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TUF 12 Finale Live Blog: Kendall Grove vs. Demian Maia Updates

LAS VEGAS – This is "The Ultimate Fighter" Finale live blog for Kendall Grove vs. Demian Maia, part of the Spike-televised main card of tonight's event at The Pearl at The Palms in Las Vegas.

Grove (12-7, 1 NC, 7-4 UFC), the Season 3 middleweight winner of "The Ultimate Fighter," is coming off a split decision win over Goran Reljic at UFC 116 in July. Maia (13-2, 7-2 UFC), who lost a middleweight title fight against Anderson Silva at UFC 112 in April, beat Mario Miranda by unanimous decision at UFC 118 in August.

The live blog is below.

Round 1: Grove has a 6-inch height advantage over Maia. Should be interesting to see if that comes into play. Grove works some jabs. Maia comes forward and clips Grove with one. A big combo from Grove is successful, and Maia's face immediately reddens. Maia, though, ties him up and gets the fight to the ground where the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt is his most dangerous. Grove gets back up, but Maia gets it back down. Grove again gets up and Maia ties him up briefly, looking for his back. Again Maia fairly effortlessly moves the fight back down and works out of half guard, looking to pass. He does, and he gets full mount with two minutes left. He works some elbows, but Grove pushes his way out. He scrambles and Maia lands some hard shots to Grove's head. Grove rolls him over, but Maia stays right with him and has a rear naked choke in briefly. Grove will survive the round, but MMA Fighting sees it easily 10-9 for Maia.

Round 2: Grove keeps some distance with a combo, then ducks under a right from Maia. Maia shoots, but Grove stops it and stays on his feet. He lands a right when Maia shoots again. Maia answers with a big punch of his own, then moves in and lands an easy takedown, where he looks to land elbows out of half guard. He lands some hard hammer fists to Grove's head and body. Then Grove powers out and clinches with Maia as Maia looks for another takedown. But Maia gets a trip takedown anyway, despite Grove's efforts to keep his head down. Grove is on his back in guard as Maia looks to stand and pass. Grove nearly lands an upkick, but Maia gets his back. Maia has him tied up pretty tight with the body triangle and is looking for the rear naked choke. He lets it go and works strikes to finish out the round. It's another 10-9 round for Maia on the MMA Fighting card.

Round 3: Grove jumps around and looks like he's trying to rejuvenate himself. He'll likely need a finish to win the fight, and his corner certainly reminded him of that. Maia lands the first big right of the round, though. Right jab from Grove, and he ducks out of a pair of Maia strikes. Then he lands a pair of his own that back Maia up. Maia's right eye looks mildly cut, but it's underneath. Maia lands a stiff left, then comes forward with some more feints. He shoots, but this time can't take Grove down and we stay standing with two minutes left in the fight. Maia coming forward more than Grove is at this point, and he shoots for a single that Grove manages to avoid. But Maia ties him up against the fence with his head in the middle, keeping Grove from doing much damage and essentially eating shots to the body while running out the clock. That's how the fight will end. MMA Fighting sees the last round for Grove, as he was more aggressive, but the fight for Maia 29-28.
Result: Demian Maia def. Kendall Grove via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
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