The Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale Live Play-By-Play & ResultsThe Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to The Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada tonight for The Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale. The card was headlined by the first UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship bout between Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza and “Thug” Rose Namajunas.

In the co-feature, Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens met Charles “do Bronx” Oliveira at 145. “King” K.J. Noons took on Daron “The Detroit Superstar” Cruickshank at 155 and TUF 20 semi-finalists Jessica Penne and Randa Markos clashed at 115. has live play-by-play for the card.


UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship

Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza vs “Thug” Rose Namajunas

Round 1:
Esparza scored first with a one-two and Namajunas immediately answered back with a head kick and a flurry. She followed with a jumping switch kick, but Esparza caught it and took her down. She landed some solid punches from the top until Namajunas scrambled back to her feet. She mixed things up with kicks and a flying knee. Esparza took her down for a split second and both women landed knees on the way up. Esparza scored with a knee in the clinch and Namajunas circled away.

Namajunas rushed in with another jumping switch kick to the body and she followed with a front kick. She threw more flashy kicks and Esparza took her down. Esparza flurried with punches from the top, but Namajunas pushed her off and battled back to her feet. Esparza landed another combination and she defended against a Namajunas trip attempt. Esparza landed knees late in the round and she took Namajunas down just before time expired. 10-9 Esparza.

Round 2:
Namajunas stuffed a takedown in round two and she landed a glancing switch kick and a stiff left jab. Esparza took her down and punched from the top. Namajunas tried to isolate an arm for an armbar, but Esparza avoided danger and stood up. She stuffed a shot from Namajunas and pushed her to her back. Esparza punched from Namajunas’s guard, then stood up and dropped more punches. She passed to side control and landed elbows to the sides of Namajunas’s head. Esparza mounted Namajunas and she rained down hard punches, but the bell sounded to end the round. 10-9 Esparza.

Round 3:
Esparza took Namajunas down and quickly transitioned to back control in round three. She used punches to set up a rear-naked choke that forced Namajunas to submit.

Winner: Carla Esparza by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 1:26 of round three. She improves to 10-2-0 and becomes the first UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion.


Charles “do Bronx” Oliveira vs Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens

Round 1:
Stephens landed a hard knee to the body in the opening seconds of the fight and Oliveira countered by pulling guard with an armbar. Stephens slammed him down, but Oliveira maintained his grip on the angled armbar. Stephens finally pulled his arm free after a moment of danger and he postured up with elbows. The fight returned to the feet and Oliveira landed knees. Stephens targeted the body and Oliveira responded with a spinning backfist. He finished the round with a one-two and a body kick. 10-9 Oliveira.

Round 2:
Oliveira attacked with leg and body kicks in round two and he shot in for a takedown. Stephens countered with elbows, but Oliveira got him down and punched from the top. He took Stephens’s back and transitioned to a tight armbar that looked to be a guaranteed fight-finisher. Stephens would not tap out and he somehow managed to escape. The fighters stood and Oliveira landed knees in the clinch. He pulled guard with a Brabo choke and used it to sweep into top position. He took Stephens’s back again and switched to another armbar. 10-9 Oliveira.

Round 3:
Stephens stuffed a takedown and landed a right hand to the body in round three. He allowed Oliveira to stand and Oliveira pulled guard, but Stephens countered with a rolling kimura attempt. Oliveira freed himself and a scramble ensued on the ground. The fighters stood and Oliveira just missed with a spinning wheel kick. He took Stephens down against the cage and attempted an Anaconda choke. Stephens stood and dove in with a big right hand. Oliveira got back to his feet and both men landed punches. Oliveira jumped guard and Stephens landed elbows and punches. 10-9 Stephens.

Winner: Charles Oliveira by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 19-4-0, 1 NC.


“King” K.J. Noons vs Daron “The Detroit Superstar” Cruickshank

Round 1:
A big exchange of punches opened the fight and Cruickshank threw a pair of head kicks that partially landed. Noons flurried to the body and time was called after Cruickshank was poked in the eye. Action resumed and Noons landed two left hooks, but Cruickshank took his back against the cage. Noons circled out and avoided a spinning hook kick.

Cruickshank got him down for a split second, but Noons immediately returned to his feet. Cruickshank countered a jumping knee with a hard one-two. He landed more hooks as Noons pressed forward. Cruickshank scored with a kick to the liver and just missed with a head kick. Noons answered with a combination and a knee, but Cruickshank took him down again late in the round. 10-9 Cruickshank.

Round 2:
Cruickshank was badly poked in the eye just seconds into round two and time was called as his eyelid began to bleed. Cruickshank was unable to see out of his left eye and the fight was waved off.

Result: No Contest (Accidental Eye Poke) at 0:25 of round two. Noons moves to 13-7-0, 1 NC, while Cruickshank is now 16-5-0, 1 NC.


Yancy “The Kid” Medeiros vs Joe Proctor

Round 1:
Proctor landed leg kicks and right hands early in the first round and Medeiros countered with lead left hooks and a straight right. Proctor continued to target his lead leg with kicks, but Medeiros wobbled him with a right hook. Medeiros pressed forward with a body kick and Proctor regained his composure. He hurt Medeiros with a spinning back kick to the body that Medeiros alleged was a low blow. Proctor threw a spinning backfist and he followed with more leg kicks. Medeiros dropped him with a spinning back kick to the liver and locked on a guillotine for the tapout win.

Winner: Yancy Medeiros by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 4:37 of round one. He improves to 11-2-0, 1 NC.


Jessica Penne vs Randa “Quiet Storm” Markos

Round 1:
Markos landed an early combination, but Penne secured a hip toss and took top position on the ground. Markos was cut below the right eyebrow in the scramble and Penne mounted her soon after. Markos exploded out, but Penne pinned her down again and punched from mount again. Markos squirmed free and shook Penne off of her back. She struck from the top, then stood and kicked at Penne’s legs.

Penne upkicked from her back, but Markos dove in and landed a right hand from her guard. Penne countered with a triangle choke and struck from her back. She nearly secured a gogoplata, but Markos stood up to escape and fell backwards in the process. Penne punished her with punches from top position and finished the round with short hammerfist strikes from Markos’s guard. 10-9 Penne.

Round 2:
Markos landed some solid punches in the second round and she tripped Penne to the mat after catching a kick. Markos kicked at Penne’s legs until Penne got back to her feet. Both women landed right hands and Penne followed with a knee. Markos circled to her side and landed one-twos, then fired off a lengthy flurry of punches that forced Penne to cover up.

Another hard right hand and a follow-up combination scored for Markos, who caught another kick. Penne initially reversed a takedown, but Markos got her down again and moved to mount. Penne scrambled and wound up on top in Markos’s guard. She passed to half-guard and landed a late flurry before time expired. 10-9 Markos.

Round 3:
The final round began with both women landing punches on the feet and Markos countered a combination from Penne by landing a leg kick and a barrage of punches that backed Penne up. Penne took Markos down against the cage and stood up to escape from an armbar. She dropped down into side control and locked on a rear-naked choke. Markos turned into the choke and Penne blasted her with punches from mount. She moved to North-South position, but Markos trapped her in a tight inverted triangle choke. Penne landed hammerfists and made it to the bell. 10-9 Penne.

Winner: Jessica Penne by Split Decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29) after three rounds. She improves to 12-2-0.


(Undercard results and play-by-play on Page Two.)


  1. […] Full play-by-play for bouts on tonight’s TUF 20 Finale card can be found here. […]