The main event of the evening for the Ultimate Fighter Season 18 finale is the third battle between TUF 5 alums, Nate Diaz (16-9) and Gray Maynard (11-2-1).
Diaz and Maynard first met back in the TUF house on season 5 in the Semi-Final round of the tournament. Diaz ultimately defeated Maynard by a guillotine choke in the second round. Diaz went on to defeat Manny Gamburyan in the Finale to become the Ultimate Fighter season 5 winner.
Diaz and Maynard met for a second time at UFC Fight Night 20 in 2010, where they main evented the card as well. After a tough 3 round battle, Maynard was given the controversial split decision.
Both men have had very successful careers in the UFC up to this point being perennial contenders, title challengers, and a tough out for any fighter in the Lightweight division. Tonight, they will settle their score once and for all.
Round 1: Diaz with a nice straight right to start things off. Big leaping right from Gray, countered by a check left hook. Gray gets the takedown and is in full guard. Gray landing some heavy punches, but gets up. Nate diaz with a beautiful judo throw, but Gray gets up immediately. Gray with an outside leg kick. Push kick for Diaz. Gray’s takedown is stuffed. Nate hurts Gray with a check left hook and he is pouring it on. Nate diaz is all over Gray Maynard and is landing everything. Nate Diaz is on fire and landing at will, and Gray is out on his feet. The referee steps in and Nate Diaz wins by TKO. Incredible performance by Nate.
Official Decision: Nate Diaz defeats Gray Maynard by TKO Round 1
Here is a GIF of the finish: (courtesy of Zombie Prophet)