CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – The field on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller has been whittled from 32 down to 16 after some of the best fights in series history. Now the 16 surviving bantamweight and featherweight prospects will see whether they will be training with Michael Bisping or Mayhem Miller for the next six weeks.
After an opening day barbecue and some anointing of nicknames in the house, it’s off to the UFC Training Center for the picking of teams. Bisping wins the opening coin toss and opts to take the first fighter, leaving Miller to pick the first fight.
At bantamweight, Bisping chooses Louis Gaudinot as the first overall pick, and Miller chooses John Dodson as the first member of his squad. In the featherweight division, Bisping opts for Diego Brandao at number one, while Miller takes Dennis Bermudez.
Here’s the way the teams stack up after all the picks have been made:
Miller is amped up for the first practice, and his fighters feel the same way.
“I’m real excited to help a batch of new guys start their UFC careers right here,” said Miller. “I’m gonna do everything I can as a coach to help these fighters, and I’m gonna do everything I can as a fighter to smash Bisping.”
He even takes things to another level later on, as he and assistant coach Ryan Parsons bring compression suits to his team for them to use.
While not as high-tech, Bisping is just as excited to get things going.
“I want to do everything I can to help these guys succeed,” said ‘The Count.’
For the first fight of this round, Miller chooses Caraway to take on Team Bisping’s Brimage.
“It’s a classic striker vs. grappler matchup,” said Bisping. “I think what they’re trying to do is pick one of their strong guys against one of our weak guys. But for me, Caraway didn’t impress me. I don’t think he has the killer instinct. Marcus has got the killer instinct.”
“I just know there’s a lopsided gap in the skillsets between the two guys,” said Miller. “I know that the wrestling and jiu-jitsu of Marcus is not going to be able to handle the level of Bryan Caraway.”
Brimage is at 157 pounds two days before the fight, which means a rough weight cut, but Bisping and his coaches make sure they’re there to help him get there.
Of course, this is an opportunity for Miller to pull his first prank on his opposing coach, and he has his team move all the tires they’ve been training with into Bisping’s pre-fight room. Bisping’s response? Break the door to get in, while promising revenge.
At the weigh-in, Brimage makes weight at 145, and Caraway joins him at the same weight, but it’s a little pre-fight song from Team Bisping and a scream from Brimage that get under Caraway’s skin.
“At first it was cute, but then they made it disrespectful,” said Caraway. “They personally attacked me, and that’s not cool for me and the sport.”
Once the bell rings, Caraway has little difficulty getting Brimage to the mat and pinning him to the fence. In a scramble, Caraway takes his opponent’s back and looks for the finish. Brimage fights to escape, and his submission defense is solid, but he is unable to shake Caraway loose before the bell.
Brimage comes out swinging in round two, but he’s taken down once again. Caraway takes his back a second time, he can’t finish though, as Brimage gets loose and gets back to his feet. The tide looked to be turning in Brimage’s favor, but Caraway scores the takedown and this time he gets the rear naked choke and the tap out to move on to the next round.
Team Miller takes a 1-0 lead in the competition. Here’s how the teams look:
Marcus Brimage – Eliminated in episode two by Bryan Caraway
Bryan Caraway 1-0
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