The Ultimate Fighter
That all changed in the latest episode as Team Miocic finally got on the board with a win in the lightweight division as Mike Trizano defeated Thailand Clark from Team Cormier.
Before the action got started this week there was plenty going on, including a budding rivalry between Team Cormier featherweight Tyler Diamond and Team Miocic fighter Suman Mokhtarian.
Now the genesis of this beef actually traces back to Cormier, who was jabbing at Team Miocic after one of the fights this season and he was engaging with Mokhtarian, who happened to mention that he wanted to fight Diamond in the opening round of the tournament. Diamond was Cormier's No. 1 pick in the division so Mokhtarian was obviously targeting the fighter he believed would be considered the toughest to beat.
Well that didn't sit too well with Diamond, who began pushing for the fight with Mokhtarian this week with the featherweights up to bat again in the next episode.
Unfortunately, as much as Mokhtarian wanted to face Diamond, he had other problems to deal with this week after tweaking his knee in training and being sent to the UFC Performance Institute for treatment.
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Of course, Mokhtarian was holding out hope that nothing was torn in his knee that could force him out of the competition, and thankfully he received good news when the trainers told him that he was good to go to fight but he'd have to be careful for a few days in practice.
During his treatment at the facility, Team Cormier assistant coach Deron Winn popped his head into the room and began ribbing Mokhtarian about his injury and how he was taking notes to pass along to his fighters so they could target that particular knee whenever they fought him this season.
That didn't sit too well with Mokhtarian, who then got drawn into another verbal battle with Winn just before a training session back at the gym when the same subject was broached.
"I wanted to get off that table and slap him straight there," Mokhtarian said about Cormier's assistant coach.
The only downside to the injury was Mokhtarian being pulled aside by his coaches as they started to plot the course for the next fight should Trizano get a win and hand them back control over the selections. Because of Mokhtarian's knee injury, Miocic and his coaching staff believed that a fight against a kickboxer like Ricky Steele would probably be in his best interest versus a wrestler like Diamond.
It certainly wasn't the fight that Mokhtarian wanted but The Ultimate Fighter isn't always about settling grudges. It's about winning and moving on to the next round of the tournament and Team Miocic had Mokhtarian's best interests at heart when breaking down the matchups.
Once that was settled it was time to move on to the fight as Trizano looked to get the better of Clark to finally put Team Miocic in the win column.
MIKE TRIZANO VS. THAILAND CLARK
The fighters wasted no time exchanging strikes at the start of the opening round. About 20 seconds in, Clark shoots for his first takedown as he grabs a single leg and tries to force Trizano to the mat. Trizano does a good job resisting the takedown but then he eats an accidental knee on the ground, which pauses the action to the fight. Upon the restart, Clark catches Trizano with a straight right hand down the pipe that drops him to the mat for a brief moment. Trizano is quick to his feet but Clark is all over him, looking for the clinch and pressing the action against the cage wall. Trizano is still defending the takedowns very well as he looks to stand Clark back up. Trizano eventually reverses positions against the cage as he begins putting pressure on Clark before forcing a takedown of his own. The fighters work back up in a split second before separating to the center of the Octagon. Trizano looks to work his striking game, but after eating a couple of hard shots he moves forward for another takedown as Clark defends. They separate again and Clark lands his best combination of the fight so far with a left-right shot that tags the Team Cormier fighter. With less than 30 seconds remaining in the round, Trizano is really starting to find his range as he pops Clark with several hard punches that snap his head back with force. The round comes to an end with Trizano pressing the pace.
Trizano comes out and immediately takes the center of the Octagon as he works to keep Clark at distance with his punches and kicks. Trizano is beginning to land some stiff punches with Clark starting to back up during the exchanges. Clark finally decides to look for a takedown but he's definitely losing steam and Trizano shrugs him off easily before reversing positions and landing on top as they hit the mat. Trizano begins working his ground-and-pound game while Clark's coaches scream for him to get off the canvas. Trizano is tagging Clark with a series of hard punches and elbows from inside the guard as the damage begins to mount. Trizano is just brutalizing Clark with his punches while looking to advance his position on the ground. Trizano eventually works his way to mount as he begins pounding away on Clark and then moving to take the back. Instead of looking for the submission, Trizano starts pouring on the punishment with a series of stinging punches with Clark doing very little to defend himself. Trizano eventually flattens him out on the mat as he continues to batter Clark and the referee has seen enough and stops the fight.
Official result: Mike Trizano def. Thailand Clark by TKO (punches), R2
It was a much-needed win for Team Miocic as Trizano not only got the win but he earned the stoppage victory over Clark.
With Team Miocic on the board, the heavyweight champion made the next fight selection in the featherweight division.
Next fight: Suman Mokhtarian (Team Miocic) vs. Ricky Steele (Team Cormier)
That selection didn't sit too well with Diamond, who was just champing at the bit to face Mokhtarian, but now he'll have to wait at least until the second round if he's going to get his hands on the Team Miocic fighter.
Don’t miss the latest matchup of the season when Mokhtarian takes on Steele in the next preliminary round matchup when The Ultimate Fighter: Undefeated continues next Wednesday night at 10 pm ET on FS1.