TUF 17 Episode 1 Recap: Gilbert Smith Jr. vs Luke Barnatt Set for First Fight

McKinley NobleCorrespondent IJanuary 22, 2013

Through 14 fights, UFC president Dana White, Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen watched as 28 men competed for a spot on Season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter, with plenty of highlights along the way (read the full play-by-play right over here).

After the dust cleared, both coaches made their picks, listed here:

Team Jones:

1. Clint Hester (7-3)
2. Josh Samman (9-2)
3. Robert "Bubba" McDaniel (20-6)
4. Gilbert Smith Jr. (5-1)
5. Collin Hart (4-1-1)
6. Adam Cella (4-0)
7. Dylan Andrews (16-4-1)

Team Sonnen:

1. Luke Barnatt (5-0)
2. Uriah Hall (7-2)
3. Zak Cummings (15-3)
4. Tor Troeng (15-4-1)
5. Jimmy Quinlan (3-0)
6. Kevin Casey (5-2)
7. Kelvin Gastelum (5-0)

Once the lines were drawn and the teams were formed, Jones decided to take a gamble by trying to eliminate Sonnen's No. 1 team pick, undefeated English fighter Luke Barnatt.

Based on what the episode showed (several fights were heavily edited), the most impressive competitor of the night was, arguably, Uriah Hall, who battered his opponent en route to a decision win that had White, Jones and Sonnen screaming in amazement.

Another standout was Clint Hester, the first-round pick for Team Jones, who notched an extremely violent, one-sided decision win. Tor Troeng was also dominant in victory, although Sonnen noted that the fight wasn't too exciting.

Notably, not one fighter in the episode was filmed going to the hospital, which still leaves the identity of Dana White's mystery fighter up in the air.