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Maggie Hendricks

'The Ultimate Fighter' recap: Wild cards on their mind

Maggie Hendricks
Cagewriter

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In this week's episode of "The Ultimate Fighter," the fighters are focused on one thing: Wild cards. The introduction of a second chance for fighters who lost their first-round bout put an interesting wrinkle in this season.

Looking back at last week's fight, Court McGee is still disappointed by his decision loss, but his focus changes on the fact that soon the replacement for Richie Attonito and wild cards will be decided.

This is also the week that the last two fighters, Seth Baczynski for Team Punishment and Joe Henle for Team Liddell, will make it to the cage.

Henle says that he got into fighting by mistake, and just went pro recently. With such little experience, he wasn't expecting to make the show. He has an MBA but would much rather be in the cage than behind a desk in an office. Not many people are giving Henle much of a chance in the bout, including Dana White.

At a Team Punishment session, Nick Ring's knee gives out. He mentions that he's had surgeries in the past but wants to keep his injury quiet. It makes sense, living in a house full of opponents.

The more interesting part of the Team Punishment practice is that nearly every one of the fighters who lost thinks that they're getting the wild card, but there still isn't a hint as to who will actually be awarded one.

Joe Henle (Team Liddell) vs. Seth Baczynski (Team Punishment)

Round one: Henle starts out with a a fast takedown, but gets stuck in a triangle choke attempt, but easily breaks free. Baczynski switches to a guillotine, but Henle breaks free of that, as well. After some ugly grappling, Henle gets a north-south choke but can't finish. Are you sensing a theme here? Baczynski gets control again for a second before Henle takes his back, but does nothing with it. Baczynski spins around to control the fight from the top for the rest of the round.

Round two: Baczynski throws a few wild punches and then attempts to take Henle down, but Henle ends up on top. He takes Baczynski's back but once again, does nothing with it. He then gets it side control and maintains it until they get back to their feet. Baczynski attempts a flying knee, but Henle avoids it and takes Baczynski down, but Henle gives up his back and Baczynski sinks in a rear naked choke, but the bell rings before Baczynski can complete the submission.

Aaaand, we have another fight that goes to the third round.

Round three: Baczynski comes out swinging and then gets a takedown. Henle looks exhausted as Baczynski moves to side control. He maintains control of the fight from there, trying for a choke and then moving to Henle's guard to try to finish him off. He doesn't end the bout, but Baczynski clearly won the round and the bout.

Henle lost, but he clearly impressed Dana White, who announces that the wild cards go to Kyacey Uscola and Kris McCray, both Team Punishment fighters. Court McGee will take the spot of Attonito because White thought he was screwed by the judges.

All three fighters lost their first-round fight, but they all have a second chance to still win the show.

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