Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight up-and-comers Chris Holdsworth and David Grant fought for a "six-figure" contract last night (Sat., Nov. 30, 2013) at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18 Finale from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Team Alpha Male-trained product Holdsworth had the much more visible road to the finals. He defeated Chris Beal and Michael Wooten via submission to earn his spot. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt brought an undefeated (4-0) mixed martial arts (MMA) record into the fight with all four wins coming by submission.
Grant was on an eight-fight win streak heading into the show. He had submitted his opponent in seven of those wins. Grant continued that run by submitting Louis Fisette in the show's quarterfinals. He was unfortunately robbed of a chance to win his way into the finals when his opponent Anthony Gutierrez missed weight.
Grant had a huge opportunity to prove he was the cream of TUF 18's crop. Ultimately he came up short against the favored Holdsworth after an impressive start.
The fight began with Holdsworth pushing Grant up against the cage. Grant cracked Holdsworth with a big shot. Holdsworth responded with a hard right hand of his own. The fighters jostled for position in a clinch battle and began trading knees. Grant threw some good body shots and fought hard to avoid a takedown. As the round came to a close, Grant missed on a throw and Holdsworth was able to capitalize for a brief moment with top position.
The second round saw Holdsworth go for a headkick. Grant ate it before grabbing a leg to go for a takedown. It turned into another clinch against the cage until Holdsworth scored a takedown to land in side control. Grant was bleeding and Holdsworth took his back. The Team Tate fighter sunk in a deep rear naked choke to earn the tap and the contract.
It was a very impressive win for Holdsworth, who appeared to have lost the first frame. Grant was holding an edge in the striking department but Holdsworth was neutralizing that with his clinch work. It may not have been pretty but it was effective. His strategy kept him upright long enough to turn the tide with the second round kick before his ground game took over.
Holdsworth is a tough fighter with lethal submission skills and a strong team behind him. He could have a bright future in UFC's talented Bantamweight division. Problem is he'll eventually have to contend with his famous teammates Urijah Faber and T.J. Dillashaw, who fight in the same division. Holdsworth is still miles away from a confrontation with either of them, however.
He'll most likely get an opponent towards the lower half of the top 20.
Grant will have to go back to the drawing board after the loss. He looked sharp in the first round but couldn't find enough space to unleash his strikes overall. Despite Grant's submission prowess, Holdsworth make it look easy after he took his back. Grant will most likely get another shot in the Octagon; he deserves it.
But if he loses that it will most likely mean a trip back to regional shows.
Chris Holdsworth locked up the TUF 18 contract with a slick submission victory over Davey Grant last night. Will "Holds It Down" become a surprising force in the UFC Bantamweight division?