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

UFC 201 Results: Underdog Jake Ellenberger Stops Matt Brown in the First

  • 28 days ago
  • 11 views

Jake Ellenberger picked up a big win on Saturday, stopping Matt Brown in the first round of their fight at UFC 201 in Atlanta. read news >>

Tyron Woodley Stops Granite-Chinned Robbie Lawler, Continuing UFC Chaos

  • 28 days ago
  • 13 views

Stepping into the cage for UFC 201 in Atlanta, Tyron Woodley must have felt at least a little bit out of his element. It had been 547 days between fights. In the interim, eight of the 10 UFC title be read news >>

Brock Lesnar’s MMA Career is Done

  • 26 days ago
  • 322 views

Unless Brock Lesnar is somehow completely exonerated for testing positive to a banned substance, he is done with MMA. read news >>

Rafael dos Anjos vs. Tony Ferguson Confirmed TUF Latin America 3 Finale Headliner

  • 24 days ago
  • 11 views

The UFC confirmed on Tuesday night that a lightweight showdown between Rafael dos Anjos and Tony Ferguson will headline TUF Latin America 3 Finale. read news >>

Is a Georges St-Pierre Return Closer Than Ever as He Starts Drug Testing?

  • 17 days ago
  • 62 views

Is Georges St-Pierre as close as ever to a UFC return? He was set to begin drug testing under USADA on Wednesday and said he is negotiating for a fight. read news >>

GSP Joins USADA Testing Pool, 'To Be Eligible to Fight You Need to Be Tested'

  • 17 days ago
  • 9 views

The return of Georges St-Pierre is inching closer to reality with each passing day. He is ready to take the next step. In an interview with Ram Gilboa for Bloody Elbow, GSP let it be known that he is read news >>

GSP Joins USADA Testing Pool, 'To Be Eligible to Fight You Need to Be Tested'

  • 17 days ago
  • 3 views

The return of Georges St-Pierre is inching closer to reality with each passing day. He is ready to take the next step. In an interview with Ram Gilboa for Bloody Elbow, GSP let it be known that he is read news >>

Where Are They Now? Episode 6: Shonie Carter

  • 13 days ago
  • 35 views

Shonie Carter showed up to the Comeback season of TUF with a suitcase of neon shirts and an even louder personality. What’s he been doing since? read news >>

Brock Lesnar’s Temporary Suspension Extended; Prohibited Substances Revealed

  • 4 days ago
  • 56 views

Brock Lesnar's temporary suspension for twice testing positive to a prohibited substance was extended by the Nevada Athletic Commission on Tuesday. read news >>