Welcome to the new MMA section. All articles are written by Joe Lash. Send Joe an e-mail here: [email protected]
MMA: The Ultimate Fighter Episode 6 Recap
Last week's show was bittersweet for Team Lesnar as they gained another fight in the win column thanks to Clay Harvison bringing their deficit to 3-2. However, they lost the very same fighter to a broken finger. We also saw some frustration by Junior Dos Santos aimed in the direction of his assistant coach Lew Polley for once again overstepping his duties.
This week's episode featured two fights and then the announcement of the wildcard fighters. The wildcard fighters are the guys who lost in their first matchup but the coaches felt they fought well enough to earn another shot.
Episode 6 began just where last week left off, with Lew Polley addressing the fighters before Junior Dos Santos did, and this time Dos Santos was having none of it. He essentially told Polley to shut up in the nicest possibly way, and then added "Talk to each other later, we need to." It almost looks like Yoda said that, but it's just Dos Santos' broken English.
During Team Lesnar's training session, wildcard front-runner Len Bentley went down awkwardly and immediately fell to the canvas grabbing his knee and writhing in pain. After a visit to the hospital, Bentley was told that he dislocated the knee cap but didn't do any structural damage to ligaments. Good news considering it won't end his run on the show. Some more good news is that Harvison found out that his finger isn't broken, only dislocated, so there's a chance he could still fight in the next round. These guys are sick; most people with a dislocated finger or knee cap would take off work for a week, and these guys are entirely ready to fight someone. I've never seen two people happier about dislocating a body part.
As Team Dos Santos' training session began, some more drama ensued and it again revolved around Polley. Dos Santos was informed that Polley had tried to go to the fighter's house by himself and apparently that's a big no-no on the show as all coaches need permission to enter the house. Dos Santos, fed up with telling Polley over and over again about his mis-steps, decided he had to ask Polley to leave. This is probably the first time in 12 or 13 seasons of this show I can remember a coach sending another coach home. Not good for the rep, Lew.
This week's fight matchup was in Lesnar's hands after winning last week's fight. Lesnar chose Tony Ferguson from his squad to square off with Randy Couture look-alike Justin Edwards. These guys are both wrestlers and that can usually cancel each other's main skill out meaning whoever has the better skills outside the wrestling department has the better chance to take the fight. That left only Chuck O'Neil from Team Lesnar to go up against Zach Davis from Team Dos Santos for the final fight this round.
The first fight started off immediately with both guys engaging. Edwards was the aggressor early on and kept the pressure on Ferguson by landing crisp shots and just being relentless. Edwards began to fade and Ferguson picked up his tempo, and his striking was accurate. Ferguson landed a few big shots but Edwards showed a good chin and kept moving forward and landed a good takedown. As Edwards stood up to gain position and rain down punches on his opponent, Ferguson landed an absolutely beautifully placed heel kick to the chin that knocked Edwards out cold. You rarely see a guy actually score with a defensive move like a heel kick, but when you do, it's actually really cool. You could actually hear Lesnar yell "HOLY ****" in amazement when he saw Edwards go down. Great fight, great finish.
That win pulled the two teams even at three wins apiece in the competition. Even with the loss, Edwards' aggressive all-out style probably puts him in high consideration for a wildcard spot.
The second fight started with an instant takedown by Davis, but O'Neil was able to scramble back to his feet pretty quickly. They grappled against the cage for a while, and Davis landed some really hard knees to the body before he took O'Neil down again. The two fighters exchanged in a couple crazy scrambles where both men threatened with submissions and landed good shots to the other before O'Neil landed in top position. As quickly as O'Neil had gotten top position, Davis slapped a triangle choke on him, and O'Neil was forced to tap out immediately. Another really fast-paced and high-energy fight with a great ending.
That gave Team Dos Santos the lead for good in the prelims at four wins to three for Team Lesnar. The two coaches then got together with Dana White to choose a wildcard fighter, and they came up with Justin Edwards as their first fighter. The problem is, after getting knocked unconscious, the Nevada State Athletic Commission hit Edwards with a 90-day medical suspension. That was a bad break for a guy who had a good fight and lost in such a freakish way. After more discussion, the coaches chose Javier Torres and Chuck O'Neil to square off and see who will move on.
Next week we'll see the wildcard match as well as the always entertaining $10,000 Coaches Challenge. Stay tuned.