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‘The Ultimate Fighter’ 19 finale blog: Gordon and Anderson earn UFC contracts

Frankie Edgar retires B.J. Penn with third-round TKO in main event

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Sam Morris

Frankie Edgar hammers B.J. Penn with elbows during their fight at “The Ultimate Fighter” 19 finale Sunday, July 6, 2014, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Edgar won by TKO in the third round.

Updated Sunday, July 6, 2014 | 9 p.m.

‘TUF’ 19: Edgar vs. Penn

B.J. Penn rolls over after referee Herb Dean called a stop to his fight against Frankie Edgar at Launch slideshow »

‘The Ultimate Fighter’ 19

Derrick Lewis celebrates his TKO of Guto Inocente at The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale Sunday, July 6, 2014 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Launch slideshow »

Note: Full preliminary results available at the bottom of the page.

The camera panned to UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman watching “The Ultimate Fighter” 19 finale from the first row.

Weidman smiled but motioned toward the octagon. Last night was his night. The second of two fight cards on International Fight Week was about others.

One of them happened to be Weidman’s teammate and high school buddy Eddie Gordon, who viciously knocked out Dhiego Lima to win the “TUF” 19 middleweight championship.

“Dhiego is a tough all-around fighter, but he’s not Chris Weidman,” Gordon said while still in the octagon. “I train with the best team in the world. I train with the champion every day.”

Gordon finished the favored Lima in a minute and 11 seconds into the main-card bout at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Corey Anderson needed 10 seconds less to inflict the same fate on Matt Van Buren.

Gordon and Anderson celebrated as the latest in a long string of fighters to win a six-figure UFC contract with a "TUF" victory. They then got to watch their coach from the show, Frankie Edgar, notch a TKO win of his own in the main event.

Edgar destroyed B.J. Penn in the third fight between the rivals, forcing a stoppage at 4:16 of the third round.

“I said I wanted to finish him because I’ve never finished him because of how good he is,” Edgar said, “but now I feel bad about it.”

Most watching the main event had mixed feelings. It was tough to watch one of two fighters to capture championships in two separate weight divisions look like a shell of himself.

Penn couldn’t hang with Edgar at all, a fact he came to grips with in his post-fight interview when he announced he was retiring.

“I shouldn’t have come back,” Edgar said. “I shouldn’t have been in the ring with one of the best in the world.”

Each of the last four fights ended in TKOs. Heavyweight Derrick Lewis joined Edgar, Gordon and Anderson with a TKO of Guto Inocente at 3:30 of the first round.

The first fight on the main card was much closer. Dustin Ortiz beat Justin Scoggins in a split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) that polarized fans and media alike.

Little did the judges know, they wouldn’t be needed for the rest of the evening.

Check back to lasvegassun.com later for more coverage and look below for preliminary results as well as a live blog of the main card.

Live Blog The Ultimate Fighter 19 finale main card blog
 

Pre-main card

By the end of “The Ultimate Fighter” 19 finale tonight, Frankie Edgar and B.J. Penn will have spent as much as an hour and 15 minutes together locked in a cage.

It’s an abnormal length of time even for a trilogy of bouts because all three have been five-round affairs with the fighters showing their durability. The first 50 minutes have predominantly belonged to Edgar, as he dethroned Penn and then proved it was no fluke a few months later back in 2010.

The main event tonight at the Mandalay Bay Events Center takes place because Penn was never able to fully accept those losses. “The Prodigy”, breaking out of retirement at 35-years-old for the opportunity, shifts from a prohibitive favorite like he was in the first two fights with Edgar to an overwhelming underdog.

Edgar enters the octagon around a 5-to-1 favorite to add another victory over Penn to his ledger. He already added another win when the two were coaching on the latest season of “TUF”.

Edgar’s team blew past Penn’s in the reality-show competition. It looked somewhat even heading to the semifinal round, with Edgar’s red team advancing five fighters to three wearing Penn’s blue.

But all of Penn’s team lost, leaving the championship matches colored all red. For the middleweight “TUF” crown, Team Edgar colleagues Dhiego Lima and Eddie Gordon face off.

Lima is the slight favorite with a slicker striking and submission game, but Gordon is a strong wrestler who could easily control the rounds.

They’ll wrap up their encounter in time to watch teammates Corey Anderson and Matt Van Buren battle for the light heavyweight “TUF” crown. Anderson is more than a 2-to-1 favorite despite winning all three fights on the show by decision.

Van Buren scored knockouts in two of his three contests to climb through the bracket.

The opening fights on the main card are heavyweight and flyweight bouts, respectively, pitting Derrick Lewis with Guto Inocente and Justin Scoggins against Dustin Ortiz.

The first four main card bouts give the fighters a chance to stand out in an environment bigger than the one where they’d typically be slotted. Then International Fight Week closes by renewing an old lightweight rivalry at featherweight. Can Edgar stay perfect against Penn or are trilogies meant to induce parity?

Stay tuned to lasvegassun.com for the answers with a live blog of the main card and look below for full preliminary results.

In a possible Fight of the Night, Kevin Lee beat Jesse Robson by split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29) in a lightweight bout. Lee picked Ronson apart for the first two rounds, but then was nearly choked out late in the fight.

Leandro Issa submitted Jumabieke Tuerxun at 3:49 of the third round in a bantamweight bout. The fight was close and exciting until Issa took down Tuerxun and clinched the win late.

Adriano Martins outclassed Juan Manuel Puig. Martins connected with a right hook to the chin of Puig at 2:22 of the first round to score a knockout.

Daniel Spohn came on late in the third round of a light heavyweight bout to nearly knock out Patrick Walsh, but it wasn't enough. Walsh defeated Spohn by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) by controlling each of the first two rounds.

Sarah Moras spent most of her women's catchweight bout (143) on her back, but was active enough to sway the judges. Moras defeated Alexis Dufresne by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) that was controversial and bizarre.

Robert Drysdale submitted Keith Berish via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:03 of the first round of their light heavyweight bout. The local gym owner inadvertently inflicted a gruesome knee injury on Berish, who foolishly tried to stand up with Drysdale locked on his back.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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