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TUF 25 Finale pre-event facts: Can dominant Justin Gaethje extend undefeated streak in UFC debut?



Another season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series comes to a conclusion Friday when The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The card, which airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, is headlined by a grudge match between two prominent lightweight contenders as Michael Johnson (17-11 MMA, 9-7 UFC) looks to spoil the long-awaited debut of former World Series of Fighting champion Justin Gaethje (17-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC).

The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale is the first of two cards slated for this year’s International Fight Week. For more, check out 30 pre-event facts.

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Main event

Johnson competes in his third UFC main event. He’s 1-1 in previous headliners.

Johnson is 1-3 in his past four UFC appearances dating back to August 2015.

Michael Johnson

Johnson has earned all four of his UFC stoppage victories by knockout.

Johnson’s nine knockdowns landed in UFC lightweight competition are tied with Edson Barboza for second most in divisional history behind Melvin Guillard (13).

Gaethje makes his debut on a 17-fight MMA winning streak, the third longest among active UFC fighters behind Khabib Nurmagomedov (24) and Jimmie Rivera (18).

Gaethje went 10-0 with five lightweight title defenses under the WSOF banner.

Gaethje has earned 15 of his 17 career victories by stoppage.

Gaethje has earned 14 of his 15 career stoppage victories by knockout.

Remaining main card

Jared Cannonier (9-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) is 1-1 since he dropped to the UFC light-heavyweight division in December.

Brad Tavares

Brad Tavares (14-4 MMA, 9-4 UFC) competes in just his second fight since May 2015.

Tavares has earned his past seven UFC victories by decision. His last stoppage win was a first-round knockout of Phil Baroni at UFC 125 in January 2011.

Elias Theodorou (13-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) has completed at least one takedown in all five of his UFC victories.

Marcel Fortuna (9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) returns to the light heavyweight division after winning his UFC debut with a first-round knockout at heavyweight.

Jordan Johnson (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has earned his past two victories by decision after opening his career with five consecutive stoppages.

Preliminary card

Angela Hill (6-3 MMA, 1-3 UFC) was unsuccessful in her return to the UFC for a second stint at UFC Fight Night 104 in February. She’s winless in her past three octagon appearances overall.

Ed Herman (23-12 MMA, 10-8 UFC) is 1-1 since he returned to the light-heavyweight division in January 2016.

Herman has alternated wins and losses over his past seven fights. He suffered a loss to Nikita Krylov in his most recent bout at UFC 201.

C.B. Dollaway

C.B. Dollaway (15-8 MMA, 9-8 UFC) moves up to the UFC light-heavyweight division for the first time in his career. He spent his previous 17 octagon appearances at middleweight.

Dollaway enters the event on a three-fight losing skid. He hasn’t earned a victory since May 2014.

Dollaway’s earned the only Peruvian necktie submission in UFC history when he defeated Jesse Taylor at UFC Fight Night 14.

Jessica Eye (11-6 MMA, 1-5 UFC) competes in her eighth UFC women’s bantamweight bout, tied for the second most appearances in divisional history behind Miesha Tate (nine).

Eye enters the event on a four-fight losing skid and with five losses in her past six fights overall. She hasn’t earned a victory since November 2014.

Eye’s five losses in UFC competition are the most of any female in company history.

Aspen Ladd (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), 22, is the youngest of the 24 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Gray Maynard (12-6-1 MMA, 10-6-1 UFC), 38, is the oldest of the 24 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Maynard is 1-1 since he dropped to the UFC featherweight division in July 2016.

Maynard is 2-6-1 in his past nine fights.

Maynard has earned his past nine UFC victories by decision. He is the only fighter in UFC history to earn nine wins with the organization without a stoppage.

Maynard’s nine-second knockout of Joe Veres at UFC Fight Night 11 stands as the fastest knockout in UFC lightweight history.

Teruto Ishihara (9-3-2 MMA, 2-1-1 UFC) has earned eight of his nine career victories by knockout. That includes both of his UFC wins.

Tecia Torres’ (8-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) four victories in UFC strawweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk (seven).

Torres has earned all eight of her career victories by decision.

Juliana Lima (9-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) has earned all three of her UFC victories by decision.

For more on The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

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