TUF 14 openers: Delorme surprises Ferguson with rapid third-round finish, Albert and Siler also winners


LAS VEGAS - Roland Delorme has some pretty nasty jiu-jitsu. It took a while to pay off, but when Josh Ferguson got rocked in the third, Delorme ran roughshod over him. He got the finish at 0:22 of the final round via rear-naked choke in fight No. 3 of the night on the Season 14 "Ultimate Fighter Finale" undercard.

Ferguson, a strong puncher, had a lot of steam taken away in the first when Delorme caught him in a triangle choke predicament. The 5-foot-5 Ferguson used a ton of energy to avoid tapping out as he struggled for nearly two minutes. The second round was basically even with Ferguson scoring a takedown and neither fighter landing any of significance on the feet.

The third opened with Ferguson moving forward and getting nailed with a hard jab. It didn't look like much, but Ferguson went down and looked stunned. He jumped forward from his knees to try and grab Delorme's leg. The Canadian threw him to the side and jumped on his back. In a split second, he turned it over, locked on the choke and trapped Ferguson's right arm. He was helpless and had to tap.

Siler uses Thai clinch to bust up Clopton

Steven Siler had a height advantage and he used it tonight against Josh Clopton.

Giving away four inches, Clopton couldn't stay out of or free himself from Siler's constant efforts to lock on a Thai clinch. Siler's big knees allowed him to crush Clopton's nose, get the blood flowing and score with the judges on his way to a unanimous decision win, 29-28 on all three scorecards, in fight No. 2 of the night at the TUF 14 Finale.

"The win feels great.  That was a hard hard fight for sure. He took a beating, I thought he'd go down but he kept coming. I started off slow, I was a little bothered by that but once I got it going, I got into a groove and I think I finished off really well," said Siler.

Siler's fighting style isn't pretty, but he likes to brawl. His size was simply too much for the diminutive Clopton. You don't often see high level fighters dominated for minutes at a time in the Thai clinch (in standing position, hands locked together behind the opponent's head), but that's exactly what happened to Clopton. He blocked a lot of the knees coming from Siler, but way too many got through.

By the middle of the second, Clopton's face was a bloody mess and he was having trouble breathing.{ysp:more}

It was an accomplishment just to make it to the TUF 14 Finale for Siler. In the featherweight round of 16, he was matched up against Micah Miller, one of the pre-show favorites. Siler (19-9, 1-0 UFC) pulled the massive upset and went on to lose to eventual finalist Diego Brandao in just 30 seconds in the next round.

"You know The Ultimate Fighter was the best thing that ever happened to me. I appreciate everyone who got me involved in the show. I wouldn't change it for the world," said Siler.

Brimage lands heavier shots in decision win over Bass

Marcus Brimage can slug with the best of them so he was a little surprised that Stephen Bass chose to duke it out. Bass didn't leave on a stretcher, but he didn't land enough shots to counter the nasty kicking game of Brimage. Brimage scored a unanimous decision victory, 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.

"The game plan didn't go like I wanted to. Stephen was able to utilize his angles as well but it ended up being a good fight. I'm not ecstatic about the outcome but I'm very grateful," Brimage said. "This has been a crazy experience, almost better than sex, that's the only way to describe it."

Brimage found a home for his left hand throughout the fight, but never landed one that  knocked Bass down. His biggest shots came on inside leg kicks. Several of them whipped Bass' leg into the air. One outside leg kick actually dropped Bass in the second.

Albert runs through Pague with quick first-round TKO

John Albert and Dustin Pague went for broke from the opening seconds of the TUF 14 Finale bout. Albert landed the first big shot and it spelled doom for Pague.

After he landed seven unanswered rapid fire shots to the downed fighter, Albert forced referee Herb Dean to save Pague at the 1:22 mark of the first round.

"It's the best feeling in the world, I didn't know whether to cry or scream. I honestly thought it was going to be a three-round war," said Albert.

Pague, one of the strongest strikers on the show, wanted to slug it out and Albert, who's more of a ground specialist, stood with him. An Albert left stunned Pague and a right hook buckled his legs then dropped him. On the ground, Albert showed some brilliance by securing Pague's right arm and trapping it across his face. With his free right hand, Albert pounded away. When Dean saved Pague, the stunned fighter turned to trying to fight the ref. His head had clearly been scrambled in taking dozens of shots to the arm and dome.

"He is an amazing kick boxer and I was going to try to dictate the fight but I didn't think I hit that hard.  I want to fight Dominick Cruz next, but I'll do whatever the UFC says.  I'll fight next week, I'm ready. I feel good," said Albert.

Caraway abuses Neace on the ground for choke victory

Bryan Caraway still has to overcome that confidence bugaboo, but when he's feeling good and on his game, he's a pretty tough fighter at featherweight.

The Team Alpha Male camper opened tonight's card with an easy win over Dustin Neace.

In the first and second, Caraway settled down by trading hands with Neace. As soon as he decided it was time to go to the ground, it did.

Caraway (16-5, 1-0 UFC) scored a double-leg takedown with 2:45 left in the first and controlled Neace on the mat for the remainder of the round. With 2:33 left in the second, he did the same. This time, Caraway quickly transitioned to take Neace's back. Caraway slapped on the rear-naked and it took about four seconds for Neace to bail on the fight and submit.

"It went well, it was different, a little strange because he is one of my main training partners on the show, became pretty good friends with him, so it didn't feel quite the same as a real fight," Caraway said. "But it was good, I got the W, that's what matters. It feels good to win. It's been a crazy up and down experience but all for the better.  I'm excited for my future."

This wasn't Caraway's Zuffa debut. He fought twice for the WEC losing to Fredson Paixao and Mark Hominick. His only other losses have come against solid featherweights like Wilson Reis, Ian Loveland and John Gunderson.

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