Find out who won on episode 11 of The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs. Team Faber and more in this week's recap.
It was teammate versus teammate this week on The Ultimate Fighter, while Julian Erosa kept the Americans alive with another upset win to move into the semifinals.
The first fight this week pitted David Teymur against Marcin Wrzosek, with only one of the two Team McGregor able to move into the next round of the tournament. McGregor warned his fighters when the season began that this isn't about any team that's only going to be together for six weeks. This is about the individual, and at the end of the day, every fighter should be selfish when it comes to their career.
As much as Teymur and Wrzosek helped each other to get to this point, now it's time to set all that aside and battle it out in the Octagon so one of them can move on to next week’s semifinals.
"You are here for your own benefit. It's you versus you. Go and handle your business," McGregor told his fighters.
Once the two Europeans stepped inside the Octagon, it was clear that Teymur wanted to use his kicking game to batter Wrzosek to the body and to the legs to wear him down early. Teymur has some of the best kicks for any fighter on the show, but Wrzosek didn't back down, coming back over the top with some lefts and rights of his own.
The pivotal moment in the fight came just about two minutes into the first round, as Wrzosek slipped through a right hand that clipped Teymur and sent him crashing to the mat. Wrzosek pounced and kept Teymur on the ground after the punch landed, but he wasn't able to put the Swedish fighter away, and the two ended up engaging in a ground battle as well. Teymur actually came back late in the round with some solid striking, but the knockdown likely sealed it for Wrzosek.
The second round saw Teymur adjust his game plan as he shifted from striking directly into a grappling game by putting Wrzosek down early. Teymur looked fluid on the ground and transitioned into position to try and lock on a D'arce choke, but Wrzosek never stopped moving and got out of the way before he could get caught. That submission was the only moment during the second round that saw either fighter get into any real trouble. The remainder of the fight was mostly filled with an exchange of takedowns, with Teymur losing wind and Wrzosek showing great cardio. In the end, Wrzosek picked up two more takedowns late and Teymur looked tired and unable to stop his opponent's attempts any longer.
The judges scored the fight 20-18, 20-18, and 19-19 to give Wrzosek the win by majority decision, and now he moves on to the semifinals.
In the other matchup, Julian Erosa got the job done with a non-stop performance to outwork Abner Lloveras over three rounds in their quarterfinal fight.
From the start of the fight, Erosa's game plan was set up to stick and move on Lloveras, while trying to avoid any big counters from the Spanish lightweight. Lloveras did a good job early by not chasing Erosa, while also landing a big left hand that was likely the best punch of the whole round. Lloveras also attacked with his takedown game late in the round, and while he didn't put Erosa down to the ground, he made the American work for position while stuck against the cage.
The second round saw a much different fight, with Erosa on the attack and landing with serious precision as he started putting together combinations. At one point, Erosa uncorked a head kick and a left-right combination that clearly staggered Lloveras. Erosa also exchanged a pair of uppercuts with the Spanish fighter, but it was the American who landed the better shot, and Lloveras had to compete for the rest of the fight with blood dripping down the side of his face.
Lloveras was clearly the more winded fighter heading into the third round, and while he tried to land some punches in the final five minutes, he was mostly resigned to clinch work while attempting to put Erosa on the ground. It didn't work and Erosa came back with another punishing round, tagging Lloveras to the head and body. Erosa's pressure-filled offense really took a toll on Lloveras, who was gasping for air with his hands at his side by the time the final horn sounded.
The judges ultimately gave Erosa the win in a three-round battle where Lloveras gave him everything he could handle, but the Team Faber fighter persevered and got the victory.
With the four semifinalists now set, it was time to decide the two matchups that would determine the finalists for this season of The Ultimate Fighter.
An enraged Artem Lobov immediately voiced his opinion to get a shot at Erosa, following another close win for the American. Lobov has put away his first two opponents by TKO and he would like nothing more than to add Erosa's name to that list.
"Let me knock him out," Lobov shouts at one point.
Well, UFC president Dana White was listening because he announced just minutes later that Lobov would get his wish and he'll face Erosa in the semifinals, while two more Team McGregor fighters will square off, as Marcin Wrzosek takes on Saul Rogers. Both fights will take place on next week's episode, with the finalists being announced before they meet on December 11 in Las Vegas.
Next week's final episode will be can't miss TV, with Lobov vs. Erosa and Rogers vs. Wrzosek. Plus, featherweight champion Jose Aldo will make a special appearance and that can only lead to something interesting happening with interim champ and coach Conor McGregor.