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Maggie Hendricks

'The Ultimate Fighter' recap: If you can dodge a ball

Cagewriter

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It's Wednesday night, kids. Time for everyone's favorite reality show about fighting. No, not "The Real Housewives of New Jersey!" It's TUF time.

Last week's bout feature Josh Bryant from Team Liddell outlasting Tito Ortiz's fighter, Kris McCray. On the way back to the house, McCray's teammate, Kyacey Uscola, blames the loss on Ortiz's training methods, saying that he's scared of overtraining.

Ortiz hears about the complaining, so he asks the fighters to talk about it, especially since the team has had so many losses.

YES! It's my favorite episode of the season: Coaches Challenge. If you're unfamiliar with the Coaches Challenge, it's the one episode of the season that takes a break from the usual format of picking fights, training for fights, and then the fights themselves. The coaches play each other in a sport that has nothing to do with MMA for $10,000, while the rest of the team gets $1,000. (If you'd like to see some old Coaches Challenges, check them out on "The Ultimate Fighter" website. It's a good way to kill a lunch break.)

This challenge is a bit of a twist. Instead of the two coaches playing an individual sport, Team Liddell and Team Punishment are taking each other on in dodgeball. Ortiz says, "I'm just happy I get to hit Chuck in the face with my balls." Whatever works for you, Tito.

Chuck Liddell is quite skilled at dodgeball, and his team picks off Tito's players until Ortiz is the last man standing while Chuck and two others remain. When they bombard Tito, he says that the ball never touched him, but he's out. Chuck's team wins the next game, and in the final game, it gets down to Chuck and Tito. Chuck finally picks off Tito, and Liddell says that he won because Tito can't move, just like in the ring. Really, Chuck? That's the brick you're going to throw?

This heads into the fight pick: Court McGee vs. Nick Ring. When they meet up for the faceoff, Ring tells McGee, "Oh no you didn't."

McGee may be the most interesting fighter on the show. He tells his housemates of the problems he overcame to get there. McGee was addicted to alcohol, heroin and a medicine cabinet full of drugs. "I took one drink in Las Vegas, and I ended up in Iowa with no pants, wearing a long sleeve shirt in someone's basement."

At Ortiz's practice, Hammortree gets taken down awkwardly and hurts his back. He is taken out of the cage on a board. Luckily, he has no lasting injury to his back. According to Ortiz, Hammortree is in consideration for the wild card spot.

Court McGee (Team Liddell) vs. Nick Ring (Team Punishment)

Round 1: McGee gets a quick takedown, but Ring seems comfortable on his back. Ring works out and gets back to his feet, showing off head kicks. Ring lands a kick to McGee's abdomen that appears to do some damage. They clinch up for a minute before McGee shoots in for a takedown. Ring does a better job of defending it this time. Ring moves behind, then gets side control, ending the round throwing elbows and punches.

Round 2: McGee is more aggressive on his feet early in the round, landing a series of punches while Ring is only able to get off a low kick or two. The two clinch up, both appearing exhausted. McGee clearly controlled the action in this round, so it seems like this bout is going another round.

While the judges are figuring it all out, Liddell gets in a gum-flappin' bout with Jamie Yager. It doesn't matter, though, as Dana White is in the middle of the cage to give the decision.

In a majority decision, Nick Ring wins, 20-18, 19-19, 20-18. Liddell questions the decision, as does White. Neither understand how the judges could score the second round for Ring. I'm in that same camp, but McGee takes it gracefully.

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