Dec 15, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Rustam Khabilov (white trunks) slams Vinc Pichel (black trunks) to the mat during their lightweight undercard bout in the Ultimate Fighter Finale at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Khabilov defeated Pichel by KO. Mandatory Credit: Josh Holmberg-USA TODAY Sports

The Ultimate Fighter Finale Reactions: The Prelims

Dec 15, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mike Pyle (left) and James Head (right) exchange jabs during their welterweight undercard bout in the Ultimate Fighter Finale at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Pyle defeated Head by TKO. Mandatory Credit: Josh Holmberg-USA TODAY Sports

If there is one thing I will always be on this blog it is honest: I had to get up early to watch The Ultimate Fighter Finale this morning, because last night I was attending one of those awkward work Christmas parties where no one really wants to talk about anything but their kids. And, when you don’t have any kids, like me, you really don’t fit in to the dinner conversations. I tried bringing up how impressed I was with Hector Lombard to my 80-something-year old boss but, as I’m sure you can imagine, that got me about as far as I would get if I approached Arianny in a bar and asked her out. But, I digress, and here are my reactions from The Ultimate Fighter Finale Prelims (main card coming soon):

Nick Catone looked huge at 170 pounds and clearly had a pretty big strength advantage over T.J. Waldburger. Notwithstanding such advantage, Waldburger pulled off a really slick (and really tight) triangle for the win. The transition from an awkward guillotine attempt to said triangle was pretty sweet. I also always love when someone who has a triangle locked in accompanies it up with elbows to the top of the head, Anderson Silva to Nate Marquardt style.

I’m glad that Joe Rogan clarified that someone from the TUF house can be undefeated although they lost in the TUF tournament, because those fights are just exhibitions. I appreciated the honesty that they do it that way basically to avoid spoilers becoming public knowledge.

Rustam Khabilov is a really fun name to say and hear (Kahili Bundell-esque), and he put together a really dominating performance against Vinc Picher. I haven’t seen a series of slams and suplexes that devastating since Rory MacDonald threw Nate Diaz around the octagon like a rag doll in Toronto. (FYI, I initially typed this reaction prior to Mike Goldberg making the same point on the broadcast. If only I had watched this live and could prove it.) There may be no finish more visually pleasing than a suplex knockout. Ref Chris Tognoni had some nice hair, but he could have stopped the fight right after the suplex, and saved Picher six unprotected blows to the face.

Is there anything better than Joe Rogan begging for further replays and slow-mos of a groin strike? Joe can break down the intricacies of a groin strike about the same way Hubie Brown can break down a pick and roll. The master.

Holy crap that Johnny Bedford finish was devastating! In the first round he was almost able to put Marcos Vinicius away, but in the second round he left no doubt. I get that it’s risky, but I love the kick to the body of a downed opponent, because it really is debilitating. Great work Johnny! Who says little guys can’t get finishes?

I say this every time I see it, but how on earth can Steve Mazzagatti be so cold that he needs sleeves in the octagon? Maybe try a cup of coffee or something to warm up, if all those lights and the adrenaline don’t due to the trick? Perhaps not having the mustache any more causes him to lose body heat at a faster-than-average pace? So many questions for him.

I’m pleased Buffer announced Mike Pyle as a former WEC champion. #WECNEVERDIE! And Pyle backed up the announcement with a devastating KO of James Head by kneeing him in the Head (no pun intended, but pun totally intended). The way the fight started, it seemed that Pyle would have a problem with Head’s power, but that obviously didn’t happen.

That makes four straight thrilling finishes to open the night! Hopefully the main card provides similar entertainment value for a hungover, pre-football Sunday morning!

Tags: Colton Smith Mma The Ultimate Fighter UFC

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