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Maggie Hendricks

'The Ultimate Fighter' recap: Why fighters don't play tennis

Maggie Hendricks
Cagewriter

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Team UK is ahead of Team USA, 3-2, and just two welterweights haven't fought, the BFFs Pierce and Faulkner. Also on tonight's episode, the Coach's Challenge. Please don't let this one disappoint me as Frank Mir did last season, just bowing out rather than playing against Big Nog in soccer. So, let's go, on with the show!

Bisping has a big, gloaty smile on his face now that his team is back in the lead. Faulkner and Pierce are not excited about fighting each other since they're good buds, but they'll get over it. All of Team UK is impressed with Faulkner.

Back at the house, Team USA's Richie Whitson (aka, Shaun White) finds out that he has impetigo, and it's gross. His teammates don't want him touching any dishes, food, and they definitely don't want to train with him. Pierce goes so far as to spray Lysol everywhere Whitson has been.

Call the Wahhh-mbulance for Pierce

Pierce is crabby, complaining about injury, living in the house, the brand of mustard they are served, just moaning about everything. Maybe not on the last one, but still, he's what my mother would call a whiner/moaner/complainer.

Bisping is using some of his favorite training techniques for Team UK, including hitting a tractor tire with a sledge hammer. That doesn't work well for everyone, as some fighters aren't the most coordinated. Dean Amasinger almost falls over trying to to figure it out, and Andre Winner completely missed the tire, putting a hole in the mat.

At Team USA's practice, Pierce is being a W/M/C again, not happy about the way he is being trained. He's "used to doing things according to his body." That's fantastic, Jason, because that got you into the UFC and made you a champion, right? Oh wait, it didn't? Then maybe you should listen to some other advice, mmmkay? Coach Cyril calls Pierce a pain in the neck, and very negative. After being told he needs to train harder, Pierce walks out of the cage. Pierce then finds out from Jason Dent that his teammates were talking about Pierce. His response? "I'm not here to make friends."

The sledgehammer has claimed another victim, as Faulkner hit himself in the leg with it, and the bruise has become infected. His leg is blown up and he has flu symptons. What will happen? Cut to commercial.

'What is this? Wimbledon?'

Coaches' Challenge! This is when the coaches play each other in a sport other than fighting, usually for a fat brick of cash, both for the coaches and their teams. Previous challenges have been Jens Pulver winning over B.J. Penn in a heated game of ping-pong, Forrest Griffin surprising the world and kicking the crap out of Rampage Jackson at basketball, and Mir pretty much refusing to have fun with Nog in a soccer shootout. It's always fun to see these guys try a different sport, and this season it's Bisping vs. Henderson in tennis.

Both are terrible at tennis, but want to kill each other. The trash talk is great, especially when Bisping calls out the Americans' whiny accent. It's driving Bisping insane, which is fun. Henderson stays calm, and wins 6-2. Bisping says he'll see Henderson on July 11, which is what we're all looking forward to.

Though there has been build-up for the welterweights, the fight is a lightweight bout between Richie Whitson of Team USA vs. Ross Pearson of Team UK. Whitson has been off the mats due to the impetigo, so Henderson is slightly concerned about his ginger-haired fighter. Whitson is from a fishing town in Alaska, and has fought for Team Quest with Henderson.

We cut from a birthday party for Whitson to Cameron Dollar crying that he wants to go home. He's being the classic crying drunk, talking about everything from his relationship with his parents to how he hates Bisping. Somebody put him to bed.

Finally! Onto the fight!

Richie Whitson vs. Ross Pearson

Round 1: After Pearson checks a few kicks from Whitson, they end up on the fence. Whitson pushes out, only to get taken down by Pearson. They get up almost immediately. Pearson unloads a flurry of punches, but as he goes in for another takedown, Whitson sinks in a guillotine. Pearson finishes the takedown and gets his head out. He then knees a clearly downed Whitson in the face. Pearson loses a point. When they start again, Whitson gets dominated in the stand-up, and then gets taken down. Pearson gets Whitson's back, transitions into an armbar, and Whitson taps out.

Even with the lost point, Pearson was likely still winning. Nonetheless, he did the best thing you can do after losing a point, and ending the fight on his own.

Next week: All of team USA is whining, and Pierce is worried that he won't be able to fight.

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