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MMA: The Ultimate Fighter Episode 7 Recap
Last week's episode gave us two exciting finishes and the match up for the wildcard. This week we saw the wildcard match up play out and also
the annual $10,000 Coaches Challenge.
Javier Torres and Chuck O'Neil were chosen for the wildcard matchup last week, and this show started off with Len Bentley voicing major
displeasure over the announcement. He wasn't backed as a choice by Brock Lesnar because of the knee injury he suffered in training, and
Lesnar thought he would use that as an excuse if the fight wasn't going his way.
Bentley found his way to UFC president Dana White and asked for consideration for a fight in the finale. White balked at the fact that Bentley
barely campaigned to fight in the next round, yet he asked to fight in the finale. Needless to say Bentley's campaign didn't go very well with the
Bentley then took his cry baby act to the house with the rest of the fighters and that went just as poorly. Bentley then found out that Lesnar
didn't back him up in the selection process and the tough talk began. He boasted how he'd beat Lesnar himself for such a "disrespectful" act
despite being outweighed by roughly 100-plus pounds and giving up four or five inches. Hey, we can all dream can't we?
Bentley finally approached Lesnar about the situation, much less hostile than he had boasted about, and Lesnar was straight forward with him.
Lesnar explained that the knee injury that Bentley sustained during training was the reason he didn't get chosen. Disappointed, Bentley
accepted the explanation and they moved on. No dramatics here.
Every year during the season, the coaches challenge is a random sport played between the two coaches for $10,000 and $1,500 for each
fighter on the winning team. This year's challenge is a game of football mixed with a sort of skills test like throwing a football through a hoop
and kicking a field goal all in race format. It's strange, but it should favor Lesnar who has football experience. Somehow, the Brazilian who's
never even played the sport came out on top and won the $10,000 in an impressive show of athleticism for such a big man. As a gesture
we've never seen before, Junior Dos Santos decided to give some of his money to the fighters on the other team so that everybody won except
Lesnar. Again, this dude is just too nice.
With the fight underway, both men used accurate strikes to start the bout off before clinching and grappling for position. The fighters broke
away only momentarily before clinching back up for another dancing session against the cage. O'Neil fought hard for a takedown but was shut
down on a couple occasions by Torres. Torres then landed a knee to the O'Neil's Florida Panhandle and the two men were separated as O'Neil
got a breather. After the rest, O'Neil came out like a wild man with spinning kicks but nothing connected. O'Neil began to get the better of the
standup exchanges before more clinching and the end of the round. If I had to guess, I'd say O'Neil took the first round.
Lesnar offered some advice for O'Neil in between rounds. It went "punch, kick, punch, kick." Wiser words had never been spoken. As the
two men exchanged wildly, Torres fought his way inside and got a nice trip takedown on O'Neil, but O'Neil stood up and got an impressive
takedown of his own. From top control, O'Neil fought hard for position and even tried to lock up a kimura but Torres fought it off until it was
given up. Torres eventually got O'Neil off of him, only to expose his neck and O'Neil quickly applied an absolutely text book D'Arce choke
that coaxed the tapout from Torres with a little over a minute left in the second round. That fight showed great determination by O'Neil and
vindication for Lesnar's choice as the wildcard.
In the next round, each coach will have four fighters involved. The first fight announced for the next round is Clay Harvison versus Ramsey Nijem.
The next fight will be Chris Cope against Shamar Bailey. This fight is intriguing to me because these two have had some run-ins in the house and
have both expressed interested in fighting each other based off personal hate alone. The third fight will be Chuck O'Neil versus Zach Davis in a
rematch of a fight that took place in the preliminaries where Davis came away with a submission victory. The final fight is Tony Ferguson against
Ryan McGillivray in a matchup between both coaches' favorite fighters.
Next week we'll see two more fights and the action should pick up even further. Stay tuned.