The fight lasted just 4 minutes, 51 seconds, but it was one of the most exciting rounds of the year in MMA: It had explosive striking from both men in the early going, and a tremendous comeback arm bar from Brandao after it appeared that Bermudez was about to finish him off with punches on the ground.
"I just waited for the right moment to choose the arm bar," Brandao said afterward, before adding that his six-figure UFC contract would take care of his family: "Now I'm going to be able to by a house for my mom in Brazil."
Bermudez got off to a good start, landing the harder punches and grabbing hold of Brandao near the cage, briefly attempting a standing guillotine. A minute later, however, Brandao knocked Bermudez down with a hard punch. With two minutes to go in the first round Brandao landed a hard knee that knocked Bermudez down, and Brandao then got on top and took Bermudez's back. Bermudez managed to get back up, and then a perfect right hand leveled Brandao and left him flat on his back.
Amazingly, Brandao managed to hold on for dear life as Bermudez pummeled him on the ground, and when Bermudez got a little too wild with his punches, Brandao grabbed hold of his arm and rolled over into a textbook-perfect arm bar, instantly forcing Bermudez to tap out.
The victory makes Brandao the featherweight Ultimate Fighter winner, and it also makes him one of the most impressive Ultimate Fighter contestants the UFC has had in recent years. Brandao used his striking to defeat everyone he faced during Season 14 of The Ultimate Fighter, and now he's used his grappling to finish Bermudez in the Finale. Brandao is a rising star.
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