“The Ultimate Fighter 26” Finale emanated tonight (Friday, December 1, 2017) from the Park Theater in Paradise, Nevada. The night was main-evented by the inaugural women’s flyweight title fight between Nicco Montano and late-replacement fill-in Roxanne Modafferi.
The upstart Montano, ranked #14 in the show’s tournament, would take a unanimous decision to become champion in a battle that was fought tooth-and-nail. Modafferi had her moments as the pair traded punches liberally throughout the fight. “The Happy Warrior” even appeared to stagger Montano on two occasions. But the new champion was able to secure well-timed takedowns, win scrambles for top position, and thwart all of Roxy’s submission attempts, including a tight Hail Mary armbar in the fifth that Montano was able to slip out of.
Both women will go home $50,000 richer for their efforts, as their war of attrition won Fight of the Night honors.
The Performances of the Night went to finishers on the main card. The first was bantamweight Brett Johns pulling off an insanely slick calf slicer off a Joe Soto single-leg attempt. Johns reached down and wrapped up one of Soto’s legs, fell to his back, figure-foured his own legs around Soto’s, and pulled down on the foot for the tap. Soto looked in extreme pain. The end came in just 30 seconds.
The other Performance of the Night went to middleweight Gerald Meerschaert for his pulverizing body kick finish of Eric Spicely. “GM3” had to survive a harrowing first frame in which Spicely took his back and fished for the choke for the second half of the round. Once back on his feet in the second, Meerschaert wasted little timing slamming kicks into Spicely’s body. One particularly powerful one folded Spicely in half in obvious agony. No follow-up shots were necessary.
Both Johns and Meerschaert will find an extra $50,000 in their bank accounts come Monday.
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