5 Memorable Moments from the First Episode of the Ultimate Fighter 17
Last night's first episode of The Ultimate Fighter Season 17 began one of the most highly anticipated seasons of recent memory.
The coaches are UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and former two-time middleweight title challenger Chael Sonnen.
The two fighters were supposed to square at UFC 151, after Dan Henderson suffered a knee injury in training. Sonnen accepted the fight with Jones, but the champion turned down the fight. A lot of trash talk ensued between the two, which led to the UFC picking them for this season.
The episode had a new feel to it. The show now airs on Tuesday nights, the production was noticeably different and you can just feel a different type of vibe that a TUF hasn't had in a very long time.
Let's take a look back some of the most memorable moments from last night's episode.
You watch a television show, and the first thing that you always notice is the tone of the introduction.
Last night's began with a red screen saying, "WARNING: The Ultimate Fighter. Brace Yourself."
The show then started with Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen describing what The Ultimate Fighter is about and how grueling the season will be.
Then Dana White described the fighters on the show being away from their families.
Then we had the fighters describing the trials and tribulations they had to go through to get to this point.
The show then opened with the backstory of how Jones and Sonnen became the coaches of the show.
White then described what the stakes are—the prizes the winning fighter and coach receive.
Zak Cummings Knockout of Nik Fekete
The second fight to get into the house was Zak Cummings taking on Nik Fekete.
Cummings, who is from Springfield, Missouri, had a record of 15-3 heading into the show.
Cummings had previously fought for Strikeforce and Bellator, so he has had the experience of fighting on the big stage.
The fight began with Fekete faking a kick, which gave Cummings an opening. He knocked out Fekete with a straight right hand to get the first knockout of the season.
Speculation was running rampant as to the identity of the fearsome fighter who sent four opponents into the hospital during the taping of the season.
Dana White made this proclamation: It was a fighter named Tor Troeng.
Troeng, who hails from Sweden, is 11-1-1 with nine wins by stoppage.
Troeng, as shown here, has vicious slams and ground-and-pound with brutal one-punch knockout power. The Swede squared off with Scott Rosa to get into the house.
Troeng won the fight by submission due to a rear-naked choke. Sonnen said he wasn't overly impressed with Troeng's performance, though he was completely dominant. Jones said, "Who beats a guy named Tor?"
Troeng was the most hyped fighter going into the premiere last night.
Is he really the guy White is talking about?
The Performance of Clint Hester
A lot of performances stood out last night, but no one put on more of a show than Clint Hester.
Coming into the season, the Georgia native compiled a record of 7-3.
Hester said before the fight, "I perfected my game, it is just time to show the world."
Hester indeed did that, as he squared off against English fighter Fraser Opie.
Hester started the fight off with a vicious body kick that had Dana White screaming.
Hester is known for his boxing, but also showed some wrestling talent with a takedown and then a German suplex.
Hester won the fight by unanimous decision, but put on the most impressive performance of the evening.
Uriah Hall looks like a middleweight version of Cheick Kongo. He has the body type and physically resembles Kongo as well.
Hall was born in Jamaica, but now resides in Queens, New York. Hall stated before the fight that he used to get in trouble a lot, and fighting was his way to get out of it.
The Jamaican squared off with Andy Enz to get into the house. Hall looked very impressive, especially on the feet, as he threw vicious kicks and punches with relative ease. Hall even showed he has a ground, as he took down Enz as well.
Hall ended up winning the fight by unanimous decision.
Sonnen stated Hall is the early favorite, while White said Hall is the man to beat.