Stephen Thompson Spinning Hook Kick Fells Jake Ellenberger in ‘TUF 21’ Finale Headliner

By Brian Knapp Jul 12, 2015
Stephen Thompson has a flair for the spectacular.

Thompson wiped out Jake Ellenberger with a spinning hook kick and follow-up punches in “The Ultimate Fighter 21” Finale headliner on Sunday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Ellenberger (30-10, 9-6 UFC) met his end 4:29 into round one, losing for the fourth time in five outings.

“Wonderboy” dealt with some adversity along the way. The notoriously heavy-handed Ellenberger dropped the karateka to his knees with a ringing right to the side of the head, but Thompson kept his composure, sucked the Nebraskan into the clinch and separated on his own terms. He knocked down Ellenberger with the first of two spinning hooks kicks and remained patient as he pursued the finish with punches. Thompson allowed “The Juggernaut” to stand, settled at his preferred range and launched another spinning hook kick that floored the still-dazed Ellenberger. He then pounced with a left and a right, forcing the stoppage.

Thompson (11-1, 6-1 UFC) has recorded six wins in a row since losing a unanimous decision to Matt Brown a little more than three years ago.

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Blackzilians’ Usman Taps Hassan

In the welterweight co-main event, Kamaru Usman submitted Hayder Hassan with a second-round arm-triangle choke and allowed the Blackzilians to claim the team title for “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 21. Usman (6-1, 1-0 UFC) forced the tap 79 seconds into round two.

Hassan (6-2, 0-1 UFC) had no answers for the Nigerian wrestler. Usman struck for repeated takedowns, neutralizing the American Top Team export on the mat. Hassan wobbled the Legacy Fighting Championship veteran with an uppercut early in the second round, only to surrender yet another takedown. Usman advanced to full mount, locked in the choke and tightened his squeeze. Hassan struggled to break free but elected to tap as he started to lose consciousness.

Usman, 27, has won five straight fights.

Unbeaten Graves Subdues Luque

American Top Team prospect Michael Graves kept his perfect professional record intact with a unanimous decision over Vicente Luque in a three-round welterweight scrap between “The Ultimate Fighter 21” cast members. All three judges saw it 29-28 for Graves (5-0, 1-0 UFC).

Graves corralled the Blackzilians rep in the clinch and secured takedowns in all three rounds, consolidating his efforts with punches and elbows from the top. Luque (7-5-1, 0-1 UFC) slowed his counterpart with a series of chokes in the third round, but his work did not produce the finish he needed. Graves escaped to his feet, delivered a late takedown and smashed the Jungle Fight alum with an elbow in the closing seconds.

‘Gamebred’ Masvidal Waylays Ferreira

American Top Team’s Jorge Masvidal knocked out Cezar Ferreira with first-round punches in a welterweight showcase. Ferreira (8-5, 4-3 UFC) wilted 4:22 into round one, as “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” winner lost for the third time in four appearances.

Not much took place prior to the stoppage. Ferreira backed the Miami native into the fence in an attempt to clinch, but his strategy did not pay off. Masvidal (29-9, 6-2 UFC) cracked the Brazilian with a short standing to the elbow, dropped him with a clean right and then rained down punches with both hands until “Mutante” was unconscious, leaving referee John McCarthy to pick up the pieces.

The appearance was Masvidal’s first at 170 pounds since September 2010.

Waterson Choke Submits Magana

Former Invicta Fighting Championships titleholder Michelle Waterson submitted “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 20 graduate Angela Magana with a third-round rear-naked choke in a featured women’s battle at 115 pounds. Waterson (13-4, 1-0 UFC) coaxed the tapout 2:38 into round three.

Magana (11-8, 0-2 UFC) threatened the upset with a tight armbar in the first round. Waterson survived the harrowing exchanged and controlled the remainder of the fight. She advanced to mount in the first and second rounds, chipping away at Magana’s resolve from the top. In the third, Waterson executed a takedown, climbed to the back and flattened out the fading Alliance MMA export. Unanswered punches and slashing hammerfists preceded the choke.

Waterson, 29, has won seven of her past eight bouts

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Blanco Blasts Past De La Torre

Former King of Pancrase Maximo Blanco put away Mike de la Torre with first-round punches in a featherweight showcase. Blanco (12-6-1, 4-3 UFC) sealed it 16 seconds into round one, benefitting from what appeared to be a hair-trigger stoppage from referee Yves Lavigne.

Neither man was cautious, as fists flew from the start. Blanco gave de la Torre (13-5, 1-2 UFC) pause with a head kick and then blasted him with a short right hook while he was moving forward. The MMA Lab rep’s knees buckled before Blanco sat him down with a left hook. Lavigne elected to intervene, even as the dazed de la Torre clung to the Venezuelan’s leg.

Blanco, who missed weight for the match, will carry a four-fight winning streak into his next appearance.


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