Now that the prelims for the TUF 22 Finale are done, let’s move to the main card. In the headliner, Frankie Edgar will take on fellow featherweight contender, Chad Mendes.
In the TUF 22 lightweight finals, Ryan Hall will face Artem Lobov.
Julian Erosa vs. Marcin Wrzosek
Round 1: Wrzosek with a hard 1-2 to kick things off. Wrzosek plants a big right that stumbles Erosa. Another right from Wrzosek lands. Latter charges in and pushes Erosa to the cage. Wrzosek finally gets the TD after a lengthy battle. Wow. Erosa is hunting for a guillotine. Wrzosek defends but now he’s caught in a D’arce. Wrzosek gets out. They continue to battle in the clinch. Round ends.
Round 2: Both men wing big shots. Wrzosek scores a TD. Erosa fires an upkick, proceeds to get to his feet a few moments later. Wrzosek plants a big left and follow up shot that wobbles Erosa. Latter clinches up. Lands an elbow. They break. Wrzosek gets an easy double leg by the cage. Erosa pops back up. Wrzosek scores another TD after some action on the feet. Round ends. Wrzosek is probably up 2-0.
Round 3: Eros comes out and is chucking big shots. Wrzosek takes a shot low and action is momentarily halted. Erosa fires a nice flying knee that grazes Wrzosek. Nice left from Wrzosek. Latter changes levels, can’t get it and then Erosa scores the TD. Wrzosek is working a guillotine but gives it up. Wrzosek gets to his feet. They clinch up. Another flying knee attempt from Erosa which may have landed more flush this time. Wrzosek seems okay. Nice TD by Erosa. Wow. Erosa is looking for another D’arce but Wrzosek gets out and up. Round ends.
Julian Erosa def. Marcin Wrzosek via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Jason Knight
Round 1: Knight comes out and chucks a big right that misses. Kawajiri changes level and times a nice TD. Knight is working rubber guard. Kawajiri is taking some elbows as he’s trying to defend triangle-choke attempt. Nasty elbows. Kawajiri’s out. Big elbow from Kawajiri. Punches from Kawajiri. Knight creeps up his legs but Kawajiri’s wise to it. More elbows from Kawajiri. Knight is cut under his left eye. Kawajiri almost passes but Knight does a nice job of recovering. Round ends.
Round 2: Knight fires a right, but Kawajiri shoots in, gets the TD. Knight has the rubber guard working again. Elbow from Kawajiri. And another. Knight brings up his legs again but Kawajiri stays down, close to the chest. Kawajiri is moving Knight to the cage. Ref stands them up. Knight threatens with a kick but again, Kawajiri scores an easy TD. Kawajiri passes briefly. Knight could be mounted here. Nope. Gets back halfguard. Kawajiri is looking for a head-and-arm choke. Round ends.
Round 3: Kawajiri blasts Knight with a spinning kick to the body. Nice. Kawajiri gets another TD easily. Knight is trying to work the rubber guard again but Kawajiri moves into halfguard. “Big” John McCarthy stands it up. Kawajiri trips Knight right back down. Kawajiri is in sidemount. Wow. Knight wraps up Kawajiri’s left arm from below. Bit of a stalemate. Ref stands them up. Knight lands a left but Kawajiri gets the TD. Round ends. Gutsy performance by Knight but wrestling and top game of Kawajiri ruled the day.
Evan Dunham vs. Joe Lauzon
Round 1: Dunham with a hard flurry. Nice counter from Dunham. Lauzon tags Dunham with a right as he presses forward. Dunham’s hand speed is impressive early on. Lauzon tries to clinch up. Dunham breaks away but Lauzon clinches up again. Big elbow from Lauzon. Nice knee from Dunham to the body. Each lightweight plants punches. Front kick from Dunham. Latter is winning the striking exchanges. Big right from Lauzon; hard left from Dunham. Nice combo from Dunham that includes leg kick. Lauzon shoots for a TD but Dunham sprawls. Dunham scores a nice sweep to end the round.
Round 2: Dunham wings a headkick that Lauzon partially blocks. Lauzon plants a big left. Lauzon tries to clinch up. Dunham fires in a left. Nice leg kick from Lauzon. Dunham returns with a hard flurry. Latter momentarily takes Lauzon down. Lauzon fires in a knee but Dunham returns with punches. Dunham is cut by his right eye. Hard elbows from Dunham along the cage. Another nice combo from Dunham. And another. Lauzon lands an elbow but that was definitely Dunham’s round. Lauzon should be down 0-2.
Round 3: Dunham pours in some punches. Lauzon gets tagged again coming in. More punches from Dunham. Lauzon walks in and gets grazed with a headkick. Lauzon drops down for a sweep but Dunham walks out. Dunham cracks Lauzon to the body with a left. Lauzon needs to do something fast. He shoots in but Dunham defends. Again, Lauzon gets blasted as he comes in. Another hard left from Dunham. Lauzon threatens with an uppercut but takes several punches in return. Lauzon is all bloodied up. Round ends. Impressive performace for Dunham.
Evan Dunham def. Joe Lauzon (via unanimous decision) (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
Edson Barboza vs. Tony Ferguson
Round 1: Ferguson comes out firing. Wow. Barboza plants a hard shot. Ferguson rolls for a cartwheel kick and is looking for a kneebar. Crazy. Ferguson is throwing up punches and elbows. Barboza is keeping is legs crossed to defend. Ferguson fires in an upkick that was illegal because Barboza was down. Barboza was clearly rocked by the foul. Point is deducted from Ferguson. Barbozza gets tagged by a right but chucks back a head kick. Nice left from Barboza. Crazy pace. Ferguson rolls again for a leg but Barboza defends. Barboza with a nice sweep. Latter lets Ferguson up. Ferguson charges in but eats a hook. Another nice hook from Barboza. Ferguson plants a right but takes on in return. Spinning kick from Barboza misses. Great action. And Ferguson rolls again but Barboza steps away. Nice spinning kick from Barboza to the body. Ferguson with a right. Round ends.
Round 2: Ferguson continues ton come forward but Barboza is chucking back hard kicks in return. Wow. Both Barboza and Ferguson plant elbows that cut both men open. Another nice trip by Barboza. Latter is pouring out blood. Barboza lets Ferguson up. Big right from Barboza. Spinning kick from Barboza but Ferguson ducks under. Crazy. Spinning elbow from Ferguson. Now Barboza shoots in but Ferguson counters. Latter slaps on a D’arce and that’s it. What an unbelievable fight.
Tony Ferguson def. Edson Barboza via submission (D’arce Choke) R2, 2:54
Ryan Hall vs. Artem Lobov
Round 1: Alrighty. This will determine the winner of the TUF 22 lightweight competition. Hall flicks out a couple of kicks. Hall rolls immediately and is hunting for a leg. Wow. Lobov tries to scramble out but Hall quickly jumps on his back. Hall is working the RNC but Lobov calmly defends. Impressive. Hall is still working from behind. Hall is running out of time. Now he picks up the pace with strikes. Lobov is trying to get back to his feet. Elbows and punches from Hall. Round ends.
Round 2: Hall with some kicks. Lobov chucks a big right. Hall rolls again but Lobov steps out. Lobov charges in but Hall drops to his guard. Hall is rolling for a leg again but Lobov steps up and out. Again, Hall drops to his back but Lobov is wise to it. Lobov is standing with his hands by his side. Hall drops and pulls him into his guard. Lobov chucks down an elbow. Hall brings his legs up and is hunting for a heel hook. Lobov defends. Hall is looking for another heelhook but Lobov is wise to it. Round ends.
Round 3: Hall is keeping busy with the kicks again. And yes, Hall rolls again and is attacking the leg of Lobov. Latter defends but Hall takes him down again. Lobov gets to his feet but Hall drops to his guard. Some fans are starting to boo. Hall is going for another leg. Lobov defends but Hall jumps on his back. Lobov needs to score a finish. Now Hall is looking for another RNC. Lobov tries to slam Hall off his back. Round ends. Hall should be the latest TUF winner.
Frankie Edgar vs. Chad Mendes
Round 1: Mendes is flicking the jab early. Latter lands a leg kick. Edgar throws a leg kick but it’s checked. Hard leg kick from Mendes. Edgar feints a TD. Nice 1-2 from Edgar. Another hard leg kick from Mendes. Wow. Edgar blasts Mendes with a right hook and a left and the latter hits the deck. “Big” John McCarthy jumps in and calls it off. Mendes wasn’t out, out, but fight’s done. Huge win for Edgar.
Frankie Edgar def. Chad Mendes via KO (punches) R1, 2:28