CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – Click below for the TUF 13 episode two recap....
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Clay Harvison for USA Today
Javier Torres for MMA Valor
Len Bentley for MMA DieHards
Ryan McGillivray for Top MMA News
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Zach Davis for MMA Weekly
Chris Cope for MMA Junkie
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CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – It’s been work, work, work thus far on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Lesnar vs. Team dos Santos, and with one win in the bank already, coach Junior dos Santos is not about to let his team slack off.
“Nobody’s died by getting tired, so let’s go,” said the number one heavyweight contender as he strapped masks on his fighters and got conditioning guru Rafael Alejarra to put them through their cardio paces. At this point, Keon Caldwell is struggling in the gym and getting homesick, but he’s doing his best to push through it.
On the other side, former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar is trying to get his team ready for the second bout and a shot at evening the score.
“If we don’t win this fight,” said Charles Rader with a smile, “Brock is probably gonna kill us.”
The next day, Caldwell, missing his six-year old daughter, has a chat with dos Santos and tells him that he wants to leave the competition and go home.
“That made me very surprised,” he said. “This is the opportunity of your life.”
During practice, Dana White arrives to meet with Caldwell, who wasn’t originally going to make the cut until the UFC President added him to the roster. After a no-nonsense talk, Caldwell agrees to stay on.
“I gotta do what I gotta do,” he said, but after that day’s training session, he talks to dos Santos again and decides to go.
“I don’t know how you go 9-1 and then just show up here and decide you don’t want to fight and you’re not a real fighter,” said White. “The only upside to this thing is that it happened early enough to get his ass out of here and get somebody real in here that can run with this opportunity and make something out of it.”
In this week’s bout, dos Santos chooses Javier Torres to face Team Lesnar’s Chris Cope. Torres will have an added benefit going into the fight considering that his assistant coach, Lew Polley, trained with Cope for a year at Team Quest and he knows his strengths and weaknesses. But Cope, the underdog, got an inspiring talk from Lesnar, telling him that on any given Sunday, anyone can win a fight.
Torres controlled the action of the first round at close quarters and scored the lone takedown of the frame, but Cope was able to get some shots in when the two fought at long range. There was more of the same in round two of this war of attrition, but this time it was Cope holding the edge, and after two frames, the bout was deadlocked, sending it to a third “sudden victory” round.
Cope opens the final round with some solid kicks, and then the two lock up again. A low blow halts the action momentarily, and Cope receives a stern warning from referee Herb Dean. When the bout resumes, Cope goes on the offensive, but he gets tied up. After they break, Cope scores with his strikes between tie-ups by Torres, and after his strong third round performance, he takes the unanimous decision win.
The competition is now tied at 1-1. Here’s how the teams look:
Chris Cope 1-0
Nordin Asrih – Eliminated on episode one by Shamar Bailey
Team dos Santos
Shamar Bailey 1-0
Javier Torres – Eliminated on episode two by Chris Cope
Keon Caldwell – Left the competition on episode two
For weekly recaps of The Ultimate Fighter, as well as fighter profiles, stay tuned to UFC.com.