:30 p.m. PT.
Here are the season's results, fighter by fighter per team, at a glance:
Team Sonnen (Record: 8-6)
Luke Barnatt (1-1, TKO win over Gilbert Smith in episode 2, TKOd by Dylan Andrews in episode 10)
Uriah Hall (3-0, KOd Adam Cella in episode 3, KOd Bubba McDaniel in episode 11, TKOd Dylan Andrews in episode 12)
Zak Cummings (0-1, lost a UD to Dylan Andrews in episode 8)
Tor Troeng (0-1, TKOd by Josh Samman in episode 6)
Jimmy Quinlan (1-1, submitted Clint Hester in episode 7, tapped to strikes from Josh Samman in episode 11)
Kevin Casey (0-2, lost a UD to Collin Hart in episode 4, lost via TKO [failure to answer to bell] to Bubba McDaniel in episode 9)
Kelvin Gastelum (3-0, submitted Bubba McDaniel in episode 5, defeated Collin Hart by TKO in episode 10, submitted Josh Samman in episode 12)
Team Jones (Record 6-8)
Clint Hester (0-1, submitted by Jimmy Quinlan in episode 7)
Josh Samman (2-1, TKO win over Tor Troeng in episode 6, TKO win over Jimmy Quinlan [tapped to strikes] in episode 11, submitted by Kelvin Gastelum in episode 12)
Bubba McDaniel (1-2, submitted by Kelvin Gastelum in episode 5, defeated Kevin Casey by TKO [failure to answer to bell] in episode 9, knocked out by Uriah Hall in episode 11)
Gilbert Smith (0-1, TKOd by Luke Barnatt in episode 2)
Collin Hart (1-1, defeated Kevin Casey by UD in episode 4, TKOd by Kelvin Gastelum in episode 10)
Adam Cella (0-1, KOd by Uriah Hall in episode 3)
Dylan Andrews (2-1, defeated Zak Cummings by UD in episode 8, defeated Luke Barnatt by TKO in episode 10, TKOd by Uriah Hall in episode 12)