The main card of The Ultimate Fighter Season 14 finale just got underway with a stellar bout between standout cast members Louis Gaudinot vs. Johnny Bedford.
During the season, both fighters showed a lot of promise, but neither was able to make their way into the finals.
Eager to impress since being eliminated from the tournament, both men came out tonight looking to prove a point, and Bedford was the one who ending up proving his point, defeating Gaudinot handily via third-round TKO.
It was a dominant performance from Bedford, who seems to have improved significantly since his time on the show.
What we'll remember about this fight
Anytime a fight ends in a stoppage, it's likely that's what people will most remember, and this trend is especially true when it comes to unusual stoppages.
Bedford was able to earn the TKO victory using knees to the body, which is uncommon in MMA.
Another fighter to finish using knees to the body is Georges St-Pierre, who used that technique to finish Matt Serra back at UFC 83.
Perhaps after tonight, we will see this technique used more frequently inside the cage.
What we learned about Louis Gaudinot
He's probably better off at flyweight.
Standing at just 5'3", Gaudinot is small for a bantamweight and should consider a drop in weight.
If he continues to fight at 135lbs, he will be at a size disadvantage in many of his future fights and will be susceptible to larger fighters bullying him and controlling the fight, which is what we saw happen tonight.
What we learned about Johnny Bedford
He's improving and learning how to use his size.
It's clear that, since leaving the TUF house, Bedford has been working diligently to improve his skills in all areas.
Bedford's stand-up looked more technical, and his stance was somewhat upright, which complemented his height advantage and made it difficult for Gaudinot to reach him.
On the ground, Bedford used his size to smother and tire Gaudinot, frequently passing into dominant positions and forcing Gaudinot to carry his weight.
Bedford is not yet ready for top contenders in the bantamweight division, but if he continues use his reach and size advantage—which he will enjoy over almost everyone in the division—this kid could be a serious contender in the next couple years.
What's next for Johnny Bedford
The loser of T.J Dillashaw and John Dodson would be an appropriate next opponent for Bedford.
In fact, he specifically stated after the fight that he would like to fight Dodson again, who defeated Bedford in the semifinals of the tournament.
What's next for Louis Gaudinot
Unfortunately for Gaudinot, there's a reasonable chance he will be cut after tonight's performance.
Not only did he lose the fight, but it was an underwhelming performance in all areas.
If the UFC brings him back, there's a good chance he will be matched against Dustin Pague or Josh Ferguson, both of whom are also from TUF 14 who were unsuccessful this evening.