CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – Chris Cope and Ramsey Nijem have already earned their spots in the semifinals of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Lesnar vs. Team dos Santos. Who will join them this week?
More blogs by TUF cast:
Tony Ferguson for SBNation
Ramsey Nijem for MMAFighting
Charles Rader for Around the Octagon
Clay Harvison for USA Today
Javier Torres for MMA Valor
Len Bentley for MMA DieHards
Ryan McGillivray for Top MMA News
Shamar Bailey for Heavy
Zach Davis for MMA Weekly
Chris Cope for MMA Junkie
Chuck O’Neil for Bleacher Report
Lew Polley for MMA Junkie
After Chris Cope upset Shamar Bailey and Ramsey Nijem made quick work of Clay Harvison, the next two quarterfinal bouts will pit Tony Ferguson against Ryan McGillivray and Chuck O’Neil against Zachary Davis.
Team dos Santos’ Davis already holds a win over O’Neil from episode six, and he is expecting to make it two in a row. O’Neil is just as determined to get the victory, but he’s not looking at it as a revenge bout.
“No redemption, just a fight,” he said.
At the bell, O’Neil is the aggressor with his strikes, while Davis closes the distance and pushes his foe to the fence. O’Neil avoids the takedown, and after a sustained period without significant action, referee Steve Mazzagatti restarts the bout. Able to use his distance well, O’Neil rocks Davis with his punches, prompting another tie-up against the fence. After some more solid D, O’Neil breaks free and again rocks Davis, whose face has been bloodied by the attack.
Early in round two, O’Neil kicks out Davis’ legs and lands some ground strikes before letting his foe up. The bout soon strays to the mat, but O’Neil is not willing to stay there, and he resumes his standup attack while turning away Davis’ takedown attempts. With 1:30 left, another stalemate results in a restart, and both have their moments late, but it’s O’Neil with the edge, and the judges agree, awarding him a 20-18 across the board unanimous decision.
Unfortunately, Davis gets some bad news along with the defeat, as it’s revealed that he tore both retinas during the bout, putting his future fight career in doubt.
“I didn’t lose any vision, but the doctor said I’m not gonna be able to fight anymore,” said Davis, who underwent immediate laser surgery to repair the tears. “I’m just trying to work my head around it. It was pretty brutal news.”
In the week’s second quarterfinal bout, Ferguson and McGillivray decide to keep it standing, and after Ferguson clips his foe with a left hand, it’s the beginning of the end, as a follow-up flurry on the mat forces referee Josh Rosenthal to halt the fight in the first round.
And then there were four: Cope, Nijem, O’Neil, and Ferguson.
The semifinals are as follows:
Nijem vs. Cope
Ferguson vs. O’Neil
Before the Final Four gets underway though, the two teams celebrate back at the house and after some of Ramsey’s usual antics, things turn testy when Ferguson gets into it with Charlie Rader. The battle escalates before the two get broken up, but the feud continues later in the house, with Ferguson hitting some verbal low blows on Rader as the episode ends, making it clear that next week’s show will be the most explosive of the season.
Here’s how the teams look:
Len Bentley – Eliminated on episode three by Ryan McGillivray
Charles Rader – Eliminated on episode four by Ramsey Nijem
Tony Ferguson 2-0
Clay Harvison 1-1 – Eliminated on episode eight by Ramsey Nijem
Chuck O’Neil – 2-1 Eliminated on episode six by Zachary Davis. Returned for Wild Card bout and re-entered the competition
Chris Cope 2-0
Nordin Asrih – Eliminated on episode one by Shamar Bailey
Team dos Santos
Shamar Bailey 1-1 – Eliminated on episode eight by Chris Cope
Ryan McGillivray 1-1 – Eliminated on episode nine by Tony Ferguson
Javier Torres – Eliminated on episode two by Chris Cope. Returned for Wild Card bout and was eliminated by Chuck O’Neil
Ramsey Nijem 2-0
Zachary Davis 1-1 – Eliminated on episode nine by Chuck O’Neil
Mick Bowman – Eliminated on episode five by Clay Harvison
Justin Edwards – Eliminated on episode six by Tony Ferguson
For weekly recaps of The Ultimate Fighter, as well as fighter profiles, stay tuned to UFC.com.