Although they had a little heat going into their matchup, Hart and Casey underwhelmed with an extended clinch battle through two rounds, as Hart controlled his winded opponent to give Team Jones its critical first win of the season.
• From the get-go, Casey just didn't seem that aggressive, as Hart swarmed on him with a flying tackle to set the pace. Sonnen continually told his fighter to create distance and score points, but Hart and Team Jones just had a better plan at work.
• In essence, the entire fight was over as soon as an already tired Casey hit the mat in the second round. Hart effectively controlled him for the remainder of the fight with top control and short punches from Casey's guard.
• It'll be interesting to see how Jones sets up the remaining fights of the season, especially now that he only has his best talents left. "Bubba" McDaniel will face off against the young Kelvin Gastelum next, and just about anyone would have to favor McDaniel in that bout.
• As a reminder, McDaniel is also Jones' training partner and a fellow Greg Jackson MMA student, giving him an edge in gym quality to go with his drastic 21-fight experience advantage. With that in mind, here's how the teams look after the fact:
Who will win next week?
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)
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)
[Note: Winners are in bold, losers are scratched off the list and the next competitors' names are in italics.]
• The fight itself wasn't particularly gruesome, although preview clips led many of us to believe that a bloodied Hart would be on the losing end of the match, pushing Team Sonnen to a 3-0 position. Instead, Team Jones has a chance to sweep the rest of this bracket.
• 'Just goes to show, preview clips don't tell you everything.
• Also, the first "prank" of the season from Team Sonnen was just awful. Waking guys up before weigh-in day to throw toilet paper at them? Lame. They deserved to lose this week on karma alone.
• Every time Uriah Hall is on-camera, it's surprising to see how nice and even-headed he acts despite being the favored talent in the house. He hates bullying and poor sportsmanship, and backs up his attitude when interacting with the rest of the cast.
• Considering all the other national news going on today, (the LA manhunt and State of the Union, for example), it's certain that this episode will pull lower ratings than last week. That pretty much means that Uriah Hall is the unspoken star of the show, which seems weird given the coaching staff.
• In fact, you can pretty much chalk that up to a total lack of heat between Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones, who seem to barely react to being in the same room with each other. Both men—two of the UFC's biggest personalities and chatterboxes—have been reasonably muted this season so far, although the editing may be to blame more than anything else.