TUF 25 Finale Results: Johnson, Tavares Earn Decision Wins

ultimate fighter 25 finale tuf 25 tavares
Credit: Mike Sloan/Sherdog.com

The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale: Johnson vs. Gaethje took place Friday from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Atop the six fight main card, airing on Fox Sports 1 in the U.S. and TSN/Fight Network in Canada was a lightweight showdown between former WSOF champ Justin Gaethje and Michael Johnson. Johnson was very much looking to play spoiler for Gaethje’s coming out party; could the undefeated brawler continue his winning ways?

Also on the card, Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia winner Elias Theodoreau squared off against Brad Tavares, while Jesse Taylor and Dhiego Lima looked to find redemption in the co-main event of the evening, with the TUF 25 title and a UFC contract on the line. Not to mention a quarter of a million dollars going to the winner.

Opening the main card was a light heavyweight rumble between Jordan Johnson and Marcel Fortuna. Fortuna made a big splash in his UFC debut earlier this year, knocking out Anthony Hamilton at heavyweight. Could he make it two in a row in the promotion, this time at 205lbs?

Jordan Johnson vs. Marcel Fortuna

Johnson caught and dropped Fortuna within the first minute, but Fortuna was able to recover and get back to his feet. The pace slowed a little then with Fortuna keenly aware of Johnson’s power, but still wary of the takedown threat. Another exchange saw Johnson get the better of Fortuna, who seemed a bit gun shy. Johnson would look for a big takedown against the fence, which Fortuna in part prevented by grabbing the top of the octagon. Back in the middle of the cage, Fortuna finally found a home for a couple of shots, but Johnson continued to look comfortable trading with him.

Round two found Fortuna looking much more focused. He would connect just above the ear of Johnson about ninety seconds in, but Johnson didn’t seem overly fazed. Later in the round, a Fortuna left hook wobbled Johnson, who may at that point have begun to reconsider his approach of standing with his opponent. As if on cue, he level changed and flashed a glimpse of a takedown attempt but reconsidered. Fortuna was also finding a home for leg kicks to the lead leg of Johnson, which was beginning to show some color. Johnson would then shoot for a single leg, and doggedly held on and finished it just as the round came to an end.

Fortuna looked as if he was considering a takedown of his own early in the third round, but they wound up continuing on with the standup war. Fortuna continued to look to land a counter left hook, while Johnson seemed more at ease with the standup game than ever in the third. Fortuna connected with an overhand right, and would later try for a shot that came nowhere close to completion. Johnson responded with a takedown attempt of his own and wound up pressing Fortuna against the cage. They’d end the round standing and trading — but who secured the decision?

Jordan Johnson def. Marcel Fortuna by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) 

Brad Tavares vs. Elias Theodorou

Off to the middleweight division we went next, with Elias Theodoreua starting with a hard leg kick early. Tavares then landed a left hand. Moments later he’d manage to get Theodoreau to the ground, and work to take the back. Theodoreau, however, would use wrist control and smart positioning to free himself. The Canadian landed a head kick that was blocked but still sounded heavy. Tavares would initiate the clinch, not wanting to allow Theodoreau to fight at range. Theodoreau flashed some karate style chops during the round, but Tavaes wasn’t distracted and landed some hard shots of his own. A pair of body kicks by Theodoreau ended an active first round.

Theodoreau evaded a big kick early and wound up wrenching Tavares down only to have him power back up. Tavares reversed position, and they grappled against the fence with Theodoreau missing an uppercut and Tavares starting to connect. A couple of exchanges followed. Theodoreau mixed in a lead elbow, caught a leg and briefly took Tavares down. He then landed some knees to the shoulder while Tavares had a palm down, smartly avoiding the head, and finished the sequence with a body kick. Another close round in the end.

Elias Theodoreau shot for a single early in the third, but Tavares show excellent balance. However seconds later the Canadian would land a takedown, and work to take his opponents back while peppering the body with some light shots. Tavares would make it back up with three and a half minutes remaining in the round. Theodoreau would soon land another takedown however, but again couldn’t keep his opponent down. With two minutes to go Tavares managed to take the back of Theodoreau and sink his hooks in, looking for the rear naked choke, but didn’t have it. A number of transitions followed, and they finished on the feet with Tavares launching a head kick. Close bout as it went to the scorecards.

Brad Tavares def. Elias Theodorou by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) 

Jared Cannonier vs. Nick Roehrick

For Cannonier vs. Roehrick results, click here.

The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale Main Card Results

Brad Tavares def. Elias Theodorou by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Jordan Johnson def. Marcel Fortuna by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)