CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED - There's one spot left in The Ultimate Fighter: US vs UK finals, and it will go to either Frank Lester or James Wilks, who battle it out on this week's episode for the right to face DaMarques Johnson this Saturday at The Palms in Las Vegas.
By Thomas Gerbasi
CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – There’s one spot left in The Ultimate Fighter: US vs UK finals, and it will go to either Frank Lester or James Wilks, who battle it out on this week’s episode for the right to face DaMarques Johnson this Saturday at The Palms in Las Vegas.
With the time winding down in the TUF house, Team US gets together with Dan Henderson and the assistant coaches for a barbecue, and ‘Hendo’ talks a bit about the upcoming fight with Lester.
Wilks and his team are confident of a second victory over Lester, but Team US is just as confident that their man will turn the tables. Wilks and Lester have gotten to know each other over the course of the show, and have become buddies in the lead up to the fight – that will all change when the bell rings though.
UK coach Mike Bisping gets together with his team for a final dinner at the house, and some of the usual good natured pranks take place after ‘The Count’ leaves.
Now it’s time for business.
Wilks’ jab works well early, and he does a great job of keeping Lester at bay. Lester opens up the second half of the round by jarring Wilks with a hook, and the Team UK fighter then looks to take the fight to the mat. Lester fights off the takedown and then begins swinging wildly at Wilks, landing a couple of shots in the process. Wilks finishes the round as he started it, behind his jab.
Both fighters have their moments while standing in the first half of the second round, with Wilks holding a light edge behind his superior speed and accuracy. Midway through, Wilks tries to get the fight to the mat, but Wilks resists as the two grapple against the fence. After breaking the fighters resume their standup battle, and it’s Wilks who pulls ahead after jarring his now bloodied foe.
Wilks stuns Lester again early in the third, and he keeps the pressure on his fatigued opponent. Just before the midway point of the round, a knee to the head drops Lester, and seconds later, referee Herb Dean has seen enough, and he stops the fight, sending Wilks to the finals to face DaMarques Johnson.
Here’s the final look at the teams…
Mark Miller – eliminated on episode four by Nick Osipczak
Jason Pierce – removed from the competition by UFC President Dana White
DaMarques Johnson 2-0
Frank Lester – 1-2 - eliminated on episode six by James Wilks; brought back after Pierce’s removal. Eliminated in semifinals by James Wilks.
Richie Whitson – eliminated on episode seven by Ross Pearson
Santino DeFranco– eliminated on episode five by Andre Winner
Cameron Dollar 1-1 – eliminated in the semifinals by Andre Winner
Jason Dent 1-1 – eliminated in the semifinals by Ross Pearson
David Faulkner – eliminated on episode nine by Frank Lester
Dean Amasinger – eliminated on episode five by Damarques Johnson
Nick Osipczak 1-1 – eliminated in the semifinals by DaMarques Johnson
James Wilks 2-0
Ross Pearson 2-0
Martin Stapleton – eliminated on episode six by Cameron Dollar
Jeff Lawson – eliminated on episode eight by Jason Dent
Andre Winner 2-0
Tune in to Spike TV at 9pm ET / PT on Saturday, June 20, for The Ultimate Fighter: Team US vs Team UK Finale.