Papazian knows UFC career hangs in balance after TUF Finale loss

Local MMA fighter Jared Papazian suffered a tough defeat Saturday in the Octagon at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Making his debut at flyweight, Papazian dropped a unanimous decision to Tim Elliott (by scores of 30-25, 30-25, 30-26) in the opening bout of of “The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale”. The El Camino Real High grad had one point deducted in the first round after an illegal knee caught Elliott in the face while his opponent was seated. Elliott shook it off and cut Papazian with some elbows in the first round before knocking him down in the second.

Elliott continued to punish Papazian with some ground and pound in the third round to record the shutout. The two were rumored to have a skirmish after the weigh-ins Friday and had to be separated after the fight. However, this post-fight photo by Darin Harvey, Papazian’s manager, spoke volumes:

Papazian’s aggressive style paid off in one significant way: He and Elliott were each awarded $40,000 bonuses for Fight of the Night.

After the fight, Papazian tweeted:

The loss drops Papazian to 14-9 in his MMA career but 0-3 in the UFC, which is usually doom for someone’s career. The 125-pounder certainly knew what was at stake going into the fight and seemed to know his fate Monday:

Some of Papazian’s fans took to Twitter to campaign on his behalf, even pointing out to UFC President Dana White and UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby that despite the three losses, two were worthy of Fight of the Night bonuses.

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