November 30, 2011
This is the last regular episode of the season, but also the last regular episode that will air on Spike and the last recap before the show drastically changes format when it jumps to the Fox family of networks. Read Kevin Iole's look back at the best of the Spike era, and leave your favorite TUF memory on Cagewriter's Facebook page. We'll share your memories right here on Cagewriter. For one last recap with spoilers, read on.
The awkwardness of teammates fighting each other is being lived out at Team Miller's practice. Miller is stepping back and not coaching either fighter, and allowing the fighters to choose their own cornermen. Johnny Bedford and John Dodson are squaring off, with Bedford fighting with a chip on his shoulder. He wants to get Dodson back for serving as a mole for Team Bisping, but also wants to make it to the finals of the show.
Bantamweight semifinal: Johnny Bedford (Team Miller) vs. John Dodson (Team Miller)
Round 1: The two chose to stay on their feet for the majority of the first round. Dodson did a good job of avoiding Bedford's strikes until about two minutes in, when Bedford briefly pulled inside for a clinch. Bedford got a takedown at 1:40, but Dodson sprung right back to his feet. In the final seconds of the round, Dodson caught a kick, and used it to knock Bedford down.
Curiously, both corner referred to their fighters as John throughout the bout. With two fighters from the same team with the same name, wouldn't last names make it easier? Miller, on the sidelines, yelled, "Fight to win, guys!" in between rounds.
Round 2: Bedford was more aggressive in the second round, landing more strikes early on. Dodson landed an uppercut that knocked Bedford out cold. He followed him to the ground with hammer fists, but they were unnecessary. Dodson won a spot in the finals with a nasty KO.
"Dodson was so fast that the ref couldn't even get there in time to stop it," Dana White said. The doctors asked Bedford where he was, and he answered, "I'm in Ohio." Yikes.
Next, the focus goes to Diego Brandao and Bryan Caraway. During prep for Caraway's bout, he told Team Miller that he vomits before most of his fights. To make Caraway feel better, Miller confesses that whenever he prepares for a fight, he can always hear a voice saying, "Just quit this and work at McDonald's."
During weigh-ins, Bisping proposed a side bet on his fighter, which Miller accepts. Afterwards, the house erupts into a game of beer pong and fighters riding bikes into the pool, but it winds up fairly tame in comparison to other TUF parties.
Featherweight semifinal: Diego Brandao (Team Bisping) vs. Bryan Caraway (Team Miller)
Round 1: Caraway starts with a clinch and knees, but Brandao breaks away and shows good takedown defense. Caraway returns to the clinch and drives Brandao into the fence, but Brandao gets out. With two minutes left in the round, Brandao rocked Caraway with a hook and then threw a knee that sent him the ground. Caraway recovered and got back to his feet, only to be hit again and thrown down to the ground. Brandao chased him around the cage with strikes, but somehow, Caraway survived. Finally, he fell to the ground, rolled on his back, and Brandao finished the bout with a final punch.
After the bout, Dana White said that Brandao and his finishing power will transition easily to the UFC.
Saturday's finals are T.J. Dillashaw vs. John Dodson and Diego Brandao vs. Denis Bermudez. White says that out of all the seasons of "The Ultimate Fighter," that these are the most talented fighters in the finals.
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