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

Pacquiao vs Mayweather live stream of final press conference

  • 27 days ago
  • 22 views

Watch the final Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather press conference in a live stream, right here at Bloody Elbow. After 7 years of circling each other, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are now ju read news >>

Anderson Silva subject to out-of-competition testing in taekwondo tournaments

  • 27 days ago
  • 12 views

Anderson Silva is willing to get "embarrassed" while trying out for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but the former UFC middleweight champion will also be subject to random, out-of-competition dr read news >>

Mayweather vs Pacquiao Secret Weapons: Floyd's Lead Right (technique video)

  • 27 days ago
  • 5 views

Bloody Elbow's Connor Ruebusch breaks down the mechanics behind Floyd's sniper-like lead right hand. read news >>

Luke Rockhold: Illegal elbow on Lyoto Machida? Blood spurts from 'top of his ear'

  • 27 days ago
  • 255 views

It’s a good time to be Luke Rockhold, who likely cinched up a title shot with a remarkable recent performance. However, he still takes issue with complaints that his win over Lyoto Machida resulted f read news >>

Beyond the Octagon, part 2: TUF runner-up Wang Sai, Marlon Sandro, Hiroyuki Takaya, and "Ninja" Roberts

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

In part 2 of this week's BtO, Marlon Sandro travels back to Japan to face prospect Isao Kobayashi, UFC vet Daniel Roberts looks to get back in the win column, and TUF: China runner-up Wang Sai embark read news >>

Heavy Hands 49 - Mayweather vs Pacquiao: Three Keys to Victory

  • 27 days ago
  • 3 views

Bloody Elbow's Patrick Wyman and Connor Ruebusch take a long, hard look at Mayweather vs Pacqauio, giving their three keys to victory for either man, and ultimately picking the winner. read news >>

Steve Bosse drops to middleweight, meets Thiago Santos at TUF: Brazil 4 Finale

  • 28 days ago
  • 3 views

Steve Bosse will finally make his UFC debut in June. The Canadian fighter, who stepped in as a ‘plan B’ for Quinton Jackson vs. Fabio Maldonado at UFC 186, is now set to face Thiago Santos at The Ult read news >>

Steve Bosse vs. Thiago Santos added to TUF: Brazil Finale in Sao Paulo

  • 28 days ago
  • 7 views

Steve Bosse will make his UFC debut after all, and in hostile territory, as he takes on Thiago 'Marreta' Santos in Sao Paulo at the TUF: Brazil Finale. Just as he was promised, Steve Bosse got anothe read news >>

Should the UFC strip Jon Jones? The Bloody Elbow Roundtable discusses

  • 28 days ago
  • 4 views

Jon Jones hasn't gone to trial yet, but some people are already calling for his title to be stripped. Is that the right move? No matter how this whole thing washes out, it looks like Jon Jones is in read news >>