From early days of their time in The Ultimate Fighter house, their roles were cast. Uriah Hall was the flashy, powerful favorite, capable of intimidating the opposition, while Kelvin Gastelum was the inexperienced underdog, the last pick on his team.
It was an unlikely pairing to end the season, but they both survived the tournament structure to meet in the TUF 17 Finale, where the roles finally got upended.
Showing no fear, Gastelum took the fight to Hall, withstood his barrages, and edged him in a split-decision by scores of 29-28, 29-28, 28-29.
"I can't even put it into words," an emotional Gastelum said after completing his storybook finish.
The fight was action-packed. From the beginning, Gastelum let Hall know he wouldn't be intimidated, trading strikes with Hall and taking him down twice. During the opening five minutes, he out-landed Hall 39-19, according to FightMetric.
Hall turned the tide in the second, firing off his jab and letting his legs go in attacking Gastelum's lower body. Hall even scored two takedowns of his own in the round.
The third round was pivotal, and its scoring will probably be debated in the coming days. While Hall no doubt landed the more significant strikes and out-landed Gastelum 35-18, Gastelum scored a pair of takedowns, and had Hall on his back for about the last 75 seconds of the bout.
Hall (7-3) had been a 3-to-1 favorite to win, but instead, it's Gastelum winning the prize. He is now 6-0 in his pro career, and at 21 years old, he is the youngest TUF winner in history.