Team Cormier’s Joe Giannetti earned his spot in The Ultimate Fighter 27 lightweight finals with another fast finish.
After needing less than 30 seconds to submit John Gunther in the quarter-finals, Giannetti once again used a guillotine choke to force Allan Zuniga to tap out in the opening round of their semifinal matchup.
Giannetti will now move on to face Team Miocic’s Mike Trizano in the lightweight tournament final at The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale on July 6 in Las Vegas.
The much larger Giannetti immediately walked down Zuniga, who was making his in-cage debut on the show after earning a bye in the quarterfinals when opponent Richie Smullen suffered an injury moments before their fight was to take place. Giannetti used his long legs to pepper Zuniga’s body with kicks and knees, while Zuniga countered with low kicks of his own.
Once Giannetti got his hands going, Zuniga went in for a desperation shot and left his neck open. Giannetti attacked with a D’Arce choke before finishing with the guillotine submission.
Per the “undefeated” theme of TUF 27, both Giannetti (6-0) and Zuniga (13-0) entered this bout with perfect records, and technically they will stay that way throughout the season due to TUF bouts being classified as exhibitions.
At 22, Giannetti is the youngest contestant on this season of TUF. He dedicated this performance to Devin Carrier, a close friend and fighter who died in a car accident two years ago.
The rules were that the fighters would alternate between being the shooter and the goalie. Cormier was on offense first and he managed to score four times out of ten tries. When it was Cormier’s turn to be in net, it looked like Miocic would win this one going away as he went three-for-three to start.
However, Cormier then stopped seven straight shots to eke out the victory and earn himself $10,000. Team Cormier’s fighters also received $1,500 each.
Here are the semifinal results thus far:
Mike Trizano def. John Gunther via unanimous decision
Brad Katona def. Bryce Mitchell via submission (rear-naked choke) in Round 3
Joe Giannetti def. Allan Zuniga via submission (guillotine choke) in Round 1
Here are results from the first round:
Joe Giannetti def. John Gunther via technical submission (guillotine choke) in Round 1
Brad Katona def. Kyler Phillips via majority decision
Luis Pena def. Jose Martinez via unanimous decision
Bryce Mitchell def. Jay Cucciniello via unanimous decision
Mike Trizano def. Thai Clark via TKO (ground and pound) in Round 2
Ricky Steele def. Suman Mokhtarian via unanimous decision
Allan Zuniga def. Richie Smullen via disqualification (injury)
Tyler Diamond def. Dulani Perry via submission (guillotine choke) in Round 2
On next week’s episode, Team Cormier’s Tyler Diamond fights Team Miocic’s Jay Cucciniello for a spot in the featherweight final opposite Brad Katona.
Season 27 of The Ultimate Fighter is being coached by UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic. Cormier challenges Miocic for the heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 226 on July 7 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The finalists of the TUF 27 lightweight and featherweight tournaments will compete for a six-figure UFC contract on July 6, also in Las Vegas.
Here is the TUF 27 roster divided by team:
Advancing to the finals: Trizano, Katona, Giannetti
Advancing to Round 2: Giannetti, Katona, Pena (forced to withdraw due to injury), Mitchell, Trizano, Steele (forced to withdraw due to concussion symptoms), Zuniga, Diamond
Eliminated: Gunther (later selected to replace an injured Pena), Phillips, Martinez, Cucciniello (later selected to replace an injured Steele), Clark, Mokhtarian, Smullen, Perry