Real Winners and Losers: TUF 24 Finale

Demetrious Johnson and Tim Elliott
Saturday's night saw an unquestionably great title bout between Mighty Mouse and Tim Elliott. I'm a big fan of both guys, and their little narrative played out in incredibly satisfying fashion. It's one of those bouts in which the two competitors leave the arena with a higher value to the organization. Elliott proved to have made some serious improvements since his first UFC run, and I wholeheartedly believe he deserves to stay in the big leagues for a long time (fans in the Palms certainly believed so). Now, nobody expected him to win. He ultimately didn't, but he was damn close at times. Decisively winning the first round, he's the first athlete to put the Flyweight champ against the wall since John Dodson. On the other side, Demetrious Johnson fully displayed his resiliency and masterful technique, surviving the early onslaught and slowly regaining control. Defending a UFC strap is no easy task, and DJ has done so nine times. In a nutshell, Tim and DJ proved to be true mixed martial artists.

Glenn Trowbridge
If you look at the entire card, you won't find this name. Glen Trowbridge was amongst the judges in the high-octane co-main event between TUF coaches Henry Cejudo and Joseph Benavidez. The bout itself was amazing, with each contestant having his moments. At the end of the bell, we only knew that the result would be very close and that Cejudo had won the first round (although a point was deducted due to multiple accidental groin strikes). Two judges actually saw the fight, and presented entirely respectable decisions: Derek Clearly scored it 29-27 Benavidez, while Marcos Rosales had the same result in Cejudo's favor. However, Trowbridge had it 30-26 for Joseph. An absolutely ridiculous outcome, I fully question his ability to judge in future events.

Jared Cannonier
The Killa Gorilla finally returned to the octagon after a 'Performance of The Night' KO earlier this year. Furthermore, he made his debut in the light-heavyweight division against a fellow power puncher (Ion Cutelaba). The end product? An unbelievable barnburner that received the 'Fight of The Night' recognition. Cannonier really shone throughout the 15-minute war. He looked like a confident killer. At some point, Cannonier decided to drop his hands and get right in front of Cutelaba. Pure savagery! Excited to see where he goes from here.

Ryan Hall
Winner of last year's 'The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs. Team Faber', Ryan Hall waited more than a year before returning to action. In the meantime, he trained with elite coaches such as Firas Zahabi and Ray Thompson. The results certainly showed in his prelims main event versus veteran Gray Maynard. While still based around leglocks and grappling, he displayed the addition of karate moves. He was able to land multiple kicks, outlanding Maynard throughout the bout. Ultimately, he earned a unanimous victory. Now, the reason why Ryan was included in the 'losers' category is the response he received the second the final bell rang. The crowd showered him with boos, and most members of the media criticized his style, accusing him of running away throughout the three rounds. Personally, I enjoyed watching him. But the general consensus seems to be that Hall had a boring performance.

Brandon Moreno
Without a shadow of a doubt, Brandon Moreno is the rookie of the year. After being eliminated from The Ultimate Fighter 24, he took a short-notice bout against top Flyweight contender Louis Smolka. To the surprise of the entire MMA community, he managed to get a first round finish via submission. Just like that, he instantly went from unknown to one of the best 125ers on the planet. 62 days since the magical upset, he obtained his second UFC victory against heavy hitter Ryan Benoit. Since his appearance on the show, Moreno continues to show improvements in his game. With an exciting style, humble attitude, and only 23 years of age, the world truly is his oyster, During his post-fight interview, he asked to face a top ten contender. I can only assume Sean Shelby will happily comply.

Fans During Ellenberger vs. Masvidal
The fourth fight on the main card saw Jake Ellenberger and Jorge Masvidal enter into a promising brawl that was cut short due to a fishy stoppage. Masvidal was getting the better out of the exchanges, hurting Ellenberger multiple times. Halfway through the round, Jake fell and his toe got stuck in the fence. Unable to move, Jorge jumped in and landed some bombs until Herb Dean stepped in and stopped the fight. Deemed a TKO loss for Ellenberger, I believe I speak for most fans when I say the fight should have continued. Yes, chances are Masvidal would have proceeded to secure the finish, but we deserved to see it play out.

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