LAS VEGAS – Clint Hester spent three rounds testing Bristol Marunde’s chin with kicks, knees and punches.

In the end, it was a relatively subtle standing elbow that dropped “The Ultimate Fighter 16? competitor and kept him down late in the third round, earning Hester a TKO victory at the 3:53 mark of the final round of his UFC debut.

The middleweight bout was part of the preliminary card of The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. It aired on FUEL TV following additional prelims on Facebook and ahead of a main card on FX.

The stoppage didn’t come easy for Hester. After getting off to a slow start, he dropped Marunde for the first time with a right hand late in the opening round. Although visibly stunned, Marunde managed a takedown that helped him ride out the final minute of the round, though ultimately he couldn’t fix the defensive problems that had gotten him there in the first place.

When he wasn’t fending off takedowns from Marunde, Hester had little trouble finding his comfort in the striking game. Hester wobbled the former Strikeforce and IFL fighter with everything from hooks on the feet to upkicks from his back. Marunde gamely held on through one seemingly fight-ending blow after another, but a perfectly timed standing elbow by Hester caught Marunde squarely as he charged in late in the fight, and referee Steve Mazzagatti immediately called a halt to the bout.

“Bristol was a great opponent,” Hester said. “He kept pushing me out there and never gave up. He’s a very smart and experienced fighter, but I started to get the timing on his overhand right late in the first and was able to counter with the jab. He took the fight on two days’ notice, so imagine what he could do on a full training camp.”

“Clint fought a great fight,” Marunde said. “I took this one on very short notice and I’m looking forward to showing what I can do on a full camp.”

Hester (8-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) earned his first UFC victory with the TKO win. Marunde (12-8 MMA, 0-1 UFC) lost his second in a row, following a submission loss to Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in Strikeforce this past May.

Up-to-the-minute TUF 17 Finale results include:

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.

John Morgan contributed to this report on-site in Las Vegas.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

TUF 24 Finale results: Anthony Smith crushes Elvis Mutapcic with vicious second-round elbow

  • 6 days ago
  • 3 views

LAS VEGAS – Anthony Smith utilized his sizable reach advantage against fellow regional vet Elvis Mutapcic, which made a knockout via elbow all the more exceptional.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

TUF 24 Finale results: Jamie Moyle wins UFC debut, shuts out Kailin Curran in bloody fight

  • 6 days ago
  • 15 views

LAS VEGAS – Jamie Moyle looked to make it a gritty, messy affair against Kailin Curran. Thanks to an accidental headbutt that left Moyle gushing blood, she got her wish. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Watch the TUF 24 Finale Post-Fight Press Conference, Shortly After the Event | MMAWeekly.com

  • 6 days ago
  • 7 views

Watch The Ultimate Fighter Tournament of Champions Finale post-fight press conference live following the event. read news >>

TUF 24 Finale results: 'Maestro' Dong Hyun Kim cruises past Brendan O'Reilly for first UFC win

  • 6 days ago
  • 15 views

LAS VEGAS – “Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim’s patient groundwork edged out Brendan O’Reily on the scorecards despite a late-fight rally where he lost positions. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

TUF 24 Finale results: Rob Font wastes Matt Schnell with front kick, knee, ground-and-pound

  • 6 days ago
  • 4 views

LAS VEGAS – Rob Font wobbled Matt Schnell with a front kick, then dropped him with a knee to the jaw. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

TUF 24 Finale results: Ryan Hall kicks, flops way past frustrated Gray Maynard

  • 6 days ago
  • 5 views

LAS VEGAS – Ryan Hall gave Gray Maynard two very frustrating options: Get kicked or go to the ground. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

TUF 24 Finale results: Brandon Moreno survives knockdown, takes split call from Ryan Benoit

  • 6 days ago
  • 5 views

LAS VEGAS – Brandon Moreno proved that his upset win over Louis Smolka was no fluke, but Ryan Benoit made him work to do it. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

TUF 24 Finale results: Sara McMann survives elbows, chokes out Alexis Davis in second

  • 6 days ago
  • 1 views

LAS VEGAS – Onetime title challenger Sara McMann survived a brutal flurry of elbows from Alexis Davis to exact revenge on the mat. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Sara McMann Squeezes Alexis Davis into Submission (TUF 24 Finale Results) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 6 days ago
  • 4 views

Sara McMann topped Alexis Davis in their main card bout at the The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale in Las Vegas on Saturday. read news >>

TUF 24 Finale results: Sara McMann survives elbows, chokes out Alexis Davis in second

  • 6 days ago
  • 3 views

LAS VEGAS – Onetime title challenger Sara McMann survived a brutal flurry of elbows from Alexis Davis to exact revenge on the mat. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>