All the pre-fight hype surrounded Uriah Hall, but tonight the underdog Kelvin Gastelum produced the upset victory at the TUF 17 Finale to become the next Ultimate Fighter.
The fight gets underway with Gastelum pushing the pace while Hall looks to keep his distance. No real action though in the opening minute, but then Gastelum opens up with a flurry of strikes and then presses Hall up against the cage.
The break apart and Gastelum goes for a low kick and then a high one that’s blocked, while Hall soon after flashes off a high kick off his own.
Gastelum attempts a superman punch. He’s being the aggressor here and swings for the fences, connecting with a punch that seems to stun Hall and backs him up. Gastelum continues to press forward with more punches and really has his opponent on the back foot early in this fight.
Keeping the momentum going Gastelum lands a takedown and lands a few punches. Hall moves towards the cage and uses it to work back to his feet.
They break apart and Hall lands a couple of kicks and punches. Approaching the final 10 seconds of the round now and Hall suddenly charges forward and scores a takedown, but Gastelum pops back up as the bell sounds.
The two men exchange kicks as round two begins. Hall flicks out the jab and Gastelum misses with a brief flurry.
Spinning back kick from Hall pushes Gastelum back and then a high kick that’s blocked.
Hall moves back towards the cage and drops his hands, appearing to be trying to bait Gastelum in, but as he then attempts to fire off some strikes, Gastelum drops low and gets a takedown.
Gastelum’s just getting comfortable in the position when Hall works a nice reversal. He can’t keep his opponent down though and as they stand Hall lands a good knee and punch.
Gastelum works into the clinch and presses Hall up against the cage. He’s looking to slow the action, but Hall manages to get a trip takedown and land on top in half guard.
Hall not doing too much with the position and Gastelum works back upright, though Hall latches onto his back as they stand.
Then Hall takes him back down with a big suplex, but again can’t keep him down and Gastelum stands and clinches to end the round.
They trade strikes to start the final round and a knee from Hall is judged to have been a low blow brining a brief stoppage.
They restart with Hall throwing a few leg kicks. He looks to go upstairs, but doesn’t find the target. Gastelum bouncing around, but not doing anything offensive and Hall lands a couple of jabs.
Then suddenly Gastelum suddenly burst forward and gets a takedown. Hall scrambles though and gets a takedown of his own before landing some fast ground and pound.
Soon after they are back upright and after a brief clinch against the cage they separate. Hall lands the jab and then a high kick that’s blocked. Gastelum wades in with an overhand that lands.
Hall swings and misses and that’s Gastelum’s cue to land another point scoring takedown which could be crucial at this stage in a close fight. In desperation Hall starts throwing punches from his back and Gastelum looks for an armbar. Hall reverses it though and gets on top just as the fight ends.
So it’s down to the judges to decide who the next Ultimate Fighter is and they award it by split decision to Kelvin Gastelum (29-28 x2, 28-29).