Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was back at it again, as the largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion in the world staged The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 24 Finale last night (Sat., Dec. 3, 2016) from "The Pearl" inside Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. Headlining the event was Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson outlasting Tim Elliott, who earned the opportunity to challenge "Mighty Mouse" after winning TUF 24's "Tournament of Champions." Also, top-ranked 125-pound contenders Joseph Benavidez (No. 1) and Henry Cejudo (No. 2) settled their difference after serving as coaches on the latest season of the TUF, as Benavidez walked away with a controversial split decision after three rounds of action (relive it here).
Biggest Winner: Joseph Benavidez
In what turned out to be a pretty good scrap, Benavidez and Henry Cejudo went toe-to-toe for three round, giving fight fans with an all-out brawl that saw both men fidn success on the feet. Marred by an point deduction for Cejudo after he clipped Benavidez twice below the belt, the Octagon-side judges ultimately awarded "Joe Jitsu" the split decision win, much to the chagrin of fans in attendance thanks to scores like this. Nevertheless, Benavidez improved his win streak to six and inched himself closer to yet another title shot against Demetrious Johnson.
Runner (s) Up: Demetrious Johnson and Tim Elliott
After defeating Tim Elliott in the main event of the evening (full video highlights here), Johnson improved his win streak to an impressive 11 straight victories including nine straight title defenses. In doing so, "Mighty Mouse" got closer to pretty much cleaning out the 125-pound division. Also, he made a case for himself as the next potential champion to vie for another division title at Bantamweight.
Okay, so Elliott came up short against Johnson. However, his stock rose way up after going five rounds with the pound-for-pound best fighter on the planet. I get it, there are no moral victories in mixed martial arts (MMA), but, there are opportunities, and by taking "Mighty Mouse" to the limit, Elliott assured himself some nice matchups moving forward inside the Octagon. He was a massive underdog the proved game, and even managed to rock one of the hardest fighters to hit. Tim proved his worth, and then some, and I look forward to see how he fares against the rest of the division.
Biggest Loser: Henry Cejudo
After losing a whacky decision to Benavidez, the Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler suffered the second loss of his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career after dropping his previous outing to the aforementioned Johnson. While it’s not a career killer for Cejudo, losing two straight doesn’t do him any favors when it comes to getting another crack at the strap. Granted, he was one accidental low blow away from getting the win himself, but in MMA, every point counts. Perhaps a showdown against Tim Elliot is in his near future.
For complete TUF 24 results and coverage click here.