Ferguson gets win in TUF finale

The 13th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” came to a violent end Saturday night as the much-maligned Tony Ferguson won the title thanks to a series of strikes that left Ramsey Nijem dazed and confused in Las Vegas.

The end came near the end of the opening frame, which had been evenly matched throughout. After the two competitors exchanged punches, Ferguson caught Nijem with a left that floored him, then one more shot to the jaw sealed the deal.

The combatants had bad blood coming into the fight thanks to an incident that occurred in the second-to-last episode that saw Ferguson overcome with rage upon consuming too much alcohol. Nijem had taken the behavior personally and had openly said he was bringing those emotions into the cage with him.

With the win, Ferguson’s now earned himself a multi-fight, six-figure contract with the UFC.

In the co-main event, one that was sure to shuffle the top of the lightweight deck in one way or another, Clay Guida, a 2:1 underdog, grinded his way to a unanimous-decision victory over the last man to hold the WEC lightweight title, Anthony Pettis.

Pettis had originally been scheduled to fight the winner of the Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard fight from UFC 125 so the two titles could be unified, but when that one went to a draw, this fight was created so Pettis wouldn’t have to sit out a year in the prime of his career. Now with Guida’s victory, it seems as though the WEC title is dead and buried and the division will move forward without it.

The third round saw some thrilling moments. While clearly behind on the scorecards, Pettis staged a late comeback by taking Guida’s back and nearly earning a submission victory. It was not to be, however, as Guida slid out the backdoor and went on to control the rest of the round, just as he’d dominated the first two.

Guida’s probably still a fight away from a title shot, but he’s clearly declared himself a major player at lightweight.

In other main-card action, Kyle Kingsbury squeezed out a close unanimous-decision victory over Fabio Maldonado in the contest that was awarded "Fight of the Night" status. That distinction won both participants an extra $40,000 for the evening. Ed Herman made his return after a 22-month layoff as he finished off Tim Credeur in short order using two quick uppercuts, then subsequent ground-and-pound to get the stoppage a mere 48 seconds into their bout.

And in the first fight televised live on Spike TV, we saw a matchup of the semifinalists who just missed out on a chance to be in the main event as Chris Cope took on Chuck O’Neil. Cope was in the driver’s seat for the duration as he easily won all three rounds and effectively got under announcer Mike Goldberg’s skin with his non-stop “Woo”-ing.