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Jonathan Brookins Beats Michael Johnson to Win 'The Ultimate Fighter'

Jonathan Brookins beat Michael Johnson to win 'The Ultimate Fighter.'Jonathan Brookins is the Season 12 winner of The Ultimate Fighter, taking the championship of the UFC's reality show with a unanimous decision victory over Michael Johnson on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

It was an impressive display by Brookins, who managed to survive even though he appeared to be badly hurt in the first round, then came back to win the second and third rounds, and win the decision.

"My game's still got a lot to improve on," Brookins said afterward. "I want to invite everybody to come along for the ride with me because I've got a lot of improving to do."

Johnson hit Brookins with a hard left hand at the start of the fight, and he continued hitting Brookins with several more hard punches early in the first round. Brookins was keeping his hands down and his chin up, and he was susceptible to Johnson's hard punches. Brookins attempted to take Johnson down, but the bigger, stronger Johnson had no trouble keeping his back against the cage and standing up.

As the first round wore on Brookins began to look dazed as Johnson continued to tag him, and when they would clinch Johnson used his superior strength to throw Brookins around. Brooking was becoming hesitant to even throw a punch late in the first round because he knew Johnson would hit him back harder, but Brookins did manage to survive the round.

"I was stunned," Brookins said after the fight of the way Johnson had hurt him in the first round. "Typical Michael Johnson beating up on people. ... I was thinking, Dang, I can't let my family down -- they're here in the first row."

At the start of the second, however, Brookins turned things around: He secured a very good takedown and landed a couple of punches before putting Johnson flat on his back, where he wasn't comfortable. Brookins thoroughly dominated Johnson for about three minutes on the ground, and although Johnson did briefly manage to get back to his feet, Brookins slammed him back down again. For as dominant as Johnson was in the first round, Brookins was even more dominant in the second.

Johnson opened the third round with a good combination, but Brookins immediately went for a single-leg takedown, and within 45 seconds he had Johnson down against the fence. Brookins didn't do a lot of damage on the ground, but he did control the fight, as Johnson wasn't able to do much of anything with Brookins on top of him. Johnson did briefly manage to get to his feet, but only very briefly: Brookins quickly took the fight back to the ground, took control, and kept it there until time went out, earning the decision victory.

The judges scored it 29-28, 29-28 and 29-27 for Brookins.

The two spent six weeks living and training together inside the Ultimate Fighter house, and they gave each other a hug inside the Octagon. But only one of them could emerge as the winner, and it was Brookins who earned it, showing a lot of heart and a lot of talent, and the promise to have an impressive career in the UFC.

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