The UFC's hit reality television show, The Ultimate Fighter, entered its 19th season Wednesday at 10 p.m. on Fox Sports 1.
The show, which is coached by legendary UFC fighters BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar, will showcase middleweight and light heavyweight UFC hopefuls this season, and the producers wasted no time in throwing the viewers into the thick of the action.
The night's first fight, a light heavyweight matchup between Dan "The Dragon" Spohn and Tyler King featured an absolutely ruthless knockout, as Spohn decked his 6'6" foe with a huge right hook and some follow-up ground-and-pound that left UFC Dana White spewing expletives like he was trying out for a Scorsese film.
TUF 19 Results: Dan Spohn def. Tyler King via KO (punch)...that was QUICK. Caught King coming in and put him face first into the mat.— Bleacher Report MMA (@BR_MMA) April 17, 2014
From there, the fights continued to impress and excite. Here's how the fight-in fights played out on episode one of The Ultimate Fighter's 19th season.
Light Heavyweight Results:
Dan Spohn defeats Tyler King via KO, Round 1
Todd Monaghan defeats Jake Heun via submission (armbar), Round 1
Chris Fields defeats Josh Stansbury via TKO (injury), Round 1 (Stansbury blew his knee out during a takedown attempt.)
Anton Berzin defeats Cody Mumma via submission (armbar), Round 1
Josh Clark defeats John Poppie via submission (armbar), Round 3
Patrick Walsh defeats Doug Sparks via submission (kimura), Round 1
Matt Van Buren defeats Daniel Vizcaya via knockout (Travis Browne elbows along the fence), Round 1
Corey Anderson defeats Kelly Anundson via decision
Hector Urbina defeats Adrian Miles via submission (guillotine), Round 1
Roger Zapata defeats Tyler Minton via TKO
Ian Stephens defeats Lyman Good via decision
Tim Williams defeats Bojan Velickovic via TKO, Round 3
Eddie Gordon defeats Matt Gabel via decision
Dhiego Lima defeats Adam Stroub via decision
Mike King defeats Nordine Taleb via
After the fights were over, Edgar and Penn selected their teams for the upcoming season. Here's how the picks shook out:
|Team Edgar||Team Penn|
|Corey Anderson (205)||Anton Berzin (205)|
|Patrick Walsh (205)||Josh Clark (205)|
|Matt Van Buren (205)||Dan Spohn (205)|
|Todd Monaghan (205)||Chris Fields (205)|
|Dhiego Lima (185)||Mike King (185)|
|Ian Stephens (185)||Tim Williams (185)|
|Eddie Gordon (185)||Cathal Pendred (185)|
|Hector Urbina (185)||Roger Zapata (185)|
The Ultimate Fighter 19 Episode One
Once the teams were picked, the first fight was set, and we're kicking things off in the middleweight division. Even though we didn't get to see Cathal Pendred in the first episode (more on that below), we won't have to wait long to finally get a glimpse of the Irish fighter.
Cathal Pendred vs. Hector Urbina
- Doug Sparks wore a headband that was supposed to represent polar bear ears. He said that his mother was a polar bear, so he's "only half human." All right, then. Too bad we won't see more of this character as the season progresses.
- Stansbury was winning his fight against Fields before the injury, even rocking his opponent with some vicious punches. It will be interesting to see if the UFC invites him back at a later date.
- BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar seem to get along pretty well, actually. Maybe there won't be too much coaching drama this season.
- Irish welterweight (will fight at middleweight on the show) Cathal Pendred had problems getting an opponent to stay healthy and make weight, so he received an automatic bye to the next round.
- The finish in the Van Buren vs. Vizcaya fight was strange. Herb Dean stopped the fight after Vizcaya appeared to go limp, but Vizcaya bounced right back up and continued to pursue a takedown. Upon looking at a few replays, it did appear that Vizcaya went out for a second.
- Nordine Taleb fought on The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia and The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale, each of which aired before The Ultimate Fighter 19. Spoiler alert: He obviously wasn't going to win his fight against King, since TUF 19 actually filmed first.
- That said, Taleb and King fought one heck of a three-round war. That was a great, back-and-forth fight, and it's easy to see why Taleb was given a second chance.
- Eddie Gordon trains with UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman. He's huge, and it's clear that he's going to be a fighter to watch moving forward.
All things considered, this opening episode was super fun, and there were plenty of hard-hitting knockouts and slick submissions alike.
No wonder Nordine Taleb got a UFC contract. That fight with Mike King was fantastic.— Adam Martin (@MMAdamMartin) April 17, 2014
The season is shaping up nicely. Stay tuned to see how the story develops for this cast of 185- and 205-pound combatants.