After six grueling weeks of training and living in The Ultimate Fighter house, Amir Sadollah and C.B. Dollaway have advanced to the finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rampage Vs Team Forrest, and will square off on Saturday, June 21 at 9:00 PM ET on Spike TV LIVE from The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, NV. The fight is a rematch of one of the semifinals, in which Team Forrestâ€™s Sadollah caught Team Rampageâ€™s #1 pick Dollaway in an armbar to advance to the finals. Jesse Taylorâ€™s subsequent disqualification gave CB an opening, and after defeating Tim Credeur, he gets a chance to avenge his earlier defeat, as he and Sadollah step into the Octagon for the biggest fight in eitherâ€™s career.
A Richmond, Virginia resident, the 27 year old Sadollah entered â€œThe Ultimate Fighterâ€ with no professional fighting experience to his name. The amateur kickboxer impressed Dana White, along with â€œThe Ultimate Fighterâ€ producers, during the open-workout in Newark, NJ and he earned an invitation to Las Vegas. Since then, despite his inexperience, he has dispatched all comers while exhibiting stunning resiliency, winning his elimination bout to get into the house, and then defeating Team Rampageâ€™s Gerald Harris via TKO in his preliminary bout, winning a war with teammate Matt Brown in the quarterfinals, and shocking the entire gym with his 3rd round armbar of Dollaway in the semifinals. Sadollah has been training with his coach Forrest Griffin for the finale, and plans on using his ever improving well rounded mixed martial arts attack to take home this seasonâ€™s title.
Standing in Sadollahâ€™s way is CB Dollaway, a 24 year old hailing from Mount Gilhead, OH who went on to a tremendous college wrestling career at Arizona State University, where he was selected as an All American. His pedigree, and dominant showing in his elimination match to get in the house, led to his being selected number one overall to Team Rampage. To reach the finals, Dollaway defeated Team Forrestâ€™s Nick Klein via guillotine choke in his preliminary bout and handling Cale Yarbrough in his quarterfinal bout to reach his semifinal matchup against Amir Sadollah. Though he dropped that matchup, he was given a shot at redemption when Jesse Taylor was asked to leave the show, and defeated Tim Credeur to earn a showdown this Saturday night with the title of The Ultimate Fighter on the line.
Sharing top billing for The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rampage Vs Team Forrest Finale, former UFC middleweight champion and one of the sportâ€™s pioneers, Evan Tanner, takes on rising star and The Ultimate Fighter Season 3 victor Kendall Grove.
Before his debut at UFC 18 in January, 1999, Tanner (34-7) lived quite an adventurous and often nomadic existence, doing everything from installing cable TV in South Dakota to building beach houses in North Carolina, to laying concrete in Montana. Tanner found his calling in the Octagon and after three straight victories earned a shot at the UFC crown. However, then light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz knocked out Tanner less than a minute to retain his title. The determined Tanner won seven of his next eight bouts including a first round TKO over David Terrell in February 2005 at UFC 51, to claim the vacant UFC middleweight title. However, his reign was short-lived as he lost to Rich Franklin in June 2005 at UFC 53 via TKO (stoppage due to cuts). Most recently, he lost to heralded Japanese contender Yushin Okami at UFC 82 this past March.
The 6â€™6â€ Grove (10-5) is a Hawaiian native who honed his skills as a competitor on The Ultimate Fighter 3. Two recent defeats at the hands of veterans Patrick Cote (UFC 74 in August of 2007) and Jorge Rivera (UFC 80 in January of 2008) after an auspicious 3-0 start in the UFC makes this battle with Tanner a must-win for the 25-year old Grove.
As the nightâ€™s special feature, Diego â€œThe Nightmareâ€ Sanchez takes on hard-hitting Luigi Fioravanti.
Sanchez (20-2), fighting out of Albuquerque, NM, burst onto the UFC scene with incredible fanfare after winning The Ultimate Fighter 1 crown against Kenny Florian After six consecutive wins over such notable opponents as Karo Parisyan, John Alessio, and Nick Diaz, it seemed Sanchez was clearly destined to wear the UFC welterweight crown. However, Sanchezâ€™s lofty title hopes were derailed by two consecutive losses including a three-round decision to bitter foe and The Ultimate Fighter 1 castmate, Josh Koschek, at UFC 69 last April and a split decision loss to Jon Fitch last September at UFC 76. Now, the Gaidojuijitsu black belt is back on the winning track after submitting Brazilian native David Bielkheden in March at UFC 82.
Fioravanti (12-2), from Orlando, Fl, is coming off an impressive victory in March over Luke Cummo at UFC 82. As tough as his opponent Sanchez will be, the 27 year-old has most certainly been in more perilous situations. Fioravanti is a decorated Marine who was part of the first wave of troops to arrive in the Middle East for the ongoing Iraq War. After seeing dangerous action during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fioravanti returned to the U.S. in 2004 to begin training for a professional MMA career.
Also on the card, Spencer â€œThe Kingâ€ Fisher looks to bounce back from his loss to Frankie Edgar during Novemberâ€™s UFC 78 as he takes on Jeremy Stephens, a 21 year old fighter looking to extend his winning streak to three after wins against Diego Saraiva Cole Miller. In other action, a personal feud between TUF7 housemates Matthew Riddle and Dante Rivera will be settle inside the Octagon in the night’s first televised match.