The 22nd season of The Ultimate Fighter was seemingly all about coach Conor McGregor showing love for his teammate Artem Lobov, a hard-hitting Russian, and Lobov’s improbably path to the ultimate prize.
Instead, it ended up being about the other finalist – Saul Rogers – not being able to get back into the country due to visa issues, and the American submission magician Rogers beat coming in and handling Lobov like a master handles a pupil.
Ryan Hall was the aforemention submission magician, who had lost a narrow decision to Rogers, and was actually TRAINING Lobov for the TUF 22 Finale when he got the call to fill in.
I guess all that time on the mat made Lobov realize he didn’t want anything to do with Hall if they were ever grappling.
Too bad Hall made sure that’s the only thing they did throughout almost all of their fight.
For all three rounds Hall pulled Lobov to the canvas and tied him in knots, going for a myriad of subs from the guard, flowing into leglock attempts, and taking his back while standing. Lobov froze each time, too scared to move lest he make a mistake (and an opening for Hall to finish). The referee even admonished them for inactivity and threatened to separate them – and Hall had Lobov’s back at the time!
The judges gave Hall the decision, and he came away with top TUF honors.