Welcome to the next offering for International Fight Week – the TUF 23 Finale. Admittedly, I didn’t watch a single damn episode from this season, but that doesn’t mean the finale isn’t worthwhile. In the main event, the two coaches – who just happen to be champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk and challenger Claudia Gadelha – are going to go at it. Meanwhile, Gray Maynard returns, and Bellator refugee Will Brooks gets a taste of Octagon life.
So. First up in the Fight Pass prelims is Aussie Jake Matthews against Kevin Lee, who tried to bait Sage Northcutt with the race card but never really got anywhere with it.
Lee draws first blood in the form of a takedown, and though Matthews puts him in full guard, the American manages to ding him up with some ground and pound. The Aussie works his way up to his feet midway through the round, and he’s able to return the favor with a few leaping punches. But Lee changes levels and takes him down again, and when Matthews turtles Lee batters him, takes his back, and batters him some more. In no time, the ref is forced to step in.
Result: Kevin Lee def. Jake Matthews via TKO (Punches) at 4:06, R1