The Ultimate Fighter returned for its seventh episode of the season. After last week's battle between Jessamyn Duke and Raquel Pennington, it was time for the men to step back into the cage.
After the victory last week, Team Tate selected Josh Hill to go up against Michael Wootten. Hill had one of the more unimpressive fights to get in the house, but the style will work well to get him through the tournament without an injury. That is, if he wins.
It wasn't a spectacular fight, but let's recap:
- Josh Hill took the first round by utilizing his wrestling. He wasn't able to do much in the way of damage, but he controlled where the fight took place and passed into dominant positions. He did attempt to submit Wootten with a rear-naked choke. Dana White was not complimentary of Hill post-fight, but from a fighter's perspective it is a sound strategy for the TUF format.
- Wootten came out aggressive in the second. He got Hill on his back and tried to land ground-and-pound. He was much more active than Hill was in the first. Hill eventually got on top, but he was unable to muster much offense. Wootten evened up the fight and took it to a third round.
- The opening minute was more exciting than the other 14 minutes of the fight. They felt the pressure of it being the final and deciding round. Then Hill pressed Wootten to the fence without accomplishing much. Eventually, Wootten's pressure wilted Hill. He landed more strikes and drew some blood, and Hill was sucking wind.
- Wootten got the win. It wasn't the most exciting fight of the season, but it wasn't completely terrible. That's sort of redeeming, right?
|Team Rousey||Team Tate|
|Peggy Morgan||Raquel Pennington|
|David Grant||Chris Holdsworth|
(Note: Winners are in bold, losers are scratched off the list and the next competitors' names are in italics.)
Will You Watch the Recap Episode?
Aside from the fight, there were plenty of extra-curriculars to talk about:
- Ronda Rousey and staff brought all the fathers of the house a small gift on Father's Day. It was a very nice gesture given the circumstances of which they are in the house. With no contact with the outside world and no communication to their families, small things like that end up being very significant moments for those inside the house.
- For the professional wrestling fans out there, Josh Hill mentioned that his great uncle was Jerry Valiant (real name John Hill). Jerry was one-half of The Valiant Brothers.
- Team Tate went after Edmond Tarverdyan once more, but Dana White was not pleased. White went into the training facility and removed nearly all of the photos that were put up. After previous eruptions between the teams, White was trying to avoid an all-out battle. Some may view it as White protecting Rousey, but after earlier arguments I think he is trying to protect the UFC from an ugly melee.
- However, White missed a photo, and Tarverdyan saw one. He disappeared. Rousey took it to be an offensive photo about Tarverdyan's Armenian heritage. While I personally do not believe that was Tate's objective, I can definitely see where Rousey was coming from. Others on the team wanted to exact some revenge, but Rousey stayed true to her word promising no retaliations. Kudos to the champ.
- Rousey had her team do some exercises on the mat. Some of the cast struggled with it, and Rousey seemed to get a kick out of it. It was a more lighthearted look at some of the small details Rousey brings to the table.
- Next week will be a special recap episode. In two weeks' time the final two quarterfinal bouts will take place. Peggy Morgan (Team Rousey) takes on Sarah Moras (Team Tate), and Cody Bollinger (Team Tate) battles with Anthony Gutierrez (Team Rousey).