In this installment of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen we had the first two of the four quarter final fights as Kelvin Gastellum faced off with Collin Hart and Dylan Andrews fought Luke Barnatt in one of the best fights in the series’s history. We also had some pretty high-profile guests in the guise of women’s UFC bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey and Iron Mike Tyson. Here’s five things we learned..
#1 Bubba McDaniel going about this Uriah Hall fight completely the wrong way
So as we saw last week, an unhappy Bubba McDaniel was paired off to face tournament favorite Uriah Hall in the quarter finals. In this episode we saw him doing anything but hide his hesitance at taking this fight, saying he wanted four other guys and Hall was never even on his radar. I don’t get the problem here. You want to win this tournament, but you’re afraid to face the favorite to get there? What’s even more strange is that all the fighters have been guaranteed a slot on the TUF Finale card from the off. If he doesn’t get his head in the game and focused on beating Hall he’s going to be in for a rough night.
#2 We just can’t get enough of Ronda Rousey
In the first of two high-profile appearances on this week’s show, UFC champ Ronda Rousey showed up to a Team Sonnen training session to give some words of advice and more importantly to throw the boys around like ragdolls. She gave her best “mom advice” too telling the guys that nobody has the right to beat them and to use that mentality to fuel you in your fight. It was scary to see a woman smiling and joking one second then tossing grown men much bigger than her around the mat the next. It was also a sneak preview of her abilities speaking to large groups of men on a television show as she gets ready to become a coach on the next season of TUF.
#3 Kelvin Gastellum vs. Collin Hart
Gastellum came into this fight the underdog but from the offset both men looked like they wanted to end the fight as quickly as possible. As it was, it was Gastellum that caught Hart with a beautiful boxing combo, dropping Hart and finishing the fight for the knockout win. It would seem the visit from his heroine Ronda Rousey did him wonders here. He’s into the last four.
#4 Dylan Andrews vs. Luke Barnatt
This was a great fight and a rare example of some sensible judging. In the first round they weren’t afraid to exchange on the feet, with Mike Tyson watching next to Dana White at cageside. Eventually Andrews got the fight to the ground as Barnatt got back up now and again before heading back to the mat again. Barnatt always looked threatening but Andrews took it 10-9. The second round was were we finally saw some sensible judging. While Andrews spent most of the round on top, Barnatt threw all manner of submission attempts and elbows from the bottom, doing more damage and actually working. The judges correctly gave the round to Barnatt and they went to a third round. This round was reminiscent of the legendary TUF fight between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar. Luke constantly threw knees while Andrews successfully found a home for his big right hand. They threw hell for leather and it looked unlikely that this fight would last five minutes. An awesome round and fight was finished with Andrews’s right hand eventually dropping the big man for the TKO victory. Fitting to win via knockout in front of Mike Tyson I think you’ll agree.
#5 Mike Tyson is awesome
Though it wasn’t his first appearance on this show, any time the “Baddest Man on the Planet” makes an appearance he seems inspire awe and adulation unlike any other sports figure around. Speaking to Luke Barnatt after his devastating defeat he gave some characteristically sage advice: “When you’re the champ of the world you’ll look back at that loss. That’s just the way it is. Never get discouraged.” The man speaks from experience.
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 Jimmy Quinlan faces Josh Samman and Uriah Hall faces Bubba McDaniel in the last two of the four quarter final fights.
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