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TUF 28: Heavy Hitters — Team Whittaker vs. Team Gastelum Finale (11/30/2018) - Las Vegas, NV (Pearl Theatre)


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TUF 28: Heavy Hitters — Team Whittaker vs. Team Gastelum Finale 
November 30, 2018
Las Vegas, NV (Pearl Theatre)

Rafael dos Anjos (170) vs. Kamaru Usman (170.5) - Usman, DEC (unanimous)
TUF 28 Heavyweight Final: Justin Frazier (260) vs. Juan Espino (264) - Espino, SUB (straight armbar), R1 (3:36)
TUF 28 Women's Featherweight Final: Pannie Kianzad (145) vs. Macy Chiasson (144.5) - Chiasson, SUB (rear naked choke), R2 (2:11)
Pedro Munhoz (135.5) vs. Bryan Caraway (136) - Munhoz, TKO (strikes), R1 (2:39)
Darren Stewart (185) vs. Edmen Shahbazyan (185.5) - Shahbazyan, DEC (split)
Ji Yeon Kim (130.5)** vs. Antonina Shevchenko (124.5) - Shevchenko, DEC (unanimous)

Fox Sports 1 Preliminary Card:
Rick Glenn (148.5)* vs. Kevin Aguilar (144) - Aguilar, DEC (unanimous)
Joseph Benavidez (125.5) vs. Alex Perez (126) - Benavidez, TKO (punches), R1 (4:19)
Maurice Greene (259) vs. Michel Batista (262.5) - Greene, SUB (triangle choke), R1 (2:14)
Leah Letson (146) vs. Julija Stoliarenko (145.5) - Letson, DEC (split)

Fight Pass Preliminary Card:
Roosevelt Roberts (155.5) vs. Darrell Horcher (155) - Roberts, SUB (standing guillotine choke), R1 (4:50)
Tim Means (170.5) vs. Rickey Rainey (170.5) - Means, TKO (punches), R1 (1:18)
Raoni Barcelos (135)  vs. Chris Gutierrez (135) - Barcelos, SUB (rear naked choke), R2 (4:12)    

*Forfeits 30% of purse for missing weight
**Forfeits 30% of purse for missing weight

Event Bonuses ($50,000)
Performance of the Night: Roosevelt Roberts
Performance of the Night: Joseph Benavidez
Performance of the Night: Juan Espino
Performance of the Night: Kamaru Usman

Attendance: 2,020
Gate: $204,600
Rating: 399,000 viewers

Cancelled Bouts:
Gilbert Melendez vs. Arnold Allen - Injury to Melendez
Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Antonina Shevchenko - Injury to Evans-Smith
Rick Glenn vs. Arnold Allen - Injury to Allen
Boston Salmon vs. Khalid Taha - Injury to Taha
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Macy Chiasson beat Leah Letson on the final episode of this season's TUF and she will fight Pannie Kianzad in the women's FW tournament final. Justin Frazier will fight Juan Espino in the men's heavyweight final.

 

 

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Pannie and Macy should be a slug fest.  Leah and Julija could be a bloody battle as well. Kim vs. Shevchenko will be interesting because the only fight I have seen of Shevchenko was at the Contender's Series which could have been a tomato can situation. I know this if Kim allows Antonina to get the clinch she is in trouble. 

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At the same time, I can't help but think this season of TUF has kind of been a bit of a washout. The idea of doing 145 Women to fill up the division made sense, with their only being two fighters in the actual division and everything, but even whoever wins the final doesn't at this point, look like a 'beat her and you're ready for Cyborg' level fighter. And none of them Heavyweights really look like contenders either - a few have a geographical advantage in that if you want to run a show in a new Country, you've got a person from there who can be a regional draw for that one show. Which worked out in the past for some of the Swedes and Brits (and Irish and Icelandic people), who were signed to be regional draws and became international draws by winning big matches, but I see this crop more as TUF China level guys.

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It's also a weird season because you had TUF Talk after it then I guess they cancelled it somewhere during the season and then the show in the middle of the season went on vacation for like 4 weeks during Baseball Playoffs. 

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2 hours ago, Hail Sabin said:

It's also a weird season because you had TUF Talk after it then I guess they cancelled it somewhere during the season and then the show in the middle of the season went on vacation for like 4 weeks during Baseball Playoffs. 

I think over the last however many seasons of TUF that run in the fall/winter, they usually go dark for a few weeks during the MLB playoffs. I think that was Fox's decision even though I believe whoever watches (or watched) TUF now are the most hardcore fans. It could go H2H with the deciding game of the World Series and still get the same audience. You'll just have a bigger DVR audience.

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See how on this week's show Leah and Macy were talking about how proud they were to be having the final fight in the cage, was that about this being the final season of TUF? Because it feels like if that actually was the last season, they'd have made a bigger deal about it.

Unless it was just the final American TUF and they're still going to be making international ones for a bit (some of which are filmed in the same house & gym as TUF USA), so it would be a bit of a lie to sell it as the historic final season. Or if they thought they should leave it open to maybe coming back, if a TV company decides they really want it.

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33 minutes ago, AxB said:

See how on this week's show Leah and Macy were talking about how proud they were to be having the final fight in the cage, was that about this being the final season of TUF? Because it feels like if that actually was the last season, they'd have made a bigger deal about it.

Unless it was just the final American TUF and they're still going to be making international ones for a bit (some of which are filmed in the same house & gym as TUF USA), so it would be a bit of a lie to sell it as the historic final season. Or if they thought they should leave it open to maybe coming back, if a TV company decides they really want it.

From my understanding, I think they're working on the future of the American version but all the versions of TUF should it go on will be filmed in a new UFC arena/venue currently being built in Vegas. That same venue will also host Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series. I believe there will be a live crowd as opposed to just fighters, UFC staff, the Nevada commission officials, and family members. The TUF house was sold (or being sold) and the old gym is no more.

I think any official news will come out next month or in January.

 

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Split decision, with "Judge Bird" the dissenting opinion. How novel. Presumably that's Adelaide Bird. How has she not been Mazzagatti'ed out of the sport by now? She's awful.

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1 hour ago, Hail Sabin said:

That angle Roberts got on that standing Choke was wickedly NASTY! 

I'm very happy they showed that fight as a prelims timefiller. That Hangman's Guillotine was crazy.

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Man, I want to be fully on the Usman hype train but his striking hasn't really developed as one would hope. Slow and still tentative. His physical strength and wrestling is still overwhelming that it hasn't mattered to date though.

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11 minutes ago, Oyaji said:

Man, I want to be fully on the Usman hype train but his striking hasn't really developed as one would hope. Slow and still tentative. His physical strength and wrestling is still overwhelming that it hasn't mattered to date though.

Honestly, I've seen worse in terms of striking. He doesn't put himself in a whole lot of bad positions. I'm not worried about him getting clipped randomly like some other guys. It will be probably come back to haunt him, but it's obviously not a detriment.

Kianzad is a bantamweight and probably not the best indicator, but I think Chiasson has some potential of being a real featherweight. However, it's going to take several fights to get her there. They need to find some Bellator retreads that already fought Budd and let her destroy them. Hopefully, they give her some time to develop.

 

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What I was saying as the fighters from this season being regional draws, I wonder what they'll be able to do with Juan Espino. Because I don't know if they have any intention of running a show in Spain, and I'm not sure if he'd be able to be a draw in Latin America. I mean, they wanted Cain Velasquez to be their Mexican superstar, but he wasn't fluent in Spanish and it really hurt him there. But apparently people who speak Spanish Spanish sound super classy to people who speak Mexican Spanish. Like how English accents sound to Americans, only moreso. At the same time, he's 38, not 28. Whatever they're going to do with him, they'd better do it quickly.

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2 hours ago, AxB said:

What I was saying as the fighters from this season being regional draws, I wonder what they'll be able to do with Juan Espino. Because I don't know if they have any intention of running a show in Spain, and I'm not sure if he'd be able to be a draw in Latin America. I mean, they wanted Cain Velasquez to be their Mexican superstar, but he wasn't fluent in Spanish and it really hurt him there. But apparently people who speak Spanish Spanish sound super classy to people who speak Mexican Spanish. Like how English accents sound to Americans, only moreso. At the same time, he's 38, not 28. Whatever they're going to do with him, they'd better do it quickly.

The whole Cain being this Mexican draw was back when they really couldn't grasp what it takes to be an actual draw and sort of the limitations of using Mexican American fighters in addition to native Mexican fighters who train in exclusively in Mexico. I don't think it is much about who can or cannot speak (Mexican) Spanish fluently as it is you cannot shoehorn every fighter into a position and the necessity of letting it happen organically. I mean if you look at the crew of Mexican American fighters from Garden City, Kansas who went to Oxnard or were born in Oxnard from Fernando Vargas to Victor Ortiz to Mikey Garcia, some of those dudes were/are draws and some never were. However, there is a rich history to draw from that with La Colonia Boxing Club going back several years now. You can also add the fighters from Indio when you include the Diaz family. Joel Diaz even has dabbled in MMA over the years by helping Cub Swanson develop into a pretty good boxer. Cain Velasquez simply doesn't have that lineage as an MMA fighter making it much tougher for him. That in turn forces to have connect with the Mexican and Mexican American crowd in ways he cannot do. That's not his fault as much as the UFC hasn't laid the proper groundwork. They thought they would have Julio Cesar Chavez (Sr.) overnight and that's ridiculous especially discounting the uniqueness of him being from Sinaloa. You can't do that with Goyito Perez who is a fun but still average fighter at best. I think they are slowly figuring it out because they rehired Yair Rodriguez after the tiff they had but they are also still using the Henry Cejudos of the world. If Cain wasn't the first in line and came through later, they would have a much better understanding of what they can and cannot do.

As far as Espino goes, I mean they can do a show in Spain whether or not they had a significant draw. I don't think that's a make or break market for them to focus on. I think Espino is a solid fighter especially considering he has an easy avenue to win his fights by just taking you down and just beating you up there. Besides Derrick Lewis, the one punch kayo guys who cannot do much else are being phased out in the UFC. Even Derrick can do a flying jump kick and punch guys into dust on the ground. Age might be a factor for Espino, but it is also heavyweight. He can stick around for a long while or he can flame out quickly. I think there are going to give him some lower level heavyweights to feast on to start off and give him a fringe contender/gatekeeper if and when he gets two or three wins (including the fight he just won) under his belt.

 

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