A new contender has officially emerged in the middleweight division, as Israel Adesanya picked up the biggest win of his young career as he defeated veteran contender Brad Tavares over five rounds on Friday night in Las Vegas.
Adesanya is best known for his dynamic striking attacks, and that's exactly what he used with surgical precision to slice and dice Tavares from the start of the fight until the finish.
Perhaps the most impressive part about Adesanya's performance was his ability to punish Tavares from head to toe, including some nasty kicks to the body that stung the Hawaiian middleweight several times over the 25-minute bout.
Adesanya also showcased a strong defensive game as he shrugged off nearly every attempt from Tavares to take the fight to the ground. When it was over, Adesanya looked like he was ready to go another five rounds as he put on a virtually flawless performance in his first main event in the UFC.
Heading into the fight, Adesanya was a solid favorite according to the selections made by fantasy players, with 66 percent picking him to win. The victory also yielded those players an extra 120 points because the fight was such a close matchup going into Friday night.
Two new Ultimate Fighter champions were also crowned at the finale, as the season filled with undefeated prospects came to a close.
Mike Trizano was able to edge out Joe Giannetti over three rounds to earn a hard-fought split decision to win in the lightweight division. Trizano was actually a heavy underdog based on the picks, with only 25 percent of fantasy players taking him ahead of the card. The players who selected Trizano will also earn an extra 40 point bonus because this was his UFC debut.
Meanwhile, Brad Katona was dominant in his victory over former housemate Jay Cucciniello as he earned a unanimous decision win in the featherweight final for the reality show. Katona was a big favorite, with 71 percent of fantasy players picking him to win while also earning that same 40-point bonus for his UFC debut.
Alex Caceres had to gut out a split decision over Martin Bravo in a matchup that ended as the Fight of the Night. While it was a back and forth battle throughout, Caceres was actually a heavy favorite, with 72 percent of fantasy players picking him to win.
Roxanne Modafferi picked up arguably the most important win of her pioneering career, as she took out Barb Honchak by TKO in a flyweight bout on the main card. Modafferi was a slight favorite, with 55 percent of fantasy players picking her to win as the two-time Ultimate Fighter veteran finally gets her first UFC victory.
In one of the bigger upsets on the card, Alessio Di Chirico was able to get a very close split decision win over Julian Marquez in a three-round war at middleweight. Di Chirico was only picked by 23 percent of fantasy players, but he managed to get the nod from the judges on Friday night.
On the preliminary card, Montana De La Rosa showcased her strong submission game once again as she defeated Rachael Ostovich by submission in the third round. De La Rosa was a very slight favorite, with 51 percent of fantasy players picking her to win, and she also earns those players an extra 120 points because it was a tight matchup going into the card.
"Violent Bob Ross" Luis Pena was one of the highlights on the preliminary card as he made quick work of SBG Ireland fighter Richie Smullen with a first-round guillotine choke submission. Pena, who was injured and unable to finish on The Ultimate Fighter this past season, made the most of his second chance with 80 percent of fantasy players picking him to win. Pena also earned those players another 40 points because it was his UFC debut.
One more upset that took place was the opening fight of the night, as Gerald Meerschaert pulled off a huge win over Oskar Piechota by submission with just 39 percent of fantasy players picking him to win.
When the card came to a close, the final result was right down the middle, with six favorites getting wins along with six underdogs based on the selections made by fantasy players for The Ultimate Fighter: Undefeated Finale.