By Jaime C. Feal
From the Pearl at the Palms in Vegas, and live on FX, “The Ultimate Fighter Season 15” Finale didn’t disappoint those who watched. Max “Blessed” Holloway, the youngest fighter on the UFC roster at 20 years old, systematically broke down Pat Schilling with an incredible displaying of striking and vicious body shots. Earlier in the night, Justin “The American Kidd” Lawrence, the #1 overall pick on this season of TUF, was featured in a fight against John Cofer. Lawrence landed a spectacular head kick knockout, with Cofer sleeping before he ever hit the mat.
Featherweight Division (145 lbs.):
Jonathan Brookins (13-4) vs. Charles “do Bronx” Oliveira (15-2, 1 NC)
Oliveira with a leg kick to open the round. Body kick by Oliveira, Brookins with a nice counter right. Brookins clinches and the fighters exchange knees to the body. On the break Oliveira lands another body kick. Now a nice right from “do Bronx.” Sick flying knee by Oliveira, but Brookins works a body clinch takedown off it. Oliveira looking for an armbar from his back, loses it. Brookins backs away and lets him up. Oliveira pushing the pace on the feet, lands some more leg kicks. Overhand right from Oliveira staggers Brookins, but he recovers enough to clinch. Oliveira looking fantastic with his striking, best he’s looked on the feet in the Octagon. Oliveira rushes forward and lands several more shots on Brookins. Finally Brookins fires back and connects enough for Oliveira to get his respect. Big knee from Oliveira. 10-9 round for Oliveira.
The featherweights touch gloves to begin round 2, and Oliveira goes right back to work with the leg kicks. Good combo by Brookins, his best of the fight. Brookins clinches Oliveira against the cage. Brookins almost slapping his opponent now, Oliveira doesn’t seem fazed. Oliveira comes forward with strikes and then shoots for a single leg. Brookins defends with ease and works for a guillotine. Brookins gets taken down but has Oliveira in his full guard with a guillotine choke. Oliveira breaks free and lands two elbows. As soon as Brookins tries to sit up against the cage to wall walk, Oliveira deftly slips his arm under the chin to set up a Brabo choke. Brookins is trying to defend but Oliveira has the Brabo choke locked up, now he sits back to increase the pressure. Brookins tries to roll out but finds himself even deeper in the choke, and is forced to tap out. Oliveira becomes the first man to submit Brookins.
Charles “do Bronx” Oliveira wins by submission (Brabo choke) at 2:42 of Round 2.
Lightweight Division (155 lbs.):
Mike “Maverick” Chiesa (7-0) vs. Al Iaquinta (5-1-1)
Iaquinta comes forward with a straight right. Chiesa in his southpaw stance on the outside. Chiesa throws a leg kick that is caught, and Iaquinta uses it to press his opponent against the cage and land a flurry. Chiesa shoots for a single and briefly gets Iaquinta down, but Al gets back up fast. Chiesa misses with a head kick. Iaquinta with a nice left hook to the body. Nice superman punch by Iaquinta. Al catches the leg again but misses with a right hook, and Chiesa gets a body lock. Chiesa eventually drags him down, and gets both hooks in. Chiesa immediately begins working for the rear-naked choke. Iaquinta is fighting the hands but getting warned by ref Herb Dean not to grab the inside of Chiesa’s gloves. Iaquinta defending well but is warned again by Dean not to grab the gloves. Now Chiesa is able to fight off the hands and slip in his right arm under the chin, and his left on top of the head. The rear-naked choke is fully locked in, but Iaquinta refuses to tap. Iaquinta trying to pull Chiesa’s hand off his head, Dean checks his arm for a sign but it is limp. The fight is stopped and the unconscious state of Iaquinta is revealed. Impressive and shocking finish for the latest Ultimate Fighter, Mike Chiesa.
Mike “Maverick” Chiesa wins by technical submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:47 of Round 1.
Welterweight Division (170 lbs.):
Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger (27-5) vs. Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann (19-5)
Fighters circling on the outside, pawing with their jabs, and trying to find the range, Ellenberger steps in with a right hand and uppercut combo but misses. Now Ellenberger unleashes a hook combo with everything blocked, until the last shot, a devastating left hook that drops Kampmann bad. Ellenberger pounces on his downed foe with right hands. Kampmann is against the cage in survival mode. Ellenberger not accurate enough with his shots, Kampmann regains guard. Ellenberger holding “The Hitman” down, but not doing much. Halfway through the round. Kampmann working for a guillotine choke. Ellenberger passing to half guard to try to defend buyt his head is still in. Guillotine is not tight but Kampmann is always dangerous with this position. Ellenberger pops his head up and Kampmann stands. The welters clinch on the cage, and Kampmann goes for a clinch takedown but can’t get it. 10-9 round for Ellenberger.
Ellenberger with a leg kick, Kampmann with a nice counter right that rocks Ellenberger. Jake retreats to the cage and lands some hooks. Now Ellenberger unleashes with a flurry that bloodies Kampmann. “The Hitman” is reeling backwards, legs wobbly. Ellenberger doesn’t rush in wildly, trying to stay composed. Kampmann regaining his footing, coming forward. Ellenberger gets hit with a short right that puts him off balance. Kampmann comes forward and clinches. “The Hitman” starts throwing knees, the third of which drops Ellenberger, wincing in pain. Kampmann is ready to pounce but ref Mazzegatti stops it right there. Huge upset win for Kampmann.
Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann wins by TKO at 1:40 of Round 2.