The Ultimate Fighter continued its 18th season Wednesday evening with episode 10.
Featuring Team Rousey's Michael Wooten versus Team Tate's Chris Holdsworth, this episode kicked off semifinal action with a matchup between oppositely ranked bantamweights.
Holdsworth, Team Tate's top male in the competition, is considered a favorite to win the entire competition, whereas Wooten was the underdog in his first fight against Josh Hill and likely will be for the remainder of the competition, should he pull off the upset.
Spoiler alert: He didn't.
The decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Holdsworth, worked the fight to the mat early in Round 1, and Wooten had no answer for his relentless ground attack.
Holdsworth worked briefly from side control before taking Wooten's back and immediately securing the fight-ending rear-naked choke.
Pan to an epic picture of Royce Gracie.
This fight is done. Wooten was just outgunned.
No fighter in this competition will want to go to the mat with Holdsworth. The dude is nasty, and he showcased the full glory of his skills with the standing rear-naked choke against Wooten in this one.
Tate's top dog is moving on to the live finale.
Next week we have Julianna Pena vs. Sarah Moras, and it looks like we're getting a heaping spoonful of drama, as well.
Moras was shown crying in a sauna in the teaser, so we will have to wait and see if this fit of emotion costs her inside the Octagon.
A few more random takeaways from episode 10:
- Ronda Rousey partied it up with the departed members of her team. For all the crap we are quick to fling her way when she enters a fit of drama or sadness, Rousey truly seems to care about her fighters, and she makes an effort to connect with them on a personal level. I like it.
- What's going on with Team Tate? Early scenes showed Tate and her coaches favoring Julianna Pena and Chris Holdsworth over the rest of the cast. Team morale is slipping.
- Cast members learned some basic Harley-Davidson riding and maintenance skills. Cain Velasquez showed up atop his two-wheeled macho machine, but this segment was basically a shameless plug for Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
- Tate invited motivational speaker Kenny Salvini to talk to her team. A former skier, Salvini is now paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair after a botched jump. The team seemed to latch on to his words, and his story inspired them to push harder to achieve their goals and to appreciate their natural gifts.
- Nate Diaz and Manny Gamburyan showed up to help coach Team Rousey. Awesome.
- Rousey actually hugged Holdsworth after his big win. No middle finger?! What are you becoming, Ronda?
- Did I mention that Holdsworth is legit? He's a scary foe for anybody in this competition, and his ground game makes him an intriguing prospect for the UFC's bantamweight division, should he win in the live finale.