The Ultimate Fighter: Season 12 Episode 10: “Personal”

Previously on The Ultimate Fighter, Michael Johnson got fed up with teammate Alex Caceres’ antics. In the first quarterfinal fight, Jonathan Brookins quickly took out Sako Chivitchian while underdog Nam Phan gave Team Kos a needed win when he shut out Cody McKenzie. Coming up tonight are the two remaining quarterfinal fights. Veteran Kyle Watson steps into the ring with wildcard winner Aaron Wilkinson and Michael Johnson and Alex Caceres finally get to settle their score.

At the house, Sako plays a prank, putting a rubber band on the kitchen sink sprayer. He immediately blamed Alex (who had done it previously), but alas, it wasn’t him this time.

Kyle Watson will be taking on Aaron Wilkinson in his quarterfinal fight. Aaron’s strength is his striking, but Team GSP is not particularly worried about the power behind his punches. Kyle’s game plan is not necessarily to take Aaron down, but to tie him up and keep him from striking.

Kos wants Aaron to keep the fight standing. Knowing this is his second (and probably last) chance, Aaron is motivated and feeling the pressure of representing the UK.

FIGHT DAY

Round 1
Watson starts the fight with a leg kick. He keeps faking the shoot and follows up with another leg kick. Wilkinson has yet to respond. Finally Watson shoots and gets the takedown. He has an awkward side control. He gets into half mount and begins peppering Wilkinson with body and head shots. Wilkinson is also landing a good number of shots to Watson’s head. While Watson is looking for a better position, Wilkinson is looking to get out. They manage to stand but it doesn’t last and Watson gets Wilkinson mounted. Wilkinson keeps turning and eventually turns enough to give Watson his back. Wilkinson holds onto one of Watson’s arm and his barely managing to fend off the choke. Watson gets the right arm in and under, getting the choke locked with the left arm. But Wilkinson is not giving in very easily. It’s a good solid minute and Wilkinson is desperately looking to free himself. But the choke is too far sunk and Wilkinson taps.

Winner: Kyle Watson via Submission (Rear Naked Choke)

Pretty much no surprises there.

In talking about Bruce Leroy, GSP is promising an exciting fight. Dana can’t even call this one.

GSP brings in Freddie Roach (boxing guru) to train the guys. As Pacqiao’s trainer, this guy’s got some serious boxing cred. The guys are in AWE. Roach seems to like Caceres, predicting that he will do well.

This is definitely an emotional fight — meaning that it is fueled by their hatred for each other. But Alex thinks that this hatred will be Michael’s downfall. He claims that all the pressure is on Michael, as he doesn’t want to lose to someone who he feels doesn’t belong there. Michael plans on keeping it standing, at least to start. And then he’ll just wear him down.

Before the weigh-ins, Kos starts ribbing Michael, predicting a win for Alex (also calling him the “black Georges”). Kos thinks that GSP’s theory is that Michael is their strongest, so he can sacrifice Alex to him to move him on. However, GSP comments that he really doesn’t know how the fight will go — either could potentially win. Either way, this is going to be a helluva fight. Great way to end the quarterfinals.

FIGHT DAY

Round 1
Johnson doesn’t even touch gloves. Caceres lands a solid leg kick followed by a straight leg. Johnson responds by going after Caceres and gets him down with an authoritative slam. Caceres is on his side and Johnson is trying at least get into his guard. Johnson backs off a bit and Caceres springs up. Caceres tries a head kick but it is checked. Johnson lands a big jab that sends Caceres’s mouthpiece flying. When they resume Johnson backs Caceres against the cage and slams him down hard again. Johnson gets right into Caceres’s guard. Caceres tries to get up, but Johnson pushes him right back down. Johnson backs off, but Caceres keeps his feet up to fend him off. Back to standing and Caceres gets in a good combo. Johnson responds with a straight jab followed by a painful leg kick. Caceres charges, peppering him with jabs. Johnson turns it around, and gets Caceres with his back at the fence. They clinch briefly before they return to the middle. With a minute to go, Johnson gets Caceres on his back again. Before he can do any damage Caceres kicks him back off. On their feet, Johnson goes offensive with a few jabs before they clinch. A big head kick attempt from Caceres is checked. Clinching again, Caceres has the control as the round ends.

(All Johnson there…but can he keep up that pace??)

Round 2
Both are looking antsy. A good jab exchange. Caceres misses a superman punch. Johnson shoots and gets Caceres down. In side control, he alternates between elbows and jabs. He looks to spin into north-south but maintains side control. He scrambles and ends up in Caceres’s guard, pushing him into the corner. With him pinned back, he lands several unanswered big shots. AC leans forward and it looks like Johnson goes for a choke, but they get back up. Johnson lands a good combo, but Caceres counters. Caceres ducks a shot from Johnson and Johnson shoots immediately. As they scramble down, Caceres reverses and is on top for a change. It is short-lived. They are back up in the clinch. Johnson gets Caceres around the waist and slams him again. In full guard, Johnson tries to keep one fist on his throat while punching with the other. He gets a few nice hammerfists through. Caceres tries to scramble up, and eventually does. Caceres attempts a head kick that Johnson catches, using his leg to drive him back. Still holding on the leg, Johnson sweeps and slams Caceres. In side control again, he doesn’t do much and the round ends.

Winner: Michael Johnson via Unanimous Decision

No matter how many times Michael threw punch, Alex was able to keep moving enough to dodge it. No matter how many times Michael took him down, Alex was able to pop back up. Definitely a huge battle.

Ok. I have been a BIG defender of Kos this ENTIRE season. But for Kos to say that he didn’t know what fight GSP was watching because it sucked?? What fight was HE watching?!?! Sour grapes, Koscheck, sour grapes.

And so the feud between Michael and Alex comes to an end.

Dana and the coaches get together to discuss the semi-final fight matchups. Amazingly, they agree right away. Whoa…has hell frozen over?

So the semi-final fights will be:

1. Jonathan Brookins vs. Kyle Watson
2. Michael Johnson vs. Nam Phan

Next week: Two hour semi-final extravaganza! Four men will enter the cage, but only two will go on to the live finale!

The Ultimate Fighter: Season 12 Episode 8: “KOS in a Commotion”

Previously on The Ultimate Fighter, first pick Marc Stevens was choked out in 18 seconds. Koscheck found a new target for his trash talk. In the final preliminary fight, Team Koscheck found a second win hen Sako beat Dane. And the coaches choose Aaron and Mark to fight for redemption in the wild-card.

At Team GSP training, Dane talks about how he had thought he’d have been a good wild-card pick. He has shown a lot of heart and has also shown the most improvement. Most of his team also thought he had deserved it. However, even GSP agrees that Sayers doesn’t have the pedigree — he just doesn’t have the skill level yet. And Dana agrees. On paper, Marc Stevens is just the logical pick with the best skill set. Crybaby Alex, who does have a shot, whines that his back is hurting and is using it as an excuse to not train as hard as his teammates. Mike sees right through it all.

Kos’s boys, Marc Stevens and Aaron Wilkinson, are set to face each other. He feels that Stevens has a lot of potential, and while he made mistakes, he didn’t get to showcase that potential. Even Marc’s own teammates questioned the coaches’ decision, but obviously they are still behind him.

Post-training, Tate “The Male Nurse” begins pushing Kos’s buttons, trying to get him riled up about his future loss to GSP. Kos gives it right back to him, trying to get into their room, but it never really gets heated. It’s all pretty playful (plunger vs. garbage can!).

Back at the house, Alex’s teammates rib him about his laid back approach to training. Mike attributes it to his blown up ego, but Alex claims he’s just saving himself. Ha!

Aaron discusses his fight with Marc. His strategy is to jab and run, and to hopefully keep it standing and keep Marc from taking him down. It’s rough to fight a teammate, but he realizes that is part of fighting. It’s gonna happen from time to time. Kos knows it won’t be easy for him to watch the fight, as these are two guys that have sweated blood and worked their asses off for him. All seem to be in good spirits though.

As everyone is coming into the gym for the weigh-ins, Kos pantses (is that even English? lol) Tate in an attempt to embarrass him. Something must have worked, because they begin a heated exchange as soon as they sit down. Kos accuses Tate of being on the show to “get famous” while Tate predicts that Kos will become famous for losing to GSP. Then Tate criticizes Kos’s accomplishments, or lack thereof, asking if the last thing he accomplished was faking a knee. Kos mumbles something about Vaseline up his ass and resorts to once again calling him a male nurse. Clearly Kos is getting angry and threatens to take Tate on right there. He gets up in Tate’s face, grabbing him by the throat. And of course, they cut to a commercial just as Tate gets up and moves in on Kos!

Immediately guys from both teams are pulling them apart as they’re getting their hands in each others’ faces. Somehow, Dane gets in the middle of them and (perhaps unintentionally) is pushing Kos back by his face. Kos stiff arms Dane’s face, and now Kos and Dane are being kept back. Dane gets pissed off, yelling that he was just trying to help. As everyone takes their seats, Dane storms out of the room. Kos realizes what happened and goes after Dane, as does GSP. When Kos finds him, he mans up and apologizes. Dane calms down and accepts. But Kos theorizes that GSP brought Tate in specifically to get under his skin… riiiiight…as if GSP cares that much.

As for the impending fight, Dana says he knows what to expect. He expects a stand-up fight from Aaron, and he expects Marc to be really pissed off and to bring it so that he can prove himself. Or will he?

After the weigh-in, Kos asks Tate if they can walk out holding hands. Tate just stares at him. GSP sees all this and is just frustrated, feeling like he’s in kindergarten. He had told all his guys AND Tate not to engage in trash-talking with Kos. Apparently Tate didn’t get that memo, and GSP is just fed up.

In the back room, Team GSP talks quarterfinals. After the wild-card fight, there will be 3 fighters from Team Kos and 5 from Team GSP. Obviously, some GSP teammates will have to fight each other. He asks his guys to write down who on the team they’d want to fight. And, no surprise, Alex and Mike choose each other. Sweet.

At the house, Aaron gets a phone call. They knew in advance that he was getting news, but no one knew what. As it turns out, his grandmother has passed away. His mother tells him that his grandmother would kick his ass if he even thought about coming home. He is moved to tears and is saddened that he didn’t get to see her very much. He just hopes that she is looking down and watching him give it his best.

Kos is excited to see two of his guys getting second chances, but will corner neither. Instead he will sit in the stands as a fan. He wishes them both luck and tells them to put on a helluva fight for the fans.

FIGHT DAY

Round 1
Stevens strikes first with 2 consecutive leg kicks. Wilkinson tries to counter with a jab, but Stevens dodges. Stevens tries another leg kick and then immediately shoots on Wilkinson and gets him down. In side control he keeps Wilkinson pinned. He maneuvers into half mount. Wilkinson rolls and gives Stevens his back. Stevens slips the hooks in and looks for a choke, but Wilkinson turns out of it. Stevens still has control but Wilkinson is looking to get out. Stevens maintains control of Wilkinson’s back for a good while. He briefly ends up in a mount, but Wilkinson spins and Stevens has his arm and is looking for a possible triangle. He finally gets a leg up and over with an arm pinned. Stevens is definitely controlling the pace and tenor of the fight, as Wilkinson is defending the sub but cannot get out of trouble. Wilkinson is leaving his head vulnerable; Stevens just can’t his ankles crossed to tighten the hold. The round ends before Stevens can finish it.

(Did anyone else notice how much quieter it was without Kos doing the cornering? :P )

Round 2
Wilkinson starts with a jab and Stevens is clearly eying a takedown. Wilkinson pushes the pace and is more aggressive with several jab/cross combos. Stevens goes for a takedown, but as they are going down, Wilkinson latches onto Stevens’s neck and within seconds has the guillotine in tight making Stevens tap quickly.

Winner: Aaron Wilkinson via Submission (Guillotine)

WTF????

In Round 1 Stevens beat up on Wilkinson the way everyone expected to with some impressive BJJ and GNP. But somehow, Stevens gets caught by the SAME CHOKE that cost him the last fight. Stevens is rightfully disappointed with himself, joking that maybe he needs to work on his guillotine defense, but he also makes excuses that he couldn’t feel his legs at the end of the first round. He blames cutting weight and the Nevada elevation. Give me a break!

Dana and the coaches get together to discuss the quarterfinal fights. They bring each of the guys to ask who they would like to fight, and who they think they match up with the best. To no surprise of the coaches, Mike and Alex choose each other… but everyone else seems to pick Alex too! Kos thinks this is a strategy on GSP’s part, thinking that he would rather his weakest link, Alex, lose to his own teammate than to someone on Kos’s team. In pleading his case for Alex to fight Mike, Kos gets GSP to spill all the weaknesses of both guys…not good coaching on GSP’s part.

The quarterfinal fights are chosen:

Jonathan Brookins vs. Sako Chivitchian
Cody McKenzie vs. Nam Phan
Kyle Watson vs. Aaron Wilkinson
Michael Johnson vs. Alex Caceres

So GSP gets his wish after all. I guess all those “secrets” were spilled for naught.

Next week: The quarterfinals are set. Prepare for 2 fights in one show: Brooks vs. Chivitchian and then McKenzie vs. Phan. Who will move one step closer to a shot at becoming the next ultimate fighter?

Aaron Wilkinson: The Naked Truth About TUF 12

TUF 12′s Aaron Wilkinson talks about his appearance in The Ultimate Fighter season 12.