This week’s installment of the ever-awesome The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen gave us the final two quarterfinal match-ups where Team Jones stand-out and house dad Josh Samman fought Team Sonnen’s wrestler extraordinaire Jimmy Quinlan, while tournament favorite and vicious KO artist Uriah Hall took on Team Jones’ wildcard pick and overall nervous wreck Bubba McDaniel. If you didn’t catch these fights then do yourself a favor and do so. Here’s five things we learned…
#1 Bubba once again shows how not to prepare for Uriah Hall
I touched on this last week, I know, but once again Bubba spent most of the episode explaining how he didn’t want the Hall fight, how tired he is and how much pain he is in. He did make a good point that fighting three times in such a short space of time will take its toll, but is there nothing to be said for going out on your shield? A trip to the doctor for blood tests yields only good news (or bad depending on how you look at it) as he is cleared to fight. Even at the weigh-ins he (jokingly) cowers as Hall stares him down. Coach Jones was NOT happy and admitted he was worried.
#2 Josh Samman vs. Jimmy Quinlan
This was one of those striker vs. grappler classics. Straight out of the blocks Quinlan went for the takedown and ended up getting a Frankie Edgar-esque slam on Josh and proceeded to do his best to grapple his opponent, with zero intent on doing any damage. In fact, Josh was the more active fighter from the bottom, scrambling for submission positions and throwing some vicious elbows from the bottom, and even cutting Jimmy open. Jimmy’s contention to just lie in position yielded no success as eventually Josh got back to his feet before swarming Jimmy with knees and punches, taking his back and landing some horribly uncomfortable double-punches, forcing Jimmy to quit. A brilliant performance from Samman that surely sent out a message to his potential future opponents.
#3 Uriah Hall vs. Bubba McDaniel
After such a sickening knockout win all those episodes ago, it was fair to say we were all eagerly looking forward to seeing whether Hall could do it again. We didn’t have to wait long however, as Hall proceeded to viciously KTFO his opponent, only this time with his right hand and within ten seconds or so. The room went silent in awe of this behemoth. Unfortunately once again, his opponent was incapacitated to the point where celebrations are cut short and we’re worried for his health. Thankfully, he was able to see from his damaged left eye. Coach Sonnen even told Uriah that he’s already a contender for the UFC middleweight title, though only time will tell.
#4 A word of advice for Uriah
A word of advice for Uriah: Stop knocking out your opponents so viciously so you can actually celebrate your victories properly instead of spending so much of the post-fight apologizing as your victims are wheeled into an ambulance. Or not. He’s quickly become the most feared and dominant fighters in the history of TUF.
#5 The Semi-Finals are set
Hall wanted Samman. Samman wanted Gastellum. Gastellum wanted Andrews. Andrews didn’t care either way. The coaches did surprisingly agree on what they wanted to see: Kelvin Gastellum vs. Dylan Andrews and Josh Samman vs. Uriah Hall. However, their opinion clearly didn’t matter as Dana White ignored them and went for Hall/Andrews and Samman/Gastellum, which should nicely set up a grudge match TUF Finale match-up between Uriah Hall and Josh Samman.
The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen episode four airs next Tuesday at 9pm on FX (as well as 1am Wednesday morning on ESPN UK for those in the UK and Ireland) as Kelvin Gastellum faces Josh Samman and Uriah Hall faces Dylan Andrews in the semi-final fights.
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