Urijah Faber put away Scott Jorgensen in the fourth round. | Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
The former World Extreme Cagefighting champion coaxed a tapout from longtime friend Scott Jorgensen with a fourth-round rear-naked choke in “The Ultimate Fighter 17” Finale main event on Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Jorgensen (14-7, 3-3 UFC) surrendered to the Team Alpha Male patriarch 3:16 into round four, as he was submitted for the first time in more than six years.
“I’ve known for a long time how tough Scott is, and I got to taste that firsthand just now,” Faber said. “He got me with some punches, and we were going back and forth. [It comes down to] incremental things at the highest level; he made a small mistake, and I was able to capitalize. He’ll be back, and hopefully we’ll fight for a belt someday.”
Still undefeated in non-title bouts, Faber seemed to be a step ahead. He attacked Jorgensen with a variety of strikes, well-timed takedowns and some superb topside grappling. However, “Young Guns” appeared to turn a corner in the third round, where the three-time Pac-10 Conference wrestling champion started to put combinations on Faber, scoring with everything from close-quarters elbows to lead uppercuts.
Faber shrugged off Jorgensen’s gains a round later, as he delivered a double-leg takedown, transitioned to Jorgensen’s back and cinched the choke for the finish.
“I had some close calls in there,” Faber said. “This guy knows my stuff, though. He was able to deflect a lot of my offense. It was one small mistake, and thank goodness I was able to capitalize, because that was one tough fight.”
Hall (7-3, 0-1 UFC) looked out of sorts at times, perhaps caught off guard by his opponent’s willingness to exchange and wade through his punches and kicks. The Team Tiger Schulmann representative did his best work in the second round, where he tagged Gastelum with jabs, delivered a takedown and scored with a beautiful belly-to-back suplex.
Gastelum was not deterred. He secured a pair of takedowns in the third round and, despite being reversed twice, spent enough time in top position to earn the split verdict.
“I can’t even put it in words,” Gastelum said. “I knew he was a good striker, but I was confident in my striking. I worked a lot on it in camp, and you see the results.”
A bloody and weary Tate (13-4, 0-1 UFC) succumbed to the blows 2:55 into round three.
“To be honest, I’ve looked up to Miesha since I started in this sport,” said Zingano, who will coach opposite Rousey on the forthcoming co-ed season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series. “I was scared to death of her, [but] I had no time to show it. I only had time to focus on being my best and bringing everything I had in here and figuring out how to get a win.”
Zingano (8-0, 1-0 UFC) weathered a difficult start, as Tate had the Coloradan on her heels with punches, takedowns and ground-and-pound. The momentum began to shift late in the second round. There, Zingano escaped an attempted heel hook, settled in top position and unleashed elbows and punches from above.
In the third, Zingano struck for an immediate takedown, softened Tate with more ground-and-pound and then let loose with knees when the onetime Strikeforce champion rose to her feet. A final standing elbow dropped Tate to her knees and led referee Kim Winslow to intervene.
“I really appreciate this fight and the opportunities that come with it,” Zingano said. “This is a dream come true. Everything that has happened in my life has led me to this, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the good, the bad and the ugly. This is where I belong.”
Gonzaga dodged a head kick, moved immediately to the clinch and pressed the Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts representative into the fence. However, in his haste to secure a takedown, the Brazilian left his head exposed, and Browne (14-1-1, 5-1-1 UFC) took advantage. A burst of elbows to the side of the head crumpled Gonzaga, who fell limp at Browne’s feet.
McDaniel (21-6, 1-0 UFC) countered Smith’s takedowns with some excellent work off his back. His efforts gradually wore down the muscular wrestler, as Smith left McDaniel an opening on which to capitalize in the third round. Smith answered a takedown with a reversal, only to be ensnared in a triangle choke by the experienced Texan. McDaniel calmly secured his hold and extended Smith’s arm for the takedown.
The 29-year-old McDaniel has won his last seven fights, six of them finishes.“The Ultimate Fighter 17” Finale » • ‘The Ultimate Fighter 17’ Finale Prelims: Miller Submits Palaszewski
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