On the strength of two first-round finishes, Macy Chiasson is headed to the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 28.
The 27-year-old overcame a difficult weight cut to put herself in prime position to become the first female TUF winner at 145 pounds after defeating Leah Letson by TKO on the TUF 28 season finale Wednesday.
Chiasson (2-0) dealt with early pressure from Letson (4-1), finding herself back up against the cage before executing a strong throw to put Letson on the mat. From there, Chiasson was able to do some damage from top control. She stayed in close range when the fight returned to the feet, eventually landing a knee to the body that visibly hurt Letson. Chiasson clamped on a Thai clinch and fired off several more knees to the mid-section, dropping Letson and leading to the bout being waved off in the opening round.
That was Chiasson’s second finish on the show after recording a TKO over UFC vet Larissa Pacheco in the quarter-finals. The Louisiana native, who had competed under the banner of coach Kelvin Gastelum throughout the season, will now fight teammate Pannie Kianzad (10-3) at The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale on Friday at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas for the right to earn a six-figure contract with the UFC and the title of The Ultimate Fighter.
The other tournament final features heavyweights Justin Frazier (10-2) of Team Gastelum taking on coach Robert Whittaker’s last man standing Juan Espino (8-1).
Chiasson and Letson’s bout marked a bit of history as it was the final fight to take place in the TUF Gym that has been used since season one back in 2005. A new facility is being built near the UFC’s headquarters in Las Vegas and it will play host to Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series and presumably future seasons of TUF should the show continue.
Here are the TUF 28 tournament finals:
Justin Frazier vs. Juan Espino
Macy Chiasson vs. Pannie Kianzad
Here are the semifinal results:
Justin Frazier def. Michel Batista via TKO (punches) in round one
Juan Espino def. Maurice Greene via submission (rear-naked choke) in round one
Pannie Kianzad def. Julija Stoliarenko via unanimous decision
Macy Chiasson def. Leah Letson via (knees to the body) in round one
Here are the complete first-round results:
Maurice Greene def. Przemyslaw Mysiala via KO (uppercut) in round one
Pannie Kianzad def. Katharina Lehner via unanimous decision
Justin Frazier def. Anderson da Silva via unanimous decision
Julija Stoliarenko def. Marciea Allen via submission (armbar) in round one
Michel Batista def. Josh Parisian via TKO (ground and pound) in round two
Leah Letson def. Bea Malecki via unanimous decision
Juan Espino def. Ben Sosoli via unanimous decision
Macy Chiasson def. Larissa Pacheco via first-round TKO (ground and pound)
Season 28 of The Ultimate Fighter was coached by UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker and top contender Kelvin Gastelum. Gastelum challenges Whittaker for the middleweight title at UFC 234 on Feb. 10 at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia.
The finalists of the TUF 28 heavyweight and featherweight tournaments will compete for a six-figure UFC contract at The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale on Friday at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
Here is the TUF 28 roster divided by team:
Anderson da Silva
Advancing to the finals: Frazier, Kianzad, Espino, Chiasson
Advancing to Round 2: Greene, Kianzad, Frazier, Stoliarenko, Batista, Letson, Espino, Chiasson
Eliminated: Mysiala, Lehner, Da Silva, Allen, Parisian, Malecki, Sosoli, Pacheco