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Three Thoughts on ‘The Ultimate Fighter 17’ Finale

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COMMENTARY | The UFC crowned a new Ultimate Fighter on Saturday, April 13 when Kelvin Gastelum upset Uriah Hall via split decision to win the six-figure contract. Gastelum's victory was just one of the night's many highlights, including Cat Zingano's thrilling technical knockout of Miesha Tate and Urijah Faber's fourth-round submission of Scott Jorgensen.

Here are three thoughts on the main card:

Gastelum pulls off the upset

Kelvin Gastelum wasn't supposed to make it out of the quarterfinals of "The Ultimate Fighter," but he proved nearly everyone wrong by winning the entire tournament. I think it says a lot about Gastelum's maturity that he ignored all of the hype surrounding Hall. Gastelum lived in the same house with Hall for six weeks, and he watched every one of his opponent's vicious knockouts. I wouldn't have surprised if Gastelum came out a bit tentative against Hall.

However, that's not what happened. Gastelum took the fight to Hall from the moment the opening bell rang. He was the one who came out hungry and ready for a war. Gastelum deserves to be the youngest Ultimate Fighter winner in history, and I look forward to seeing what 21-year-old does with his future.

Meanwhile, it's hard to believe that some experts were talking about Uriah Hall as a possible contender for Anderson Silva's middleweight title prior to the "The Ultimate Fighter" finale. Hall dominated his opponents on the show, but none of his victories were over elite fighters. It's clear that Hall has an outstanding future in the sport. He may even develop into a title contender one day, but Gastelum proved that there are far too many holes in Hall's game at this time.

Faber wins again

Urijah Faber might not be in the bantamweight title picture at the moment, but he's starting to make it difficult for other contenders to challenge for the title. Ivan Menjivar was hoping to make his push towards a title shot with a victory over Faber at UFC 157, but he was unable to beat the former WEC featherweight champion. Two months later, Jorgensen couldn't keep up with Faber either.

Faber isn't the type of fighter who will settle for being a gatekeeper, but five straight losses in title fights makes it difficult for Zuffa to give him another shot at the belt. The UFC doesn't have to worry about what to do with Faber yet, but if he keeps winning, the company may have a problem on its hands. Faber's division isn't deep with talent, and the UFC might have to give him another shot at the belt.

Tate and Zingano prove that women belong in the UFC

If there were any doubters out there about the women's bantamweight division, they were silenced by the performances given by Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano at the finale. The two women went toe-to-toe in what proved to the "Fight of the Night."

Zingano emerged as the winner, but both fighters cemented their place in the UFC while adding credibility to a division that didn't even exist five months ago. Congratulations are in order for both of them. They stole the show on Saturday night, which makes me wonder why on earth the UFC didn't make this fight the main event.

Think about it. Most No. 1 contender fights get main event or co-main event status on a UFC card, and this bout also had a coaching gig for "The Ultimate Fighter 18" on the line. It doesn't make sense for the Tate-Zingano fight to get third billing on the main card, especially since the Faber/Jorgensen fight didn't really have title implications. Hopefully, the women get a little more respect the next time around. It's clear that they belong in the UFC.

Derek Ciapala has been following MMA for 20 years. He has been published on Yahoo! Sports, UltimateApocalypse.com and multiple other websites. You can check him out on Facebook or on Twitter @dciapala.

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