In a bout most experts saw as the potential fight of the night, flyweights Justin Scoggins and Dustin Ortiz opened The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale and didn't disappoint, putting on a scintillating bout of action that never slowed for a second.
In the first frame, Scoggins seemed to be getting controlled early, but Scoggins maneuvered for position underneath, locking up an armbar that seemed just moments away from inducing a tap from Ortiz. The Duke Roufus product hung on, however, but the two spent the rest of the round trying to jockey for position either along the fence or in a series of scrambles on the ground.
By the second frame, Scoggins looked to employ his unique sideways karate stance to attack early, but it was Ortiz who would strike first with a double leg takedown that eventually forced Scoggins to his back. Scoggins was able to go back and forth with Ortiz in terms of capturing guard and controlling Ortiz's posture, but it was Ortiz who dictated position, battering Scoggins from top position nearly the entire time.
The third round opened with both fighters exchanging on the feet. Scoggins employed his striking style with fewer kicks and landed with decent effect, but it was Ortiz who scored the bigger punch. Scoggins ultimately elected to time a takedown to put Ortiz and his back, which worked. Scoggins immediately threatened positional advancement, but couldn't secure anything permanent. Ortiz was eventually able to reverse position and ended the round on top.
Ultimately, the judges scored it 29-28 Ortiz, 29-28 Scoggins, 29-28 Ortiz, giving Ortiz the split decision victory. Ortiz climbs to 14-3 while Scoggins drops to 9-1.