WE ARE LIVE at the Palms in Las Vegas for 'The Ultimate Finale 12'. Spike TV will kick into action at 9PM/8c for the televised portion of the card. But there's plenty of action beforehand that you won't want to miss out on. WARNING: There are spoilers.
Later tonight, Demian Maia will face Kendall Grove. Stephan Bonnar will battle Igor Pokrajac. And in the main event to determine this season's winner of The Ultimate Fighter, Jonathan Brookins will square off against Michael Johnson. Action is already underway, so lety's get cracking.
But first, depending on when you see this, there may be SPOILERS! Come back later if this is something you're worried about!
David Branch vs. Rich Attonito
Cornerman alert: Dave Branch is seconded by John Danaher. Attonito has Howard Davis Jr. Branch is an early favorite for walkout music of the night with "Casualties of War". Eric B and Rakim for those of you under thirty. Attonito walking to what is apparently Diddy. Josh Rosenthal is your referee.
Branch pushes Attonito into the cage early and gets a couple knees in. They break and it's back to the boxing. Raging Bull gets a hook and Branch goes to the wrestling. He gets on top of Attonito and they roll of the fence. Branch works from the high guard, Attonito scrambles but Branch keeps control, moving into half guard. Attonito gets back to his feet but Breanch controls the head and gets him back to the ground. Rich pushes off the cage and takes control, pushing Branch into the fence.
Branch tries a hich kick and Attonito closes in with punches. Branch gets Attonito back on the cage. Danaher refers to David Branch by his full name every time. They trade knees until Branch can get behind Attonito. He's keeping control but noth much more than that. Back to the knees for Branch. Branch tries to throw but Attonito hangs on and tries to take the arm home. No dice and Branch gets side control. Branch gets away from the fence with a minute left in the round. More of Branch maintaining.
Branch again tries the head kick. He muscles Attonito down and jumps on his back immediately. He's got Attonito's back on the fence until he dumps him on his back again. Working from guard, he drops a couple shots. Branch works to improve position, again taking Attonito's back. Attonito turns in and takes a few more shots before thinking better of it. A minute left in the fight. Branch raining down lefts from the back. Attonito stands of it but Branch is right back on him, throwing knees to the thigh from behind. Branch gets a few punches to the thigh and there's the horn.
Winner by unanimous decision, David Branch (30-27) (30-27) (30-27)
Pablo Garza vs. Fredson Paixao
History here as this is the first fight in UFC at 145.
Walkout music alert: Paixao wants to party like it's your birthday. Please make all necessary arrangements. Also, 6'1" at this weight is just scary looking, Pablo. Boos for referee Steve Mazzagatti.
Nice leg kick by Garza and a big right hook on the cage. Paixao shoots in and EATS a flying knee. Congratulations, Mr. Garza. That one will make highlight reels. Just devastating. He dives in for an academic followup, but Mazzagatti dives in to stop the madness.
Winner by KO, Pablo Garza
Nick Pace vs.Will Campuzano
Pace walks to Eminem, but at least it's not another fighter walking to "Lose Yourself" again. Pace is under the gun here, as he already missed weight. Making 135 is hard, sure, but he'd do well to win and win convincingly.
Quick stand up exchanges until Pace pushes Campuzano into the fence. Pace gets him down into half guard. Some action on the ground before Pace gets some short left hands in. Pace has a modified mount, on Campuzano's knees. Back to the feet but Pace gets a trip to the ground.He takes his odd mount again and gets some more shots to the face. Back to the feet and Pace pushing against the cage until he can negotiate another takedown. Campuzano works back up but Pace gets his back and rides him to the ground. That'll do it for the round.
They keep it on their feet until Campuzano clinches up and Pace gets it to the fence. He's trying for a takedown but Campuzano gets the left arm. Pace completes the double leg. There's a whole lot of control and not much else going on. Campuzano to his feet and his back is on the fence again. With about 10 seconds left Campuzano gets a takedown but it's hardly enough to steal the round.
Campuzano takes a swipe, rather than touch. He lets his hands go and both sides get a couple shots in. Pace gets another takedown, in the center of the cage this time. Campuzano took a good shot in there somewhere, because that's a bloody nose. He takes the top and gets a couple shots in. He's getting in some good ground and pound. Pace kicks him off but Campuzano's back in there with a shot. Pace tries to work rubber guard but Campuzano pulls out and takes side control briefly. Pace gets that rubber guard and works a triangle. He's got 45 seconds to do it. And boy howdy Campuzano tapped in a hurry without a whole lot of time left. Looks like he had the shin like a triangle, then a forearm under the neck. Looks like we're calling that The Pace.
Winner by Submission (4:33 of Round 3): Nick Pace
Kyle Watson vs. Sako Chivitchian
Two of the men left in Jonathan Brookins' path to the finals face off. Watson here with Marc Fiore of HIT Squad and Andy Main of Team Koscheck. Sako Chivitchian has Dave Camarillo behind him, as he's been at AKA getting ready for this one. Herb Dean the third man this time.
Watson with early kicks. They clinch up, Sako with the edge there, pressing him on the cage. Watson turns him around. Watson tries a suplex but nothing doing. Watson with some knees in the clinch until they break and it's back to the kicks. They trade knees, clinched again, and Watson is having a terrible time trying to take Sako down. Finally a trip gets him down, and Sako pops right up with Sako's back in control. They let their hands go and play a little "whaddaya got?" Watson gets him on the cage again, and down, but Sako's up quickly and in control of the clinch. They trade hands again. Watson tries a kick and there's the horn. "Old Balls" offers a high five but nothing doing.
Watson connects early, but Sako can take a few. He gets an inside leg kick and follows with a left. Watson tries a Superman punch and finds nothing. Sako takes control, pushing Watson to the cage briefly. Sako whiffs a hook. Watson gets the superman punch but it wasn't flush. A clinch knee catches Sako low, so we'll take a breath.
Kyle Watson gets a body kick, and they trade a bit before more evenly matched work clinching on the cage. Sako goes for a throw but Watson hangs on and gets his back. That's the round, and this one is hard to call so far.
Sako throws and tries a head kick but it doesn't take. Watson goes for that superman punch again. Sako's been pushing the pace and if it stays like this, that may be good enough to win. Watson finally gets an awkward takedown but they're back up almost immediately. With two minutes left, they keep trading, Watson gets most of a head kick. Kyle bullies Chivitchian against the cage and we get more clinch work. Watson with a late body kick and the judges have a tough call to make here.
Winner by Unanimous Decision: Kyle Watson (30-27) (30-27) (29-28)
Ian Loveland vs. Tyler Toner
Loveland of enormous trout tattoo fame walks to "Voodoo Chile", but no Hulkster feather boa.
Loveland drops him hard and early with a big uppercut but it's not enough to finish. Toner gets two on one on the arm but Loveland is landing some solid gorund and pound. Loveland in control, but Toner able to keep from taking any real damage. Loveland able to drop a couple elbows. Loveland maintaining posture and taking shots when he can. It won't finish, but he'll get plenty of points.
And Toner has a knot on the left side of his head that you'd be sure an Eagle scout tied. "The Barn Owl" gets another uppercut and a flurry. Toner gets a leg kick in and follows with a jab. A few more exchanges and Loveland gets a knee to the body. Loveland gets a spinning backfist that drops his opponent but Toner hangs on and gets mission control. He cinches a reverse triangle but Loveland pops out. Loveland continues to work ground and pound.
Loveland, by the way, is a ringer for the kid from the "Harry Potter" movies. Toner throws a headkick but it's blocked. Toner with a combo but Loveland follows up with his own. Barn Owl with a few body shots. Loveland gets a nice left hook but these guys are slowing down. They keep trading shots without much followup. Loveland whiffs another Shonie Carter Special. Toner gets an inside leg kickand one more decent exchange but this one's going to the cards.
Winner by Unanimous Decision: Ian Loveland (30-27)(29-28)(30-26)
Cody McKenzie vs. Aaron Wilkinson
The Daywalker walks to James Brown, which is really pretty awesome. "I Got You (I Feel Good)". And that's Rampage Jackson behind him. Cody McKenzie with Stealer's Wheel's Dylan-esque pop bubblegum classic "Stuck in the Middle With You". You may know that better as the Reservoir Dogs ear scene song. Watch the cauliflower, Aaron. Chris Tognoni your ref.
McKenzie dashes and gets the takedown. Wilkinson tries his own guillotine, Cody going for his McKenzietine. He's working for the choke and throwing some shots for good measure. Cody gets on top and he's still working the guillotine. He cranks and cranks and gets it across the jaw... but it was good enough to get the submission!
Winner by Submission (2:03 of Round 1, Guillotine Choke): Cody McKenzie
"I just got a twitter, hit me up!", he tells Joe Rogan. You heard the man.