The Ultimate Fighter: Season 13 Episode 8: “Shut Him Up”

Before tonight’s episode of TUF, in the wildcard Chuck O’Neil transformed from “Trash-bag Charlie” to “Cold Steel” as he choked out Javier Torres in convincing fashion. And in tonight’s first quarterfinal fight, quiet ninja Ramsey Nijem takes on tough guy Clay Harvison, while Shamar Bailey finally gets his wish, as he looks to shut up Chris Cope in the cage.

From the beginning of the episode, there are concerns. Shamar admits that he’s got some pain in his back and fears that he’s pushed himself too hard. But he’s will to fight through the pain to fight Crhis and to shut him up once and for all.

At Team Dos Santos training, Junior works with Ramsey on his stand-up, knowing that that is likely where Clay will try to keep the fight. Junior considers Ramsey to be the best wrestler on his team, so if he’s able to get Clay he knows it’ll be all over. With family from war-torn Palestine, he sees wrestling as a survival skill and is really just happy to be fighting in a cage and not for his life. How many guys can say that?

Later, Dana brings Brian Stann in for a surprise visit to speak with the guys. As a Marine prior to fighting, he talks about all the things that he learned from being in the military and how he has used those skills to his advantage — namely the discipline. He stresses the importance of dedication, the training and making the right decisions. Brock jokes at the end that maybe some of the guys could benefit from enlisting.

Brock gets Clay and Chris together to work on their wrestling. Clay needs some work, especially knowing how good Ramsey is at it. Brock is pleased to see how quickly Clay is picking up some of the takedown defense moves. He hopes that stuffing his takedowns will help to discourage Ramsey and leave him open for Clay’s stand-up.

After the weigh-ins, Ramsey is complaining about feeling sick (I think we could’ve done without the belching, thanks!) but he’s pumped and ready to fight.

FIGHT DAY

ROUND 1
They both swing big and miss right away but Ramsey quickly has Clay down. Ramsey swings around and tries to mount Clay’s back. He nearly gets shaken off, but quickly remounts with one leg locked around. Clay is on all fours, allowing Ramsey to pepper him with headshots. Clay sprawls and opens himself up too much allowing Ramsey to get his arms under his chin. Ramsey pulls tight and Clay taps almost immediately.

Winner: Ramsey Nijem via Submission (Rear Naked Choke)

Clay is pissed at himself for losing to “Stripper Ramsey” but Dana pats him on the back, and tells him not to be upset considering he was fighting a week after busting his knuckle. Brock is very nonchalant about the loss, but when away from Clay all but calls him an idiot for giving up his back to a wrestler. Even Chris tries to make an excuse out of Clay’s knuckle. Hey guys, how about giving Ramsey some credit?

Next to fight will be Shamar, who Junior has the utmost confidence in. Shamar is using Chris’s tendency to scream at random moments as his motivation to beat him. His gameplan is to keep him backpedaling and off balance on his feet, and to then take him down to finish him off. He believes it is pretty much his fight for the taking.

Despite Shamar’s hatred for Chris, the feeling is not mutual. Brock’s advice to Chris is to continue pestering him. But wisely, Chris sees that he has nothing to lose in this fight but everything to gain which is exactly the opposite for Shamar. His plan is to keep fending Shamar off and wearing him out. Brock tells him he’s just got to “own Burger King.” Dana wonders if Chris, who is just having fun with it all, can expose Shamar as the very one-sided fighter he saw in the first fight.

FIGHT DAY

ROUND 1
Shamar comes out swinging and pushing Chris back as he said he would. Chris just keeps circling to avoid it. Shamar reaches in but misses. Shamar’s looking anxious and trying to pick his shots but he looks impatient. Chris finally throws a combo and Shamar shoots at his waist. Pegging him against the cage with one leg up, Shamar allows Chris to pepper his head and body with short shots. Shamar holds onto that one leg and struggles to get Chris down, but Chris sprawls. Chris pulls away and they return to center. More dancing and circling, until Shamar unleashes a combo that backs Chris up. In the clinch, they both land a few knees. Shamar has control, but Chris is the one landing shots and staying busy. Chris frees himself and dances around the cage which looks like is frustrating Shamar. He keeps dropping his guard. Shamar charges again, and allows Chris to land several hammer fists while on the cage. In a final push, Shamar shoots, but once again is unable to do much as the round ends.

Uh, what was that Shamar?

ROUND 2
And the dance continues. A nice exchange where both land a couple jabs. Shamar goes in and Chris catches him with a right. Chris is staying light and avoiding Shamar’s shots. Shamar throws a right, and Chris throws 2. Shamar shoots and they clinch where they alternate knees. Shamar changes his mind and backs off. Chris swings big, but Shamar ducks in time. A combo from Chris lands this time. Now Chris is going offensive, but Shamar decides to shoot. The clinch doesn’t last though and they stay on their feet. They’re both swinging big, but Chris is always throwing combos instead of Shamar’s single jabs. A big overhand from Chris misses. With a minute left, they clinch and Shamar is bleeding. They briefly stand, but Shamar shoots again and the round ends as Chris is landing hammer after hammer.

Winner: Chris Cope via Decision

Shamar’s gameplan = gone out the window. Shamar couldn’t control the stand-up. Chris stuffed every one of Shamar’s takedowns. While Shamar had a lot of the control, he just couldn’t overcome Chris.

JDS is shocked with end result, but in reality, Shamar couldn’t win it. He got showed up. Shamar catches Dana and says that he wanted to show the judges a different side of his game, that he’s not just a wrestler and that he could’ve taken Chris down if he wanted. Dana points out that he did try several times to take Chris down, but Shamar explains that he pulled something in his back. So which is it Shamar? You could have taken him down but you chose not to? Or your back was hurt so you couldn’t do it? Excuses, excuses….

Looks like Chris will not be shutting up any time soon :)

Next: With the pressure mounting, Tony goes ballistic. Then two more quarterfinal fights: Cold-Steel Chuck O’Neil takes on Zach Davis in a rematch and Tony Ferguson fights Ryan McGillivray. The show will end with the semi-final fight announcements. Eight episodes in and the fights are finally getting better!

The Ultimate Fighter: Season 13 Episode 7: “It’s Just Good to Win”

Previously on TUF, the prelims ended with exciting finishes from Tony Ferguson and Zach Davis. Len made his case to be the wild-card pick, but Brock didn’t back him up, citing his need to make excuses. Tonight, Chuck and Javier to fight to make that final spot while Junior and Brock hit the gridiron for the Coaches’ Challenge.

Right out of the gate, Len chases Dana down to plead his case. But Dana is like, “Too little, too late.” He points out that Len was not convincing when he called the guys back. If he had approached Dana two hours sooner, he’d have been in. Too bad, cry baby. And Brock reminds them all of this — that they EACH had their chance in their fight. They shouldn’t hang their heads, but hey, it was their own fault.

And Len does NOT let it go. He talks the ear off of anyone who will listen, claiming that 1) no one fought better, 2) no one else fought harder and 3) his fight wasn’t “finished”. To stir the pot, Len is told “why” the coaches didn’t choose him. Now he wants to confront Brock, claiming that he’s not afraid of someone who has fewer fights than him. (Um, you should be, buddy).

Javier is very glad to be getting a second chance. Back in training, it is clear that he is giving 100% and does not want this opportunity to be wasted.

Later, Len shows up at the gym to talk to Brock. Len was under the belief that Brock was behind him and was going to fight for him to be picked for the wild-card. He belittles Brock’s coaching skills, claiming that he only plays the coach role when the cameras are around. Then he strolls right on up to him and does not mince words. But Brock has an answer that he can’t dispute. Len’s knee is a risk. Dana had liked Len to fight, but he also wants someone who is healthy — and that’s not Len. What is Len’s response? Not a whole lot.

Brock questions Chuck’s motivations. While Len is pestering him about why he didn’t get picked, Chuck is sitting on the bike with an air of not caring a bit whether he fights or not. This gives Brock pause, making him wonder if he made the right choice. But in Chuck’s next interview, he claims to be anxious to take on Javier. We shall see….

In training Chuck for Javier, they choose to focus on the things that they felt were weakest from his first fight. Whereas before he seemed to ignore their coaching, this time he’s really listening to them and he’s doing what he’s told. This boosts Brock’s confidence in him.

Back at the house, we finally have some drama. Chris Cope has been screaming to wake people up from day 1. It has come to the point where Shamar can’t take it anymore and just has to say something, hoping to fight him to just shut the scream up once and for all. Chris sincerely apologizes and says he won’t do it in the house again. Really? That’s it?

It’s now time for the Coaches’ Challenge: Football! The teams show up at the local high school’s field (which just happened to have been attended by Dana, the Fertittas and their wives). The challenge is to complete a series of football obstacles and make it back the fastest. Winning coach gets $10K, their team gets $1,500 each.

And they’re off….both guys are making it through the obstacles pretty quickly, though Brock has an easier time with the tackling dummies. It’s the field goal that gives them both trouble, missing a couple shots each. Junior finally makes it and it’s on to the quarterback throw. Junior also does this first, then making it into the end zone to receive a pass. He runs it back easily, but high-tails it when he sees Brock not far behind him. As he celebrates with his team, he even displays a little end zone shuffle. Brock sums it up, “I think we both sucked, he just got a little luckier.” The nice guy that Junior is, he even gives a little of the money to his other coaches. Wow, has that ever been done in TUF history?

When the fun and games are over, it’s back to work for the weigh-ins. Dana assesses both guys — He felt that Javier looked like shit in his first fight, but since Junior has faith in him, so does he. Chuck, however, looked like a well-rounded fighter to Dana and he definitely has more confidence in him.

FIGHT DAY

ROUND 1
Feeling each other out, O’Neill is the first to strike, followed by a straight kick from Torres. O’Neill goes offensive, swinging back and pushing Torres back to the cage. In the clinch, O’Neill looks for a sweep and works hard to get Torres down. Torres gets control and lands some nice knees. O’Neill gets in a few as well. O’Neill now spins into control still looking for the takedown. Torres backs away and they exchange a few jabs. Torres connects and gets O’Neill backpedaling into the clinch again. The both struggle for control while O’Neill is obsessively trying to sweep Torres. In the meantime, Torres connects with several knees, one of which inadvertently lands in O’Neill’s groin. After a break, O’Neill comes at Torres with a head kick that is checked. O’Neill continues to be offensive with a pair of spinning back kicks. Finally Torres retaliates with a head kick of his own, but it falls short. They continue to exchange at the center, with O’Neill being more aggressive. He lands a nice leg kick and then a great body kick. O’Neill swings and misses, which sets Torres charging at him. Back against the cage, they both alternate with some knees. O’Neill sneaks a few shots to Torres’s head and this time Torres looks for the takedown. The round ends back in the clinch with O’Neill peppering Torres’s face.

ROUND 2
A straight jab from O’Neill starts the round. Both are tentative though, until O’Neill connects with a hard right followed by a big body kick. Torres not fighting back much. O’Neill lands a combo and finally Torres attacks. He pushes O’Neill back and gets him down with side control. O’Neill scrambles and Torres tries to take his back but O’Neill shakes him off. O’Neill returns the favor, taking Torres down. From his back, Torres tries to look for a triangle, but can’t. O’Neill tries to spin into side control but is stuck in Torres’s half guard. O’Neill lays on Torres, keeping his right arm pinned while getting in some body shots. O’Neill tries to get his leg out when Torres loosens up a bit and nearly mounts him but Torres latches back on. O’Neill climbs up on Torres and sneaks his arms up and around to look for the choke. He pulls tight and Torres quickly taps.

Winner: Chuck O’Neill via Submission (choke)

Finally, Chuck listened to Brock and it paid off in spades. He avenged his loss and avenged it well. While Javier liked to push up on his opponents to control them, Chuck had an answer for everything. He pushed right back.

Going into the finals, both teams have 4 wins. Dana decides who will fight who in the quarterfinals:

Clay vs. Ramsey (Tough guy vs. tougher guy)
Chris vs. Shamar (Grudge match)
Chuck vs. Zach (Rematch!)
Tony vs. Ryan (The guy who could win it all vs. the guy who came back from losing)

Next week: Brock and Junior are dead even going into the quarterfinals. First up will be the wrestler vs. the striker when Ramsey takes on Clay. In the same episode, Shamar will get his chance to shut Chris up once and for all.

The Ultimate Fighter: Season 13 Episode 6: “Mean Streak”

Previously on TUF, Len Bentley had a solid performance in his loss to McGillivray, so when Brock gave his team a tongue-lashing, Bentley refused to sit and listen to it. Then Coach Lew’s tough-love tactics rubbed Junior the wrong way, causing some team tension. Then Clay Harvison wins a tough decision, but his broken pinky makes the win bitter sweet. Coming up tonight, 2 fights that are absolute wars; plus the wildcard is announced. (Ooohh….)

After Mick’s loss, Junior is trying to make him feel better by telling him that losses happen. But right away Lew contradicts him, telling Mick that it is their job to fight and to win. JDS turns to him with a WTF look and is like, hey, who asked you??

At Lesnar’s team practicing, we find that Clay is likely to be out, which hurts their team’s shot at winning. And then to dump a bucket of salt on that wound, Len begins rolling around on the mat, grasping at his knee and yelping in pain. Lesnar’s ready to just roll over and give up.

In the hospital, Clay learns that he has not actually broken his pinky, but merely dislocated it. That gives him hope. After learning this, he looks up to see Len rolling up in his wheelchair. Len describes what he felt to the doctor, who upon inspection of his knee, alleviates his fears and assures him that his ACL is intact. Broken bones? Torn ACL? Show ending. A couple dislocations? No problem :)

Trouble in paradise is brewing on Team Dos Santos. JDS learns that Lew has gone to visit the guys at the house, without telling him. JDS approaches the other coach, asking about what else he doesn’t know and learns that, more or less, Lew has been undermining him and has had this bad attitude from day one. This is very upsetting to JDS who walks off toward Lew.

Junior pulls Lew aside to speak to him alone. Lew claims that he told Junior that he wanted to go to the house, but Junior claims there must have been some confusion. With a mix of anger, frustration and sadness, he tells Lew he’s no longer needed and to go home. You tell ‘em, Junior!

Clay and Len return from the hospital and fill Lesnar in with their great news. Lesnar is relieved and hopeful that his 2 best still have a shot. Later, with control regained by Team Lesnar, Brock chooses Tony Ferguson to fight Justin Edwards, which pits wrestler versus wrestler. And in the final preliminary fight, that leaves Chuck O’Neil to fight Zach Davis.

To Lesnar, Tony is the likely winner. Not only has he been working and training with Lesnar and his coaches, but he has also been working out on his own. He describes his footwork as all over the place, which will make him hard to catch. A self-described gym rat, Ferguson says that this is his passion. Winning is the only option.

Justin, however, realizes that he shouldn’t even be here. Being that he was brought in as an alternate, he understands that the coaches didn’t get to see him in the evals and don’t kow what to expect from him. He has a helluva lot to prove. But to him, he’s a monster in the cage with a a huge heart.

At the house, the guys talk about missing Coach Lew, but they also get that it is Team Dos Santos, not Team Lew. Just hope it doesn’t affect their shot at winning.

FIGHT DAY

(Tony shows up for the fight in a shirt and tie. Hmmm. Very original. I think I like it.)

ROUND 1
Immediately, Edwards comes out swinging in a flurry, not allowing Ferguson to defend or gather himself. He finally lets up, but it’s not long before Edwards is peppering him again. Ferguson keeps trying to get away while going in for the occasional shot. Finally the pace slows and the 2 begin some more even exchanges. Ferguson lands a couple straight arms to Edwards’s face. After a left/right combo from Ferguson, Edwards shoots and stumbles for a takedown but fails to get Ferguson down. They continue the standup fight, but both are being more selective. Ferguson lands a nice right that connects with Edwards’s ear. Edwards lands a leg kick, but Ferguson returns the favor. Both are eating shots to the face and head. Edwards finally shoots at Ferguson’s waist and gets Ferguson down with a slam. In his guard, he can’t do much. Instead Ferguson is landing elbows. He backs off, and with the opening, Ferguson lands a hell kick to the chin that drops Edwards like a sack of rocks. As soon as he hits the mat, Ferguson pounces to finish but he’s stopped.

Winner: Tony Ferguson via Knock-Out

FINALLY! It’s nice to see two guys lay it all on the line and go out there with the confidence to win it.

At the house, goofy Chuck enjoys making everyone laugh, but once he’s training or fighting, he’s cold steel; all business baby. Lesnar says he’s well-rounded, but in particular, he’s great on the ground. He can certainly hold his own on the mat.

Zach seems to also be Mr. Happy-Go-Lucky, but he’s also more competitive. He promises that his desire to win is greater than anyone else’s. And Junior backs this up, saying that he just loves to fight. You would never guess that by looking at him!

FIGHT DAY

ROUND 1
Almost immediately Davis shoots for and gets the takedown, but just as fast O’Neill’s arms around his neck looking for a choke. They both scramble for control, but it doesn’t last and they are quickly back on their feet. In the clinch, Davis sneaks up some knees. O’Neill reverses control and latches onto Davis knee looking to pull him down. It’s a failed attempt. Within seconds, Davis manages to get O’Neill down and is in his guard. Davis can’t do much, but O’Neill lands a few elbows. Davis backs up off him and O’Neill looks to replay T’s big up-kick, but doesn’t make it happen. Davis allows O’Neill to get up, but in a blink O’Neill has Davis on his back. While peppering him with elbows, Davis pulls O’Neill’s head down, looking for a potential triangle. After some struggling to position it, he gets the leg over and locked down and O’Neill taps.

Winner: Zach Davis via Submission (Triangle)

Dana makes a good point — a war doesn’t have to be fought on their feet, these two fought a war on the ground and made it entertaining. Despite Dana telling Chuck how impressive he was, Chuck is mad at himself

Now that the prelims are over, Dana asks the coaches (JDS-4; Lesnar-3) to pick the wildcards. All 3 unanimously agree that Justin Edwards deserves the shot, and they tell him so…unfortunately, with a 90-day suspension (which we can only assume was due to being knocked out) from the commission, he will not be allowed to fight. Wow, that sucks.

So then they call in every single asking why they should pick them for the wildcard. They are not wowed by anyone’s answers. No one lays it out saying that no one wants the fight more than them. Bummer.

What’s weirdest is that, unlike ANY previous season, neither Brock nor Junior are blindly pushing for their guys. And not only that, they actually have a conversation calmly, really discussing who is the best pick! Wow, go figure! This should be the precedent by which all future seasons are set!

So when Dana makes the announcement, they have decided that Javier Torres of Team Dos Santos will take on Team Lesnar’s Chuck O’Neil.

Next week: Len expresses his discontent with not being picked for the wildcard, and confronts Brock. Then Brock and Junior hit the grid iron for the Coaches’ Challenge. And both wildcard picks try to avenge their losses to prove they were not flukes. Finally, the first quarterfinal matchups are announced.