Dhiego Lima unloads on 'TUF 25' winner Jesse Taylor after doping fail

Dhiego Lima is feeling some type of way about Jesse Taylor’s recent failed doping test.

Taylor (31-15 MMA, 1-1 UFC), who earned the “The Ultimate Fighter 25” crown with a second-round submission of Lima (12-6 MMA, 1-4 UFC) at the show’s finale back in July, was flagged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after estrogen blocker clomiphen was caught in a test conducted on Aug. 22.

Other than adding quite the unfortunate twist to what had been the redemption story of the year, the bust forced Taylor out of a UFC Fight Night 121 encounter and got him a one-year suspension from USADA. Still, given it stemmed from an out-of-competition test, it doesn’t change the outcome of his most recent bout.

That’s where Lima comes in.

Had it been a straightforward steroid, Lima said, it would be one thing. But the fact that clomiphen can also be used to cycle off steroids has him thinking – well, it has him pretty damn certain – that Taylor used PEDs in the leadup to their fight.

“For our fight, he knew our anti-doping would only be a normal pee test,” Lima told MMAjunkie. “So he must have done a cycle for that. And then, one month later, he flunked with a post-cycle drug. Of course he was taking stuff to fight me.”

Understandably, Lima is grappling with quite the plethora of emotions. Let’s start with the first and perhaps most surprising one, which he got right after a Twitter user alerted him to the bust.

“It was a relief for me, to be honest,” Lima told MMAjunkie.

Allow Lima to explain. He was on the same team as Taylor on “TUF,” which means the two had trained together for weeks. Lima knew how strong Taylor was. But as a big 200-pound welterweight, Lima’s not exactly frail himself. So when Lima was faced with a much stronger opponent than the one he’d shared a mat with, he was puzzled.

“That was on my mind – ‘Why was that guy so much stronger than me?’” Lima said. “I trained so hard, and the guy tossed me around like I was nothing? How? It’s not possible. I knew how strong he was in the house. So for me, it would be the same at the fight.

“I did what I had to do to win, but come fight time, he was like three times stronger than me. I got depressed, you know. I thought about the fight so much, and I couldn’t understand. I knew it. I told everyone after the fight that he was too strong, that there was no way that was possible. And there you go.”

Clomiphene was the same substance that caused former champions Brock Lesnar and Jon Jones to be flagged in relation to their respective UFC 200 bouts. According to USADA, it “indirectly promotes the secretion of testosterone,” which, especially combined with strength training, “has been demonstrated to increase fat-free mass, muscle size, and strength in males.”

For Lima, who even considered moving up to 185 pounds in fear that his weight cut had depleted him of strength, the failed drug test meant some vindication. After months of going over it all and telling himself – and everyone else – that being “thrown around like a kid” by Taylor didn’t make any sense, he at least got some peace of mind.

“I knew I’d done everything right,” Lima said. “It all clicked.”

But there’s also quite a bit of frustration. After all, Taylor’s win over Lima earned him not only the “TUF” crown, but also a generous fight purse that had never been given to a season winner before.

“It wasn’t just any fight,” Lima said. “It was a finale. There was $250,000 (it actually ended up amounting to $290,000) on the line. I have three kids. I trained very hard for this fight. I suffered so much. Some days, I couldn’t even walk because I was training so hard. I knew about his strength. I knew about his wrestling. I prepared for everything. I trained with him for six weeks. He was on my team.

“I knew what I had to do to win the fight. I did everything right. I passed my post-fight tests. And then I hear the guy flunked a test a month later, knowing he did a cycle for my fight? This hurts me a lot. I suffered so much for this fight, and the guy cheats to beat me? It pisses me off.”

Despite Lima’s claims, Taylor has maintained his innocence (via Facebook):

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While Lima is aware that he’s not seeing any of that “TUF” money, he hopes the UFC will find some way of making it up for him. Considering that “TUF” winners get better UFC deals – in this case, Lima said, Taylor’s is $20,000 heftier than his. So he’d be happy just to get that.

“USADA is trying to clean up the sport, so they need to see that he took a post-cycle drug,” Lima said. “Who doesn’t see that? It’s common sense. They need to take care of me. And I believe they will. They have to give me his contract. We’ll see. He’s suspended, so he won’t even fight. I’m here. I passed my tests. I’m training hard. I’ll fight anyone.”

Of course, there’s one pretty obvious obstacle to getting his demands met. Although Lima, personally, seems quite certain that Taylor took the substance to get his levels back to normal after a PED cycle leading up to their fight, there’s really not much he can do to prove it.

Still, Lima is confident that, with some added support from his colleagues and a proper social media campaign, he should be able to get the UFC on board.

“The fighters are all on my side – especially the clean ones,” Lima said. “They know where I’m coming from. Brian Stann, who I used to train with, always told me: ‘Dhiego, when you fight someone who’s on PEDs, you will know.’ And that’s what happened in this fight.

“I have the fighters on my side. I’m taking to social media. Dana White likes me. So I think there is a chance of at least getting a better contract, especially now that they’re trying to clean the sport with USADA.”

Taylor, who ended up getting the highest possible sanction for a first-time offender caught with a specified substance, immediately maintained he’s “never done steroids.” Lima, however, suspects that’s exactly what his former opponent had been doing for a while.

“I’m no one to judge anyone,” Lima said. “But it’s common sense. The guy is 35 and has a back full of pimples. Where have you seen that before? Is he just hitting puberty now?”

The problem isn’t personal. Lima, in fact, won’t deny that Taylor’s comeback story was quite the intriguing one. But as someone who’s adamant on the fact that he’s 100 percent clean, the Brazilian is not OK with any fighter who tries to take shortcuts.

“There is a different in strength, of course, but this also helps them mentally,” Lima said. “We do a camp, we train very hard, and sometimes our body can’t keep up. Sometimes you’re all hurt and broken, so you’re not always training at 100 percent. They say it helps with everything. Their training sessions will always be good, because they have that.

“These guys don’t wanna go through the suffering, they want the easier way. The thing that helps with performance and recovery. And these guys need to be banned. For a guy like me, who’s never taken anything, who diets every day, who trains hard, who goes through all the hardships, it’s so unfair to us. It’s ridiculous. These guys need to be banned. They need to go away. It makes me angry.”

As upset as he is with the situation, Lima said that it’s also going to allow him to start fresh. When he returns to the octagon, which he plans on doing in December, he will be doing it with a clear mind.

As for his most recent opponent? Well, that’s his problem.

“His story was amazing,” Lima said. “What he did the first time, what he did to return. But if he can sleep at night knowing that he had to cheat to beat me? That’s his problem. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night knowing I had to cheat to get something like this.

“He fought well and all, but I knew what I had to do. If he can sleep at night, that’s good for him. But I wouldn’t be able to.”

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale salaries: Justin Gaethje banks event-high $200k

Justin Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) earned the largest disclosed payday at this past Friday’s The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, taking home a disclosed $200,000 purse in addition to the $100,000 he earned in post-fight bonuses for a “Fight of the Year” candidate against Michael Johnson (17-12 MMA, 9-8 UFC).

MMAjunkie today obtained the list of official disclosed salaries from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

The TUF 25 Finale took place at T-Mobile in Las Vegas. The bulk of the card aired on FOX Sports 1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The next highest earner on the card was two-time title challenger Gray Maynard (13-6-1 MMA, 11-6-1 UFC), who took home $102,000 for a unanimous decision over Teruto Ishihara (9-4-2 MMA, 2-2-1 UFC) on the UFC Fight Pass-streamed prelims.

The total disclosed payroll for the event was $1,028,000.

Official TUF 25 Finale payouts included:

Justin Gaethje: $200,000 (includes $100,000 win bonus)
def. Michael Johnson: $47,000

Jesse Taylor: $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus)
def. Dhiego Lima: $15,000

Drakkar Klose: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Marc Diakiese: $24,000

Jared Cannonier: $100,000 (includes $50,000 win bonus)
def. Nick Roehrick: $12,000

Brad Tavares: $68,000 (includes $34,000 win bonus)
def. Elias Theodorou: $24,000

Jordan Johnson: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Marcel Fortuna: $14,000

Angela Hill: $36,000 (includes $18,000 win bonus)
def. Ashley Yoder: $12,000

James Krause: $48,000 (includes $24,000 win bonus)
def. Tom Gallicchio: $10,000

C.B. Dolloway: $86,000 (includes $43,000 win bonus)
def. Ed Herman: $54,000

Tecia Torres: $60,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)
def. Juliana Lima: $17,000

Gray Maynard: $102,000 (includes $51,000 win bonus)
def. Teruto Ishihara: $21,000

Now, the usual disclaimer: The figures do not include deductions for items such as insurance, licenses and taxes. Additionally, the figures do not include money paid by sponsors like Reebok, which can oftentimes be a substantial portion of a fighter’s income. They also do not include any other “locker room” or special discretionary bonuses the UFC sometimes pays.

For example, as previously reported, UFC officials handed out additional $50,000 TUF 25 Finale bonuses to Gaethje, Johnson and Torres who all earned “Performance of the Night” awards.

In other words, the above figures are simply base salaries reported to the commission and do not reflect entire compensation packages for the event.

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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10 memorable moments from TUF 25 Finale and UFC 213, including Justin Gaethje's crazy debut

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The UFC’s sixth annual International Fight Week featured two fight cards, Friday’s The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale and Saturday’s UFC 213, both of which took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Plenty of memorable moments emerged.

Over the course of the two events, 22 fights took place, including former WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje’s winning UFC debut in a potential “Fight of the Year” contender, as well Robert Whittaker capturing the interim middleweight title.

Of course, they weren’t the only noteworthy occurrences. As one would expect, a good number of the key takeaways from this year’s International Fight Week took place in the cage, but not all of them – and at least one revolved around someone who didn’t even strap on a pair of four-ounce gloves.

Here are the 10 most memorable moments from International Fight Week 2017.

1. How to make a first impression

As far as remarkable UFC debuts go, Gaethje’s has to rank near the top. The former WSOF lightweight champion came to the UFC and delivered what he promised: an all offense attack, with no thought of self-preservation.

As in his previous 17 fights, Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) walked away the victor, but until he finished Michael Johnson late in the second round, victory wasn’t a sure thing. After all, Johnson (17-12 MMA, 9-8 UFC), who gave his best, hurt Gaethje several times.

Those unfamiliar with Gaethje before the TUF 25 Finale card should be now. Those who had doubts about Gaethje’s UFC readiness should’ve had those questions answered. Even UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor tipped his hat in appreciation (via Twitter):

After his win, Gaethje, who earned two bonuses (“Fight of the Night” and “Performance of the Night”), took to the mic and asked, “Who’s next?”
Gaethje later said he wouldn’t mind facing Tony Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC), who as Gaethje predicted, dismissed him unless the fight will be for UFC gold.

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2. One more hill to climb

Since joining the UFC middleweight ranks, Whittaker has done nothing but win while looking better each time he’s done so.

Whittaker earned his seventh victory in the division and his sixth post-fight bonus, defeating Yoel Romero by decision in a masterful performance in UFC 213’s main event. More important than the money and the accolades, the victory gave the 26-year-old the interim title, setting up a fight with 38-year-old champion Michael Bisping.

Like Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC), Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) is a fighter with considerable will. It’s something Whittaker displayed during the Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) fight, battling through a knee injury the Cuban exacerbated with a kick in the first round. The title fight between Bisping and Whittaker, when it does occur, will be highly anticipated and easily promotable, even if Bisping decides against playing the heel role.

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3. OK to be frustrated, but…

In the aftermath of International Fight Week, social media should have been discussing the fights and futures of Gaethje and Whittaker. Instead, most of the talk surrounded UFC women’s bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes’ decision to withdraw from her title defense against Valentina Shevchenko, which was scheduled as UFC 213’s main event.

A lot of that talk is due to UFC President Dana White’s willingness to shame Nunes for her decision not to compete while suffering from what she revealed was “chronic sinusitis.”

Lost in many of these 140-character discussions is that if Nunes had fought and lost, she would have relinquished not only her title, but future earning potential as UFC champ.

Nunes was scheduled to make $105,000 to show and an additional $105,000 had she defended her title. Additionally, her UFC-Reebok sponsorship amount, as champion, was to be $40,000. Had she lost, Nunes would have dropped to the $5,000 tier. That’s not to mention the fact that her job is to punch and be punched in the head, something you don’t want to do when not feeling up to par.

The frustration on this matter is understandable. The condemnation though? That’s disconcerting.

4. A real redemption story

In 2008 Jesse Taylor made it to the tournament final of “The Ultimate Fighter 7.” He didn’t fight on that card due to actions that forced his removal from the show. Instead of a UFC career, Taylor toiled in the lower rungs of MMA until this year, when he got his chance to participate in the redemption season of “TUF.” He made the most of that opportunity.

Taylor (31-15 MMA, 1-1 UFC) did what was expected in his welterweight bout vs. Dhiego Lima (12-6 MMA, 1-4 UFC), relying heavily on his wrestling and submission skills to finish the fight in the second round via rear-naked choke. The win earned Taylor the $290,000 prize as the winner of “TUF 25.”

Now that he’s redeemed himself and back with the promotion, Taylor has his eye on UFC gold.

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5. Return to form

Anthony Pettis needed a win at UFC 213. It didn’t have to be impressive or memorable; he just needed a victory so he could put a 1-4 stretch behind him.

Pettis earned that win, and he did so with an aggressive performance that left fans nodding their heads in appreciation and thinking the “Showtime” Pettis of yore is ready for a top-tier lightweight opponent following an ill-fated two-fight run at featherweight.

Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) worked through some adversity early thanks to the leg kicks of Jim Miller (28-10 MMA, 17-9 UFC), but once Pettis found his groove he dominated the well-rounded Miller in all aspects of the fight, especially in the creative striking department on his way to a decision win.

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6. The door is open

Alistair Overeem defeated Fabrico Werdum by narrow majority decision at UFC 213. The victory was far from dominant and left many questioning the judges’ decision.

The matchup between these two highly ranked heavyweights should have put the winner in position to challenge heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic. Instead, the bout had UFC President Dana White commenting on the FOX post-fight show that the fight would not put “anybody in position for a title.”

Overeem seemed to agree.

“If we have to face somebody else first, fine,” Overeem told MMAjunkie after the event.

White’s comments seem to leave the door open for rising star Francis Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) to claim a title shot should he get past former champion Junior Dos Santos (18-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) at UFC 215.

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7. Earning his nickname

Aleksei Oleinik picked up one of the biggest wins of his lengthy career with his second-round stoppage of Travis Browne. Oleinik (52-10-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC), who was coming off the first submission victory via Ezekiel choke in UFC history, forced Browne (18-7-1 MMA, 9-7-1 UFC) to tap to what UFC announcer Bruce Buffer simply referred to as a “submission.”

After the fight, Oleinik provided some detail on the hold that sent Browne to his fourth straight defeat.

“This choke was a unique submission but something I use a lot,” Oleinik said. “I set it up like a rear-naked choke but also use my body weight to twist my opponent. You could say it is actually a double submission from that angle. This is why I am ‘The Boa Constrictor.’”

Browne’s loss left White suggesting Browne retire.

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8. On the come up

If you’re looking for an under-the-radar win that stood out during International Fight Week, Rob Font deserves consideration. Font (14-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) put on the best performance of his UFC career in earning a “Performance of the Night” bonus for his submission win over Douglas Silva de Andrade (24-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) at UFC 213.

Font has been tagged as a fighter with a high upside for some time, but his decision loss to John Lineker in 2016 cooled that talk. With two consecutive stoppages since then, Font looks ready to wade back into the deep end of the bantamweight pool.

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9. Not letting that one go

In December, Gray Maynard was involved in one of the most frustrating contests of his career. The former lightweight title challenger, now competing at featherweight, struggled to mount any offense against the jiu-jitsu based Ryan Hall and eventually lost a decision.

Maynard (13-6-1 MMA, 11-6-1 UFC) bounced back at the TUF 25 Finale, using his wrestling to dominate Teruto Ishihara (9-4-2 MMA, 2-2-1 UFC) and earn a unanimous-decision victory.  Instead of focusing on the future and his win, Maynard disparaged Hall.

“There was no risk in that fight (with Hall),” Maynard said. “It was a waste of time. And everybody still called me out. That’s not my fault. He’s the (expletive); he’s the coward. And I’ll never take a fight like that again.”

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Maynard then called for a bout against Artem Lobov.

For his part, Hall seemed amused.

10. An emotional victory

Tecia Torres wanted to fight Michelle Waterson in August, but when Amanda Ribas was pulled from her fight against Juliana Lima for a potential USADA violation, Torres offered her services.

The UFC accepted, and the gamble paid off for Torres, (9-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC), and she submitted Lima (9-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC) in the second round of their TUF 25 Finale fight via rear-naked choke. The stoppage was the first of Torres’ career and earned her the first post-fight bonus of her UFC run.

After the win, Torres broke down in tears. Backstage, Torres spoke about the tragedy that caused her to react with such emotion: the death of former teammate Aaron Rajman.

“This is the first time (I’ve had to go through that kind of adversity),” Torres said. “It really hit home because he was there for me at the end of my amateur career. He had his own show too. I fought my last amateur fight on his show. He was a good friend. We hadn’t talked in a while, but whenever we would connect, we would be together.”

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And that Waterson fight? Torres still wants it.

For more on The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale and UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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TUF 25 Finale post-event facts: Justin Gaethje extends winning streak in high-volume debut

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The UFC’s sixth annual “International Fight Week” festivities kicked off on Friday with The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, which took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The lightweight main event produced one of the most memorable fights of the year, with Justin Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) making a huge impression in his UFC debut. “The Highlight” and Michael Johnson (17-12 MMA, 9-8 UFC) combined for an astonishing 195 signifiant strikes landed before Gaethje scored a TKO in the closing seconds of the second round.

Gaethje’s performance stole the show, but there were several others who delivered noteworthy efforts, as well. For more, check out 45 post-event facts to come out of The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale.

* * * *

General

The Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $122,500.

Debuting fighters went 1-1 at the event.

Johnson and Tecia Torres earned $50,000 TUF 25 Finale fight-night bonuses. Gaethje received two bonuses for $100,000.

The TUF 25 Finale drew an announced attendance of 6,308 for a live gate of $432,495.

Betting favorites went 8-3 on the card.

Total fight time for the 11-bout card was 2:18:32.

* * * *

Main card

Justin Gaethje and Michael Johnson

Gaethje extended his winning streak to 18 fights. He hasn’t suffered a defeat in his nearly six-year career.

Gaethje’s 18-fight MMA winning streak is third longest among active UFC fighters behind Khabib Nurmagomedov (24) and Jimmie Rivera (19).

Gaethje had earned 16 of his 18 career victories by stoppage.

Gaethje has earned 15 of his 16 career stoppage victories by knockout.

Gaethje became the first to earn two fight-night bonuses for one bout since Robert Whittaker at UFC Fight Night 101 in November.

Johnson fell to 1-4 in his past five fights dating back to August 2015.

Johnson suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Jesse Taylor

Jesse Taylor (31-15 MMA, 1-1 UFC) was successful in his return to UFC competition. He lost his lone previous octagon appearance in July 2008.

Taylor has earned 17 of his 22 career stoppage victories by submission.

Dhiego Lima (12-6 MMA, 1-4 UFC) was unsuccessful in his return to the UFC for a second stint. He hasn’t earned an octagon victory since November 2014.

Lima has suffered five of his six career losses by stoppage.

Lima suffered the first submission loss of his career.

Drakkar Klose

Drakkar Klose (8-0-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has earned both of his UFC victories by decision.

Marc Diakiese (12-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) had his 12-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his professional career.

Jared Cannonier (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) improved to 2-1 since he dropped to the UFC light-heavyweight division in December.

Cannonier has earned eight of his 10 career victories by stoppage.

Cannonier has earned both of his UFC stoppage victories by knockout.

Nick Roehrick (7-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) had his seven-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his pro career.

Brad Tavares

Brad Tavares (15-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) has earned his past eight UFC victories by decision. His last stoppage win was a first-round knockout of Phil Baroni at UFC 125 in January 2011.

Elias Theodorou (13-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) has suffered both of his career losses by decision.

Jordan Johnson (8-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has earned his past three victories by decision after opening his career with five consecutive stoppages.

Marcel Fortuna (9-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) has suffered both of his career losses by decision.

Preliminary card

Angela Hill

Angela Hill (7-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) improved to 1-1 since she returned to the UFC for a second stint in February.

Hill improved to 5-1 since her initial release from the UFC in late 2015.

Hill has earned both of her UFC victories by decision.

Ashley Yoder (5-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) has suffered all three of her career losses by decision.

James Krause

James Krause (24-7 MMA, 5-3 UFC) was successful in his UFC welterweight debut.

C.B. Dollaway (16-8 MMA, 10-8 UFC) snapped his three-fight losing skid for his first victory since May 2014.

Dollaway was successful in his UFC light-heavyweight debut.

Dollaway improved to 5-4 in his past nine UFC appearances.

Ed Herman (24-12 MMA, 11-8 UFC) fell to 1-2 since he returned to the light-heavyweight division in January 2016.

Tecia Torres

Torres’ (9-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) five victories in UFC strawweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Joanna Jedrzejczyk (eight).

Torres earned the first stoppage victory of her career.

Juliana Lima (9-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC) suffered the first submission loss of her career.

Gray Maynard

Gray Maynard (13-6-1 MMA, 11-6-1 UFC) improved to 2-1 since he dropped to the UFC featherweight division in July 2016.

Maynard has earned his past 10 UFC victories by decision. He is the first fighter in UFC history to earn 10 wins with the organization without a stoppage, breaking his own record of nine.

Maynard’s 11 takedowns landed tied the record for most in a UFC/WEC featherweight fight.

Maynard’s 11 takedowns landed marked a personal best in his UFC career. His previous high was nine against Frankie Edgar at UFC Fight Night 13.

Teruto Ishihara (9-4-2 MMA, 2-2-1 UFC) has suffered both of his UFC losses by decision.

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

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TUF 25 Finale Athlete Outfitting pay: Justin Gaethje gets $2,500 payout for thrilling debut win

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LAS VEGAS – Fighters from Friday’s The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $122,500.

The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and the card aired on FS1 following early prelims UFC Fight Pass.

The headliner, which featured Justin Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) earning a thrilling second-round TKO over Michael Johnson (17-12 MMA, 9-8 UFC), featured a large pay discrepancy. “The Highlight” was on the lowest payout tier for his promotional debut and received $2,500, compared to $15,000 for promotional vet Johnson.

The full Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Justin Gaethje: $2,500
def. Michael Johnson: $15,000

Jesse Taylor: $2,500
def. Dhiego Lima: $2,500

Drakkar Klose: $2,500
def. Marc Diakiese: $2,500

Jared Cannonier: $2,500
def. Nick Roehrick: $2,500

Brad Tavares: $10,000
def. Elias Theodorou: $5,000

Jordan Johnson: $2,500
def. Marcel Fortuna: $2,500

Angela Hill: $2,500
def. Ashley Yoder: $2,500

James Krause: $5,000
def. Tom Gallicchio: $2,500

C.B. Dollaway: $15,000
def. Ed Herman: $15,000

Tecia Torres: $5,000
def. Juliana Lima: $5,000

Gray Maynard: $15,000
def. Teruto Ishihara: $2,500

Under the UFC Athlete Outfitting program’s payout tiers, which appropriate the money generated by Reebok’s multi-year sponsorship with the UFC, fighters are paid based on their total number of UFC bouts, as well as Zuffa-era WEC fights (January 2007 and later) and Zuffa-era Strikeforce bouts (April 2011 and later). Fighters with 1-5 bouts receive $2,500 per appearance; 6-10 bouts get $5,000; 11-15 bouts earn $10,000; 16-20 bouts pocket $15,000; and 21 bouts and more get $20,000. Additionally, champions earn $40,000 while title challengers get $30,000.

In addition to experience-based pay, UFC fighters will receive in perpetuity royalty payments amounting to 20-30 percent of any UFC merchandise sold that bears their likeness, according to officials.

Full 2017 UFC-Reebok sponsorship payouts:

Year-to-date total: $2,930,000
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $13,253,000

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of TUF 25 Finale with Zeppelin and Nirvana, Cash and Madonna

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While it takes intense training, world-class skills and maybe even a bit of luck to register a UFC win, picking the right song to accompany you to the cage is a key talent, as well.

See what the fighters of Friday’s Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale event in Las Vegas went with as their backing tracks.

* * * *

Justin Gaethje def. Michael Johnson via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 4:48

Justin Gaethje: “Champion” by Keznamdi

Michael Johnson: “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood/M.A.A.D. City” by Nina Simone/Kendrick Lamar

Jesse Taylor def. Dhiego Lima via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 0:43

Jesse Taylor: “Highwayman” by The Highwaymen

Dhiego Lima: “God’s Not Dead” by Newsboys

Drakkar Klose def. Marc Diakiese via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Drakkar Klose: “Congratulations” by Post Malone

Marc Diakiese: “Cool Nuh” by Giggs

Jared Cannonier def. Nick Roehrick via TKO (elbows) – Round 3, 2:08

Jared Cannonier: “It’s Like That” by Big Pokey feat. Lil’ Keke

Nick Roehrick: “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin

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

Brad Tavares: “Tears” by Alborosie

Elias Theodorou: “Oh Canada”

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

Jordan Johnson: “Like a Prayer” by Madonna

Marcel Fortuna: “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” by Johnny Cash

Angela Hill def. Ashley Yoder via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27

Angela Hill: “Battle Hymn” by Manowar

Ashley Yoder: “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)” by Fall Out Boy

James Krause def. Tom Gallicchio via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

James Krause: “Hootie Hoo” by Outkast

Tom Gallicchio: “Work” by Gang Starr

C.B. Dollaway def. Ed Herman via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)

C.B. Dollaway: “Loud and Heavy” by Cody Jinks

Ed Herman: “When the Lights Go Out” by The Black Keys

Tecia Torres def. Juliana Lima via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 0:53

Tecia Torres: “Dreamer” by Charlie XCX

Juliana Lima: “TNT” by AC/DC

Gray Maynard def. Teruto Ishihara via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)

Gray Maynard: “In Bloom” by Nirvana

Teruto Ishihara: “Lion No Ko (Yashabo Version)” by Spinna B-ill

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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TUF Finale 25 video highlights: Jesse Taylor vs. Dhiego Lima

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Jesse Taylor has the redemption he’s wanted for so long.

After being taken down and swarmed in the opening round, Dhiego Lima finally turned things around with a left hook that dropped Taylor at the start of the second.

Moments later, Taylor (31-15 MMA, 1-1 UFC) was back on top, taking Lima’s (12-6 MMA, 1-4 UFC) back and sinking in the rear-naked choke to force the submission just 43 seconds into Round 2, claiming “The Ultimate Fighter 25” tournament title worth nearly $300,000 in the end.

The welterweight bout co-headlined Friday’s UFC event, The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The “TUF 25” tournament final aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Check out the highlights above.

Also see:

For more on The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Twitter reacts to Jesse Taylor's submission of Dhiego Lima to win 'TUF 25' crown

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Jesse Taylor completed the greatest comeback story in the history of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series on Friday when he defeated Dhiego Lima in “The Ultimate Fighter 25” final.

Taylor (31-15 MMA, 1-1 UFC) completely overwhelmed Lima (12-6 MMA, 1-4 UFC) with a superior grappling arsenal and locked in the second-round submission to win a $250,000 prize in the co-headliner of the The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Check below for the top Twitter reactions to Taylor’s victory over Lima at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale

* * * *

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

TUF 25 Finale results: At long last, Jesse Taylor wins 'TUF' with submission of Dhiego Lima

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After being taken down and swarmed on the mat in the opening round, Dhiego Lima finally turned things around with a left hook that dropped Jesse Taylor at the start of the second.

Moments later, Taylor (31-15 MMA, 1-1 UFC) was back on top, taking Lima’s (12-6 MMA, 1-4 UFC) back and sinking in the rear-naked choke to force the submission just 43 seconds into Round 2, claiming a reality show tournament title worth nearly $300,000 in the end.

The welterweight bout co-headlined today’s UFC event, The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The “TUF 25” tournament final aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Any doubts as to Taylor’s game plan were put to rest in the first 10 seconds of the fight, as he immediately charged across the cage and shot for a takedown on Lima, who spent most of the next 90 seconds defending against it.

He was ultimately unsuccessful, and with Taylor on top the grind the began. From the guard to side control to the back and all over again, Taylor was relentless in his attacks, twice coming close to locking up rear-naked chokes before letting them go and settling for softening Lima up with ground-and-pound.

After surviving that round, Lima came out for the second frame looking for a change. He found one early, as Taylor pressed forward and Lima tagged him with a left hook above his ear that sat him down in the center of the cage. But just as Lima dove in with a right hand to the downed Taylor, hoping to capitalize on his good fortune, he inadvertently played right into Taylor’s hands.

Within seconds, Taylor had scrambled up, shucked Lima off his back, and taken Lima’s back in response, quickly locking up the rear-naked choke and putting on the squeeze. Lima tried everything he could to escape, but the choke was in and there was no escape, forcing him to tap less than a minute into a round that had started in such promising fashion.

The win gives Taylor the TUF 25 title, which brings with it a $250,000 cash prize, in addition to the money he earned for his previous victories on the show. Lima has now lost his last two pro bouts.

Up-to-the-minute TUF 25 Finale results include:

For more on The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Steven Marrocco contributed to this report on site in Las Vegas.)

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Source: MMA Junkie

TUF 25 Finale official weigh-in video, photos: New 'TUF' winner will be crowned

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LAS VEGAS – The first of back-to-back UFC shows for “International Fight Week” goes down Friday night with the TUF 25 Finale in Las Vegas.

This morning, the fighters on the card stepped on the scale to become official for the event, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena and airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, Michael Johnson (17-11 MMA, 9-7 UFC) and Justin Gaethje (17-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) meet in a lightweight bout. Gaethje is a former WSOF champion who is making his UFC debut. And in the co-feature, Dhiego Lima (12-5 MMA, 1-3 UFC) takes on Jesse Taylor (30-15 MMA, 0-1 UFC) to determine the Season 25 winner of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

Check out our exclusive video from the early and official weigh-ins of the four fighters at the top of the card above, as well as our complete photo gallery below.

And for more on The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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