The finale for the Ultimate Fighter 6 (TUF6) television series was staged at the Palms Resort Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The winner of TUF 6 would receive a six figure contract to fight in the UFC. The matchup featured Team Hughes teammate versus Team Hughes teammate. Mac Danzig, the fighter with the most experience in the house, hoped that his superior technique would overcome the brute strength of farm boy Tommy Speer. Amazingly, no one from Matt Serras team made it to the finals despite winning 6 of the 8 fights.
ROGER HUERTA vs. CLAY GUIDA LIGHTWEIGHTS
Huerta is probably best known for being the first MMA fighter to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated. Huerta is unbeaten in fight fights in the Octagon. He likes to throw down and has tremendous conditioning. He faces relative UFC newcomer, Clay Guida. Clay has a wealth of MMA experience and has fought bigger name fighters such as Tyson Griffin and Marcus Aurelio.
Guida came out like an eager beaver and put Huerta on the defensive. Guida took Huerta to the ground with a helicopter takedown and kept him busy. The over-excited Guida also executed an illegal knee to the head while Huerta still had a knee on the ground. The referee stopped the fight to give Guida a warning but Huerta appeared unhurt. After a nice head kick by Huerta, they traded strikes and then went back to the mat. Both men traded being in the dominate position.
The second round featured leg kicks from Huerta and furious exchanges standing toe-to-toe. Huerta was getting the best of the stand-up but Guida was getting in his shots. Frustratingly for Huerta, Guida was able to take Huerta down at will but couldnt inflict any damage. The ground game was exiting to watch. Each fighter flip-flopping his way into a new position or a new submission. Guida appeared to be the quicker wrestler. Standing once again, Huerta landed a flurry of combinations. Guida appeared stunned as he rested for a quick moment against the fence. Huerta came forward to finish him off but Guida ducked under for a takedown attempt but succeeded only in knocking Huerta backward to his knees. When Huerta stood up Guida met him with a devastating uppercut right in the face that slumped Huerta sideways to the canvas. Guida pounced on him with hammer fists and then stood over him reigning down blows. Huerta reached up and bear-hugged Guida for protection. Guida got loose and continued the relentless ground and pound. Huerta was taking uncontested shots to the face that bounced his head on the canvas. Miraculously, Huerta survived the round.
Guida opened the third with a beautiful left jab and Huerta answered it with a kick to the head. Huerta tried another kick but Guida was shooting in and took a knee to the head instead. Guida grabbed a leg but Huerta shook him off. Guida backed up and Huerta charged. Guida shot in and took another knee to the head. Guida staggered back and Huerta followed him landing shots to the jaw. Guida charged for the takedown but Huerta sidestepped like a matador. Exhausted, Guida tackled Huerta again but Huerta remained standing and spun onto Guidas back. Huerta sunk in both hooks, cinched a rear naked choke and waited for Guida to tap out.
A validating victory for Huerta (22-1-1) who was well on his way to losing this fight. He came back in the third round to snatch victory. Clay Guida really put on a show and proved himself to be a relentless fighter of substance but nonetheless drops to 22-6.
Huerta was overcome with emotion during his postfight interview with Joe Rogan, clearly happy to be headlining a UFC event and emerging victorious. He paid respect to the tough Guida, plugged his childrens charity myfight4kids.com and vowed to bring a UFC event to Mexico.
MAC DANZIG vs. TOMMY SPEER WELTERWEIGHTS
Though Mac Danzig is naturally a lightweight, he entered the TUF 6 competition as a welterweight and easily won his three fights to make it to the finals. His less experienced opponent, Tommy Speer, who trains on the family farm with farm equipment, manhandled his way through his three fights beating more experienced fighters like Jared Rollins, George Sotiropoulos and Ben Saunders, all of whom are fighting on the undercard.
But as it turned out, Danzig didnt give Speer a chance to hurt him with his awesome power. When the bell rang, Danzig struggled mightily to get the big farm boy on the mat. But once he did, it was all over for Speer. Danzig quickly got full guard, beat Speer about the head until Tommy rolled onto his back to escape the punishment. Predictably when someone rolls over, Danzig took his back, sunk in both hooks, sunk in a rear-naked choke, stretched Tommy out flat and waited for him to tap. Pure textbook and all within 60 seconds.
Mac Danzig (18-4-1) wins the Ultimate Fighter 6 and the six-figure UFC contract with a first round submission win. With the loss, Tommy Speers Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) record drops to 9-2.
JON KOPPENHAVER vs. JARED ROLLINS WELTERWEIGHTS
Jon War Machine Koppenhaver was eliminated in his first fight by Tommy Speer in week eight. He faces the mohawked, colorful personality, Jared J-Roc Rollins. Jared was also defeated in his first fight by George Sotiropoulos in week seven.
When the bell rang, Rollins went for the early takedown but Koppenhaver eventually came out on top and the fight remained that way the rest of the round. Each fighter did his best to land some blows and keep the action going. Late in the round, still in the guard position, Koppenhaver landed a heavy elbow that opened up a vicious cut over Rollins right eye. When the blood dripped into his eye, Rollins went berserk and landed a barrage of elbows that almost knocked Koppenhaver out of position. Most likely this is when Koppenhaver sustained a cut of his own on the top of his head.
Both fighters came out for the second bleeding profusely. Once again Rollins went for the takedown and once again Koppenhaver ended up on top. It stayed that way for half the round, Rollins throwing elbows from the bottom position. After the ref stood them up, they went back to the mat. This time Rollins got his revenge by staying on top, reigning down blows and pummeling Koppenhaver. Koppenhaver was spared further punishment when time ran out.
In the third, Rollins immediately went for the takedown and Koppenhaver wound up on top and landed some big elbows. Suddenly, both fighters appeared out of gas and the ref stood them up. Only 15 seconds had elapsed. Rollins then pushed Koppenhaver against the fence and landed a knee to the head followed by an overhand left on the jaw and Koppenhaver crumpled against the fence in a crouching position. Big mistake. Since his knees were not on the ground, Rollins kneed him viciously in the head and then punched him in the face. Koppenhaver fell over and Rollins fell into his guard. Koppenhaver laid on his back dazed and exhausted and tried to summon the strength to lift his arms and strike Rollins exposed head. Suddenly Koppenhaver switched over and rolled on top of Rollins and began a seven-punch beat-down that knocked Rollins senseless until the ref stopped the fight!
An excellent fight. Each fighter seemed seconds away from winning the fight. Each of these warriors not willing to give up. With the TKO win, Koppenhaver (6-1) showed amazing fortitude coming back from a severe beating to knock out Rollins (9-4) who was seconds away from a TKO victory himself. In his post fight comments, Koppenhaver was almost in tears for having had to beat his good friend Jared Rollins.
RICHIE HIGHTOWER vs. TROY MANDALONIZ WELTERWEIGHTS
Richie Hightower, who was repeatedly bashed on the show by Mac Danzig for being a weak fighter, won his first fight on the show before being eliminated by George Sotiropoulos in the quarter-finals. He squares off against hard-striking Troy Mandaloniz, who also won his first fight before succumbing in the quarter-finals to Matt Arroyo.
Richie Hightower came out fists flying like a drunken sailor in a bar fight. Mandaloniz absorbed some hard blows before he stunned Hightower with a big right hand on the jaw. But Richie manned after resting up in the clinch. With Richie seeming to peter out, Mandaloniz softened him up with a knee to the face and hard punches. With 40 seconds left in the round, Mandaloniz surprised Hightower with a solid left jab that sent Hightower to the canvas. Mandaloniz jumped on the woozy Hightower with a hammer fist. With Hightower completely defenseless, Mandaloniz landed two more hammer fists before the ref stepped in to stop the fight.
A great fight. Mandaloniz wins with a first round TKO improving his MMA record to 3-1. Hightower looked fierce but blew his wad too fast. Mandaloniz showed he has some deadly hands knocking a guy out with a jab.
GEORGE SOTIROPOULOS vs. BILLY MILES WELTERWEIGHTS
After two big wins on the show, black-belt jiu-jitsu specialist George Sotiropoulos lost to Tommy Speer in the semi-finals. He goes up against the big and strong wrestler Billy Miles, who was eliminated early in episode three by John Kolosci.
With a black-belt jiu-jitsu specialist in the mix, it was little wonder when the fight went to the ground and the inexperienced Miles was eventually grabbed from behind and caught with a rear naked choke a minute thirty-six seconds into the first round.
DAN BARRERA vs. BEN SAUNDERS WELTERWEIGHTS
Dan Barrera is looking to avenge the bloody week six loss he suffered to Ben Saunders that eliminated him from the competition. Ben Saunders was eventually eliminated by Tommy Speer in week eleven, a fight in which Saunders suffered a broken nose.
Unlike the fist-flying action in round one of their first fight, this one was spent grappling. Saunders had his hands full doing an excellent job of avoiding the takedown by Barrera. Saunders landed some good knees and elbows during their scrum.
Round two saw some more wrestling with Dan Barrera on top. Ref had to break-em-up twice for inaction on the ground. Saunders landed a beautiful leg kick to Dans head, but Barrera quickly dove in and grabbed Saunders to avoid further damage.
Saunders opened the third with a nice body kick. Not knowing what else to do, Barrera shot in for the grappling (not the takedown) looking to tie up Saunders and run out the clock on the ground. Saunders was Ok with that, landing shots and elbows where he could. The ref stood em up for inaction but after another body kick by Saunders, Barrera shot in for the ole grapple and run out the clock.
What a disappointing fight. After the fist-flying action of their first fight, it seems both fighters went back to their respective gyms to learn the crowd pleasing art of dragging a fight out on the ground. Saunders gets the unanimous decision and improves his MMA record to 5-0-2. Barrera drops to 1-1.
JOHN KOLOSCI vs. MATT ARROYO WELTERWEIGHTS
Matt Arroyo earned the right to fight Mac Danzig in the semi-finals but had to bow out due to a rib injury. Kolosci enthusiastically stepped up to fight in his place and now owns the distinction of losing to Danzig twice by rear naked choke.
Matt Arroyo won his two fights by first round submission so it was frustrating for him when Kolosci escaped one submission attempt after another. Kolosci slipped out of triangle chokes, arm bars and guillotine chokes. Just when it looked like Kolosci would escape the round alive with a moral victory, he got caught once again in an arm bar and tapped out with 18 seconds left in the first round.
Matt Arroyo (3-1) gets the first round submission win. Kolosci drops to 8-5.
In other fights, Roman Mitichyan beats Dorian Price by Submission (Leg Lock) at 0:23 in the 1st round by ankle lock. Jonathan Goulet beats Paul Georgieff by Submission (Choke) at 4:42 in the 1st round by rear naked choke.
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT FROM UFC PRESIDENT DANA WHITE
Dana announced that a coach for the Ultimate Fighter 7 would be Forrest Griffin, who won the original Ultimate Fighter competition. On the finale, Griffin will fight the other coach who will be announced later. Does that mean the other coach will be Stephen Bonnar or maybe Sam Hogar? Dont rule out Bobby Southworth? Dana promises to shake things up on the new season to break the monotony that comes after six seasons. Lets hope its not like Survivors lame attempts to mix it up with the men vs. women special or the forgettable racially-divided camps edition.