On the last show, Andre Winner and Ross Pearson both won, securing an all-U.K. lightweight final. Tonight, we'll see who will face Damarques Johnson in the welterweight bout, either James Wilks or Frank Lester, in a rematch of their first round bout.
The American guys have a barbeque with their coaches. Lester puts asparagus up to his ears and says, "I'll look like Dan Henderson." He does know that it's called cauliflower ear, right? Hendo is proud of his ears. He says he doesn't have anyone [expletive] with him because of his ears.
Damarques doesn't think that Wilks will be willing to take on many punches because he's a pretty boy. Really? Wilks is pretty? I don't agree, but to each his own. The rematch is an added dimension that we don't normally see on this show. Lester seems to have grown as a fighter since he last lost to Wilks, and he says he is much more comfortable in the cage.
Wilks and Lester decide to cut weight together, and Lester lets his mouth run in the sauna. He tells Wilks how he's not going to fight with hate this time. Wilks doesn't say much, just soaking in everything that Lester says.
Is Team U.K. living the High Life?
Dean Amasinger makes a chicken curry that looks really tasty for his team, including Michael Bisping. I can't tell from the label, but are they drinking Miller High Life? The champagne of beers? If so, I have a newfound respect for the Brits.
After Bisping and the coaches leave, the boys start to get rowdy. Winner starts spitting out food, and throws a big hunk of curry at Amasinger. He runs after Andre, throws him in the pool. As Andre climbs out of the pool, Faulkner throws a big bag of flower on Andre. See? These sorts of pranks are funny and good. Well done, boys.
Back on the American side of things, Damarques is talking up Lester, saying, "You've represented yourself, your family and America well." Awww, isn't it sweet to hear nice things from the guy who you will have to fight if you win. Hendo gives Lester a nickname: Frankie Four Teeth. Perfect.
James Wilks vs. Frankie "Four Teeth" Lester (Welterweight semifinal)
Before the fight, a U.K. coach says to Wilks, "Don't let him back in the house." Bisping replies, "It's the last day." "You know what I mean!" the coach says.
Round 1: Wilks starts the fight off with a "kick in the bullocks" to Lester. Most of the first minute and half is tentative stand-up. Lester lands a left hook that does a bit of damage before Wilks tries for a takedown. Lester shakes him off, and pushes Wilks into the fence. Lester punches out of the clinch, but Wilks keeps working his way back into the clinch. He tries again for a takedown, but it's just not working. Hendo pointed out many times throughout this episode that Lester's takedown defense has improved, and it's showing. Both coaches tell their fighters that they won the round, but I'd give it to Lester.
Round 2: Lester gets payback as the round begins, kicking Wilks in the groin. Bisping calls it a "low blow," but it was clearly accidental. More tentative stand-up follows, and throughout, Wilks taunts Lester, throwing big looping punches that don't land. Sure, that's funny. Both fighters are landing more punches this time. Lester's nose is bleeding, but Wilks is dropping his hands quite often. As the round closes, Wilks gets off a few knees, and Lester lands a few punches. Wilks won that round on my scorecard.
Round 3: Hendo implores Lester to engage first, but Wilks does instead with a knee and punch combo. Wilks again tries for a takedown but gets nowhere near the ground. He then moves to the clinch, where he throws a few knees. One crumbles Lester, the next one takes him to the ground, and Herb Dean calls the fight for Wilks.
After the fight, Hendo says that it was just too many wars in a short time for Lester. Dana White lauds his performance, calling him a tough [expletive]. Lester apologizes for his performance, and says that he is sorry because he needed the money for his little girl. Considering what Dana had to say about Frank, he will be OK financially.
Back around Team U.K., Bisping is gloating, to the shock of no one. The U.K. has three finalists to America's one, but Hendo said he is proud of his team. Hendo also says that this show has him excited to fight Bisping, as he is, "for the lack of a better word, a douchebag."
This Saturday, we'll see the finals live on Spike from Las Vegas. Ross Pearson will take on Andre Winner, and Damarques Johnson will fight James Wilks. Cagewriter will have live bout-by-bout results for you, and Maggie Hendricks will be Twittering from the fights.