CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – Brock Lesnar’s squad has pulled to within one victory of tying things up on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Lesnar vs. Team dos Santos, but an injury suffered by last week’s winner, Clay Harvison, means that every victory comes with a price.
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
As this week’s episode begins, the tension continues to rise between Junior dos Santos and assistant coach Lew Polley, with dos Santos letting Polley know in front of the team that they will need to talk about the differing messages they are sending to the fighters.
Team Lesnar’s outlook is a little sunnier, even in spite of Clay Harvison’s injury, as Lesnar believes Len Bentley is the front runner to receive a berth in the Wild Card fight. But then Bentley injures his left knee during practice.
“I’m sick to my stomach,” said Lesnar, but luckily for Bentley, it’s only a dislocation.
And there is more good news, as it’s revealed that Harvison didn’t break his finger, he just dislocated it, allowing him to possibly stay in the competition.
As far as dos Santos and Polley is concerned, the heavyweight contender found out that Polley tried to go to the TUF house to see the fighters by himself, and after consulting with assistant coach Luiz Dorea, he makes the decision to ask Polley to leave the staff and the show.
In the first fight of this week’s episode, Team Lesnar’s Tony Ferguson will face Team dos Santos’ Justin Edwards. That leaves the final fight of the first round to be Chuck O’Neil of Team Lesnar against Zachary Davis of Team dos Santos.
In Ferguson-Edwards, Edwards comes out fast, swinging with both hands. He gets some shots in, but Ferguson weathers the attack well and begins getting his own strikes in when the pace slows a bit in the second minute. With a little over three minutes left, Edwards scores with a takedown, and Ferguson jumps right back up. The two continue to trade shots while standing, and then Edwards gets a second takedown with 90 seconds remaining. Here though, Edwards gets careless and he is caught by a right upkick to the head. He falls to the mat and Ferguson finishes him with strikes, forcing referee Josh Rosenthal to stop the exciting bout.
Next up is O’Neil vs Davis, and Davis opens up by getting O’Neil to the mat. The Team Lesnar product gets back to his feet, but the two remain locked up against the fence. Davis scores with close range knees, softening his foe up for another takedown. Eventually, O’Neil turns the tables and is able to get off some hard strikes from the top position, but Davis stays calm and sinks in a triangle choke that finishes the bout in the opening round.
After the fight, UFC President Dana White and the two coaches choose Edwards for the Wild Card spot, but since he was knocked out by Ferguson, the Nevada State Athletic Commission issued him a 90 day suspension, keeping him out of another fight on the show.
That leaves two spots, but White isn’t convinced that the fighters really want it, but after consulting with Lesnar and dos Santos, the final pick was to see Javier Torres face Chuck O’Neil.
Team dos Santos finishes up the first round 4-3. 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 1-0
Clay Harvison 1-0
Chuck O’Neil – Eliminated on episode six by Zachary Davis. Will return for Wild Card
Chris Cope 1-0
Nordin Asrih – Eliminated on episode one by Shamar Bailey
Team dos Santos
Shamar Bailey 1-0
Ryan McGillivray 1-0
Javier Torres – Eliminated on episode two by Chris Cope. Will return for Wild Card
Ramsey Nijem 1-0
Zachary Davis 1-0
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.