411′s The Ultimate Fighter 16 Report 11.09.12
The Ultimate Fighter 16: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson Episode 8
Meet the Cast:
Shane Carwin, Head Coach
Trevor Wittman, Boxing Coach
Nate Marquardt, Jiu Jitsu Coach
Eliot Marshall, Jiu Jitsu Coach
Pat Barry, Striking Coach
Duane Ludwig, Striking Coach
Leister Bowling, Wrestling Coach
Loren Landlow, Sports Performance Coach
Roy Nelson, Head Coach
For your convenience, here are the teams as they stand now (color coded for easy reading):
James Chaney Eddy Ellis
Last week we saw Julian Lane suffer an alcohol-fueled meltdown that culminated with him trying to fight teammate Dom Waters, Shane Carwin skunked Roy Nelson in the Coaches’ Challenge, and Jon Manley submitted James Chaney with a guillotine, in spite of Chaney sinking his teeth into Manley’s ribs. This week sees the final preliminary fight, between Michael Ricci and Dom Waters.
FADE IN: Manley is happy with his win, but the real story is Chaney calling Dana White aside to admit that he bit Manley on purpose. Dana said the bite was despicable, but that Chaney didn’t have to admit it, so he respects that and accepts Chaney’s apology. Back at the house, BFFs explode~! Colton and Julian are harmlessly trash talking one another until Colton calls Julian “Junie Browning” , and, of course, Julian gets pissed and wants to fight Colton. It all started when Julian was talking smack about the military and Dom Waters stepped in, although he didn’t want to. They hash things out and Waters talks to Bristol about their mutual military history, and Waters talks about how he wrestled a bit his senior year, lost to a much smaller guy, and was already hooked. He talks about how the Marines broke him down to build him back up a better man and how he believes that was invaluable when it comes to MMA.
Team Nelson training session, and Roy is working with Dom and says Dom’s plan is simple – stay on the outside and work his reach, and that Ricci isn’t going to try to take him down and submit him. Nelson says Dom is pure power but his BJJ needs work. Nelson thinks if they keep the BJJ simple, Waters can get it. Waters says he’s going to keep throwing, and something will hit Ricci on the chin or in the liver and it’ll be all over. He wants people to be shaking in their shoes when they hear they have to fight Dom Waters.
Back at the house, Ricci and Hill are maintain their bond, and Hill talks about how good it is to have someone like Ricci having his back. Team Carwin training session, and Ricci talks about how he used to get into a lot of fights, because if you beat someone up, then their best friend or brother or cousin or whoever wanted to fight you, which is why he decided to start learning about MMA. He went out and bought a Gracie book and he and his friend would take turns putting on the gi and choking one another out in the basement. He said that was how it went until he met GSP, who started taking him around from gym to gym where he (GSP) was training, and Ricci says working with guys like GSP, Rashad Evans, and Kenny Florian was invaluable. Ricci is working on countering Waters’ striking, and Carwin talks about how Ricci is the most technical fighter in the house, and how he’s a pretty boy, like all the guys from Montreal, and he loves it. Ricci says Waters has never fought anyone as fast as him, and he’s going to put Waters into bad positions due to not backing down from him.
Weigh-ins are next, and Ricci weighs in first, making weight easily. Eddy Ellis says Ricci/Waters should be a good fight, but he thinks Ricci is levels above Waters. Hill says Dom (who also makes weight) is a great striker and well-rounded, and he cheers for Ricci due to the USA vs Canada divide. Dana says both guys got into the house via knockout, so he’s expecting an exciting fight.
Fight day, and Ricci says it’s tough going against the biggest guy in the house and one of the best wrestlers, but he’s happy because Waters is a mystery. Dom talks about how the other guys look at Ricci and say he should be working on Wall Street, but he’s just looking at him like an enemy. Ricci talks about how the other guys think he’s an easy fight, but if they put him in a position to hurt them, he’ll hurt them. Dom says he’s got a target on his back because he was the number one pick, but he’s not worried about any opponent because he’s going to win this thing. Ricci to the cage first (Dana: “Here comes the accountant”), followed by Waters, who says he’s going to knock Ricci out in the first round. Ricci says he’s going to do what it takes to win and Dom isn’t going to knock him out. We get our Tale of the Tape, and Ricci is three years older, one inch shorter, and gives up a 4-inch reach advantage, although he’s got nearly double the fights of Waters, with a 7-2 record to Waters’ 4-1.
Welterweight bout: Michael Ricci (Team Carwin) vs Dom Waters (Team Nelson)
Round 1: They touch gloves and Waters throws a combination that Ricci blocks and Ricci answers with a head kick. Ricci double pumping the jab and he lands a body shot that triggers a takedown attempt from Dom that Ricci easily avoids. Ricci continues to work the body, and he’s doing a good job of landing shots and getting back out before Waters can counter. Ricci keeping Dom against the cage and he lands another punch-kick combination before avoiding a takedown attempt. Ricci keeping Waters outside with a combination of jabs and kicks, and Dom again is stuffed on a takedown attempt, although he aborted before really committing to it. They trade some punches, with Waters landing his first real offense of the round, but Ricci nearly catches a kick and Waters has to back off. Waters glances Ricci’s hand with a kick and Ricci answers with a high body kick of his own. Ricci throws a punch combination and Waters answers with a kick. Ricci with an inside leg kick and a punch, and he backs away and completely avoids Dom’s counter punch attempts. They trade kicks and Ricci lands another kick on the back of that. Ricci comes in tight with a combination and Waters swings wildly, backing Ricci against the cage and clinching. Dom seems content to grapple for position and throw the occasional knee, but Ricci lands a really nice elbow and avoids a knee to the face. Dom looks for the takedown, but Ricci does a good job of defending and the round ends.
Scorecard: Ricci, 10-9
Round 2: Another glove touch and we’re off. Ricci jabbing to keep Waters outside and he lands a body kick and slips Water’s counter punch. Ricci with a combination, but as he comes forward again, he gets taken down but he’s able to scramble against the cage. Waters tries to take his back, but Ricci stands up and Waters ends up in a rear waistlock. Ricci tries to turn into him, but Waters does a good job of staying behind him and kneeing Ricci in the side. Ricci finally turns into Dom and it looks like he’s trying for a guillotine, but Waters picks him up and dumps him down on the mat. Waters working from full guard but Ricci controlling his wrists well. Dom tries to pass guard but moves back into full guard when Ricci looks to throw up the triangle. Ricci scoots back against the cage and tries to stand up, but Waters keeps him down. Eventually, Ricci gets up, but Waters does a good job of keeping him from doing anything. Waters doesn’t do anything damaging either, but he’s ahead in the round so far, so it doesn’t really matters. Waters throws knees, and eventually Ricci is off-balance enough defending them that Waters takes him down to all fours. Ricci is quickly back to his feet and he gets free and presses Dom against the cage. Dom manages to spin Ricci around and again gets the rear waistlock, and he just drags Ricci down and looks for the choke, but he doesn’t get the hooks in and Ricci defends it well. Dom throws some a couple of punches and a knee, and Nelson screams for him to “let him go and punch the sh** out of him!” as the round ends.
Scorecard: Waters, 10-9 (19-19 overall)
Round 3: Ricci looks completely drained to start this round, but Waters is breathing heavily as well. Waters does look noticably faster, but he’s not throwing anything and Ricci catches him with a body kick and then a nice counter left. Ricci with another leg kick and he keeps Dom outside with a jab. Dom looks for a takedown, but Ricci initially defends and locks in a guillotine, but Dom takes him down and gets his head free. Ricci is seated against the cage but Dom isn’t doing any damage, and he’s content to grapple for position, although Ricci ends up in his guard. Ricci postures up and lands a big shot, and he continues to punch away from the guard. Ricci keeps posturing up and landing shots and Dom kicks him off, but Ricci drops right back into guard. Ricci looks like he’s done, as he barely has the energy to punch Waters, but he manages to keep Waters down when he tries to escape. Waters gets to all fours, but Ricci continues to control him and land some weak-looking punches, and he eventually ends up in Waters’ half-guard, where he lands some slightly more enthusiastic ground and pound. Ricci looks for a choke, I think, but he doesn’t have the energy to finish it, and he postures up and lands some more extremely tired ground and pound as the round ends.
Scorecard: Ricci, 10-9 (29-28 overall)
Official Result – Winner: Michael Ricci, Unanimous Decision (29-28×3)
Dana recaps the fight, with Waters not able to get off and Ricci landing pretty well. Carwin says he thinks Ricci won the round, but he wasn’t sure. Waters took the second round, although Dana thought he could do some more damage, and Carwin is relieved that the judges scored two rounds right. Dana talks about how Waters took the early portion of the round, but he did a weird little move that let Ricci take dominant position and he never gave it up. Ricci is all smiles, and Dom is on the verge of tears. He thanks everyone who got him ready, and initially apologizes for letting them down, but then takes back his apology because he fought his hardest and that’s all anyone can ask. Carwin says he’d take Ricci to the front lines because he just doesn’t give up. Ricci says it was great to go three rounds against Waters and now he knows he can win the competition, because no one wanted to fight Waters, and not only did he fight him for fifteen minutes, he beat him.
Dana calls the coaches in and it’s time to pick the quarterfinal round. Igor is in first, and Dana asks him who he’d like to fight to take the least damage. He says either Colton or Manley. Colton is next, and he wants to fight Igor. Bristol says he wants to fight Joey Rivera. Neil says Mike Hill is the easiest, and Joey says he’d fight any of them. Dana says Bristol called Joey out and Joey says he’ll fight anybody they put him with. Manley says he wants to fight Ricci or Neil, and Ricci says he wants to fight the other Canadian. Ricci says they came into the house and said they wouldn’t fight one another, but the way Hill acts in the house, even though he didn’t call out Ricci to fight, makes him want to fight Hill. Hill is last and he says he’d fight anyone, but he doesn’t want to fight Ricci. Nelson informs Hill that he was Ricci’s first choice, and Hill seems crestfallen and he’s disappointed that Ricci was fake and didn’t have his back.
Dana comes out to announce the quarterfinal fights, and the first two fights will be Bristol vs Neil Magny (both from Team Carwin). Bristol says Neil is his teammate and sleeps right below him, but when the fight starts, the friendship goes out the window. Neil says Bristol taught him how to swim and barbecue, but he knows Bristol knows him and is going to try to capitalize on that. The second fight will be Igor vs Colton, and Igor thinks he’s got the experience advantage, and Colton thinks he picked the match-up (even though Igor wanted to fight him as well). The Wednesday fights are Joey Rivera vs Jon Manley and Ricci vs Hill. Both guys say they’re disappointed to be fighting one another, as they’re friends, but both guys think it’ll be a good fight. Ricci says he wanted to fight Hill because he beat Team Nelson’s number one pick and now he wants to beat their number two pick, and Hill is mad because Ricci made “every promise under the sun” and then broke them.
NEXT WEEK ON THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: Ricci deals with the fallout of asking to fight Hill, and we get our first two quarterfinal fights – Marunde/Magny and Smith/Araujo. Colton and Igor get into it at the weigh-ins and they advertise it as an excellent fight, so we’ll see next week if it delivers.
For your convenience, here are the teams as they stand now (color coded for easy reading):
James Chaney Eddy Ellis
KEY: Fighters with name crossed out have been eliminated from the competition