Fans who watched the 14th season of The Ultimate Fighter knew Diego Brandao was a very exciting fighter, but no one could have predicted just how combustive the chemistry between he and Dennis Bermudez would be. The two men together exploded in the cage like bosons colliding in a superconducting supercollider at near the speed of light. Ok, maybe that's hyperbole, but only just.
Brandao, owner of three brutal TKO wins to earn his spot in the finale, landed the first hard shot, staggering Bermudez with a haymaker. But he couldn't quite get the kill shot and Bermudez came back. Then it was Bermudez' turn. He hurt the Brazilian with a short, sharp straight right and followed him down where he spent most of the rest of the round on top of Brandao.
Bermudez made the most of his moment in the sun and nearly finished Brandao. But the referee never saw fit to stop it and suddenly Brandao caught his left arm. In one of the most dramatic reversals in UFC history, Brandao flipped Bermudez over on his back and appeared to pop his arm with an arm bar.
Referee Josh Rosenthal stopped the fight with only 9 seconds left in the first round and Brandao was suddenly the first featherweight Ultimate Fighter winner in UFC history. He sweetly promised to use the money to buy his impoverished mother a house in Brazil.
Brandao promises to bring a high level of excitement to the already entertaining UFC featherweight division. Time will tell if he'll be a threat to champion Jose Aldo's throne, but for now the division has a new potential star.