The elimination fights happened. The teams have been picked. It was time for the real nitty-gritty part of The Ultimate Fighter 19 to commence.
This episode revolved around the first middleweight quarterfinal bout of the season. The matchup saw two normal welterweights throw down, as Cathal Pendred of Team Penn took on Hector Urbina of Team Edgar.
Most of the episode saw a buildup to the first fight, as much was examined on both Urbina and Pendred. Pendred, an Irishman, got into the house with a bye, as the opponents they lined up for him either missed weight or backed out before the bout. Urbina, a Mexican-American, talked about being the oldest of several brothers and sisters, as well as being a role model to them.
The fight itself was nothing to write home about. Urbina clearly won the first round with takedowns and powerful striking. However, Pendred took home the second and third round through clinch, control and outlanding Urbina, taking a 29-28 unanimous decision in the process.
Team Penn retained the pick and chose the first light heavyweight fight. They chose their own fighter, Dan Spohn, to fight last pick of Team Edgar Todd Monaghan.
|Team Edgar 185||Team Penn 185||Team Edgar 205||Team Penn 205|
|Ian Stephens||Mike King||Corey Anderson||Anton Berzin|
|Dhiego Lima||Tim Williams||Patrick Walsh||Josh Clark|
|Eddie Gordon||Cathal Pendred||Matt van Buren||Dan Spohn|
|Hector Urbina||Roger Zapata||Todd Monaghan||Chris Fields|
Notes and Observations:
- BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar went almost opposite directions when picking a coaching staff for this show. Edgar's coaches are all the guys he trains with in New Jersey, as he has employed Mark Henry (boxing coach), Ricardo Almeida (jiu-jitsu/wrestling coach) and Ali Abdelaziz (manager/judo coach). Penn, although he brought his boxing coach Jason Parillo, took coaches from other camps in the form of Mark Coleman (wrestling coach) and Andre Pederneiras. It will be interesting to see if the all-star team with Coleman and Pederneiras works out better, or if the "family feel" staff that Edgar brought will end up being advantageous.
- Cathal Pendred didn't have to get into the house. The UFC is pushing into Ireland. I hate to be one to look into conspiracy theories, but even if other fighters missed weight or pulled out, the UFC would still find replacements to get a fight into the house. Remember in TUF 9 they found a couple late replacements because guys missed weight or failed medicals? Just a thought...
- The weigh-in staredown and the general vibe I am getting from the fighters is exciting. You can tell everybody is ecstatic to be there and anxious to compete. Some seasons haven't had the exciting feel coming from the fighters, but various aspects from this episode revealed this could be a fun season.
- I really liked what Pendred was doing to land knees on Urbina in the headlock position. Urbina put his hand down to make knees to the head illegal, so Pendred would simultaneously lift Urbina's body up which would pull his hand off the mat and smash him with a knee. Very crafty stuff.
- Don't expect Pendred's fights to be pretty, as was the case with his win over Urbina. He is a natural 170er fighting a bunch of men who are much larger than he is. He is going to have to grind and make fights ugly to be successful.
- Next week's fight seems like it will be a straight beatdown. I don't see a high ceiling for Monaghan, who got destroyed before pulling an armbar out of nowhere, while Spohn is one of my favorites to win the season. In fact, I don't expect this fight to last long at all. I think Spohn will light Monaghan up quickly and put him away early.