The Surprises & Disappointments of the TUF 20 Finale

Heather-Clark Surprises and Disappointments is a column featured on after every UFC event, highlighting three fighters who had surprising performances and three fighters who disappointed. Here were the three biggest surprises and the three biggest disappointments from the TUF 20 Finale. Surprises Charles Oliveira — Most bettors faded Charles Oliveira after he missed weight by one pound against Jeremy Stephens, but Oliveira showed it wasn’t a lack of motivation in training but rather a mistimed cut as he dominated Stephens for three rounds in picking up a decision win. Oliveira is an excellent fighter and the victory over Stephens moved him into the featherweight top 10. Now let’s just hope he can make weight his next fight. Jessica Penne — She was a slight underdog to Randa Markos but with a split decision win, Jessica Penne showed she should have been the favorite all along. It was a close fight but Penne was the better fighter and deserved the W. In a shallow women’s strawweight division, Penne is easily a top 10 fighter and will get a big fight her next time out. Heather Clark –– I didn’t give her much credit but Heather Clark is obviously much better than I thought she was as she was able to defeat former Invicta FC title challenger Bec Rawlings via unanimous decision. Clark showed off a solid ground game and good toughness in the fight, and although it was competitive, she showed in victory that she was the superior fighter. Disappointments Rose Namjunas — The main event of the TUF 20 Finale didn’t go down as most expected, with slight favorite Rose Namajuans falling via third-round submission to Carla Esparza. There’s no doubt Namajunas has a bright future in the sport, but it was baffling that she was favored to take out the former Invicta FC champion Esparza. I still think Namjunas is a stud, but the UFC would be smart to rebuild her stock by giving her an easy fight her next time out. Joe Proctor — I know Joe Proctor was the underdog to Yancy Medeiros, but I expected him to put up a better fight than what he gave. He was nailed by a spinning back kick and then was choked out in the first round, a loss that snapped his mini win streak. Proctor is a decent fighter but he clearly has a lot to work on if he wants to beat the better fighters in the UFC lightweight division. Bec Rawlings — I was pretty surprised by Bec Rawlings’ performance against Heather Clark, a listless one that resulted in a unanimous decision loss. I thought she would be more aggressive and show off her boxing, but she just looked really bad in the fight and is lucky the women’s strawweight division is so thin, otherwise she would be cut.

Written by Adam Martin.

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