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The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 Finale – Michael Johnson Vs. Jonathan Brookins

I made my prediction after Wednesday’s semi-finals episode, and I’m going to stick with it. I think Jonathan Brookins wins by submission, sometime in the 2nd or 3rd round. Johnson’s game seems to have holes in it and while Phan couldn’t stop him, he did hit him a lot and if he was just a larger man, he would’ve won that fight.

The first fight tonight is Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan in the first televised UFC featherweight fight.

1. Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan

Garcia came out winging it like usual. Phan is the better strategic striker. Though, Garcia threw my favorite combination of the year. He threw a right hand that was between an overhand right and a hook, and immediately followed it up with a right head kick. He missed with both shots, but it was tight. Phan is pretty accurate with his shots and defensively, hasn’t left himself open much.

What a fantastic round. Phan caught him and Garcia fell backwards toward the cage. Garcia played dead, but was winging some wild shots that didn’t land. Phan did something brilliant. Rather than try to put him on his back with punches, he just kicked his legs out from under him and Garcia finally went down. They went to the ground and Phan worked for a possible submission, but Garcia fought him. Garcia needs a TKO to win this one more than likely.

Garcia definitely went for it, but he was very winded. He opened up a cut on Phan, so he did land, but at the end of the round, he was pretty disappointed.

Winner: Leonard Garcia by way of split decision

It looks like two judges gave Garcia the first and third round. I think it was pretty clearly a decision for Phan. It’s not the worst decision I’ve ever seen, but the crowd is reacting pretty strongly and you can’t really blame him. Garcia was surprised and said he’d do it with Phan again.

2. Rick Story vs. Johny Hendericks

Hendricks threw the first punch that landed, a quick left that seemed simply to wake up Story. Save for a late takedown, Story controlled the octagon, and it was probably slightly Story’s advantage on the feet too. I’m not so sure either guy landed many shots, but Story’s combinations were more impressive. I’d give the round slightly to Story.

Story opened up with a great combination, finishing it with hard shots to the body, but then Hendricks caught him in a guillotine. Story got the advantage on the ground, but Hendricks put on a front facelock again. Rogan just cut a promo on the judges for the first fight right as this fight became dull. I’d probably score the round slightly for Story again as he got a late takedown, but after the last fight, who knows who won that round.

The fight died a slow death in the third round. Story had Hendricks’ wrist and simply held position with him near the cage. Hendricks worked from the bottom to try to reverse position, would get it, and then Story would turn it back over. Hendricks probably gets credit for a takedown or two, but Story is getting right back up. I’d probably give Hendricks that round, but neither guy really had any advantage. I wouldn’t be surprised either way with this one.

Winner: Rick Story by way of unanimous decision

3. Cody McKenzie vs. Aaron Wilkinson

McKenzie didn’t waste any time and quickly shot in on Wilkinson. He was working the guillotine the entire time, and for whatever reason, Wilkinson wouldn’t pull his head out. Wilkinson finally tapped out to a guillotine with a neck crank. Looked like the neck crank is what actually caused Wilkinson to tap.

Winner: Cody McKenzie by way of 1st round submission

4. Kendall Grove vs. Demian Maia

Maia looked pretty physical and pretty much won every second of the round. He got Grove down and they rolled around and he controlled him. Grove looked pretty hopeless on the ground.

This is the kind of fight that will make you look for other things to do. Maia owned him on the ground again, scissoring him and scoring with ground and pound.

He’s kind of taken the will out of Grove. Grove hasn’t been able to do anything that he wants. Yet another boring Demian Maia fight that goes the distance.

Winner: Demian Maia by way of unanimous decision

All scores were 30-27. The judges couldn’t screw this one up.

5. Igor Pokrajac vs. Stephan Bonnar

Bonnar has a little bit of gyno going on. Hmmm.

Bonnar won the first round, nearly getting a submission with a rolling guillotine. I thought Pokrajac trapped at one point. He also was pretty outstanding, working in Pokrajac’s half guard.

Bonnar was methodically winning the round and then with about 45 seconds left, they started trading, with Pokrajac getting the best of Bonnar. Bonnar smartly shot in, tied him up, and ended the round without getting hit anymore. Pokrajac was docked one point for kneeing Bonnar in the head when he was on his back. Now, he has very little chance of winning without knocking Bonnar out.

Bonnar dominated Pokrajac on the ground. At the very end of the round, Steve Mazagatti took a point away as Bonnar as throwing punches from side control and hit him on the back of the head.

Winner: Stephan Bonnar

He won on every card by 29-26, so he won every round on each card.

6. Michael Johnson vs. Jonathan Brookins

Both guys are coming out throwing, but neither guy really moves his head so most of the punches landed at least glancingly. Brookins went for a takedown, but couldn’t get it. Brookins stuck his face out and Johnson clocked him and he went woozy. He’s overpowering him and nailed him with another punch and then two knees. Brookins got hit on the button more than necessary.

They both fought for a takedown, and Brookins ended up on top. He got side control and was dropping elbows on Johnson. He dominated him on the ground. Johnson got to his feet, but Brookins slammed him down and was in top position again. Whoever wins the third round wins the fight.

Johnson hit a nice combination to Brookins’ chin to start the round, but Brookins took him down and eventually got the mount and started to pound on Johnson. Johnson turned him around and they were back on their feet and Johnson landed a shot. Brookins took him down again with the takedown where he falls back and flips his opponent over, much like a suplex. Brookins may win this decision because he was able to control Johnson for the last two rounds.

Winner: Jonathan Brookins by way of unanimous decision

29-28, 29-28, and 29-27 were the scores.

Brookins needs to drop down to featherweight and hire a good boxing coach. But he’s a solid prospect. Johnson looked good too, but just couldn’t work off his back.