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Stephen Thompson wins fifth straight fight

After Stephen Thompson dropped Jake Ellenberger with a spinning hook kick, Ellenberger somehow found a way to scramble back to his feet.

So Thompson simply did it again to win his fifth straight fight in the main event of “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 21 finale card at MGM Grand on Sunday night.

Ellenberger staggering backward to the mat a second time was all referee John McCarthy needed to see to call a stop to the onslaught.

“He was standing right in front of me not moving a whole lot and I heard my dad in my corner say spin,” Thompson said. “I hit him with it and I wasn’t able to finish him the first time so I just did it again.”

The former professional kickboxer is quickly rising up the ranks in the welterweight division.

“I’m excited and I’m ready,” he said.

Wrestler Kamaru Usman submitted Hayder Hassan in the second round of a welterweight bout to win the Season 21 tournament title.

Usman’s victory also clinched the team championship for The Blackzilians over American Top Team.

He executed the game plan to perfection, taking the aggressive striker Hassan to the ground almost immediately. He was able to keep top position throughout much of the round and then repeated the process in the second round after taking a shot that stunned him momentarily.

This time, Usman quickly worked to arm triangle for the finish.

“It’s one thing to be able to get someone to the ground, it’s another thing to finish them,” Usman said.

Also, Michelle Waterson made a successful UFC debut with a third-round submission victory over Angela Magana in a women’s strawweight bout.

“The Karate Hottie” survived an armbar in the first round and took control of the fight after escaping the maneuver. She eventually secured a rear naked choke in the final round and forced Magana to tap out.

The former Invicta atomweight champion was already among the more popular female fighters in the world even before signing with the UFC.

Michael Graves earned a decision over Vicente Luque in another welterweight matchup from the show.

Jorge Masvidal and Maximo Blanco rounded out the main card with first-round knockout victories. Masvidal, a welterweight, knocked down Cezar Ferreira with an elbow and finished him off with a series of punches.

Blanco, who missed the featherweight limit at Saturday’s weigh-ins by nearly 3 pounds, scored a more controversial win.

He staggered Mike De La Torre with a punch and referee Yves Lavigne immediately stepped in to call off the fight just 16 seconds into the opening round. De La Torre appeared to have recovered and began defending himself before the stoppage, though he did briefly stagger back again after protesting.

Josh Samman earned a submission win and Willie Gates knocked out Darrell Montague, both in the first round of preliminary card bouts.

Jerrod Sanders, Trevor Smith and George Sullivan all recorded decision victories.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.

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