Welcome to F4WOnline.com's live coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale: A New World Champion, emanating from the Park Theater in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The latest season of The Ultimate Fighter, the 26th American version, wraps up as a brand new champion is crowned as the inaugural UFC Women's Flyweight Championship is on the line in the headline bout.
The main event underwent a huge change yesterday during the weigh-ins, as we noted. Sijara Eubanks was originally to battle for the championship, but was pulled from the bout after being hospitalized due to kidney failure. The title is still on the line as Roxanne Modafferi takes Eubanks' place to take on Nicco Montano.
Montano made it to the finals after defeating Lauren Murphy, Montana De La Rosa and Barb Honchak during the tournament. Modafferi was the top seed in the tournament, and made it to the semi-finals before falling to Eubanks.
Also on the card, the majority of the remaining cast members of TUF 26 will compete, as well as undefeated Sean O'Malley, fresh off an impressive showing on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Sereies, battle Terrion Ware, and former bantamweight title challenger Joe Soto goes for four straight wins against the undefeated Brett Johns.
Follow along with our live coverage of the event beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time with preliminary action all the way through the main card.
UFC FIGHT PASS PRELIMS | 7:30 PM ET/4:30 PM PT
> Gillian Robertson (3-2, 0-0 UFC) vs. Emily Whitmire (2-1, 0-0 UFC)
Robertson lands a counter right hand right off the bat to start. Robertson scores a single-leg takedown. Robertson took the back for a moment but Whitmire was able to spin into the guard and landed a big right hand. Robertson then worked for an armbar from the bottom and got it locked in and Whitmire quickly tapped! First round submission win for Robertson.
Official Result- Gillian Robertson def. Emily Whitmire by submission (armbar) at 2:12 of Round 1
FOX SPORTS 1 PRELIMS | 8 PM ET/5 PM PT
> Ariel Beck (4-4, 0-0 UFC) vs. Shana Dobson (2-1, 0-0 UFC)
Beck fires away with two body kicks. Dobson then lands a jab and then two kicks, including a spin kick. Beck lands a left hand. Beck lands another left hand. She is landing with more volume as Dobson comes forward. Dobson lands a leg kick as Beck lands a left and slips to the mat. They trade high kicks. Beck with two low kicks. Dobson starting to land more leg kicks. They trade at the end. Close round. 10-9 Beck.
They were trading and Dobson landed a big head kick and followed it with a knee. Dobson landed a leg kick and a soft spinning back fist. Beck still pressuring and lands a left hand. Beck with a leg kick and then some left hands to the body. Dobson lands a right hand and then drops Beck with a right hand and Beck is done as the referee stops the fight. Dobson with the big knockout finish to get the win.
Official Result-Shana Dobson def. Ariel Beck by TKO (punches) at 2:53 of Round 2
> Karine Gevorgyan (3-2, 0-0 UFC) vs. Rachael Ostovich (3-3, 0-0 UFC)
Gevorgyan with a couple of quick punches. Ostovich with a right hand and then scores a takedown and is in the guard. Gevorgyan goes for an armbar but Ostovich gets out and they scramble to their feet. Gevorgyan goes for a takedown but Ostovich takes the back on the mat. Ostovich tried to armbar and has it locked in and Gevorgyan taps out! Ostovich with the submission victory in the first round.
Official Result- Rachael Ostovich def. Karine Gevorgyan by submission (armbar) at 1:40 of Round 1
> Andrew Sanchez (9-3, 2-1 UFC) vs. Ryan Janes (9-3, 1-2 UFC)
Sanchez is landing the overhand right early and a leg kick and then scored a takedown but Janes is able to get to his feet. They break the clinch and Sanchez lands a combo. Sanchez lands some more punches as Janes has his chin out high. Sanchez then dropped Janes with a right hand and was landing lots of punches. Janes gets up and then gets dropped again with another right. Janes back up and is trying to run away but Sanchez is landing punches. More big punches from Janes. This fight should have been stopped already. Sanchez with another right hand. Sanchez is gassed out but it still landing punches. Both men landing now. They continue to trade and Janes somehow made it to the end of the round. Sanchez is exhausted. 10-9 Sanchez.
Sanchez lands another big right hand to start the second and Janes eats it. Janes lands a knee but Sanchez fires back with a right hand. Sanchez pushes against the fence and works for a takedown but it is defended. Sanchez starts landing some combos and Janes landed a body shot that took a lot out of Sanchez. Both are landing and Janes now has Sanchez in trouble. Janes rocks Sanchez with a right hand. Sanchez now lands two right hands. They are brawling ugly and Sanchez gets a takedown but Janes gets up and lands a knee. Janes hurts Sanchez with a left hook. Sanchez lands a hard overhand right. Sanchez is even more exhausted. They both survive. 10-9 Janes, 19-19.
They come out firing and Janes is landing big punches. Janes rocks Sanchez with a combo and then lands more and Sanchez drops to the ground and Janes lands more punches and finishes him off as the referee steps in. Big comeback win for Janes as he stops Sanchez.
Official Result- Ryan Janes def. Andrew Sanchez by TKO (punches) at :58 of Round 3
> Christina Marks (8-8, 0-0 UFC) vs. Montana De La Rosa (7-4, 0-0 UFC)
Marks lands a lot of punches that hurt De La Rosa early before De La Rosa established the clinch. De La Rosa with a leg kick. She lands a high kick but Marks grabs the leg and De La Rosa pulls guard and is looking for an armbar. She has it locked in and Marks taps! De La Rosa gets the quick win as this is the third armbar finish tonight.
Official Result- Montana De La Rosa def. Christina Marks by submission (armbar) at 2:00 of Round 1
FOX SPORTS 1 MAIN CARD | 10 PM ET/7 PM PT
> Joe Soto (18-5, 3-3 UFC) vs. Brett Johns (14-0, 2-0 UFC)
Soto went for a takedown and Johns scrambles for a leg and grabs the foot of Soto and locks in a calf slicer and gets Soto to tap out quickly. It was the first move of the fight and the fight last around thirty seconds as Johns remains undefeated.
Official Result- Brett Johns def. Joe Soto by submission (calf slicer) at :30 of Round 1
> DeAnna Bennett (8-3, 0-0 UFC) vs. Melinda Fabian (4-3-1, 0-0 UFC)
Fabian with a couple of quick right hands. Bennett has Fabian pushed against the fence looking for underhooks. Both land some knees in the clinch. John McCarthy breaks the clinch as not a lot of action was happening. Fabian with some kicks and an uppercut. Bennett lands a left hand. Bennett pushes Fabian against the fence and has a headlock looking for a guillotine. Fabian gets out but eats a knee then drops Bennett with a head kick and lands a punch but the round ends before a finish could be found. 10-9 Fabian.
They clinch immediately as Bennett is looking for underhooks. Bennett working for a takedown against the fence. Bennett was going for a takedown but Fabian blocked it by grabbing the fence. That wasn't going to sit well with McCarthy as he took a point away from Fabian and we went back to action in the same position. That needs to happen more. They were split up as Bennett couldn't get a takedown but Bennett went right back for it. They are broken up again. Fabian with a kick and Bennett grabs the leg and goes for a takedown again against the fence. They traded punches late. 10-8 Bennett, 19-18 Bennett.
They trade to start the third. Fabian lands a right hand. Fabian lands another. Fabian with a leg kick and Bennett grabs the leg and pushes the fight against the fence looking for the takedown. She doesn't get it. Fabian lands some knees. Bennett gets a late takedown and lands some punches at the end of the fight. Not a pretty fight. 10-9 Bennett, 29-27 Bennett.
Official Result- DeAnna Bennett vs. Melinda Fabian ruled a majority draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)
> Eric Spicely (10-2, 2-2 UFC) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (26-9, 2-1 UFC)
Spicely lands a right hand and Meerschaert counters with a body kick. Meerschaert lands some left hands and is going back and forth with punches and has Spicely covering against the fence. Spicely lands an overhand right and goes for a takedown and has it and takes the back. Spicely has the body triangle and is landing punches. Spicely landing punches and looking for an opening for a choke. Spicely has his arm around the jaw but lets go. Spicely landing more punches as he can't find an opening for the choke. Spicely went for an armbar but Meerschaert escaped into the guard and lands an elbow from the top. 10-9 Spicely.
Meerschaert is landing with his left hands to start the second. He is mixing to the head and body. Spicely shoots for a takedown but it is stuffed. Meerschaert with a body kick then a high kick. Meerschaert then dropped Spicely with a liver kick and Spicely went down in a heap of trouble and Herb Dean stopped the fight. Big win by liver kick for Meerschaert.
Official Result- Gerald Meerschaert def. Eric Spicely by TKO (liver kick) at 2:18 of Round 2
> Barb Honchak (10-2, 0-0 UFC) vs. Lauren Murphy (9-3, 1-3 UFC)
Honchak looking to establish the jab early. They both land a hard punch. Both standing in the pocket and Murphy lands a right hand. Honchak lands a leg kick. Murphy lands an overhand right. She lands another right hand. They trade punches and Honchak landed a harder right hand. They both land right hands. Honchak with a leg kick. They trade punches late. Close round. 10-9 Murphy.
Honchak coming out more aggressive to start the second. Honchak rocks Murphy with a hard combination. Murphy landed a right hand as she had some time to recover. Honchak attacking the body and legs of Murphy with kicks. Murphy lands a hard right hand. Honchak lands a right hand. Honchak lands another right hand and ducks under a head kick attempt from Murphy. Both land right hands. Murphy shoots for a takedown and gets it but they get back to their feet. They scramble back to the mat and Honchak has top position. Murphy was looking for an armbar but time ran out. Another close round. 10-9 Honchak, 19-19.
They both come out firing in the third. Honchak with a body kick and Murphy grabs the leg and gets the takedown. Murphy in the full guard of Honchak. Murphy landing from the top. Honchak finds an opening and is looking for the armbar. Murphy defends but Honchak turns it into a triangle choke. Murphy is trying to escape and Honchak grabs the arm again looking for an armbar. Murphy able to get out and they scramble to the feet and Murphy takes the back and they go to the mat. Murphy works for a choke but time runs out. Real good fight, and going to be close. 10-9 Honchak, 29-28 Honchak.
Official Result- Lauren Murphy def. Barb Honchak by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
> Sean O'Malley (8-0, 0-0 UFC) vs. Terrion Ware (17-6, 0-1 UFC)
O'Malley with a lot of feints early on and then a high kick followed by two body kicks. O'Malley with a spinning back fist into a kick. Ware lands a right hand and they clinch against the fence. They break and Ware with a high kick. O'Malley lands a left hand and Ware lands a right hand. O'Malley lands a kick. O'Malley with a straight left hand followed by a head kick. O'Malley with a front kick. Ware with a leg kick. O'Malley with a foot sweep as Ware goes to the mat but Ware gets back up. O'Malley lands another right hand. Ware is landing some but O'Malley with more volume landing. 10-9 O'Malley.
O'Malley landing to start the second. O'Malley switching between the head and the legs. O'Malley with a big head kick partially blocked by Ware. Ware lands some knees to the body on the inside. O'Malley lands two straight left hands. Ware lands a combo but O'Malley fires back with a right hand. O'Malley slips as he misses a head kick and Ware follows him to the mat but they get up and O'Malley with a head kick. O'Malley is slowing down. He then lands a combo that stuns Ware. They trade leg kicks and O'Malley goes for a jumping triangle but gives up top position on the mat for a moment. 10-9 Ware, 19-19.
O'Malley with a spinning back kick followed by a front kick and then a right hand and a left hand after Ware landed a leg kick. O'Malley with a right hand and then the jab. Ware is unable to land his punches but does land a leg kick. They trade right hands. Ware misses his punches as O'Malley lands a right hand. They clinch but break. O'Malley with a combo and he is more active this round which could make the difference. O'Malley with a spinning head kick. Ware gets the back. O'Malley with a takedown. They get up and O'Malley lands a big body kick and then one to the head and then scores another takedown. Ware scrambles and gives up his neck. O'Malley was looking for a D'arce choke but Ware slipped out. They clinch late. Great fight. 10-9 O'Malley, 29-28 O'Malley.
Official Result- Sean O'Malley def. Terrion Ware by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
> Nicco Montano (3-2, 0-0 UFC) vs. Roxanne Modafferi (21-13, 0-1 UFC)
UFC Women's Flyweight Championship
They trade punches early. Modafferi lands a nice combo. They are trading and they clinch for a moment. Modafferi with some leg kicks. They trade punches and Montano just misses a left hand. They clinch and Modafferi is looking for a trip as she pushes the fight against the fence. They break. Montano gets an awkward takedown off a Modafferi kick. Modafferi working for an armbar but Montano passes the guard. They both get to their feet. Modafferi with a takedown into side control. Modafferi lands punches and goes to the half-guard. Close round. 10-9 Modafferi.
They are trading and Modafferi rocks Montano with a big right hand. Modafferi on the chase as she has Montano in trouble. They clinch against the fence and Modafferi looking for a takedown. They break and both starting to tire. Montano lands some kicks. Modafferi lands a right hand. Montano now landing punches. Montano with a leg kick and they trade punches. Montano with a combo. Montano with a body kick and they trade punches. Modafferi with a combo. Modafferi with a takedown but Montano trying for a triangle choke. She has it locked in and is landing punches and elbows. Modafferi survives the round. 10-9 Montano, 19-19.
Modafferi lands some right hand as Montano lands a couple of leg kicks. Modafferi with a high kick. Modafferi with a combo. Montano goes for a takedown against the fence but it is defended and they break away. Modafferi lands some punches as Montano counters with a right hand. Montano with an inside leg kick. They trade punches. Modafferi with a body kick. Both missing their punches. Modafferi lands a big right hand. They trade late. Close round. 10-9 Modafferi, 29-28 Modafferi.
Montano clips Modafferi at the start of the fourth. Montano with a high kick. They trade inside the pocket. Left hand from Montano lands. Montano lands a combo while landing some leg kicks and clinches against the fence. Montano with a brief takedown but Modafferi gets up and circles away. Modafferi lands a right hand. They battle in the clinch and Modafferi lands a big right hand that rocks Montano. Montano is able to score a takedown. Montano in the guard but both are landing on the ground. Montano pulls away and Modafferi gets to her feet. 10-9 Montano, 38-38.
They come out trading as this round is going to decide it. They were trading and Montano scored a takedown and is in the half-guard. They get up and break. Modafferi gets a takedown but Montano is able to switch to the top and works to side control. Montano slides to full mount but Modafferi is able to scramble out and they get to their feet. Modafferi lands a knee. They break and they exchange some wild punches and then clinch. Modafferi sweeps and is looking for the armbar but gives up full guard to Montano. Montano lands some punches but Modafferi is working for the armbar and she almost had it but Montano broke loose. She had a chance and almost had it. They stand and trade in the last ten seconds. 10-9 Montano, 48-47 Montano.
Official Result- Nicco Montano def. Roxanne Modafferi by unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 49-46), Montano becomes the new UFC Women's Flyweight Champion