Monday, November 29, 2021

Artem Lobov vs. Ryan Hall Official For TUF 22 Finale After Finalist Pulled From The Show

Tonight’s final regular episode of season 22 of The Ultimate Fighter ended with one of the strangest twists in the history of the show. Artem Lobov and Saul Rogers of Team Europe both advanced to the finals. After everything plays out, ending with a Conor McGregor-Jose Aldo (Aldo was guest coaching for Team USA to help his friend Urijah Faber), they faded to black…and then this message appeared on the screen:

After the competition, Saul Rogers was removed from the finale card due to a legal issue. The UFC was forced to choose a replacement.

That replacement? Team USA’s Ryan Hall, who lost to Rogers in the first round of the 16 man tournament. According to UFC President Dana White on the show, “Saul lied on his visa application, and now has problems getting into the country. and cannot fight in the finale for The Ultimate Fighter.” It’s not clear yet what exactly Rogers did, how late the UFC found out, and how limited the UFC’s prospects were as a result, and the UFC won’t say:

It’s notable that Hall, an American, got the spot and not  Team Europe’s Marcin Wrzosek, who Rogers beat in the semifinals by submission. Since visa issues led to the change, perhaps the UFC decided to play it safe, or they were left scrambling late enough that they had no choice.

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