The Ultimate Fighter 19 concluded Wednesday night with the final two fights before the live finale. It featured a middleweight bout between Dhiego Lima and Roger Zapata, as well as a light heavyweight scrap between Dan Spohn and Matt van Buren.
The episode heavily featured both fights. In non-fight segments, we saw Chuck Liddell visit Team Penn to help train Spohn. We also saw some of the fighters indulge in alcoholic beverages as their time in the house winded down.
In the first bout, Dhiego Lima tapped out Roger Zapata in well under a minute. He used a quick, devastating armbar that overextended Zapata's elbow and elicited a tapout almost instantaneously. Lima now meets Eddie Gordon in the finale.
In the second bout, Matt van Buren and Dan Spohn put on the fight of the season, a back-and-forth fight with heavy strikes and mixed action. In the end, van Buren knocked out a tired Spohn in the second round. He now faces Corey Anderson in the finale for the six-figure contract.
All four finalists came from Team Edgar, which should make the finals interesting. All the men are familiar with one another, so it should be a tactical chess match.
|Team Edgar 185||Team Penn 185||Team Edgar 205||Team Penn 205|
|Ian Stephens||Mike King||Corey Anderson||Anton Berzin|
|Dhiego Lima||Tim Williams||Patrick Walsh||Josh Fields|
|Eddie Gordon||Cathal Pendred||Matt van Buren||Dan Spohn|
|Hector Urbina||Roger Zapata||Todd Monaghan||Chris Fields|
Notes and Observations
- Wow, did Zapata's elbow bend the wrong way or what? Lima slapped that armbar and committed so fast, Zapata didn't even have a chance to defend. Hopefully the injury wasn't too serious.
- Speaking of injuries, hopefully Lima's foot is okay. On his second leg kick, it sounded like straight foot on shin and he was limping bad after the bout. I would hate to see the only guy who earned all of his finishes in the house out of the finale from an injury.
- It was the last fight of the in-house competition, but we finally got a fight that was highly entertaining. Even Dana White was overly complimentary of the Spohn-Van Buren scrap, especially after how critical he was of Van Buren in the quarterfinals when he fought Chris Fields.
- In looking at the postseason bonuses, Submission of the Season will go to the only man to score a tapout in Lima. It will likely be for his armbar of Zapata. The Knockout of the Season should go to Dan Spohn, but I don't think elimination round fights count, so Van Buren may sneak away with it. Spohn and Van Buren will also likely get the Fight of the Season, so either one of those men may double up on their bonuses.
- My predictions for Sunday night for the coaches fight and the finals are probably not shocking. I will take Frankie Edgar over BJ Penn by decision. In the middleweight finale, I will take Eddie Gordon over Dhiego Lima, mostly because of size and strength, even though I really like Dhiego. In the light heavyewight division, I will take Corey Anderson over Matt van Buren via heavy wrestling attack.