As this week’s episode opens, Team GSP’s Dane Sayers is disappointed with being passed over for one of the Wild Card slots going to Aaron Wilkinson and Marc Stevens, but the die has been cast.
“Right here, right now, Stevens is the better fighter and the obvious pick,” said UFC President Dana White.
Coach Georges St-Pierre brings in another top notch coach in wrestler Cleopas Ncube, and while Michael Johnson gets his work in, Alex Caceres is complaining of back pain.
Opposing coach Josh Koscheck has his own issues to deal with in the training room, as he has both of his fighters in the Wild Card bout, and team members Andy Main and Jeff Lentz aren’t too happy about not being picked.
Then, of course, there’s the continuing war of words between Koscheck and Team GSP medic Brad Tate, which gets physical at the Wilkinson-Stevens weigh in, when Koscheck grabs Tate’s neck, forcing both teams to intervene and separate the two. Sayers is especially upset after catching a push from Koscheck, but after an apology from the welterweight contender, everything finally cools down and Wilkinson (156) and Stevens (156) both make weight.
“I told Tate three times, I told all my guys, not to trash talk,” said St-Pierre. “It was like kindergarten; it was crazy.”
After the weigh-ins, St-Pierre tries to see where his team’s heads are at as he asks them to write out who they would like to fight. Johnson’s answer is easy – Caceres.
Back in the house, Wilkinson gets some bad news, as he’s told that his grandmother has passed away, but despite the emotional blow, he is prepared to battle on in the biggest fight of his career.
Wilkinson and Stevens get off to a tentative start until Stevens scores a takedown in the opening minute and begins working his strikes while looking for a submission. Soon, Wilkinson is cut under the right eye and Stevens is closing in on an armbar. Wilkinson breaks free, but Stevens quickly moves into position for a triangle choke. Wilkinson stays busy from the top until the bell.
Again trying to work his standup, Wilkinson gets some shots off before getting taken down by Stevens, but this time, Wilkinson sinks in a guillotine choke that finishes the fight via tap out.
“Apparently I need to work on my guillotine defense,” said Stevens, whose two losses on the show came via the same move.
Now it’s off to the quarterfinals, and White, GSP, and Koscheck meet with the fighters to determine the matchups, and most of the fighters want to square off with Caceres. So who gets the fighter dubbed Bruce Leroy? The one who wants him the most, teammate Michael Johnson.
So here are the quarterfinal bouts:
Jonathan Brookins vs Sako Chivitchian
Cody McKenzie vs Nam Phan
Kyle Watson vs Aaron Wilkinson
Michael Johnson vs Alex Caceres
Here’s how the teams look:
Michael Johnson 1-0
Jonathan Brookins 1-0
Spencer Paige – Eliminated on episode five by Nam Phan
Alex Caceres 1-0
Kyle Watson 1-0
Cody McKenzie 1-0
Dane Sayers – Eliminated on episode seven by Sako Chivitchian
Marc Stevens – Eliminated on episode six by Cody McKenzie; lost in Wild Card bout to Aaron Wilkinson.
Sevak Magakian – Eliminated on episode six by Jonathan Brookins
Sako Chivitchian 1-0
Andrew Main – Eliminated on episode four by Kyle Watson
Nam Phan 1-0
Aaron Wilkinson 1-1 – Eliminated on episode three by Michael Johnson; brought back for Wild Card bout, defeats Marc Stevens.
Jeffrey Lentz – Eliminated on episode two by Alex Caceres
For weekly recaps of The Ultimate Fighter, as well as fighter profiles, stay tuned to UFC.com.
TUF 12 Episode Eight Recap
CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – There’s one quarterfinal spot left on The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck, and this week, Aaron Wilkinson and Marc Stevens will fight for it.