‘The Ultimate Fighter’ (TUF) season 24 ‘Tournament of Champions’ went down tonight (Saturday, December 3, 2016) from the Palms Resort Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main event between pound-for-pound great Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson and TUF winner Tim Elliott was supposed to be a blowout, but it was anything but. Johnson held on in a competitive fight to defend his title for a ninth consecutive time.
The Fight of the Night, though, went to light heavyweight power punchers Jared Cannonier and Ion Cutelaba. Connonier emerged with a unanimous decision triumph, but the former heavyweight had to eat some heavy leather to do so. The two men engaged in a back-and-forth war, but it was ‘The Killa Gorilla’ who came out on the right side of the judges’ scorecards.
Elsewhere on the main card, Sara McMann nabbed one of the Performance of the Night bonuses with her arm-triangle choke submission of Brazilian and Japanese Jiu-Jitsu black belt Alexis Davis. In one of the finest performances of her career, McMann finished her opponent for the first time since her UFC debut against Sheila Gaff in April 2013. Davis, returning from a long pregnancy-induced layoff, outstruck McMann, but couldn’t stay upright. That ultimately proved to be her undoing, as she was submitted for the first time in her 24-fight career.
The second $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus check went to Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith for his second-round knockout of Elvis Mutapcic. It was not easy.
Mutapcic secured a takedown early in the first round and battered Smith from top position for the remainder of the stanza. Smith turned the tide in the second frame, however. A standing elbow wobbled ‘The King’, and punches kept him on his heels as well. Finally Smith ended the proceedings with another devastating elbow strike that crumpled Mutapcic where he stood. ‘Lionheart’ swooped in to polish off his compromised opponent with punches to cap off the biggest win of his career.
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