This is a long night of MMA and we will have two The Ultimate Fighter recaps tonight. The first episode features semifinal action between Ryan Bader and Eliot Marshall and George Roop vs. Phillipe Nover. Onto the show!
We are starting with the light heavyweight match-up of Bader and Eliot. Bader has been rolling around and practicing striking directly with Nog and the practice sessions are no joke. Eliot believes that jiu-jitsu has prepared him more for fighting than wrestling has for Bader, and he relishes the underdog role.
The commercials advise us that there will be an Ultimate Fighter marathon this Saturday. I cannot think of a worse way to spend my Saturday, unless I could tune in just at the moment of the fights.
As the fight begins, Bader and Eliot trade tentative stand-up. Bader keep trying with a low kick, which Eliot catches but then can't do make anything of it. Mir is yelling that he wants Eliot to string together three things, and then is yelling out the actual moves he wants him to do. Does Mir know that Bader can hear what he is yelling and that he might actually be tipping him off? Apparently, Bader has figured out Eliot's move because he takes him down. They wrestle around for a bit but accomplish little. Bader finishes the round with a few punches to Eliot's face. Round 1 goes to Bader.
To start the second round, Bader catches Eliot's foot this time and takes him down. Eliot tries to work into position for submissions, but he can't get it done. Bader slams Eliot's head into the cage but it doesn't seem to do much damage. After they are put back on their feet for a short time, Bader, who looks exhausted, takes down Eliot with a double-leg. Eliot doesn't do a very good job of causing damage from the bottom. The round ends, and I'd again give it to Bader, but much more closely this time.
Bader starts the third round with an immediate takedown. Bader grabs the cage, and Mir goes crazy, yelling nonstop about how Eliot needs to get Bader to grab the cage so that he will lose points. Classy way to win, Mir. Eliot tries to work a kimura but gets nowhere. They are stood up, Bader takes down Eliot again. If Bader wins, it will be solely on his takedowns. The fight ends on the ground. Eliot looks frustrated and disappointed, like he knew that he lost.
He's right. Bader wins and says that this is his biggest win ever. Eliot takes the loss well, and admits that Bader beat him fair and square.
George Roop vs. Phillipe Nover is next. Phillipe, of course, is the guy who started the season by fainting, and Dana White called hm Faintin' Phillipe ... until he saw him fight. Mir says that he thinks Roop can win. That's not exactly a ringing endorsement for Roop. Later, he says that Roop is one of the toughest dude on the show. Nover looks crazed walking into the ring, and he says "I'm a tiger, he's a little deer, so I'm going to eat." Don't tigers eat gazelle? On to the fight!
An interesting note on the tale of the tape is that Phillipe is much shorter than Roop, but they have the same reach. That takes away some of Roop's obvious height advantage. Nover comes out swinging, takes Roop down, but Roop manages to get on Phillipe's side, but Phillipe maintains control and submits Roop by a kimura. Phillipe is just head and shoulders above the other guys in the house.
This was a rare, good episode. Lots of fighting, no drama, but I feel like the next episode will make up for that. After all, Junie Browning is involved!