We're moving ever closer to the finale of the last season of "The Ultimate Fighter" to air on Spike before it moves to the Fox family of networks. Hopefully, that doesn't mean the last of the coaches challenges, which happens tonight. Huzzah! Read on for spoilers and recaps.
The show started out on a sweet note. Dustin Pague passed the same homeless man on the street during the drive from the house to the training center every day, so he decided to put together a bag of food, drinks and an encouraging note and handed it off to the man. The van barely slowed down long enough for him to do it, but kudos to Pague for thinking outside his own world of training.
Jason "Mayhem" Miller stopped by the house for a BBQ, and is somehow devolved into a competition of bug-eating. I don't even ... I can't even ... Why? Pague ate a bunch of bugs, so he won, I guess?
Oh, but there's a real competition this week! COACHES CHALLENGE! Nothing perks up a season of TUF like the coaches' challenge. Remember Brock Lesnar losing at football? Jens Pulver becoming a pro ping pong player? Forest Griffin dominating Quinton Jackson in basketball? Exactly.
This time around, it's air hockey. As usual, the winning coach gets $10,000 and each of his team members gets $1,000. Both Miller and Bisping say that they haven't played in years, and it's obvious by their poor technique.
Bisping scores first, second and through six until Miller finally scores. Miller is terrible, and Bisping easily took the first two games. To the surprise of no one, Bisping started talking crap, and Mayhem took the third one. The last game was tight, but Bisping took it. He jumped on the table to celebrate, but then fell off the table.
The semifinal fights continue tonight, with the winner headed to the finale. Dillashaw has an obvious wrestling advantage, while Pague is much more comfortable standing up. This isn't a big trash talk-filled bout. Dillashaw is the last bantamweight to be standing for Team Bisping, which he says proves how much better he is than his opponents.
Semifinal bout: Dustin Pague vs. T.J. Dillashaw in three-round bout
Round 1: Dillashaw landed solid strikes and then got his first takedown in the first minute. He couldn't pass guard, but he did a good job of holding off Pague's submission attempts. Dillashaw landed several big elbows and completely controlled him on the ground until the final 30 seconds. Pague pushed him off, landed a big knee, but didn't have time to get a rhythm going from his feet.
Round 2: Again, Dillashaw started with an easy takedown, but was much closer to the cage. He had to move to side control and spin Pague around slowly to get him away from the fence. For the rest of the round, Dillashaw kept Pague on his back. It wasn't exciting, but it was effective.
Between rounds, both corners realized that Pague had to get a knockout or a submission for a win, because the judges cards would be on Dillashaw's side.
Round 3: Dillashaw had a harder time getting the takedown this time, but guess what? He still did it. He also landed some nasty strikes that opened a cut on Pague's face. Aside from the blood, the second round looked exactly like the third.
Dillashaw took the decision and moved on to the finals with a score of 30-26, 30-27, 30-26. He very kindly consoled Pague after the loss.