To compensate for the added intensity of the quarterfinal matchups, Team GSP coach Georges St-Pierre has toned down his squad’s workout regimen and is focusing on tactics and technique.
GSP’s opposing coach Josh Koscheck is also tightening up his team’s tactical approach to upcoming bouts, focusing at the moment on Sako Chivitchian’s fight against Jonathan Brookins and keeping his fighter from giving up his back.
But nearly a minute into the bout the next day, Brookins scores a takedown and then gets Chivitchian’s back. The Team Koscheck member is able to keep himself out of trouble for a bit, but then Brookins strikes and sinks in the rear naked choke, forcing a tap out moments later.
Brookins becomes the first semifinalist in the competition, and joining him in the final four will either be Team GSP guillotine master Cody McKenzie or Team Koscheck’s jiu-jitsu black belt Nam Phan.
As usual, McKenzie comes racing out of his corner, trying to catch his opponent cold, but the veteran Phan doesn’t get rattled by the initial attack, and despite getting taken down after some work against the fence, he avoids any serious trouble and gets back to his feet. McKenzie again closes the distance, pinning his foe to the fence. Eventually with a little over a minute left, Phan breaks free and lands with some solid right hands to the face. In response, McKenzie shoots for the takedown, but he’s turned away by Phan, who now appears to be in control against his fatigued foe.
Told to keep the fight standing, Phan comes out firing strikes at McKenzie, who has nothing on his own punches and kicks. Phan makes matters worse with punches to the body, and just before the three minute mark, he drops McKenzie with a left downstairs. A follow up barrage brings in referee Josh Rosenthal to halt the bout, and Phan earns the second semifinal spot.
Next week, the final two semifinalists are determined as Kyle Watson takes on Aaron Wilkinson, and Michael Johnson battles Alex Caceres.
Here’s how the teams look:
Michael Johnson 1-0
Jonathan Brookins 2-0
Spencer Paige – Eliminated on episode five by Nam Phan
Alex Caceres 1-0
Kyle Watson 1-0
Cody McKenzie 1-1 – Eliminated in quarterfinals by Nam Phan
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 1-1 – Eliminate in quarterfinals by Jonathan Brookins
Andrew Main – Eliminated on episode four by Kyle Watson
Nam Phan 2-0
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 Nine Recap
CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – This week the quarterfinals begin on The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck, and as the field gets chopped down, the competition grows even more intense.