In the main event Kendall Grove was able to get back on the winning track against the former UFC middleweight champion taking the split decision victory after three rounds. Grove used elbows along the fence, knees to the body, and a strong clinch game to nullify the offense of Tanner, who looked like a shell of the fighter he once was.
In the second round Grove almost stopped Tanner with an elbow to the face that staggered his opponent, and followed up with elbows and knees. Tanner showed the gritty heart he has always shown, but it looked like he was physically broken after the exchange, a stark contrast to a man that was once known for exceptional cardio. You have to wonder if his well publicized history of alcohol abuse has taken a toll on the body of the former champion, who was never able to get his offense rolling.
Grove was impressive and controlled much of the bout avoiding most takedowns and getting up quickly even if he found himself on his back and worked a steadfast game to put his career back on track. My last two fights everybody here has seen. I was embarrassed, he said following the bout. He even had words for Patrick Cote and Jorge Rivera, both of whom hold recent knockout victories over him. Even thought you kicked my ass, I thank you guys. You made me mature as a fighter. Grove is back on the winning track after taking what has to be the most important fight of his career.
Amir Sadollah over CB Dollaway
The Final bout of the Ultimate Fighter 7 was a quick one. After eating a handful of front kicks, CB Dollaway drove in and secured the takedown on Sadollah and worked on the ground and pound assault that most expected from the All-American wrestler. Sadollah was unable to get off his back despite some desperate squirming and ate some solid punches from Dollaway in the process. That would go on to be all the offense that Dollaway would muster on this evening, and soon after Sadollah went back to the same submission that got him into the finals. With a beautiful transition he locked in the fight ending armbar to defeat Dollaway for the second time in a row, and win the title of the Ultimate Fighter 7. Dollaway raised his hands in protest to the stoppage after the separation screaming what the fuck, but he did tap once, and referee Herb Dean rightfully stepped in to stop the bout.
Sodallah was subdued in the post fight presentation of his award and appeared almost underwhelmed after the bout. I am blown away by the fact that that just happened, and I am talking to Joe Rogan, he said calmly afterwards. I always wondered if I would hear those word, and I just heard them, and I like it. Amir Sodallah is the winner of the Ultimate Fighter 7.
Diego Sanchez over Luigi Fioravanti
Diego Sanchez employed a new and improved stand up game to stop Luigi Fioravanti with strikes in the third round of a fight where he won without taking his opponent down. A head kick was the beginning of the end, stunning Fiorivanti who stumbled to one knee before standing up again only to receive a knee to the forehead that dropped him to the mat against the fence. Sanchez followed up with a flurry of punches, and while they didnt land cleanly his opponent offered little in the way of an intelligent defense, and the referee had no choice to step in and stop the bout.
Sanchez was able to drop his opponent three times in the bout and the third time was the charm for the intense fighter who looked frustrated by his inability to take the fight to the mat. In the past his ability to take the fight to the mat has always dictated his ability to win, and this time he was able to win without the takedown against a man that was supposed to be the superior striker. 4:07 seconds of the third round was the final time for the winner of the original Utimate Fighter. It has been a long time that people have underestimated the striking ability, he said. Joe Riggs wasnt a fluke, I am back.
Spencer Fisher vs. Jeremy Stephens
A good fight saw Spencer Fisher win a decision over Jeremy Stephens. Fisher was able to control most of the stand up and employ a very active and sometimes unique ground and pound assault that Stephens could not control. For his part Stephens worked valiantly to regain guard when he was out of position and work for submissions or strikes off his back but Fisher was too busy and kept his younger opponent on the defensive for most of the fight. Stephens takedown attempts were futile usually resulting in putting himself in a bad position in the first two rounds. At the end of the second and the third Stephens was able to get the takedown and went as far as to cut Fisher with an elbow but it was too little too late for the young fighter who has trained with Fisher in the past. The King bounces back from a loss to Frankie Edgar and gets back on the road to a potential lightweight title shot with the victory over a game opponent. I knew I better be in good shape because he is a tough guy, he said after a bout that lasted longer than some had expected. The guy is tough as crap. Stephens for his part goes back to the drawing board, in this his third professional loss.
Matt Riddle vs. Dante Rivera
In a somewhat slow fight, Tom Riddle controlled much of the action to secure the decision victory after three rounds over Dante Rivera. Twice Riddle had the mount position but wasnt able to finish Rivera, the first time losing the position going for a futile armbar attempt, and the second time losing it to the end of the round in the final round. Rivera just could not get his offense rolling landing a few overhand left hands but little else in a fight spent primarily in the clinch where Riddle appeared to be the stronger fighter. It was actually Riddle who was able to become closer to finishing with a submission over the jiu-jitsu brown belt almost securing a triangle armbar in the second round. Rivera actually said that he would retire if he lost this fight but squashed those rumors right away saying he would not do so when speaking to Joe Rogan after the fight.
Dustin Hazelett defeated Josh Burkman by Submission (Arm Lock) at 4:46 in the 2nd round by arm bar.
Drew McFedries defeated Marvin Eastman by Technical Knock Out at 1:08 in the 1st round .
Matt Brown defeated Matt Arroyo by Technical Knock Out at 3:30 in the 2nd round .
Dean Lister defeated Jeremy Horn by Guillotine at 3:58 in the 1st round.
Rob Kimmons defeated Rob Yundt by Guillotine at 3:52 in the 1st round.
The Tim Credeur vs. Cale Yarbrough bout was scrapped after Tim Credeur told the Athletic Commission that he had used Adderill, a prescription medication. The Nevada State Athletic Commision will not take action against Credeur because he informed them at the weigh-ins of the possible positive test.