Previously on The Ultimate Fighter, in the 3rd quarterfinal fight, Chuck O’Neil avenged his first loss by beating up on Zach Davis. Then Tony Ferguson takes out his aggression and KO’s Ryan McGillivray in an astounding 45 seconds. But Tony lost control at the house, turning everyone against him. Coming up tonight is both semifinal fights. Two warriors will advance to the finale.
Tensions already seem high in the house in the wake of Tony’s drunken outrage the night before. Tony wishes Chuck a good morning as he comes down the stairs, but Chuck ignores him. “A drunk man’s words are a sober man’s thoughts,” quips Chuck. Tony has seemingly burned every bridge he had in the house.
After Chris and Ramsey weigh in, the guys are back at the house and Tony tries to address the team with an apology. He claims that he drank too much, blacked out and doesn’t know what he was saying. Chuck speaks up tells Tony how lucky he is that none of them killed him. He says that from the deepest part of his heart, that that was not him, that he feels terrible. But the guys don’t seem to be buying it. Hey, at least he tried.
Both circle looking for the opportunity to strike and Nijem goes first, attacking Cope vehemently. He rushes him backward and gets him against the cage. He looks for a single and when he can’t get him down he starts swinging big and hard. They clinch again, Nijem continuing to try to take Cope down. Cope lands several big hands to Nijem’s face as Nijem tries to maintain control. They get some space between them and Nijem starts with a flurry of punches. Nothing serious connects, so he throws some knees. He loses balance a little and Cope tries to take advantage by pushing him down to the mat. Cope unleashes some hammerfists but is warned for shots to the back of Nijem’s head. They clinch, where Cope alternates between knees and fists. Nijem is more leaning on Cope than anything, so they are restarted. Cope is loose on his feet and slips a solid jab through Nijem’s guard. Nijem then returns the jab and follows it with a leg kick. Nijem fakes a superman, but Cope gets in a leg kick. Both keep kinda faking shots and dancing around each other. Cope lands a great inside leg kick and the round ends.
The round starts like 2 ended, but C strikes first with a hard leg kick. C swings big and R ducks it and shoots. At his waist, R has C to his knees, but C works free and they are standing again. Another leg kick from C. Huge swing and miss from C. Big overhand from R, but lands softly. He follows up with a straight leg and immediately charges. They clinch and C peppers R with several shots. R pulls away and catches C with a jab that rocks him. He backpedals and R goes after him. He lands several shots, knocking him to the ground where the ref has to pull R off of C.
Winner: Ramsey Nijem via TKO
Next up is Tony Ferguson vs. Chuck O’Neil. There is some serious bad blood between these two now. Chuck is fueling this fight with his emotions, but Tony is taking it for what it is. Just another fight.
O’Neil jabs the air, but then catches Ferguson. He follows with a jab, right kick combo. Ferguson’s still feeling O’Neil out but ducking a lot of O’Neil’s shots. Finally Ferguson lands a leg kick. As Ferguson ducks a jab, O’Neil gets him with a head kick. Their exchanges are solid and calculated. A BIG body kick from O’Neil. O’Neil is clearly looking for a knockout. Big left from Ferguson but O’Neil eats it. Ferguson throws a right-left combo and O’Neil eats that too. Now Ferguson takes a couple on the chin. Inside leg kick from O’Neil. Combo-counter-combo-counter. That’s their pattern. Ferguson drops and fakes a takedown but O’Neil doesn’t fall for it. O’Neil attempts a superman punch but T ducks and lands a body shot. Uppercut followed by a left for Ferguson. Ferguson sneaks a quick left jab through O’Neil’s guard. Nice leg kick from Ferguson. O’Neil is thrown off balance and Ferguson looks like he’s going to jump, but he allows O’Neil up. A left and right from Ferguson get O’Neil falling back, but the round ends.
Nasty leg kick starts the round for O’Neil but Ferguson counters with his own. O’Neil tries another, but Ferguson catches it and throws him off. Inside leg kick from Ferguson. Combos from both with a few leg kicks throw in. This round seems to be a continuation of the last, despite O’Neil’s corner telling him to mix it up. Ferguson lands 2 big body kicks back to back. O’Neil lands a good right to Ferguson’s jaw. But Ferguson is still wisely keeping his head down and his guard up while O’Neil seems a bit more anxious. O’Neil’s looking for opportunity. Straight jab snaps O’Neil’s head back. Ferguson throws an uppercut, but O’Neil dodges it. Ferguson is able to throw a punch and dodge O’Neil’s counter almost simultaneously. Finally O’Neil lands a combo. O’Neil is looking bloody. Ferguson is controlling the center and has O’Neil backing up. But both are swinging big and hard. O’Neil tries a spinning back kick but it fails to land and is awkward. Ferguson is chasing O’Neil around the ring as the round ends.
Again, both swing big immediately. They’re throwing bombs and big kicks, but neither are particularly accurate. Some land, some miss. Ferguson is landing many more and is ducking most of O’Neil’s. Ferguson lands a shot to O’Neil’s kidneys. Again, Ferguson is controlling the center and pushing the pace as O’Neil dances backwards. Ferguson lands serious leg kicks. O’Neil finally connects with a left to the chin, followed by a leg kick. T has O’Neil with his back to the cage and connects with a straight jab that drops him. Ferguson goes in, but allows him to get back up. The same pattern continues as before, and finally Ferguson connects with several shots that just crumple O’Neil to the floor. The ref has to stop it there.
Winner: Tony Ferguson via TKO
They beat the SHIT out of each other. The first round was so technical; Tony was able to start picking Chuck apart. By the 2nd round, he was able to really start breaking him down. And in round 3, Chuck’s leg was basically gone and it allowed Tony to finish him off.
Regardless, Tony still does not have a lot of fans in the house and more guys are behind Ramsey – particularly JDS.
This episode ends with a message from Dana about Brock having to pull out of his fight versus Junior Dos Santos due to a serious issue with his diverticulitis. As a result, Shane Carwin will be taking Brock’s place. Personally, I am PUMPED for this fight!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!