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TUF 23 Semi-Final Results; Finale Friday in Vegas




The 4th of July may have passed, but the fireworks are still on deck for Friday night.

For the first time in The Ultimate Fighter history, not only will the winners of the seasons semi-finals compete for UFC contracts in their respective weight classes but the coaches will face off in a world title main event on the shows finale card; the Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale: Jedrezjczyk vs Gadelha on Friday night at 10pm on Fox Sports 1.

TUF 23 coaches UFC Strawweight Joanna Jedrzejczyk and #1 ranked Strawweight Claudia Gadelha will face off for the second time in their UFC careers. Jedrzejczyk defeated Gadelha in a controversial 3-round split decision victory at UFC on FOX 13 in December of 2014. Since the defeat, Gadelha has been clawing at the opportunity to avenge the only loss in her professional career and capture strawweight gold.

This season of TUF featured eight men’s light heavyweights (205 pounds) and eight women’s strawweights (115 pounds) divided evenly between Team Joanna and Team Claudia.

As we see every season, there were medical issues, bad weight cuts and personal issues, but the high-level of talent this season is something fans are not always lucky enough to witness.

After enduring one of the most brutal weight cuts in TUF history, we saw strawweight Amanda Bobby Cooper literally ounces from losing her opportunity to make it to the finale. Once making the 116-pound allowance on her second attempt, Cooper put on a dominating performance against her teammate Lanchana Green, earning her spot in Friday’s finale with a rear naked choke victory at the end of the first round.

Her opponent for the finale is #1 picked strawweight and former wrestling champion Tatiana Suarez, who earned her spot on Friday night’s card after a one-sided, fast paced submission victory over MMA veteran Kate Jackson.

In the best fight of the season, and arguably a top 10 in TUF history, teammates and friends Josh Stansbury and Khalil Rountree put on a flat out war in their semi-final bout for the Light Heavy-weight spot in the finals. With an even-paced on both sides and heavy exchanges, Rountree connects with a heavy left hand, dropping Stansbury before the referee calls the TKO in the second half of the first round.

Rountree will face #1 picked light heavy-weight pick Andrew Sanchez on Friday night, after his vicious first round finish over Eric Spicely in his semi-finals bout.

Entertainment aside from watching the 115-pound champion Joanna yell at her LHW teammates, nearly double her size, the women delivered this season as coaches. This is the second time in the shows history where both coaches were from a female division. The first was during season 18 where former Women’s Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey coached against long-time rival and current Women’s Bantamweight champion Meisha Tate.

Unfortunately, the TUF finale’s themselves tend to be average at best when it comes to attracting viewers. Unless you had a heavy investment into the season and genuine interest in the fighters, it is not usually something you’d give up your summer Friday night for.

The UFC however nailed the marketing and line-up for Friday night’s fight card. While the cast members who earned their spots to the finale are predicted to be wars, the main event strawweight champion bout between Jedrzejczyk and Gadelha is where the true grudge-match is at and worth every second of your Friday night.

The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale kicks off on UFC Fight Pass at 7pm EST. The prelims followed by the main card continue on Fox Sports 1 at 8pm.

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Kristine is a Managing Editor for as well as UFC/MMA Lead Writer. She also hosts a column known as Fighting Words.
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