UFC 218 in Detroit gets intriguing lightweight bout

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Two lightweight up-and-comers – David Teymur (6-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and Drakkar Klose (8-0-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) – will meet at UFC 218.

UFC officials announced the fight via freep.com.

UFC 218 takes place Dec. 2 at Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the full fight card and bout order haven’t been determined.

Teymur, a 28-year-old Swedish fighter who was a quarterfinalist on “The Ultimate Fighter 22,” is undefeated in official pro bouts since a loss in his 2013 debut. His current six-fight winning streak features three consecutive UFC wins. They include knockout victories over Martin Svensson and Jason Novelli, as well as a recent “Fight of the Night” decision win over Lando Vannata in March.

He meets Klose, a 29-year-old Michigan native who will be the favorite with UFC 218’s Detroit crowd. The former state high-school champion and collegiate wrestler debuted with the UFC in January and has picked up decision victories over Devin Powell and rival Marc Diakiese.

The latest UFC 218 card includes:

  • Francis Ngannou vs. Alistair Overeem
  • Cortney Casey vs. Felice Herrig
  • Razak Al-Hassan vs. Sabah Homasi
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
  • Drakkar Klose vs. David Teymur

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

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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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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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 25 Finale winner Drakkar Klose apologizes for saying 'all English dudes are bums'

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Drakkar Klose got himself noticed on Friday at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale when he upset heavily hyped lightweight prospect and bitter rival Marc Diakiese.

Klose’s performance, which ended in a split-decision win in the FS1-televised bout at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, wasn’t the only part of his night to turn heads. Once his victory was announced, he proceeded to scream in Diakiese’s face and taunt his British foe.

The pair exchanged many words in the lead-up to the contest, and 15 minutes of fighting apparently still wasn’t enough to settle their differences. Klose (8-0-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) mocked Diakiese (12-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) and declared to the crowd that “all English dudes are bums” during his octagon interview. The 29-year-old received some flack for his comments, but he used the platform of The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale post-fight news conference to clear the air.

“It was just the heat of the moment,” Klose told reporters. “If you look at my Twitter, me and him have been going back and forth since the fight was announced. After the fight it just got under my skin, and it came to a head, and I just let it go. My roommate right now is Bradley Scott, and he’s an English guy, and he’s fighting August 5. It was just the heat of the moment. I apologize to everyone for saying that.”

Although Klose said he would change his actions if given the opportunity to go back in time, he also doesn’t regret his post-fight aggression toward Diakiese. He did not take kindly to all the trash talk leading up to the bout and wanted to let his opponent know he wouldn’t stand for it.

“I think (talking is) what he does to get in (his) opponent’s head,” Klose said. “He intimidates them like that. I’m a different breed. I train with Benson Henderson every day. I get beat up by him. This guy, he’s not going to go in there and do that to me.”

Klose managed to back up his words inside the octagon, but for a brief moment it appeared the victory was at risk of being robbed from him. Despite all 15 media outlets on MMADecisions.com who scored the fight 29-28 for Klose, judge Derek Cleary viewed it 29-28 in favor of Diakiese.

Ultimately the split decision went to the rightful victor, something which Klose said he knew would happen because Diakiese is “overrated.”

“In my head I thought I won every round,” Klose said. “I don’t think it should have been a split decision. Marc, he has all this hype behind him. I knew that he wasn’t going to be as tough as everyone thought.”

Diakiese came into The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale with the reputation of an undefeated fighter to watch. Klose left with that label, though, and he said regardless of the fact he’s only two fights into his UFC career, he’s ready to take on anyone.

“I just want to fight in Detroit,” Klose said of his future. “They can put me against anyone. I’ll fight Khabib (Nurmagomedov), I’ll fight anyone. I don’t care. Just put me in there. I’ll get my hand raised.”

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

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TUF 25 Finale video highlights: Drakkar Klose vs. Marc Diakiese

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Whereas Marc Diakiese kept looking for the flashy finish, Drakkar Klose was content punishing his opponent with leg kicks over and over.

The result was a split-decision win for Klose (8-0-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC), who stayed unbeaten by getting past the previously undefeated Diakiese (12-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC).

The lightweight bout was part of the main card for today’s UFC event, The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

There was still some tension from their pre-fight feud even afterward.

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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TUF 25 Finale results: Drakkar Klose beats Marc Diakiese, holds grudge after split-decision win

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Drakkar Klose simply wasn’t ready to let go of his grudge with Marc Diakiese.

Klose and Diakiese engaged in an entertaining fight, with Klose taking a split-decision win. But that didn’t seem to be enough.

The lightweight bout was part of the main card for today’s UFC event, The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Klose had to be stopped by security, which was already present inside the octagon, right after he was announced as the winner. Both Klose (8-0-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) and Diakiese (12-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) had to be separated during Thursday’s weigh-ins as both up-and-comers, who each entered undefeated, talked a lot of trash before throwing down.

The first thing to come out of Klose’s mouth during his post-fight interview?

“No disrespect to Michael Bisping, but all English dudes are bums,” he said.

Diakiese came in seemingly looking to score a flashy finish, but Klose was ready and countered with some punishing front kicks. Those proved to be the difference as Klose knocked down Diakiese on multiple occasions.

A leg kick that hurt Diakiese and sent him to the mat late in the first round was the signature moment of the frame. It also was huge near the end of the second round.

“Nothing surprised me,” Klose said. “He likes to talk a lot. He gets into his opponents’ heads. Hey, but I’m a different breed. I’m not like those other bums.”

Klose gets his second UFC win in as many tries, while Diakiese suffers the first loss of his professional career.

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

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

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

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TUF 25 Finale ceremonial weigh-in video highlights and photo gallery – with a middle finger

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LAS VEGAS – Check out the video highlights and photo gallery from today’s ceremonial weigh-ins for The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, which included a not-so-friendly face-off with the headliners.

The ceremonial weigh-ins took place at Park Theater at Monte Carlo in Las Vegas. The nearby T-Mobile Arena hosts Friday’s FS1-televised event.

In the main event, former WSOF champion Justin Gaethje (17-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes his UFC debut and takes on lightweight contender Michael Johnson (17-11 MMA, 9-7 UFC). There was no love lost during their face-off.

Additionally, main-card lightweights Marc Diakiese (12-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and Drakkar Klose (7-0-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) got a bit heated when they posed for cameras.

Check out our highlights video from the proceedings above, and don’t miss our 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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TUF 25 Finale staff picks: Will it be a rude awakening for Justin Gaethje's UFC debut?

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Johnson
vs.
Gaethje
Lima
vs.
Taylor
Diekiese
vs.
Klose
Cannonier
vs.
Roehrick
Tavares
vs.
Theodorou
Fortuna
vs.
Johnson
MMAjunkie readers’
consensus picks
2017: 58-47
gaethje2017
Gaethje
(67%)
jessetaylor2017
Taylor
(59%)
diakiese2017
Diakiese
(84%)
cannonier2017
Cannonier
(76%)
theodorou2017
Theodorou
(65%)
jordanjohnson2017
Johnson
(53%)
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2017: 68-37
gaethje2017
Gaethje
jessetaylor2017
Taylor
diakiese2017
Diakiese
cannonier2017
Cannonier
theodorou2017
Theodorou
fortuna2017
Fortuna
Matt Erickson @MMAjunkieMatt
2017: 66-39
mjohnson2016
Johnson
jessetaylor2017
Taylor
diakiese2017
Diakiese
cannonier2017
Cannonier
theodorou2017
Theodorou
jordanjohnson2017
Johnson
Dann Stupp
@DannStupp
2017: 64-41
trophy copy 2015 Champion
gaethje2017
Gaethje
jessetaylor2017
Taylor
diakiese2017
Diakiese
cannonier2017
Cannonier
theodorou2017
Theodorou
jordanjohnson2017
Johnson
Steven Marrocco @MMAjunkieSteven
2017: 64-41
gaethje2017
Gaethje
dhiegolima2017
Lima
diakiese2017
Diakiese
cannonier2017
Cannonier
theodorou2017
Theodorou
fortuna2017
Fortuna
Ben Fowlkes @BenFowlkesMMA
2017: 63-42
trophy copy 2016 Champion
gaethje2017
Gaethje
jessetaylor2017
Taylor
diakiese2017
Diakiese
cannonier2017
Cannonier
theodorou2017
Theodorou
fortuna2017
Fortuna
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2017: 62-43
mjohnson2016
Johnson
jessetaylor2017
Taylor
klose2017
Klose
cannonier2017
Cannonier
btavares2017
Tavares
fortuna2017
Fortuna
Fernanda Prates @nandaprates_
2017: 61-44
gaethje2017
Gaethje
jessetaylor2017
Taylor
diakiese2017
Diakiese
cannonier2017
Cannonier
theodorou2017
Theodorou
fortuna2017
Fortuna
Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA
2017: 59-46
trophy copy 2014 Champion
gaethje2017
Gaethje
jessetaylor2017
Taylor
diakiese2017
Diakiese
cannonier2017
Cannonier
theodorou2017
Theodorou
jordanjohnson2017
Johnson
George Garcia @MMAjunkieGeorge
2017: 58-47
mjohnson2016
Johnson
dhiegolima2017
Lima
diakiese2017
Diakiese
cannonier2017
Cannonier
btavares2017
Tavares
jordanjohnson2017
Johnson
John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn
2017: 56-49
gaethje2017
Gaethje
jessetaylor2017
Taylor
diakiese2017
Diakiese
cannonier2017
Cannonier
btavares2017
Tavares
fortuna2017
Fortuna

The UFC’s “International Fight Week” has two events this year, including another live finale of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

The TUF 25 Finale takes place Friday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)

In the main event, Michael Johnson (17-11 MMA, 9-7 UFC) takes on former WSOF lightweight champ Justin Gaethje (17-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who makes his UFC debut. Johnson is the betting favorite at -170, but it’s Gaethje who has a 7-3 edge from our 10 MMAjunkie editors, writers and radio hosts.

In the co-main event, the latest “TUF” winner will be crowned. The 25th season of the show featured former cast members, including finalists and winners. The welterweight final will be between Season 19 runner-up Dhiego Lima (12-5 MMA, 1-3 UFC) and Season 7 finalist Jesse Taylor (30-15 MMA, 0-1 UFC) – who never made it to the final because he was kicked off the show. He has his shot at redemption nine years later, and he’s got an 8-2 edge in our picks.

Also on the main card, Marc Diakiese (12-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) puts his unbeaten record on the line against fellow unbeaten lightweight Drakkar Klose (7-0-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC). Diakiese is one of the biggest favorites on the card at 3-1 and is a 9-1 pick from our staff members. At light heavyweight, Jared Cannonier (9-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) takes on short-notice replacement Nick Roehrick (7-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), and Cannonier is the event’s only unanimous pick.

Elias Theodorou (13-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) has an 7-3 picks edge over Brad Tavares (14-4 MMA, 9-4 UFC) in their middleweight fight, and Marcel Fortuna (9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is a 6-4 pick over Jordan Johnson (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) in their light heavyweight bout to open the main card.

In the MMAjunkie reader consensus picks, Gaethje, Taylor, Diakiese, Cannonier, Theodorou and Jordan Johnson are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

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

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