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MMA: The Ultimate Fighter Episode 3 Recap
Last week’s episode saw Team Lesnar pull even in the standings at 1-1 with a gutsy performance from Chris Cope.
The first practice after Cope’s big win didn’t seem to be a positive one, as some of Brock Lesnar’s team seemed to have taken a goofy metaphor that Lesnar used about “turning chicken s*** into chicken salad” the wrong way. After the coach put his team’s mind at ease it was on to Team Dos Santos’ practice.
One of Junior Dos Santos’ assistant coaches Lew Polley decided on his own that JDS’ practices are too soft and that he wanted to change how they train by being harder on them. Well that was a great idea, as a couple minutes into the practice, Team Dos Santos’ first pick Shamar Bailey had his eyebrow split wide open by his teammate.
The fight announcement came and went as Lesnar chose Len Bentley as his fighter to go against Team Dos Santos’ second-overall pick Ryan McGilivray. It shaped up to be a good matchup as both men are aggressive fighters who look to strike. After the announcement, some members of Team Lesnar agreed that Cope was someone they couldn’t trust to keep the team’s game plan secret, as he was just too buddy-buddy with the opposing team members. Bentley even went so far as to bring the topic up with his coach, which seemed childish and annoying to Lesnar, and understandably so. Lesnar reassured his fighter that he was chosen to fight this particular opponent for a reason, and that no amount of any potential game plan leaking should affect his performance. The words seemed to have a good effect on Bentley’s attitude going forward.
For the second time in the episode, Polley overstepped his boundaries by pushing too hard in a practice and Dos Santos decided he needed to lay down the ground rules with his assistant. Dos Santos seemed really uncomfortable actually having to be “not nice” as he put it in his Brazilian accent and it just showed how patient of a person he really is. It’s amazing to me that this guy beats people up for a living. Team Dos Santos’ fighter realized he’s roughly 10 pounds overweight on the day of the weigh-ins, and coach Polley put his wrestling background and weight cutting know-how to the test. All was well at the weigh-in though, as both fighters appeared to easily make the 170-pound mark.
The first round started off with the two fighters circling briefly and then immediately throwing punches. Bentley landed a big left hook 30 seconds into the round that put McGillivray on his back, and he looked to be hurt. Bentley swarmed his opponent but McGillivray was able to literally hang on for dear life and eliminate Bentley’s ability to create separation on the ground and thus limiting the damage done. Bentley let his opponent back up and at that point McGillivray looked fully recovered as he landed his own monstrous left hook that sent Bentley reeling. Bentley was hurt but he used his guard well and even threatened with an armbar attempt that looked like it surprised McGillivray a little bit. Somehow McGillivray was able to escape a near brutal submission, and he regained dominant position with 20 seconds left in the fight and was actually almost able to lock up a submission of his own. Great round by both fighters.
Round two began with the pace visibly slower for the two fighters after such an intense first round. The fighters circled for the next two minutes or so exchanging punches, yet no one seemed to be getting the upper hand despite both men landing clean shots. McGillivray then shot in for a takedown that he worked hard to finish but was ultimately denied. After fighting off the takedown, Bentley clinched up with McGillivray and landed some really strong knees to the body. Both men threw wildly for the last minute with Bentley seemingly getting the better of the exchanges this time. Round two ended and it was a great close fight with both men doing damage and looking solid all around.
By the scorecards, Ryan McGillivray took the decision victory to move his team’s record to 2-1 and awards Dos Santos the power to choose the next fight matchup. Stay tuned.
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