Both Cole Miller and Bart Palaszewski showed up to The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale in career tailspins. Both had dropped two straight, and in the current environment where any kind of losing streak is grounds for being cut, jobs were likely at stake.
In the end it was Miller who likely held on to his position. The featherweight overcame Palaszewki's power striking by taking the fight to the ground, where he earned a submission by rear naked choke.
The finish came at 4:23 of the first round.
Miller easily and surprisingly overwhelmed the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Palaszewski on the ground. He quickly took Palaszewski's back as he tried to escape, and sunk his choking arm under his neck. Palaszewski tried to peel the arm off but was unsuccessful, as Miller dragged him backwards and closed the deal.
"I think I showed in my past that's all I need," he said afterward. "I don't even need a takedown, the moment it hits the floor you've got less than a minute before a submission attempt is coming at you."
Miller improved to 19-7 with his 15th career submission win.
"You don't know how good this feels," he said. "I was coming off two straight losses and certainly considered to be on the chopping block. I'm really emotional because if I lost this fight I'd be on the unemployment line. I can keep my job."
Palaszewski dropped to 36-17.