For the life of me I can't figure out why this episode has to be two hours.
I mean, combined, the fights are 30 minutes. That's an hour and a half of filler. Is there really that much left unresolved that we need to see the ousted fighters banter for that long?
I'm gonna skip all of that and just focus on the fights.
Up first, we've got Jonathan Brookins taking on Kyle Watson for a shot on the Ultimate Finale. This is the kind of fight the casual fan and/or critic of MMA will point to the problem with the sport. It was short of big strikes and long on ground game. In fact, it spent the better part of 15 minutes on the ground with the fighters jockeying for incrimentally better position. It was apparent pretty early on that Brookins had Watson's number. The number ended up being (30-27) x3. Those were the scores in the unanimous decision that send Brookins to the finale.
Watson is a sturdy if unspectacular fighter and I could see him getting another look by the UFC. Given his relationship with Matt Hughes that seems, to me at least, almost a given.
Up next was Michael Johnson (Team GSP) against Nam Phan (Team Koscheck). Johnson was the first pick overall. Phan was the sole surviving member of Team Koscheck.
If the first fight was the arguement against, this one was the arguement for. These two also went the full 15 minutes. Along the way there were some really hard strikes thrown, including one from Johnson that opened a nasty cut over Phan's eye.
Johnson clearly won the first round and Phan the second. So, both of these guys' seasons came down to the final five minutes. It was another hard hitting round. The difference came when Phan simply had no answer for Johnson's takedowns.
Johnson won a split decision to advance to the finale.
So, Team Koscheck is shut out. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy and I won't have to use that stupid yellow font anymore.
The Ultimate Finale airs tomorrow night on Spike TV beginning at 9pm EST.
I'm going with Brookins. Johnson hasn't looked as sharp as everyone expected him to. Brookins, on the other hand, has very quietly gone about the business of kicking ass. I think he'll take the victory, quite possibly by submission.