Two contestants fought for the right to stay in the UFC last night (April 13, 2013) as Bubba McDaniel took on Gilbert Smith in the opening bout of The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale main card in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Some bad blood had brewed between both men after McDaniel questioned Smith's ability despite being his teammate in one of the first episodes of the season.
Smith was out to prove he could hang with the big boys, but his efforts bore very little fruit in his first bout under the bright lights.
McDaniel looked considerably sharper than his appearance on the show, flashing a jab and connecting with low kicks and sharp hooks. Smith, to his credit, shot in for takedowns early and often, working his clinch game and doing his best to take the fight to the canvas.
Whenever Smith was able put McDaniel on the ground, it didn't go quite as expected as the veteran was able to hit some pretty basic sweeps to reverse the position and drop some heavy ground strikes of his own.
Smith hung tough, surviving some rough situations and initiating some fun scrambles, but he was primarily on the losing end of them as McDaniel's 26 professional fight experience shone through brightly.
In the third round as Smith faded, McDaniel had him in a real rough spot, taking his back and threatening to finish the bout, but Smith fought back valiantly, grabbing a single leg and diving into top position with a nice sweep.
Unfortunately for Smith, his aggressive sweep put him directly into a triangle choke which McDaniel locked in. McDaniel didn't have the best control of Smith's posture so he finished off the submission by latching onto an arm and extending it to ensure he tapped.