Welcome to WrestlingObserver.com’s live coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale: Edgar vs. Mendes from The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event is headlined by a big fight in the UFC’s featherweight division as former UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar takes on former title challenger Chad Mendes in a bout that could determine the next title challenger at 145 pounds. In the co-main event, it is the finals of this season of “TUF” as Artem Lobov takes on Ryan Hall. Also on the card is a pivotal lightweight bout as Tony Ferguson puts his six-fight win streak on the line against Edson Barboza. Follow along with our live coverage beginning at 8 PM eastern time with the preliminary card bouts before heading to the main card at 10 PM eastern time.
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Coverage provided by Dave Meltzer
PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1- 8 PM ET/5 PM PT)
LIGHTWEIGHTS- CHRIS GRUETZEMACHER (12-1, 0-0 UFC) VS. ABNER LLOVERAS (19-7-1, 0-0 UFC)
First round: Hard body kicks back and forth. Lloveras landed a right. Chris moved in and went for an elbow. Chris moved into the clinch. Knee by Lloveras. Hard body kick by Lloveras. Another hard body kick by Lloveras. Body kick by Lloveras. Chris landed punches and a low kick. Another hard body kick by Lloveras. They traded knees. Takedown by Lloveras. Chris up. Lloveras has him back down. Lloveras 10-9.
Second round: Trading kicks. Chris landed some punches a low kick and more punches. Lloveras got behind him working for a choke but Chris shook him off. Chris is bleeding from the mouth. Low kick by Chris. Lloveras with a right. Low kick by Lloveras. Lloveas with a hard snapping body kick. Close round. Lloveras 20-18.
Third round: Lloveras took him down right away and got his back. Chris got up and slammed him. Chris now throwing more. Body kick by Lloveras. Chris throwing knees to the thigh. Lloveras trying for a takedown and got it. Lloveras landed a right. Chris with a low kick. Loveras back with a low kick. Another close round. Lloveras 30-27.
Scores: All three have it 29-28 for Gruetezmacher. Rounds two and three were close, surprised but not shocked.
FLYWEIGHTS- JOBY SANCHEZ (7-1, 1-1 UFC) VS. GEANE HERRERA (8-1, 0-1 UFC)
First round: Knee by Herrera. Sanchez dancing. High kick by Herrera. Spin kick by Sanchez but Herrera used it to take him down. Herrera 10-9 close.
Second round: Herrera landed a right. Another hard right by Herrera. Nice right by Sanchez. Sanchez with a body shot. Both started opening up. Herrera cut Sanchez near the left eye. Sanches landing a ton of shots. Knees by Herrera. Herrera tried a flying knee but didn’t land. Good uppercut by Sanchez. Herrera dropped him with a left hook and finished him with a few punches on the ground.
WELTERWEIGHTS- RYAN LAFLARE (11-1, 4-1 UFC) VS. MIKE PIERCE (17-6, 9-4 UFC)
First round: Body kick by LaFlare. Another body kick. Right by LaFlare. Pierce with a high kick. Pierce moved in to try a takedown. LaFlare threw a kick and Pierce is trying to take him down after catching the leg. Pierce tried a high kick but LaFlare grabbed the leg and threw him down as the round ended. 10-9 LaFlare.
Second round: LaFlare with a body kick. Another body kick by LaFlare. Low kick by LaFlare. Body kick by LaFlare. Another body kick by LaFlare. Left by LaFlare. Piece moved in for a takedown attempt. LaFlare blocked the takedown. Body kick by LaFlare. LaFlare with a body kick. Pierce landed a right. LaFlare 20-18.
Third round: Pierce with an elbow. Body kick by LaFlare. Pierce landed some punches. Pierce bleeding from the nose. LaFlare landed a left. Another left, almost a Superman punch by LaFlare. Body kick by LaFlare. LaFlare with a body kick. Left by LaFlare while both missed punches. Hard body kick by LaFlare. Pierce unloading with punches and knees. He landed big left. Great finish. Pierce could take this round with the late flurry, but LaFlare dominated most of the round. 30-27 LaFlare.
Scores: 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 for LaFlare. Some loud boos but LaFlare clearly won the fight.
HEAVYWEIGHTS- GABRIEL GONZAGA (16-10, 11-9 UFC) VS. KONSTANTIN EROKHIN (9-2, 0-1 UFC)
First round: Crowd booing as nothing is happening. Gonzaga threw a punch about 2:45 into the round. Then he went for a takedown that was blocked. Right and left by Erokhin. Gonzaga with a body kick . Gonzaga took him down at the end of the round. 10-9 Gonzaga.
Second round: Gonzaga landed a right. Crowd booing again. And nothing is happening again. This is a seriously horrible round. Gonzaga threw a high kick at 3:20. He didn’t land it, though. Body kick by Gonzaga. Gonzaga almost got a takedown. Knee by Gonzaga from close range. 20-18 Gonzaga.
Third round: Gonzaga took him down to start the round. Gonzaga landed punches from the top. Erokhim scrambled up with about 1:40 left in the round. This fight seriously sucks. Crowd booing as nothing is happening again. Crowd booing loud now that the fight is over. 30-27 Gonzaga.
Scores: 30-27, 30-27 and 30-28 for Gonzaga. Crowd booed he decision. They’d have booed it no matter who won.
MAIN CARD (FS1- 10 PM ET/7 PM PT)
LIGHTWEIGHTS- JULIAN EROSA (14-2, 0-0 UFC) VS. MARCIN WRZOSEK (10-2, 0-0 UFC)
First round: Already more action than in the last fight. Wrzosek hurt him with a punch. Big right by Wrzosek. They are in a clinch against the fence. Erosa has a guillotine but it‘s not tight. Now Erosa is working for a D’arce choke. He gave up on it. Wrzosek 10-9.
Second round: Wrzosek hurt him with a right which almost spun him around. Elbow by Erosa. Wrzosek with a takedown. Wrzosek with another takedown. Wrzosek 20-18.
Third round: Erosa with a takedown. Erosa with another takedown. Crowd is way behind Erosa. He’s trying a choke but doesn’t have it. Wrzosek landed punches late in the round. Erosa’s round so I’ve got 29-28 for Wrzosek.
Scores: 29-28 Wrzosek 29-28 Erosa 29-28 Erosa. A lot of people booing that decision.
FEATHERWEIGHTS- (#13) TATSUYA KAWAJIRI (34-8-2, 2-1 UFC) VS. JASON KNIGHT (15-1, 0-0 UFC)
First round: Takedown by Kawajiri right away. Knight working for a triangle. He’s throwing elbows to Kawajiri’s head. Kawajiri escaped. Kawajiir was using the trunks for a cradle. Kawajiri did enough from the top that Knight is all bloody. Knight has two nice sized cuts, one near left eye and one in the forehead. 10-9 Kawajiri.
Second round: Kawajiri took him right down again. This fight is really boring. Nothing like the Gonzaga fight. But it’s quiet enough here that the most noise is an argument about whether Tyson Fury’s promos are a work. Which, by the way, they are. John McCarthy ordered a stand up. So Kawajiri just took him down again. And he kept him there the entire round. Somebody let Crusher know there isn’t a worst fight bonus. 20-18 Kawajiri.
Third round: Spin kick to the body by Kawajiri Another kick to the body. Knight tried a kick and Kawajiri used it to take him down. Another takedown by Kawajiri. John McCarthy had enough and ordered a standup. They traded punches and Kawajri got him down again. Kawajiri 30-27. No other score possible.
Scores: All three have it 30-27 for Kawajiri
LIGHTWEIGHTS- JOE LAUZON (25-10, 12-7 UFC) VS. EVAN DUNHAM (16-6, 9-6 UFC)
First round: Dunham landed several punches. Lauzon landed a nice left. Dunham landing all kinds of punches including a good uppercut. Now Lauzon back. Trading knees. Crowd is super dead though. Lauzon almost got a takedown. Dunham took him down as the round ended. 10-9 Dunham.
Second round: Dunham with a body kick. Nice low kick by Lauzon. Front kck by Dunham but Lauzon back with a punch. Dunham with punches and knees. Dunahm bleeding from the right eye. Dunham 20-18.
Third round: Dunham in with punches. Punches and low kicks by Dunham. Dunham with a body kick and punches. Nice right by Dunham. More punches by Dunham. More punches and finishing with a low kick by Dunham. Punches and a high kick by Dunham. This was a very different Lauzon tonight. Sad to see. 30-27 Dunham, has to be that score.
Scores: 30-26, 30-27 and 30-26 for Dunham
LIGHTWEIGHTS- (#6) EDSON BARBOZA (16-3, 10-3 UFC) VS. (#7) TONY FERGUSON (19-3, 9-1 UFC)
First round: Both out fast. Barboza landing. Ferguson dove in looking for a heel hook. Both guys on the ground throwing punches. Ferguson kicked him hard in the head on the ground which is so illegal. John McCarthy is pissed. McCarthy called in the doctor. He said Barboza was okay. McCarthy took a point away from Ferguson. He really had to. Both trading punches. Hard kick by Barboza. Nice body shot by Ferguson. Had left by Barboza. Ferguson dove in again looking for something. Barboza with a takedown off a kick. Barboza nailed him with a punch and spin kick. Ferguson landed a big shot. Ferguson again diving for an ankle. Spin kick to the body by Barboza. Hard kick by Barboza. Spin kick to the calf by Barboza. Huge ovation for both. More action than the rest of the show put together. 10-8 Barboza due to the foul point.
Second round: Barboza landed a right. Hard kick by Barboza. Trading low kicks. Hard right by Barboza. Ferguson bleeding from the left eye. Barboza bleeding form the right eye. Barboza took him down with a leg sweep. Barboza bleeding like crazy. Barboza missed a crazy spin kick. Ferguson with a side kick. Barboza went for a takedown. Ferguson sprawled and is working on a D’arce choke and Barboza tapped. Super fight. 2:54
TUF 22 LIGHTWEIGHT FINALS- ARTEM LOBOV (11-10-1 1 NC, 0-0 UFC) VS. RYAN HALL (4-1, 0-0 UFC)
First round: Hall immediately going for a leglock. He moved to a choke. But he didn’t have it. Crowd went crazy at Lobov getting out of it. USA chants. Hall has him in a body triangle. Loud USA chant. He’s back to looking for the choke. Hall 10-9.
Second round: Lobov dropped him with a punch. Hall went low for a leglock but Lobov got away. Hall pulled guard. Hall went for a leg lock but Lobov got up. Hall tried to get him down again. Hall shot in but Lobov is on top. Hall again going for a leglock. It will be interesting how this round is scored. Hall was on his back, but except or he early punch, he had the key offense. 20-18 Hall.
Third round: Hall dropped and looking for a leglock again. He’s also punching form his back. Loov go away. Hall took him down. Hall pulled him down. Lobov up and Hall jumped on his back. He locked him up in a body triangle. Hall is staying behind him in the piggy back position. Hall 30-27.
Scores: 30-27, 30-26 and 30-26 for Hall
FEATHERWEIGHTS- (#2) FRANKIE EDGAR (19-4-1, 13-4-1 UFC) VS. (#3) CHAD MENDES (17-3, 8-3 UFC)
First round: Mendes is smaller then before. Hard low kick by Mendes. Edgar landed a right. Hard low kick by Mendes. Uppercut by Mendes. Edgar with a combo. Another hard low kick by Mendes. Both swinging. Edgar dropped him with a left hook and Mendes face planted and it’s over.