Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to "The Chelsea" at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the second day in a row as The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 22 Finale: "Edgar vs. Mendes" event goes down live tonight (Fri., Dec. 11, 2015) on FOX Sports 1.
Catch all the action LIVE with a main card start time of 10 p.m ET (for up-to-date TUF 22 Finale results click here).
Below is everything you need to know to stay on top of TUF 22 Finale in "Sin City."
Who: Frankie Edgar vs. Chad Mendes
What: TUF 22 Finale
When: Fri., Dec. 11 2015, beginning at 8 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1
Where: "The Chelsea" at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada
How To Watch: FOX Sports 1 main card at 10 p.m ET; FOX Sports 1 "Prelims" undercard at 8 p.m ET
Live TUF 22 Finale results: Play-by-play coverage stream right here
Why It Matters: Sure, another TUF champion will be crowned this evening in Las Vegas, but nobody really cares all that much about UFC's mediocre reality show.
The real importance of TUF 22 Finale is the outstanding main event that pits two of the best fighters in the world without UFC titles against each other.
Prepare yourself fight fans, as former UFC Lightweight champion Frankie Edgar will battle three-time 145-pound title-challenger Chad Mendes in a highly anticipated fight that could absolutely steal the show during this incredible three-event weekend.
What's Hot: Let's delve a bit deeper into TUF 22 Finale main event.
Many pundits believe Edgar to be the best fighter in the world currently not holding a UFC title not named former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
"The Answer" was a four-time UFC Lightweight champion before dropping to 145 pounds to battle the legendary Jose Aldo in an epic title fight way back at UFC 156. More than two years after his unanimous decision loss to the Featherweight kingpin, Edgar has won four straight and is in a position to fight for UFC gold once again.
But, there is just one more roadblock: Chad Mendes.
"Money" has been as close to the apex as anyone in the Featherweight division, but two losses to Jose Aldo and a short notice loss to Conor McGregor has given the Team Alpha Male veteran the unenviable position of being deemed a fighter who simply can't win the big one.
Regardless of his inability to capture UFC gold in three attempts, Mendes is undoubtedly one of the best fighters in the world today, and also gave Aldo his toughest battle to date back at UFC 179.
Mendes vs. Edgar is a dream match up, pitting two of the very best and most exciting 145-pounders against one another in their primes.
Whoever takes home the victory in Vegas tonight absolutely deserves to fight the winner of the UFC 194 title fight between Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo.
What's Not: Does anyone really care about TUF anymore?
The show just wrapped its 22nd season, and has been dwindling in viewership and intrigue for several years. In an attempt to revitalize the show, UFC brass brought in Conor McGregor as a head coach, but even he could not make the MMA reality show exciting.
One of the only fascinating parts of TUF was recently done away with as well, when UFC brass inexplicably opted to pair opposing coaches against each other who won't eventually fight.
To make matters worse, the Finale fight this evening features two fighters who lost on the show for the first time in history.
Artem Lobov was brought back into the competition after losing his preliminary fight via decision, and Ryan Hall was gifted his spot in the final when Saul Rodgers ran into visa issues in the lead up to TUF 22 Finale.
With very little game changing talent coming off the show in the last several seasons, is it finally time to take TUF out to pasture?
Jason Knight (vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri): "The Kid" will make his UFC debut tonight on short notice against Japanese MMA legend Tatsuya Kawajiri. Knight is 12-2 in his career, boasting a very impressive 11 finishes. Fighting mostly on regional events, Knight has yet to fight any noteworthy opponents in 14 career MMA bouts.
Artem Lobov vs. Ryan Hall: Lightweights Artem Lobov and Ryan Hall will battle for TUF glory this evening, both seeking to become the next TUF champion. Lobov trains with Conor McGregor, and even though he has an uninspiring 11-10 record, he has the power to end a fight in an instant. As for Hall, the world Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion makes his highly anticipated debut inside the Octagon, but could prove to be too green on the feet to stand any chance tonight.
Julian Erosa vs. Marcin Wrzosek: TUF 22 semifinalists will battle for a UFC roster spot tonight on the "Prelims." Neither Erosa or Wrzosek impressed the masses on the show, so it will be intriguing to see if either man can put together a dominant performance to capitalize on the opportunity.
Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Abner Lloveras: Stunningly, UFC brass opted to give even more TUF 22 competitors a shot at a UFC roster spot, and Chris Gruetzemacher and Abner Lloveras will have a chance to prove their worth this evening. Again, neither man was very impressive on the show, so it will be interesting to see what they bring to the table tonight.
Original Card vs Actual Card:
I can't remember the last time a UFC event didn't lose a major fight because of injury, and tonight's event is no different.
Khabib Nurmagomedov was set to return to the Octagon against Tony Ferguson tonight, but an injury to "The Eagle" gave Edson Barboza the opportunity to take the fight on short notice.
Rising prospect Mirsad Bektic unfortunately pulled out of his scheduled affair against Tatsuya Kawajiri, and was replaced by UFC debutant Jason Knight.
Saul Rodgers was initially slated to fight Artem Lobov in TUF Finale, but visa issues forced him off the card, giving Ryan Hall the opportunity to fight for TUF glory.
How The "Prelims" Look: For a TUF Finale, not too bad.
There are only four "Prelims" bouts, but Ryan LaFlare vs. Mike Pierce should be intriguing, and Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Konstantin Erokhin is the only Heavyweight bout of the weekend.
Ultimately, if you miss the four "Prelims" fights altogether, it wouldn't be a major loss by any means.
Who Needs A Win Badly: This portion is reserved for fighters who could be fighting for their jobs tonight rather than contenders or title challengers needing victory. Let's take a look at those who need to pull it together:
None of the fighters on TUF 22 Finale are guaranteed to be cut with a loss tonight, but all of TUF 22 competitors need to fight with urgency in order to keep their roster spot.
As for the other fighters on the card, it seems most will continue to fight for UFC at least once more even with a loss in Vegas.
Interest Level: 7/10
For a TUF Finale, this is about as good as it gets.
Obviously, the main event is a PPV worthy fight, and throwing in Joe Lauzon, Edson Barboza, Tony Ferguson and Tatsuya Kawajiri make this event very intriguing.
While I could not care less about TUF fights or the Finale, the rest of the event features several fights I am excited to watch, and should provide a fantastic night of MMA action.
Check out the full TUF 22 Finale card right here:
FOX Sports 1 Main Event:
145 lbs.: Frankie Edgar vs. Chad Mendes
FOX Sports 1 Main Card (10 p.m. ET):
155 lbs.: Artem Lobov vs. Ryan Hall (TUF 22 lightweight final)
155 lbs.: Tony Ferguson vs. Edson Barboza
155 lbs.: Evan Dunham vs. Joe Lauzon
170 lbs.: Ryan LaFlare vs. Mike Pierce
145 lbs.: Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Jason Knight
FOX Sports 1 Prelims (8 p.m. ET):
265 lbs.: Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Konstantin Erokhin
125 lbs.: Joby Sanchez vs. Geane Herrera
155 lbs.: Julian Erosa vs. Marcin Wrzosek
155 lbs.: Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Abner Lloveras
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire TUF 22 Finale fight card on fight day (click here), starting with the FOX Sports 1 "Prelims" bouts at 8 p.m. ET before moving on to the main card line up at 10 p.m. ET.
See you then!