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'TUF 7 Finale' Review: Sadollah wins contract

The TUF 7 Finale brought us a rematch between Amir Sadollah and CB Dollaway Saturday in Las Vegas for the rights to call themselves TUF 7 Champion. But the event also brought us fights like Diego Sanchez vs. Luigi Fioravanti and Kendall Grove vs. Evan Tanner.

In the first fight of the night, Matt Riddle took on Dante Rivera. "I'll retire if he beats me," said Rivera before the bout. Imagine if it came to that.

The first round was all about the clinch and knees inside for both combatants until the very end of the stanza when Riddle gained a takedown. From there he connected with a few elbows. Then the bell.

A very close round. The takedown may have allowed Riddle to steal it.

The second round saw Riddle take Rivera down almost immediately. Soon after, though, he decided to stand and kick Rivera's legs until letting him up. Then it was back to the clinch.

Inside, Rivera started landing some strong shots in spots. However, Riddle continued to press him up against the cage and hit home with knees. Then more clinch work.

Suddenly, Rivera hit home with a hard left and followed up a little too aggressively, allowing Riddle to graze him with a right and then move to mount on the ground. After some ground and pound, Riddle went for an armbar that didn't come close to working; thus, Rivera ended up on top. But Riddle, to the shock of many, nearly pulled off an armbar from his back at the end of the stanza.

The second goes to Riddle. Rivera may need to win by stoppage; it's close.

Riddle connected with a big knee early in the final stanza. Then after some more knees inside, he pulled off a big takedown. While on top he executed some solid ground and pound before deciding to stand. Soon after, he gained another takedown.

Due to a lack of action, the referee stood the two fighters up.

But Riddle once again gained a takedown and then immediately transitioned to the mount position. Several strikes later and the bell sounded.

Matt Riddle clearly won this one.

Matt Riddle wins via unanimous decision.

"I know he's afraid of me," said Spencer Fisher before his fight with Jeremy Stephens. Of course, Rocky used to say that fear was your friend as a fighter. Would it be Stephens' friend?

Stephens gained a takedown early on, but Fisher immediately got back up. Then Stephens pulled Fisher down into his guard, which was somewhat puzzling. Along with this, Fisher hit home with some ground and pound. Soon after, Stephens began connecting with some very nice elbows from his back before going for a triangle that missed, which allowed Fisher to move to half guard. From there, "The King" connected with some very hard elbows for a significant period of time.

Then Fisher mounted Stephens. But moments later, Stephens was able to get his opponent back in his guard. Still, Fisher connected with some serious ground and pound for the rest of the round until the bell tolled.

Spencer Fisher wins round one.

The second round started off with Fisher breaking Stephens down on his feet with timely kicks and punches despite a bloody forearm. Past the halfway point of the stanza, Stephens tried to take Fisher down, but Fisher turned the tables on him, ending up with side control. Though Stephens gained guard, Fisher continued to pound away at him until Stephens turned things over with a takedown slam at the tail end of the round.

Jeremy Stephens probably needs a stoppage in the third in order to win.

The third saw Stephens connect with some hard rights early on. That said, Fisher started landing again and then strangely pulled Stephens down with him, almost getting caught in a guillotine. Still, though, it worked out for him as he ended up with side control momentarily.

Then the two got up and Stephens landed a big right. Soon after, Stephens took Fisher down. Then he started in with some nice ground and pound. Toward the end of the fight, Fisher ended up on top of Stephens. Stephens attempted a guillotine choke; not the perfect position for it, but it was still tight. And then the bell sounded.

Good fight. Did Stephens do enough to get a two pointer in the final stanza? Probably not, and if that's the case then he loses.

Spencer Fisher wins via unanimous decision.

In the next fight, the original Ultimate Fighter Champion Diego Sanchez (Interview) took on Luigi Fioravanti. "Come tonight, I'm gonna test that Mexican chin," said Fioravanti beforehand. The real question coming in?

Could he keep the fight standing to begin with?

Early on, the action was minimal. Still, Sanchez landed a hard right, tried a flying knee, and connected with another hard right as they approached the three- minute mark. Fioravanti then landed a nice uppercut himself, before Sanchez connected with a hard high kick. Then after shirking a Sanchez takedown attempt, Fioravanti landed a nice combination. Sanchez returned the same. A nice right by Sanchez connected and then a takedown attempt by him failed as Fioravanti threw him over. Still, Sanchez continued to land on his feet. Though "Nightmare" once again failed on a takedown attempt, he continued to land some nice shots. At the very end of the round, Fioravanti took Sanchez down hard. Then both fighters were on their feet.

Then the bell.

A round for Sanchez by surprisingly winning the striking battle.

Fioravanti started off the second with a nice right hand. Then something seemed to happen with his leg or ankle, as he looked at it strangely, but then seemed to recover. Soon after, Sanchez landed a big right hand that floored his opponent.

Then he found himself on top on the canvas, raining down punches. But Fioravanti somehow got to his feet.

Still, Sanchez continued to land shots and almost took his back standing. Fioravanti nicely escaped the position with a standing Kimura attempt.

The two traded some hard shots. A right by Sanchez staggered his opponent. He followed that up with a flurry that continued on the ground. Somehow, Fioravanti got to his feet again. The two traded nice shots for the rest of the stanza, with Fioravanti probably getting the better of things. But still, the round went to Sanchez.

Fioravanti likely needs a stoppage in the third to win.

Fioravanti started the third off with a nice left, and continued the initial stages of the stanza with some solid striking. Sanchez continued to counter well. Fioravanti shirked a very strong takedown attempt by Sanchez. From there, Sanchez started connecting and almost took Fioravanti's back on the ground, but his opponent showed great escapability once again.

Then came a powerful high left kick followed by a strong knee and then some stellar ground and pound by Sanchez. In fact, the whole thing was so severe that the referee was forced to step in.

Diego Sanchez's striking has improved in a big way. This was quite an impressive showing.

Diego Sanchez wins via TKO at 4:07 of round three.

"Every fight you have is the most important fight of your career. . . and this is obviously no exception," said Amir Sadollah before taking on C.B. Dollaway in the TUF 7 Finale.

The two traded some kicks early on in the first before Dollaway took Sadollah down hard. Sadollah then gained guard, but soon after Dollaway gained side control. Sadollah, however, was able to gain the guard again.

But then Sadollah did what Sadollah does. He caught his opponent in an armbar. Dollaway then tapped. Afterwards, he complained as if he hadn't tapped; but he definitely did (just emotion of the moment, I think).

Amir Sadollah wins via armbar at 3:02 of round one. He is a very deserved winner of the show; the only deserved winner really, as he's the only one that didn't lose.

"I've got to prove that I still deserve to be in the sport," said Evan Tanner (Interview) before taking on Kendall Grove.

Tanner started off by clinching with Grove along the Octagon wall. Eventually, he tripped Grove to the canvas and hit home with some ground and pound, before Grove got up. Tanner connected with a nice knee. While in the clinch, Grove connected with a nice elbow, knee, and another strike, opening up a cut. Then the two clinched again, Tanner looked to take him down by grabbing a leg, and Tanner ate a hard knee to his face for his efforts. But then Tanner did finally take Grove to the ground again.

Grove nearly secured a triangle but Tanner escaped. Then Tanner went for a flying knee and fell the ground. Grove took his back and got his hooks in, but Tanner pulled him over his shoulder and escaped. Then Tanner ended up on top of Grove on the ground where he executed some mild ground and pound.

Kendall Grove takes round one.

In the second, Grove started to pick Tanner apart with timely punches and movement. He also connected with another flying knee with Tanner on a leg. But then at around the three- minute mark, Tanner secured another takedown.

Grove got up again soon after.

While in the clinch, Grove landed a huge elbow and then several knees. Tanner was clearly hurt. However, he managed to somehow recover and press his opponent up against the wall. Then after a separation, Grove landed another big knee. The two traded for the rest of the stanza with Grove clearly getting the better of things.

Tanner needs a stoppage in the third to gain a victory.

In the third, both fighters landed some hard shots. That said, Tanner seemed to know he needed a big round and in accordance with this may have stolen the round with some solid punching and aggressiveness.

But not the fight.

Kendall Grove wins via majority decision.

In the end, the TUF 7 Finale was a good night of fights. Diego Sanchez proved that his striking had improved immensely; Amir Sadollah once again demonstrated that he was no flash in the pan; and Kendall Grove got back on the winning track with an impressive performance. Looking forward to seeing what Sadollah can do in the future. He seems to have a bright one.

The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale Results

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