The Ultimate Fighter: Tournament of Champions

The Ultimate Fighter: Tournament of Champions (also known as The Ultimate Fighter 24 and Team Benavidez vs. Team Cejudo) is an installment of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)-produced reality television series The Ultimate Fighter.[1][2]

The Ultimate Fighter: Tournament of Champions
GenreReality, Sports
Created byFrank Fertitta III, Lorenzo Fertitta, Dana White
StarringDana White, Joseph Benavidez, Henry Cejudo
Country of originUnited States
Running time60 minutes
Original networkFox Sports 1
Original releaseAugust 31, 2016
Preceded byThe Ultimate Fighter: Team Joanna vs. Team Cláudia
Followed byThe Ultimate Fighter: Redemption

On May 11, 2016 the UFC announced that the 16 competitors for the season would be made up of flyweight fighters from various locations who are champions in their respective organizations around the world, with the winner being expected to have a chance to fight for the UFC Flyweight Championship.[3] The cast was announced on July 20.[4]

The coaches for the season were former flyweight title challengers Joseph Benavidez and Henry Cejudo.[1]





Episode 1: The Tournament Begins (August 31, 2016)[5]

  • The fighters arrive in Las Vegas and some of them are introduced via confessionals. All of the contestants are currently champions in their organizations.
  • UFC President Dana White and coaches Joseph Benavidez and Henry Cejudo arrive at the gym. They welcome the fighters, but before further procedures are taken, UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson is called by White. He delivers a message to the group stating that he hopes they learn a lot and he looks forward to defend his belt on the finale.
  • Johnson leaves and White explains what's going to happen: The fighters will split up for evaluation into various drills with Benavidez, Cejudo and their individual coaching staffs judging skills before team selections.
  • White kicked off the tournament by flipping a coin (blue for Benavidez, yellow for Cejudo) to determine which team will pick the first fighter. Team Benavidez wins the coin toss and White reveals the fighters have been seeded by the UFC for the tournament (which was unknown to the coaches). As a coach makes a pick, the corresponding fighter based on seed will go to the other coach (e.g., if the #1 seeded fighter is picked by a coach, the #16 seeded fighter will go to the other coach).
  • The eight coaches' picks (and corresponding seed sent to the other team as well as the organizations they are champions):
Tim Elliott (Titan Fighting Championships) – Ranked #3 (Team Benavidez – first pick)
Charlie Alaniz (Hex Fight Series – Australia) – Ranked #14 (Team Cejudo)
Alexandre Pantoja (Resurrection Fighting Alliance) – Ranked #1 (Team Cejudo – second pick)
Brandon Moreno (World Fighting Federation) – Ranked #16 (Team Benavidez)
Damacio Page (Legacy Fighting Championship) – Ranked #4 (Team Benavidez – third pick)
Adam Antolin (Tachi Palace Fights) – Ranked #13 (Team Cejudo)
Yoni Sherbatov (Xcessive Force Fighting Championship – Canada) – Ranked #2 (Team Cejudo – fourth pick)
Eric Shelton (Caged Aggression MMA)– Ranked #15 (Team Benavidez)
Ronaldo Candido (Shooto – South America) – Ranked #7 (Team Benavidez – fifth pick)
Jamie Alvarez (Absolute Fighting Championship) – Ranked #10 (Team Cejudo)
Matt Schnell (Legacy Fighting Championship – interim) – Ranked #6 (Team Cejudo – sixth pick)
Matt Rizzo (Ring of Combat)– Ranked #11 (Team Benavidez)
Hiromasa Ogikubo (Shooto – Japan) – Ranked #5 (Team Benavidez – seventh pick)
Nkazimulo Zulu (Extreme Fighting Championship – South Africa) – Ranked #12 (Team Cejudo)
Kai Kara-France (Bragging Rights Fight Series – Australia) – Ranked #9 (Team Cejudo – eight pick)
Terrence Mitchell (Alaska Fighting Championship) – Ranked #8 (Team Benavidez)
  • The fighters leave the gym and head back to the "TUF" house for the first time. The language and cultural barrier between the athletes is evident from the outset, but everyone is willing to endure the situation as they focus on the end prize.
  • At the first Team Benavidez training session, coach Benavidez makes it clear to his fighters he's not looking to change anyone's fighting style or approach to the sport. He simply wants to maximize the training environment for the athletes so they are at their best. Many of the fighters embrace him and believe he will be the superior coach with the superior team. Meanwhile, Team Cejudo follows with its first training session, and unsurprisingly the team led by the 2008 Olympic gold medalist starts with wrestling drills. Some fighters express disappointment they didn't end up on Team Benavidez, but by the end of practice are generally pleased with where they ended up.
  • Back at the house, upcoming opponents Pantoja and Moreno end up on the balcony together and are interacting. Although one is from Brazil and the other is from Mexico, they find a way to communicate due to similar languages and discover their backgrounds have many common traits.
  • As the fighters finalize their preparation, Cejudo is already struggling with a coaching compromise. Moreno is one of his teammates and close friends from Arizona, and therefore he does not feel comfortable coaching Pantoja against him in the fight. He wishes Pantoja the best of luck but informs him that he will be removing himself from corner duties.
  • Alexandre Pantoja defeated Brandon Moreno via submission (rear-naked choke) in the second round.
  • The focus immediately shifts to the next bout, where #8 Mitchell will face off against #9 Kara-France. Both fighters finalize their preparation, trying to shore up any holes in their game that could be exposed in the upcoming contest. Cejudo expresses some concern about Kara-France, who he believes has some confidence issues going into his matchup.
  • Kai Kara-France defeated Terrence Mitchell via KO (punch) in the first round.
  • The next fight is announced: #5 Hiromasa Ogikubo vs. #12 Nkazimulo Zulu.

Episode 2: Language of Combat (September 7, 2016)

  • Hiromasa Ogikubo defeated Nkazimulo Zulu via submission (rear-naked choke) in the second round.
  • The next fight is announced: #4 Damacio Page vs. #13 Adam Antolin.

Episode 3: Look Through Your Soul (September 14, 2016)

  • Adam Antolin defeated Damacio Page via TKO (body kick and punches) in the second round.
  • The next fight is announced: #2 Yoni Sherbatov vs. #15 Eric Shelton.

Episode 4: Young and Hungry (September 21, 2016)

  • Wanting their fighters to learn from their mistakes, Coaches Benavidez and Cejudo both hold a film session by showing their teams footage of their losses to current UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.
  • Eric Shelton defeated Yoni Sherbatov via technical submission (rear-naked choke) in the second round.
  • The next fight is announced: #7 Ronaldo Candido vs. #10 Jamie Alvarez.

Episode 5: Nothing Stops Us (September 28, 2016)

  • As a reward for their hard work, Dana White lets the fighters watch UFC 200 at the TUF house.
  • UFC Heavyweight contender Travis Browne stops by the house to show off Harley-Davidson's custom motorcycles. He also informs them, "In honor of the 24th season of TUF, the winner and somebody that inspires them is going to get a brand new 2017 Harley-Davidson and sign them up for the riding academy."
  • Ronaldo Candido defeated Jamie Alvarez via Submission (rear-naked choke) in the first round.
  • The next fight is announced: #6 Matt Schnell vs. #11 Matt Rizzo.

Episode 6: Let It Loose (October 5, 2016)

  • Coach Benavidez wants his team to take a break from training and getting away from the TUF house and rewards them with a day paddle boarding on Lake Las Vegas.
  • Matt Schnell defeated Matt Rizzo via submission (triangle choke) in the second round.
  • The next fight is announced: #3 Tim Elliott vs. #14 Charlie Alaniz.

Episode 7: Animal Instincts (October 12, 2016)

  • After the fighters relax in the hot tub and start drinking at the TUF house, Jamie Alvarez and Matt Rizzo get into a heated argument over their fight performances.
  • Emotions are high during Team Cejudo's training session when Charlie Alaniz starts smack talking about how he's going to "knock out" Kai Kara-France, his training partner. An annoyed Kai then brings it up after practice to the coaches.
  • This season's coaches challenge takes them to Top Golf driving range. Each coach must hit 20 golf balls in ring-shaped targets, trying to get the ball as close they can to the center target in order to score the most points. The farther away the target, the higher the score. And the highest score is a hole in one at the center of the farthest target. The first coach to earn 100 points wins a trophy and $10,000 ($1,500 per fighter) for their team. After 19 rounds, Benavidez wins the challenge with a score of 144 to 28.
  • Tim Elliott defeated Charlie Alaniz by submission (bulldog choke) in the first round.
  • The fights for the next round are announced:
#1 Alexandre Pantoja vs. #9 Kai Kara-France.
#5 Hiromasa Ogikubo vs. #13 Adam Antolin.
#7 Ronaldo Candido vs. #15 Eric Shelton.
#3 Tim Elliott vs. #6 Matt Schnell.

Episode 8: Round Two (November 2, 2016)

  • The coaches reward the fighters for their hard work by throwing them a pool party at the TUF house.
  • Joe Benavidez invites former UFC fighter Duane Ludwig to help train not only his team but Henry Cejudo's team as well. There's just one condition; Cejudo cannot be there during the training session, much to the dislike of Cejudo's assistant coach Kirian Fitzgobbins who is Ludwig's friend.
  • Alexandre Pantoja defeated Kai Kara-France via unanimous decision after two rounds.
  • The next fight is #5 Hiromasa Ogikubo vs. #13 Adam Antolin.

Episode 9: What Are You Fighting For? (November 9, 2016)

  • The coaches visit the TUF house to throw the fighters a "grill-out".
  • Things get heated after a night of drinking, especially between Eric Shelton and Tim Elliott when they disagree on what they are fighting for.
  • Hiromasa Ogikubo defeated Adam Antolin via unanimous decision after two rounds.
  • The next fights are announced:
#7 Ronaldo Candido vs. #15 Eric Shelton.
#3 Tim Elliott vs. #6 Matt Schnell.

Episode 10: All On The Line (November 16, 2016)

  • Coach Benavidez brings in former Bantamweight champion and teammate TJ Dillashaw to provide an unbiased coaching approach for the upcoming bout between teammates.
  • Eric Shelton defeated Ronaldo Candido via unanimous decision after two rounds.
  • Tim Elliott defeated Matt Schnell via submission (front naked choke) in the first round.
  • The fights for the next round are announced:
#1 Alexandre Pantoja vs. #5 Hiromasa Ogikubo.
#15 Eric Shelton vs. #3 Tim Elliott.

Episode 11: About To Clash (November 23, 2016)

  • The first semifinal fight immediately takes place.
  • Hiromasa Ogikubo defeated Alexandre Pantoja via unanimous decision after two rounds.
  • With Ogikubo's win no members of Team Cejudo remain in the competition.
  • Tim Elliott defeated Eric Shelton via majority decision after two rounds.
  • Coach Benavidez and many others believed the fight should have gone to a third round.
  • The final fight of the competition is announced with the winner receiving a title shot at Demetrious Johnson:
#5 Hiromasa Ogikubo vs 3# Tim Elliott.

Episode 12: Last Champion Standing (November 30, 2016)

  • Elliott and Ogikubo are allowed to make calls to their families as reward for making it to the final round of the tournament.
  • Team Benavidez has a final dinner together discussing their time together before the final fight is underway.
  • Tim Elliott defeated Hiromasa Ogikubo via unanimous decision after two rounds.
  • Tim Elliott wins the tournament and earns the title shot at Demetrious Johnson.

Tournament bracketEdit

Round of 16Quarter-finalsSemi-finalsFinal
  1 Alexandre PantojaSUB
  16 Brandon Moreno2
  1 Alexandre PantojaUD
  9 Kai Kara France2
  8 Terrence Mitchell1
  9 Kai Kara FranceKO
  1 Alexandre Pantoja2
  5 Hiromasa OgikuboUD
  5 Hiromasa OgikuboSUB
  12 Nkazimulo Zulu2
  5 Hiromasa OgikuboUD
  13 Adam Antolin2
  4 Damacio Page2
  13 Adam AntolinTKO
  5 Hiromasa Ogikubo 3
  3 Tim ElliottUD
  2 Yoni Sherbatov2
  15 Eric SheltonSUB
  15 Eric SheltonUD
  7 Ronaldo Candido2
  7 Ronaldo CandidoSUB
  10 Jamie Alvarez1
  15 Eric Shelton2
  3 Tim ElliottMD
  6 Matt SchnellSUB
  11 Matt Rizzo2
  6 Matt Schnell1
  3 Tim ElliottSUB
  3 Tim ElliottSUB
  14 Charlie Alaniz1
  Team Benavidez
  Team Cejudo
  Unanimous Decision
  Majority Decision
  (Technical) Knock Out

The Ultimate Fighter 24 FinaleEdit

The Ultimate Fighter: Tournament of Champions Finale
The poster for The Ultimate Fighter: Tournament of Champions Finale.
PromotionUltimate Fighting Championship
DateDecember 3, 2016
VenuePalms Casino Resort
CityLas Vegas, Nevada
Total gate$188,602[6]
Event chronology
UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Brunson The Ultimate Fighter: Tournament of Champions Finale UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Abdurakhimov

The Ultimate Fighter: Tournament of Champions Finale (also known as The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale) was a mixed martial arts event promoted by the Ultimate Fighting Championship held on December 3, 2016, at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.[1][7]


The event was headlined by a UFC Flyweight Championship bout between current champion Demetrious Johnson and Tim Elliott, the winner of the flyweight tournament from The Ultimate Fighter 24. The TUF winner also received a Harley-Davidson motorcycle of his choosing and a six-figure UFC contract.[1][8]

Also, a flyweight bout between season coaches and former title challengers Joseph Benavidez and Henry Cejudo served as the co-main event.[1]

Jake Collier was expected to face Josh Stansbury at the event. However, Collier pulled out of the fight in late October citing injury and was replaced by Devin Clark.[9]

The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America bantamweight winner Alejandro Pérez was scheduled to face Rob Font at the event, but pulled out on November 24.[10] He was replaced by promotional newcomer and this Ultimate Fighter season's contestant Matt Schnell.[11]


Main Card (Fox Sports 1)
Weight class Method Round Time Notes
Flyweight Demetrious Johnson (c) def. Tim Elliott Decision (unanimous) (49–46, 49–46, 49–45) 5 5:00 [a]
Flyweight Joseph Benavidez def. Henry Cejudo Decision (split) (27–29, 30–26, 29–27) 3 5:00 [b]
Welterweight Jorge Masvidal def. Jake Ellenberger TKO (punches) 1 4:05 [c]
Light Heavyweight Jared Cannonier def. Ion Cuțelaba Decision (unanimous) (29–28, 29–28, 29–28) 3 5:00
Women's Bantamweight Sara McMann def. Alexis Davis Submission (arm-triangle choke) 2 2:52
Flyweight Brandon Moreno def. Ryan Benoit Decision (split) (28–29, 29–28, 29–28) 3 5:00
Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1)
Featherweight Ryan Hall def. Gray Maynard Decision (unanimous) (30–27, 30–27, 29–28) 3 5:00
Bantamweight Rob Font def. Matt Schnell TKO (knee and punches) 1 3:47
Lightweight Dong Hyun Ma def. Brendan O'Reilly Decision (unanimous) (29–28, 29–28, 29–28) 3 5:00
Women's Strawweight Jamie Moyle def. Kailin Curran Decision (unanimous) (30–27, 30–27, 30–27) 3 5:00
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Middleweight Anthony Smith def. Elvis Mutapčić TKO (elbow and punches) 2 3:27
Light Heavyweight Devin Clark def. Josh Stansbury Decision (unanimous) (30–27, 30–27, 29–28) 3 5:00
  1. ^ For the UFC Flyweight Championship.
  2. ^ Cejudo was deducted one point in round 1 due to repeated low blows.
  3. ^ Ellenberger caught his foot in the fence, and was punched while trying to free it. After pausing the fight, referee Herb Dean asked state officials whether this counted as a cage malfunction (which could mean a timeout or no contest), and was told it did not. Ellenberger tried to appeal the decision, but the Nevada Athletic Commission dismissed it.[12]


Bonus awardsEdit

The following fighters were awarded $50,000 bonuses:[14]

  • Fight of the Night: Jared Cannonier vs. Ion Cuțelaba
  • Performance of the Night: Sara McMann and Anthony Smith

Reported payoutEdit

The following is the reported payout to the fighters as reported to the Nevada State Athletic Commission. It does not include sponsor money and also does not include the UFC's traditional "fight night" bonuses.[15]

  • Demetrious Johnson: $350,000 (no win bonus) def. Tim Elliott: $100,000
  • Joseph Benavidez: $140,000 (includes $70,000 win bonus) def. Henry Cejudo: $50,000
  • Jorge Masvidal: $120,000 (includes $60,000 win bonus) def. Jake Ellenberger: $78,000
  • Jared Cannonier: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus) def. Ion Cuțelaba: $12,000
  • Sara McMann: $56,000 (includes $28,000 win bonus) def. Alexis Davis: $27,000
  • Brandon Moreno: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus) def. Ryan Benoit: $15,000
  • Ryan Hall: $34,000 (includes $17,000 win bonus) def. Gray Maynard: $51,000
  • Rob Font: $33,000 (includes $16,500 win bonus) def. Matt Schnell: $10,000
  • Dong Hyun Kim: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus) def. Brendan O'Reilly: $10,000
  • Jamie Moyle: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus) def. Kailin Curran: $20,000
  • Anthony Smith: $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus) def. Elvis Mutapcic: $16,000
  • Devin Clark: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus) def. Josh Stansbury: $12,000

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Tristen Critchfield (May 11, 2016). "Joseph Benavidez, Henry Cejudo to serve as coaches on 'The Ultimate Fighter 24'". Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  2. ^ Thomas Gerbasi (May 11, 2016). "Flyweights to be featured on The Ultimate Fighter Season 24". Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  3. ^ Matt Erickson (May 11, 2016). "'TUF 24' gets other flyweight champs with coaches Benavidez, Cejudo; winner fights champ Johnson". Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  4. ^ Matt Erickson (July 20, 2016). "'TUF 24' cast revealed, includes Legacy, RFA and Shooto champs vying for title shot". Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  5. ^ Mike Bohn (April 20, 2016). "Episode No. 1 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 23: Team Joanna vs. Team Claudia'". Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Staff (December 4, 2016). "TUF 24 Finale draws announced 2,044 fans for $188,602 live gate in Las Vegas".
  7. ^ Staff (August 18, 2016). "UFC targeting Palms in Las Vegas for TUF 24 Finale and flyweight title fight". Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  8. ^ Staff (May 18, 2016). "Demetrious Johnson to defend flyweight title against Wilson Reis at UFC 201". Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  9. ^ Staff (October 28, 2016). "The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale lineup undergoes a few changes". Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  10. ^ John Morgan (November 24, 2016). "Alejandro Perez out at The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale, Rob Font needs new opponent". Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  11. ^ Staff (November 27, 2016). "Matt Schnell gets late-replacement spot on Saturday's TUF 24 Finale fight card". Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  12. ^ "NAC dismisses Jake Ellenberger foot wedging TKO appeal", by Erik Magraken,
  13. ^ "The Ultimate Fighter Finale". Ultimate Fighting Championship. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  14. ^ Staff (December 4, 2016). "TUF 24 Finale bonuses: What bout upset Benavidez-Cejudo to win 'Fight of the Night'?". Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  15. ^ Staff (December 5, 2016). "TUF 24 Finale salaries: Title challenger Tim Elliott gets $100,000 disclosed payout". Retrieved December 5, 2016.