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 3: “Chicken Salad”

Previously on TUF, Keon Caldwell called it quits, leaving an open spot on Team Dos Santos. Underdog Chris Cope fought his way to a 3rd round decision over Javier Torres, giving Team Lesnar a needed win and now, fight control. Who will Lesnar pick for fight #3?

Team Lesnar gets right to training, but apparently some of the guys took Lesnar’s previous “Chicken Shit” comments to heart. They swear that none of them are chicken shit! Brock tries to clear the air and explain that he meant that prior to the show they were no one fighters. But now, under the tutelage of Brock, they are becoming real fighters. Gee, the guys don’t seem to be appeased by Lesnar’s explanation.

Later, Team Dos Santos welcomes their newest member, Justin Edwards, who bears a striking resemblance to Randy Couture. He is taken in warmly and they get right to work. Coach Lew discusses how he feels as a coach and wonders if they are doing all they can to really prepare these guys. He pushes them hard in training (with some curious looks from JDS in the process) which results in Shamar getting cut while rolling. JDS now expresses his concern with Lew’s training style — being mean is not just not his thing.

Moving on to the fight announcement, Team Lesnar chooses his own Len Bentley (sensing that Len has been on edge and anxious lately) to fight Ryan McGillivray. Not really sure I understand Lesnar’s strategy here…his #1 vs. JDS’s #2?

Back at the house, we finally see the guys coming together and bonding. Len and the rest of Team Lesnar have noticed that teammate Chris Cope has been spending an awful lot of time with the opposition. Chuck tries to alert Chris of their observations, but Chris laughs it off and seemingly ignores it.

At training, Len pulls Brock aside and expresses his concern that Chris has been watching him practice and is afraid that he will spill the beans to the other side. Brock tries to allay his fears, but he still doesn’t want his gameplan discussed in front of Chris…just in case. He claims to not be afraid, but obviously if he’s mentioning it to Brock, he is.

Again, Dos Santos is concerned about how hard Coach Lew is pushing the guys. JDS feels like he has taken it too far, so he pulls him aside to remind him who’s boss. He emphasizes that it’s a team effort and that the coaches need to work together to make decisions. A win is a win for the team, not Coach Lew. Thankfully Lew takes it well and agrees to back off.

Unfortunately, at this point, Ryan is weighing in a 180 with weigh-ins looming at 4:00. And so the weight dropping process begins. Coach Lew rattles off a massive list of the tools needed to shed the 10 pounds — Epsom salts? Blankets? A bath? Wow, whatever works. When the moment of truth arrives, Len weighs in no problem, as does Ryan. Big bullet dodged there.

In a moment of déjà vu, Lesnar explains that something has come up in his personal life and that he won’t be there for the fight. He feels the need to add that his personal life comes first; and everybody knows that. Ummm…ok? Didn’t like it when Rampage did it; don’t like it now.

Both guys seem anxious, but determined to win it for their team. This could be interesting.

FIGHT DAY

ROUND 1
Both come out swinging with combos and Bentley is the first to connect. He comes at McGillivray hard with a body kick. He continues to charge and gets McGillivray on his back. He pounces and looks to maintain control. He briefly ends up in his guard, all the while alternating between fists and elbows. This continues in an awkward version of side control until Bentley allows McGillivray up. On their feet, Bentley is more aggressive and is swinging for the fences. McGillivray starts swinging big too and finally lands a shot that drops Bentley. McGillivray ends up in his guard and Bentley immediately wraps his legs around and reaches up to pull his neck down. McGillivray pushes Bentley up against the cage for leverage, but Bentley uses it to his advantage instead, trying to trap one of McGillivray’s arms. McGillivray tries to turn out but Bentley is not letting go of the arm. Just as it seems McGillivray is going to tap, he gets out of it and turns the tables on Bentley. He reverses and gets Bentley in a neck crank. McGillivray holds onto the choke but Bentley is turning red as the round ends.

That round totally made up for the last 2 (crap) fights. Shogun, sitting next to Dana, asks, “Who even won that round?” Good question, indeed.

ROUND 2
Huge left from McGillivray connects to start, but Bentley eats it. Same pace from the last round in the exchange. Neither seems gased. Nice body kick from Bentley is checked. Several combos from both and both are taking the shots like they’re nothing. Now McGillivray takes a shot to the chin. Spinning backfist from Bentley, but it lands sloppily to McGillivray’s back. McGillivray charges at Bentley and peppers him until he pins Bentley against the cage. McGillivray looks for a takedown but Bentley is doing well at defending. They clinch with Bentley landing some serious knees to McGillivray’s kidneys. Back to the center, they continue to throw bombs (and another unsuccessful spinning backfist for Bentley). Bentley throws in some leg kicks for good measure. The pace starts to slow and the round ends with the two just duking out in slow mo.

Winner: Ryan McGillivray (Majority Decision)

Now that was a brawl. Both guys came to fight and they brought it hard. One judge even scored it 19-19 and I completely see how. Of course Len is bummed out, but Dana comes to him and tells him he has nothing to be embarrassed about. That’s how you fight and he should be proud. Besides, anything can happen on this show…the wildcard is still a factor that could be in his favor.

A very proud Ryan kisses his daughter’s picture and is overcome by tears of joy. Having missed his daughter’s birthday, this meant more to him than just a fight. I always love to see a fighter with a soft spot.

Next week: Team Lesnar wonders if Ramsey realizes he’s there to fight (naked antics, oh boy). MMA legend Matt Hughes makes a visit to the gym for some training time. And Team Dos Santos makes their pick for fight #4. Good luck topping that last fight, boys.