It’s the final episode of The Ultimate Fighter and the entire season comes down to the final fight. How convenient, right?
This week’s episode wastes little time in letting everyone know what the final match-up will be. American Top Team went with their best fighter thus far on the show, Hayder Hassan. It will be Hassan’s third fight of the short season, but Hassan did finish his first fight in quick fashion.
Countering ATT for the Blackzilians was Vicente Luque. He scored perhaps the biggest upset of the season by defeating veteran Steve Carl earlier this season. It was surprising that the Blackzilians didn’t pick Kamaru Usman, considering he, like Hassan, owns two victories this season.
As a reminder, here’s how the two teams stack up.
AMERICAN TOP TEAM: Marcelo Alfaya (0-1), Hayder Hassan (2-0), Nathan Coy(1-1), Michael Graves (1-1), Sabah Homasi (0-1), Uros Jurisic (0-1), Steve Carl (0-2), Cristiano Souza
Round one had plenty of fireworks. Luque connected early on, but he looked the worse of the two fighters in terms of visible damage with a bloody mouth. However, Luque visibly rocked Hassan on a number of occasions with his strikes. To his credit, Hassan persevered and threw back plenty of his own heavy shots. Luque scored with a powerful blast double-leg takedown, but Hassan managed to get back to his feet and create separation. The round ended with both fighters giving each other a nod of approval.
In round two, Luque scored early with a strike, sending Hassan stumbling to the ground. Hassan regained his footing, but he was clearly fighting on fumes. Who wouldn’t be after having to fight for a third time in the matter of a few weeks? Hassan managed to land with enough force to keep Luque honest, but the Blackzilians fighter landed the better shots throughout the round. In particular, Luque landed a lot of short hooks off Hassan’s jab. Luque closed the round with a failed takedown attempt and held Hassan against the fence.
The judges deemed the fight to be a draw, therefore sending it to a third round. Hassan’s coaches preached to their fighter that they believed Luque would quit in the final round. Meanwhile, the Blackzilians coaches told their fighter to utilize intelligence in the final frame. Both fighters landed plenty of shots, but Luque landed a takedown in the final two minutes. He wasn’t able to do much, but he did manage to score some points. As the final minute of the round ticked away, both guys took turns trading heavy shots. It was amazing that either man managed to survive the late onslaught.
This fight was by far the best of the season, full of action from beginning to end.
WEEK 12 RESULT: Hayder Hassan (American Top Team) def. Vicente Luque (Blackzilians) by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Minutes after the final fight, the opposing teams had to choose one fighter to represent them in the finale. The winner of the fight will score a cool $300,000 for their respective team, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle for themselves and the TUF trophy. For the finale, American Top Team chose Hassan, while the Blackzilians chose Usman. The two men will square off at The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale.
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