The featherweight division has a new player in the form of Niinimaki. In addition to beating Yahya, who was on a solid winning streak, the Finnish finisher has won twelve tilts in a row including success against Walel Watson and Chase Beebe. With his triumph over Yahya, Niinimaki made it clear he can compete with the division’s top talent. Since most of the notable 145ers on the UFC’s roster are scheduled for action in the next two months, Niinimaki will need to hold tight until an intriguing possibility appears in early 2014 like the winner of Dennis Siver-Manny Gamburyan, Robbie Peralta-Estevan Payan, or Cole Miller-Sam Sicilia.
Every win under the UFC banner is important. However, some victories stand out more than others, especially when you’re an up and coming competitor looking to make an impact in the Octagon. A number of athletes fitting that bill took to the cage on Saturday night at the Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale including Chris Holdsworth and Julianna Pena, the organization’s newest TUF champions. Here’s a look at some of the top performances from the show and what the efforts may mean to the futures of each involved fighter. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)
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