THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne – now in it’s 10th year!
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ESPN Classic continued their journey through the UFC’s archives this past weekend as they reached the final of the sixth series of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes v Team Serra, featuring Mac Danzig against Tommy Spear in the final and Clay Guida against Roger Huerta in the main event.
It was welterweight action for the majority of the show, beginning with Dan Barrera against Ben Saunders.
This was a good three round ground battle. Barrera tried to seize the initiative by going for the take down, but each time he took the guard Saunders nullified his attack.
The third round saw Saunders on the attack throughout as he took Barrera’s back and went for a rear naked choke. He also scored with a couple of powerful kicks, but in the end he couldn’t put his man away.
The judges gave Saunders the unanimous decision, proving that you don’t have to be on top to attack effectively.
George Sotiropoulos against Billy Miles was next.
Miles began this one with all guns blazing, but it wasn’t long before the Aussie established control, taking Miles’ back, flattening him out and locking in the rear naked choke for the very impressive submission win.
Richie Hightower against Troy Mandaloniz followed.
These two were meant to be best buddies, but that didn’t show in this one. Hightower looked on top for the majority of the fight, but Mandaloniz stayed in contention with some good blows, and he ending up taking the win after one of the simplest of punches – a left jab – dropped Hightower. The referee soon stepped in, giving Mandaloniz the TKO win.
Then it was on to Jon Koppenhaver against Jared Rollins.
From a battle of best friends we went on to a fight between two guys who apparently didn’t like each other very much.
It was an outstanding balls to the wall battle, with neither man holding anything back. Both men were bloodied up at the end of the first, but that didn’t stop them, and even though both were exhausted in the third Rollins dropped Koppenhaver with a big knee. However, War Machine was able to reverse the positions, and soon he took home the win with a relentless ground and pound attack, giving him the TKO win.
The TUF welterweight final saw Mac Danzig taking on Tommy Speer.
The all-Team Hughes battle saw Speer going for the take down early on, only Danzig to take control seconds later, moving from the guard to take Speer’s back so he could synch in a rear naked choke for the great submission win.
John Kolosei against Matt Arroyo followed.
This fight between two Team Serra members proved to be a very entertaining affair, Arroyo went for a couple of arm bar attempts, but Kolosei was able to escape.
However, it was third time lucky for Arroyo as he finally managed to lock in the arm bar for the submission in the final seconds of the third round.
The main event was the only bout fought outside the welterweight division as Roger Huerta took on Clay Guida.
This was an outstanding fight with two different stories. For the first two rounds Guida was able to take Huerta down at will, and he did a great job controlling the fight on the ground and with the striking.
But things changed dramatically at the beginning of the third when Huerta rocked Guida with a knee. Moments later he took Guida’s back and synched in a rear naked choke for the submission win.
In conclusion – while I’m not really a fan of the reality show part of The Ultimate Fighter the finales always deliver, and this was the case with the sixth instalment, and the two main events, especially the Guida/Huerta battle were outstanding contests.
So overall this gets the thumbs up for me. But don’t expect any more TUF Finale retro-type reviews. I’ve already done them all from season seven onwards and it will probably be a while before ESPN Classic get back to seasons one through four again!