By Thomas Gerbasi
CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – The first round of elimination bouts are almost over, and this week, one more fighter will advance on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Liddell vs Team Ortiz.
After Kris McCray’s loss, Uscola is starting to question coach Tito Ortiz’ intense training methods, which he believes is forcing the team to leave their fights in the gym. McCray, Ring, Hammortree and Yager don’t agree though.
“Some guys are complaining about the workouts that we’re doing, but I’m here to work and here to learn,” said Yager. “As far as I’m concerned, Tito’s doing a great job.”
After the next workout, Ortiz sits his team down and addresses the situation. Uscola believes that fighters shouldn’t be going that hard two days before a fight. Ortiz disagrees, but hears his fighter out.
“We’re far from over, and maybe you saying something was a blessing in disguise to bring us a little closer and let us know what we need to do,” said Ortiz to Uscola. “Right now we’ve got the Wild Card, and two more fights.”
On the other side of the gym, Chuck Liddell returns to his team after a short absence due to prior commitments, and he’s excited about his squad’s chances in the final two fights of the first round. But first, he’s got to take on Ortiz in the traditional Coaches Challenge. This season, it will be on the dodgeball court.
The winning coach will receive $10,000, and everyone on his team will get $1,000, so stakes are high – and that’s even before you consider the bragging rights between the two coaches.
Liddell sweeps the three game series, capping it off by personally eliminating Ortiz in the final game, and ‘The Iceman’ is ecstatic.
“He has trouble beating me in just about anything,” said Liddell of Ortiz.
Getting back to the business at hand, Liddell chooses Court McGee to face Team Ortiz’ Nick Ring.
During Team Ortiz’ training session, it’s bad news again, when Hammortree injures his back and is taken from the gym on a stretcher. Luckily, it turns out that the injury appears to be just a bulging disc, and Hammortree returns to begin the healing process.
This week’s bout begins with McGee (9-1) pushing the action and taking Ring (10-0) to the mat. The action stalls there, and with 1:20 gone, the two stand and begin trading punches and kicks. With a little over two minutes left, McGee falls short on a takedown attempt, and Ring capitalizes by taking control on the mat, where he keeps the bout until round’s end.
Ring opens round two with effective leg kicks and then takes his shots upstairs, keeping McGee off balance. McGee keeps pressing though, and he starts to land more frequently as the round progresses, and by the midway point, he is showing no respect for Ring’s power as he moves forward. Ring keeps throwing, and in the final minute he ties McGee up. McGee doesn’t stop pressing though, and he finishes with a strong flurry, apparently guaranteeing himself a third sudden victory round.
It isn’t to be though, as Ring is awarded the two round majority decision, and Liddell is livid about the decision that drops Team Liddell’s lead to 4-2 in the competition. Here’s how the teams look:
Nick Ring 1-0
Kyacey Uscola – Eliminated on episode four by Rich Attonito
Kris McCray – Eliminated on episode five by Josh Bryant
Jamie Yager 1-0
James Hammortree – Eliminated on episode three by Brad Tavares
Clayton McKinney – Eliminated on episode two by Kyle Noke
Chris Camozzi – Eliminated from competition due to injury
Seth Baczynski – brought back on episode three after injury to Camozzi
Kyle Noke 1-0
Rich Attonito 1-0
Charles Blanchard – Eliminated on episode four by Jamie Yager
Josh Bryant 1-0
Brad Tavares 1-0
Court McGee – Eliminated on episode six by Nick Ring.
For weekly recaps of The Ultimate Fighter, as well as fighter profiles, stay tuned to UFC.com.