THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: AUSTRALIA vs. UK – THE SMASHES™ EPISODE 8 RECAP AND RESULTS
Mike ‘The Warrior’ Wilkinson’s victory sees Team UK dominate lightweight division
Team Australia’s Xavier ‘The X-Man’ Lucas progresses to finals
During episode eight of The Ultimate Fighter: Australia vs. UK – The Smashes™ - Team UK secured a clean sweep of the lightweight division, when Mike ‘The Warrior’ Wilkinson defeated Australia’s Grant ‘Bull Ant’ Blackler. The result gives Team UK a comfortable lead, with five wins to Australia’s three as the series heads into the finals.
Wilkinson defended well in the early moments of his fight against Blackler, taking the fight to the mat after being pinned against the Octagon®. Wilkinson worked well on the ground, eventually finding the opportunity to lock in a rear-naked choke to end the fight in the first round.
Also progressing to the finals in episode eight was Xavier ‘The X-Man’ Lucas, who was gifted a second chance in the competition when selected to take on teammate James ‘The Volcano’ Vainikolo. The fight never made it to the Octagon, with Vainikolo disqualified for not making weight after struggling with a significant weight drop since entering the competition as a replacement for Manny Rodriguez.
Lucas, of Perth, Western Australia, was chosen by the Ultimate Fighting Championship® to take on the competition newcomer, reversing an earlier announced decision that would’ve seen a Team UK welterweight recalled and presented with a second chance. Hit hardest by the news was London’s Valentino Petrescu, who expressed his disgust during the fight announcement.
Petrescu’s discontent was quickly silenced, when it was revealed he, along with several teammates, was involved in a scandal that forced UFC’s President Dana White to address all competitors via satellite.
White started by saying: “It has been brought to my attention that the worst thing that could possibly happen on The Ultimate Fighter has happened.” It was Team UK’s Bola Omoyele, Luke Newman, Valentino Petrescu, Norman Parke and Brendan Loughnane who all eventually confessed to White that they had obtained a mobile phone from a neighbour and had used it to call home while naively leaking competition results. No sanction had been imposed, with the four lucky to remain in the competition.
Emotions boiled over ahead of the last preliminary bout when Team UK’s coaching staff returned to the TUF™ gym to retrieve their misplaced training diary, disturbing Team Australia’s training session. The diary, which had been found and claimed by Australian coach George Sotiropoulos, was eventually returned after a heated exchange between the coaches.
Semi-finalists of The Ultimate Fighter: Australia vs. UK – The Smashes™ have been confirmed:
Colin Fletcher – Team UK
Norman Parke – Team UK
Brendan Loughnane – Team UK
Mike Wilkinson – Team UK
Benny Alloway – Team Australia
Robert Whittaker – Team Australia
Xavier Lucas – Team Australia
Bradley Scott – Team UK
The series resumes next Wednesday, November 14, at 7.30p.m. AEDT on FX (FOXTEL channel 123). In episode nine, UFC President Dana White talks to the fighters to determine finals match-ups, with one fighter’s dream left in tatters.
Tickets to UFC® on FX: SOTIROPOULOS vs. PEARSON are now on sale, with tickets priced between $175 and $350. To purchase tickets or for more information visit the Gold Coast Box office or go to http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=UFCONFX12.