LAS VEGAS -- This is the TUF 11 Finale live blog for the five undercard bouts on tonight's live finale card from the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
The five bouts are John Gunderson vs. Mark Holst, Brad Tavares vs. Seth Baczynski, Kyle Noke vs. Josh Bryant, James Hammortree vs. Chris Camozzi and James McSweeney vs. Travis Browne.
The live blog is below.
James McSweeney vs. Travis Browne
Round 1: Browne, who towers over McSweeney, comes right after him as soon as the fight starts, missing with a big right. A front kick from McSweeney, and Browne punches his way into the clinch. Browne misses with another right and McSweeney smiles at him. They trade kicks, with McSweeney doing a good job of avoiding Browne's attack. Brown rushes in with a kick and punch combo and drops McSweeney. He follows the wounded McSweeney to the mat with some ground-and-pound, all while Rashad Evans screams about shots to the back of the head from McSweeney's corner. Browne gets full mount and unloads with a ferocious barrage of punches. McSweeney covers up and referee Kim Winslow calls a stop to it. The enormous Browne stalks around the cage, screaming in triumph. Even from press row, it's a little terrifying.Travis Browne def. James McSweeney via TKO (punches) at 4:32 of round 1.James Hammortree vs. Chris Camozzi
Round 1: They trade leg kicks right off the bat with both men trying to gauge the distance. Camozzi follows a head kick with a nice right hand. Hammortree follows with a punch combo of his own. Camozzi trips Hammortree with a nifty little foot sweep and then clinches and puts his back against the fence. Hammortree gets back to the center of the Octagon, and seconds later catches a Camozzi kick and uses it to put him down. Camozzi doesn't stay there long before sweeping Hammortree and getting back to his feet. Hammortree appears to have a small cut beneath his left eye. He lands a hard punch that briefly staggers Camozzi, but Camozzi recovers and gets his legs under him again. The round ends with the two tussling in the Thai clinch. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for James Hammortree.
Round 2: They clinch early on with Camozzi looking like he just wants to stay out of the way of Hammortree's punches for a few seconds. Hammortree extricates himself, then tells the referee that he has Vaseline in his eye. This leads to a brief pause while that issue is taken care of. Camozzi shoots for a takedown and Hammortree stuffs it easily before kneeing Camozzi in the gut. Camozzi looking tired now. Camozzi coming on now with knees, but Hammortree fires back and then takes him on his back with a high crotch takedown. Back on their feet after a referee restart, Camozzi continues working the knees to the body. Hammortree looks like he's getting a little sick of that. They end the round in the clinch, both men starting to look fatigued. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for James Hammortree.
Round 3: Hammortree counters a Camozzi kick with a straight right, and Camozzi responds by trying for the Thai clinch again. When that doesn't work, he charges with an knee to the head, then accidentally shoots a kick into Hammortree's bathing suit area. We pause while Hammortree recovers and referee Josh Rosenthal gives Camozzi a talking to. Hammortree lands a good left after the restart, but Camozzi clinches again. Back in the center of the Octagon, Camozzi lands a straight left that bloodies Hammortree's nose, and Hammortree responds with a right hand that pops Camozzi's head back. Camozzi coming on strong in the final minute, but the action stalls against the fence. Hammortree looks for an arm-in guillotine, jumping into guard and squeezing with all he's got. Camozzi holds on until the horn, and we're going to the judges. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Camozzi.Chris Camozzi def. James Hammortree via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27).Kyle Noke vs. Josh Bryant
Round 1: Noke comes out to Men at Work's "Land Down Under," and the fans love it, despite it being the obvious choice. Noke appears to be the quicker fighter once the fight gets underway. Twice he charges straight in with punch combos, but is unable to land much. A leg kick from Noke gives Bryant something to think about, and another one a few moments later helps him make up his mind that they aren't much fun. Bryant tries a left hook and eats a straight shot from Noke. A nice uppercut from Noke, then a straight right and a mean leg kick. Bryant is in pain. A kick to the body from Noke doesn't help any. Noke is battering Bryant's legs. Bryant doesn't have any answer for it, and his left eye is good and swollen to end the round. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Noke.
Round 2: Bryant tries to do some work with leg kicks of his own, but Noke stays out of range well. Noke forces him back with a punch combo and high kick, then tosses him back toward the center of the cage. Bryant seems to be headed for a painful ending. Noke digs a kick into his body, then bashes his legs some more. Bryant is backed up against the cage. He looks like he's unsure what he might do to stop this beating. A right hand from Noke tags him perfectly and knocks him back. Noke follows with a front kick and Bryant crumples. Noke batters him with punches and Bryant turtles up and waits for the stoppage, which comes in due time.Kyle Noke def. Josh Bryant via TKO (punches) at 3:12 of round 2.Brad Tavares vs. Seth Baczynski
Round 1: Baczynski rushes in and gets put on his back by Tavares early on. He uses the fence to work back up, and they both miss with kicks. Baczynski presses him against the fence, then jumps into guard with a guillotine that quickly becomes a triangle choke. Tavares defends well and gets to side control before Baczynski rolls and gives up his back. Tavares looks for the rear naked choke, but Baczynski is defending it well at the moment. The round ends with Tavares still stuck to Baczynski's back, but unable to do much with it. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Tavares.
Round 2: They both come out throwing hard and Tavares briefly considers trying an arm-in guillotine, but lets it go. A big takedown from Tavares slams Baczynski to the mat. Baczynski recovers guard, but Tavares continues looking to pass. Tavares has Baczynski's back, but gets too high and gives up top position. Baczynski only holds it for a few seconds before he's put on his back again, however. He just doesn't have the same level of jiu-jitsu as Tavares, it seems. Tavares ties up an arm from half-guard and drops some short punches on Baczynski's undefended face. Baczynski recovers position before the round ends, but all he's doing is surviving right now. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Tavares.
Round 3: Baczynski doesn't stay at distance long before looking for a takedown. Why he wants the fight on the mat after all the trouble he's had there so far, I can't say. Tavares defends and turns the tables, putting Baczynski on his back once again. Baczynski's using a high guard to try and stop the ground-and-pound from Tavares. Baczynski looks for a triangle, and he might have it. Tavares stands up and Baczynski sweeps him over, cinching it in tighter. Tavares keeps fighting it and finally slips out to cheers from the crowd. Tavares takes Baczynski's back and works for the choke. Baczynski escapes and gets back to his feet. He puts Tavares on his back in the last thirty seconds and unleashes some sloppy ground-and-pound, to little effect. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-10. Brad Tavares def. Seth Baczynski via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
John Gunderson vs. Mark Holst
Round 1: They feel each other out from distance early on before trading high kicks. Gunderson moves in for the clinch against the fence. Holst is looking for a standing guillotine, but Gunderson scoops him up and slams him down. Holst recovers guard and Gunderson tries a little ground-and-pound. Gunderson gets to side control and feeds Holst some short punches. Holst recovers guard and Gunderson lifts him up just so he can slam him back down. We're into the final minute, and Holst has spent almost the entire round on his back. Gunderson stings him with a couple of shots just before the horn sounds. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Gunderson.
Round 2: Gunderson shoots right away and puts Holst on his back easily, looking to rinse and repeat after a successful first round. He passes to side control about a minute into the round, but can't stay there and allows Holst to get the guard back. This fight has turned into a slow grind. Holst can't get Gunderson off of him, but Gunderson can't do much from the top. Finally Josh Rosenthal stands them up. Gunderson flicks out a head kick and Holst takes the opportunity to take him down. They get back to their feet in the final minute and Gunderson stings Holst with a couple of punches before taking him down again. They end the round the same way they ended the first. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Gunderson.
Round 3: Nice left hook from Gunderson to start the final frame. He shoots for another takedown but gets stopped for the first time in the fight. Back in the center, he lands another sharp hook and follows with a takedown after carrying Holst toward his corner. Holst looks for a kimura from his back, but nothing doing. Gunderson continues grinding away at him from the top. Holst's corner shouts at him to 'Do something, stand up!' This advice doesn't seem terribly helpful to Holst right now. Holst looks for an armbar off his back in the final minute. Gunderson stacks him and holds on until the end of the round. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Gunderson.John Gunderson def. Mark Holst via unanimous decision.
Bruce Buffer doesn't see fit to give us the scores, but 30-27 x 3 is a pretty good guess. On to the main card here in a few.