Marc Stevens scored a 13-second knockout, and Watertown's Spencer Paige won a unanimous decision to advance to the house on Wednesday's season 12 premiere of The Ultimate Fighter.
Stevens, announced as fighting out of Syracuse, scored the fastest knockout in Ultimate Fighter history when he laid T.J. O'Brien out with a vicious right hook, then pounced on him until the referee's stoppage. Stevens then ran to the coaches' table and asked UFC number-one contender Josh Koscheck, "do you remember me now?" Koscheck had previously coached Stevens on the wrestling team at the University at Buffalo.
"When saying that, I just wanted to remind Koscheck of all the hard work I had put in for him before and that I was legit," wrote Stevens on his weekly blog for BostonHerald.com. "I had wrestled for him [...] for a semester before deciding to leave school. I wanted to make a statement and stick in everyone’s head that I was the real deal."
Paige had a tougher time advancing to the next stage of the competition, but won his fight with Steve Magdaleno nonetheless. UFC President Dana White could be seen marveling over Paige's boxing skills, but both Koscheck and White expressed concern over his ground game. Paige finished Round 1 on his back under Magdaleno, and found himself in that same position again in the Round 2 before pressing his back to the cage and escaping. After the fight, Paige looked into the camera and apologized to his father for not being able to knock Magdaleno out, saying "don't be mad."