After 10 more episodes in the most talent-packed season of The Ultimate Fighter, we now have the semifinal matches set for the final episode.
Uriah Hall vs. Dylan Andrews and Josh Samman vs. Kelvin Gastelum will mark the final four, with the rivalry between Hall and Samman getting one more obstacle that needs to be crossed.
(Read the full episode play-by-play for all the details.)
• Good Lord, Uriah Hall is a frightening man. If he's not nearly killing guys with spinning heel kicks, then he's laying them out with short punches.
• And sure, maybe he won't look as impressive in the UFC, but against guys like Bubba McDaniel (who barely showed up to fight), Uriah Hall looks like the goddamned Superman.
• It's rare that a TUF fight ends too quickly for play-by-play, but that's exactly what happened. Bubba bull-rushed Hall right at the start, and just as Hall prophetically stated, he landed a clean shot at the first opening.
• Bubba was out on his face for what must've been a good few minutes. As usual, the gym went dead silent as doctors checked Bubba, and if Dana White's been truthful, that's what's in store for Hall's next opponent. Thankfully, Bubba's eye looked like it was intact.
• Seriously, even Carlos Condit looked spooked. He's probably hoping that Uriah never cuts down to welterweight.
• Josh Samman may come across as weasel-like villain on-camera, but there's no denying his drive. Even though Jimmy Quinlan had top position for most of their fight, Samman was beating him up from his back and constantly working for space. The resulting TKO win wasn't a shock, especially as Quinlan gassed. With that match done, here's how the semifinals look.
Semifinal Bout 1
Josh Samman (9-2, Team Jones) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (5-0, Team Sonnen)
Semifinal Bout 2
Uriah Hall (7-2, Team Sonnen) vs. Dylan Andrews (16-4-1, Team Jones)
• It's interesting that Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones both tried to campaign for Uriah and Samman to fight in the semifinals, especially since it's clear that their rivalry could fuel a major TUF 17 finale card if they both win. Thankfully, Dana White decided that was stupid.
• To tell the truth, it's kind of nice that the coaches have been a afterthought this season, although that's really a testament to the quality that Fox and FX pumped into the show. Additionally, it's good that the UFC scouted better talents.
• No matter how you slice it, Bubba McDaniel looks like "The Ultimate Loser" after this episode. When he wasn't shown skipping training due to aches, he was complaining about the show's producers and everyone else conspiring against him to make his fight harder matches.
• Maybe it's editing, but it seems like Bubba did little but whine, whine, whine. He needs to change condiments, because that weaksauce doesn't cut it.
• One more thought on Bubba—doesn't it seem unusual for a Greg Jackson's MMA guy to look so bad in three TUF fights? Who on Earth did he beat to get to 20-6 on the regional circuit.
• Overall, this has shaped up to be a really good season. It'll be fun to look forward to the next episode. Needless to say, everything seems to hinge on Uriah Hall and Josh Samman winning their bouts. That could be the difference of 100,000 viewers on FX for the season finale.