With another episode of The Ultimate Fighter down, the field is beginning to thin out. Pretenders are being exposed, while contenders are making a case to become potential tournament champions.
The teams, coached by Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen, continued training and prepared for a fight between Collin Hart of Team Jones and Kevin Casey of Team Sonnen.
Here are the power rankings for the show in the aftermath of the Hart-Casey scrap.
Team Sonnen (Seventh pick, 13th overall)
Opening-round Result: Decision win over Kito Andrews
The time for the last pick from Team Sonnen to prove his worth is impending. Kelvin Gastelum is up next to fight, as he will meet one of the most well-rounded fighters in the house.
Gastelum is the least experienced and youngest fighter in the house. His matchup with Bubba McDaniel is going to be a tough battle, so he will need to use his wrestling if he wants a chance.
I have a feeling Gastelum is in for a long night.
Team Jones (Seventh pick, 14th overall)
Opening-round Result: Decision win over Tim Williams
Dylan Andrews made a rare appearance in the house last night explaining his annoyance with people constantly talking about matchups. Can you blame the guy?
Anyway, the Team Jones rep will only have a choice between Tor Troeng, Zak Cummings and Jimmy Quinlan from here on out, matchups that don't seem favorable.
The last overall pick is really going to need to prove something.
Team Jones (Fourth pick, eighth overall)
Opening-round Result: Submission victory over Eric Wahlin
First-round Result: Knockout loss to Luke Barnatt
If we learned one thing about Gilbert Smith this week on the show more than anything, it's that he is a terrible freestyle rapper. His rapping is about as solid as his cardio.
All kidding aside, the more people are getting exposed in losses, the better Smith's chances are at getting a wild-card slot. Adam Cella may not be in consideration due to a horrid concussion suffered against Uriah Hall, while Kevin Casey showed absolutely nothing in his fight.
Maybe there is still life for Smith in this competition.
Team Sonnen (Sixth pick, 11th overall)
Opening-round Result: Submission victory over Eldon Sproat
First-round Result: Decision loss to Collin Hart
For all the talking and strategizing that Kevin Casey was doing coming into his first-round fight, he did not do much backing up in the cage.
He was stifled on the ground by Collin Hart's wrestling and top game. He looked best throwing power strikes with Hart, but when he would get the upper hand, he would clinch up.
Just a poor performance and execution by Casey.
Team Jones (Sixth pick, 12th overall)
Opening-round Result: Submission victory over Jake Heun
First-round Result: Knockout loss to Uriah Hall
Now that Adam Cella has woken up from one of the nastiest knockouts of all time, it is time for him to get his head back in the game. That is, if his head is clear enough to stay in the competition.
After a devastating knockout like he received, I find it unlikely he will be medically cleared for a wild-card spot. Though he showed courage and flashes of brilliance against Hall, which would get him a wild-card nomination, his bill of health is the bigger issue.
Team Jones (Fifth pick, 10th overall)
Opening-round result: Submission victory over Mike Jasper
First-round result: Decision victory over Kevin Casey
Collin Hart has officially cashed his ticket into the quarterfinals with last night's win over Kevin Casey, but he failed to really stand out in that fight.
Even though his wrestling and top game were superior and dominant, his striking looked very suspect. When Casey started wildly firing hands, Hart's chin was left up and exposed to these punches.
A technical, powerful guy like Uriah Hall or Bubba McDaniel would expose this weakness easily.
Team Sonnen (Fourth pick, seventh overall)
Opening-round Result: Submission victory over Scott Rosa
Tor Troeng has not been seen or heard much on the show. He could be the silent assassin of the season.
Troeng is reserved with his opinions and philosophies. However, his power and grinding ways may carry him deep into the tournament.
Troeng and his other remaining teammates only have Clint Hester, Josh Samman and Dylan Andrews as options left in the first round to pick from.
Team Jones (Second pick, fourth overall)
Opening-round Result: Knockout victory over Leo Bercier
The self-appointed mouthpiece of Team Jones can really make up for his general word vomit with a great performance in the upcoming bout he will receive.
There is no doubt Samman is a skilled fighter and has all the tools to be successful, but is he a little too overconfident in himself?
Team Sonnen (Fifth pick, ninth overall)
Opening-round Result: Knockout victory over Mike Persons
Jimmy Quinlan is really one-dimensional, but he is so good at ground fighting, he gets a top-six nod.
Quinlan may be the best wrestler the show offers, but don't think that he is a lay-and-pray guy. He has some powerful ground strikes coupled with some submission abilities that will rival most.
If his striking can improve, he will be very dangerous.
Team Sonnen (First pick, first overall)
Opening-round Result: Decision victory over Nicholas Kohring
First-round Result: Knockout victory over Gilbert Smith
Tall Brit Luke Barnatt is currently in the quarterfinals and has all the physical gifts and motivation to get things done.
Barnatt's knockout of Smith was impressive, but his ability to match leverage against muscle is going to be beneficial against musclemen like Clint Hester and some of the bigger guys.
His striking is his best attribute, and if he uses his reach properly, he is going to give guys fits.
Team Sonnen (Third pick, fifth overall)
Opening-round fight: Knockout victory over Nik Fekete
Zak Cummings is one of the most experienced fighters on the show and can use that when he attempts to make it to the quarterfinals.
His combination of knockout power and wrestling will be beneficial down the stretch. His quick win in the opening round ensured that he is injury free and ready at any time.
Team Jones (Third pick, sixth overall)
Opening-round fight: Knockout victory over Ryan Bigler
Bubba McDaniel has been itching to fight and he will get his shot next week when he meets Team Sonnen's last pick in Kelvin Gastelum.
McDaniel is the most experienced and one of the more well-rounded fighters on the cast. His biggest concern is going to be the weight cut.
If he does advance, he is going to need to continue keeping his weight down. That may drain him in the long run.
Team Jones (First pick, second overall)
Opening-round Result: Decision victory over Fraser Opie
Clint Hester is a freak athlete, but like teammate Gilbert Smith, he should stick to fighting instead of rapping.
Hester has fallen off the radar since the opening round, as he hasn't been involved in any house antics or training montages.
The concern with Hester may come in the fact that many people (like myself) are holding him in a high regard despite beating a questionable opponent in Opie. He really needs to prove himself when his name gets called in the upcoming weeks.
Team Sonnen (Second pick, third overall)
Opening-round Result: Decision victory over Andy Enz
First-round Result: Knockout victory over Adam Cella
In the aftermath of Uriah Hall's decapitation of Adam Cella, we continued to see his humble and genuine personality. The guy is likable and dangerous, a combination that quickly earns a fanbase.
Hall is the guy to beat so far in the tournament. Hall, Luke Barnatt and Collin Hart currently reside in the quarterfinals, and it should be interesting to see which other men join him.