Michael Bisping got the last laugh, stopping an exhausted Jason (Mayhem) Miller with ground-and-pound in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 14 finale on Saturday.
Miller looked good in the first round, taking Bisping to the mat where he landed some solid punches. But he gassed in the second round, leaving himself easy prey to brutal knees and punches on the mat.
“I feel tired,” Bisping said. “He’s a tough guy. I knew if I was going to finish him, I had to have a high work rate. He’s a tough son of a gun.
“Look, I know you all like to boo me, but I like to entertain. Me and Jason put on a fantastic season of The Ultimate Fighter. Congrats, Jason.”
A disappointed Miller apologized for running out of steam.
“I trained really hard for this fight,” Miller said. “I’m sorry I got tired, guys.
“I can’t make any excuses. For all the boos Michael Bisping gets, he deserves your applause as a fighter.”
Bisping is now riding a four-fight win streak, but admitted he has to iron out the holes in his game if he wants to challenge middleweight titleholder Anderson Silva.
“I wasn’t happy with the first round,” Bisping said. “The second and third were good, but a first round like that against the champion won’t cut it.”
Diego Brandao won The Ultimate Fighter 14 featherweight tournament after submitting Dennis Bermudez in one of the wildest opening rounds of the year on Saturday night.
Though Brandao rocked Bermudez early, he soon found himself scrambling to survive. As he charged in, Bermudez dropped him with a hard right. Bermudez unloaded with huge punches on the ground, but Brandao locked on a lightning-quick armbar for the victory.
“I felt he was off-balance and flipped him over,” Brandao said.
“I know my dad is watching down on me and now I can buy a house for my mother.”
John Dodson scored a stunning first-round TKO victory over T.J. Dillashaw to win this season’s bantamweight tournament.
After landing a clubbing forearm to Dillashaw’s chin, Dodson unloaded with shots on the ground. Dillashaw looked to be scrambling for a single-leg takedown, but referee Herb Dean had seen enough and stopped the bout.
“Words cannot describe how I feel right now. Thank you, everybody!” Dodson yelled.
“You guys have no idea how long I waited to get here. Boo me, cheer me, but please just watch me.”
Tony Ferguson won a questionable decision over Yves Edwards in a stellar stand-up battle.
The TUF 13 winner hurt Edwards early with a series of stiff punches, but couldn’t put the MMA veteran away. In the second round, Edwards turned things around and tagged him with straights, high kicks and knees, busting open Ferguson’s nose. The third was much closer, but it was Edwards who landed the cleaner shots.
However, after three rounds the judges inexplicably awarded it to Ferguson with scores of 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28.
“I give my hat off to Yves right here, man,” Ferguson said. “He came out and threw everything we thought he would. I didn’t want it to go three rounds, but I’m glad it did. I learned a lot.
“I kept going to finish him (in the first round), but he snapped out of it. He kept snapping out of it.”
Johnny Bedford mauled Louis Gaudinot en route to a third-round TKO victory.
However, the story of the fight was referee Steve Mazzagatti’s horrendously late stoppage. From the opening bell of the bantamweight contest it was clear Gaudinot, who normally competes at 125 pounds, was outmatched by the much larger Bedford.
The entire fight saw Bedford brutalize Gaudinot with ground-and-pound. After dropping him with a nasty body shot, Bedford unloaded with knees to the body, forcing Mazzagatti to finally step in and end the slaughter at 1:58 of the third round.
“I’m ecstatic right now,” Bedford said. “I went into the show with one goal in mind and that was to fight in the finals. I came up short on that as Dodson caught me with a good shot.”
Marcus Brimage managed to survive a late surge by Stephan Bass and win a unanimous decision in the final preliminary bout...John Albert made quick work of Dustin Pague, scoring a first-round TKO victory...Winnipeg’s Roland Delorme secured a slick rear-naked choke submission over Josh Ferguson...Steven Siler possibly set a record for the most knees thrown from the Thai clinch during his unanimous decision victory over Josh Clopton...Bryan Caraway submitted Dustin Neace with a rear-naked choke in a battle of Team Miller members.