'The 19th season of The Ultimate Fighter continued Wednesday night, and the light heavyweights were again front and center. This time around, it was Team Penn's last pick, Chris Fields, taking on the trash-talking, highly entertaining mouthpiece of Team Edgar's Matt Van Buren.
The episode showed a brief tour/advertisement of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, as the winning coach and fighters will take one home. UFC fighter and former TUF champ Michael Chiesa gave them a tour and acted as the host of the event.
When it came fight time, the cycle of lackluster fights this season continued. After two rounds of hugging, takedowns and not much else, Van Buren took a majority decision on a bout built upon animosity between the two fighters.
After the fight, we were set with our semifinalists. They all went in to talk to Dana White and the coaches, which was supposed to be the fighters talking about who they wanted to fight. It turned into White panning all the fighters and more or less motivating them to show him something in the semifinals. When that was over, White told the coaches there would be no deliberation and that he would be picking the semis.
When it was all said and done, White pulled the men into the gym and matched them up. For the middleweight selections, he had Eddie Gordon and Dhiego Lima of Team Edgar vs. Cathal Pendred and Roger Zapata of Team Penn, respectively. For the light heavyweights, Team Edgar teammates Corey Anderson and Patrick Walsh were matched up, while Team Penn's Dan Spohn was put up against Team Edgar's Van Buren.
The Pendred-Gordon fight will be next week. It will be interesting, as Pendred is normally a welterweight and Gordon has fought up at light heavyweight in the past.
|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
- Van Buren talked about his background, which included drug abuse at a young age and the death of his friends from that abuse. He took up MMA to find new friends and pick up a new scene. It's really sad to see young people abusing such hardcore things as heroin, especially because that should be really tough to get their hands on. For as much as Van Buren has been a big mouth and arrogant throughout the season, this was a different side to him.
- If you watched the commercials for this season, it stated that this season was "critically acclaimed." That either means they are liars, as this season's fights have been boring, or the semifinal fights are utterly amazing. My guess is the former. White would probably agree, the way he has been trashing this fights.
- It's sad that it has taken a White pep talk to get these fighter's heads in the game. Just being there should be the motivation to kick ass and take names. Hopefully, that translates into some rock-solid semifinals to save this season.
- The only finish in the semifinals came via Lima, who choked out Tim Williams. Most of the other fights went three rounds. Seven of the eight quarterfinals went to a decision, most of which were lackluster.
- The matchups that were made were Gordon-Pendred, Lima-Zapata, Anderson-Walsh and Spohn-Van Buren. My predicted winners are Gordon by decision, Lima by submission, Anderson by decision and Spohn by TKO. That has my predicted finale as Gordon vs. Lima and Anderson vs. Spohn.
- Next week is the long-awaited drunk episode where fighters get wasted and do crazy stuff. Will they be playful like when Dave Kaplan let Tom Lawlor knock him out, or will they pull a Julian Lane and try to "bang, bro."
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