411’s The Ultimate Fighter 17 Report 02.19.13
The Ultimate Fighter 17: Team Jones vs Team Sonnen, Episode 5
Welcome back to 411 MMA’s coverage of the seventeenth season of The Ultimate Fighter. Last week, we saw Adam Cella’s return from the hospital after his devastating KO loss to Uriah Hall, the continued machinations of Team Jones to get the match-ups that they wanted (even if their coaches haven’t agreed), and we finally saw Team Jones get on the board, as Collin Hart bullied Kevin Casey en route to a unanimous decision.
Meet the Cast:
Jon Jones, Head Coach
Stonehorse Goeman, Muay Thai coach
Bubba Jenkins, Wrestling coach
Frank Mir, Jiu Jitsu coach
Chael Sonnen, Head Coach
Vinny Magalhaes, Jiu Jitsu coach
Mike Dolce, Strength and conditioning coach/dietician
Clayton Hires, Striking coach
Jamie Huey, Striking coach
Gilbert Smith Jr
FADE IN: Chael and Jones discuss Jones’ selection of Bubba, and Jones says he wants to use Bubba’s experience against Kelvin because he feels Kelvin is the weakest link on Team Sonnen. Chael talks to Kelvin, who is excited and has been wanting to fight. Chael has Ronda Rousey wish Kelvin luck, as Kelvin is apparently a huge fan of Rousey. Rousey says if Kelvin wins his fight, she’ll come out and teach a session with Team Sonnen. Kelvin says he’s not worried about what other people are thinking, because he’s confident enough in his abilities.
Jones talks about how things are good with Chael, how they’re very polite, and how that bothers him, because he doesn’t like to befriend his opponents and he likes to keep his mystique about him, but that’s disappearing with Chael because they see each other every day. They discuss the Bubba/Kelvin fight and shake hands.
In the van, Luke thinks it was a cheap shot by pitting one of the most experienced, oldest guys on the show against the youngest, least experienced guy. Still, Luke thinks Kelvin has a lot of power and Bubba won’t be able to take him down, so he thinks it’s a winnable fight for Team Sonnen. Sonnen and his coaches come to the house and a bunch of the guys play charades, but Bubba sits alone by the fire upstairs because he’s not in the mood to bond. He says he shouldn’t be alive at the age that he’s at, he’s had a lot of people pick on him, he’s had problems out at bars because he’s not going to be anybody’s punk but the law didn’t always agree with him. He had his daughter and realized he needed to have a reason to be around. He talks about getting his butt kicked at a Toughman competition at 19, and about barely scraping by and trying to pay dues, manager fees, and child support. He says the life has been tough, but MMA saved his life, so he thought it was worth it.
Team Sonnen training session and Kelvin talks about being a bail bondsman, working full time, then going to the gym for 2-3 hours, home to shower and eat, sleep, and repeat every day. He talks about how his mom came from Mexico and couldn’t speak English and how hard she worked to support him and his sister, and he wants to show her that her hard work has really paid off, and getting into the UFC and being able to train full time will go a long way towards that. Kelvin works his sparring and he says that while he’s coming from a wrestling background, he’s worked his striking a great deal as well, and he says he wants to show people that hard work pays off and that you can do anything you put your mind to. Chael says Kelvin is a tough guy who can push the pace and not gas out. Kelvin says he’s going to surprise Bubba. Chael tells his team a story about walking a 2×4 on the ground and then on the ladder, and how the act didn’t change but the environment did, and how on fight day, nothing changes – there’s just a referee in there, they take their shirts off, and Dana is there. Chael says Kelvin is going into war, and he’s got his game face on, but he’s scared and that’s fine, but that he shouldn’t be too scared. Chael cuts a promo about his team.
Team Jones training session and he talks about giving his guys enough leeway to be themselves, but there’s a certain amount that needs to be decided by the coach. Jones talks to Josh Samman about fighting next, and he talks about wanting to pass because of a litany of injuries that would make Tito Ortiz proud. He breaks down his injuries for the coaches and he says if Bubba loses and Team Sonnen picks him, he’ll be ready, but he’d like to wait until the fight after that if possible. Jones’ coaches talk to him about his guys getting out of control in terms of trying to set match-ups and choose fights, but Jones says they need to reign it in. Jones says that Josh has taken the inch they’ve given him and taken a mile, and they need to re-establish their leadership. Bubba says this fight is important, that every fight is important, and that you’re only as good as your last fight, and he was slow to start in his last fight, and while he finished well, he’s looking to make this fight a statement fight. Jones talks about Bubba’s grappling and BJJ, and how Bubba has the advantage everywhere but pure wrestling. Bubba says he’s always looking to finish the fight and he doesn’t see anything but a win coming, he says he’s earned it several times over, and now he’s going to grab the ring. John Wood says he doesn’t see any way Kelvin can win the fight unless Bubba makes a mental mistake, but he doesn’t see that happening. Jones tells Bubba that he is the rightful favorite, and Bubba says he doesn’t usually like hearing stuff like that from his coaches, but in this case, he absolutely thinks it’s right.
Chael introduces Mickey Rourke to talk to all the fighters. He talks about Mickey Rourke founding the Wild Card Gym and being a fighter and how he wanted to talk to the guys about being up and being down and continuing to fight for your dreams. Mickey jokes that Chael threatened to beat his ass if he didn’t come down, they have a laugh, and then Mickey talks about coming from a dark place and having things inside that could destroy you. Mickey talks about fighting professionally and how his two draws were as a result of lady troubles and not being focused in the ring. He talks about how it’s what you do in your private time, not in your training sessions, that define who you are as a fighter. He gets massive applause and we cut to weigh-in day. Team Jones is horsing around a bit when Chael comes in and then Bubba weighs in. Cella says this is the biggest mismatch and Bubba is going to win and Samman agrees, though on the basis of Kelvin’s poor diet. Both guys make weight, and Luke says it’s a mental fight and Kelvin can win if he stays focused.
Fight day, and Bubba talks about watching Kelvin’s fight to get into the house, about how he landed punishing but sloppy hooks and took punches like a champ, and Bubba is extremely confident. Kelvin says he’s not going to lose because he’s tougher and not everyone is going to better than him, but even the guys who are better than him haven’t worked as hard. Bubba says all he thinks is domination, he’s going to have an answer for everything Kelvin tries, and he’s going to do whatever he wants to do. Kelvin says every fight is the most important fight of his life and he’s fighting to win that contract and he’s going to do whatever it takes to win. Tale of the Tape, and unsurprisingly, Bubba enjoys significant height, reach, and experience advantages.
Middleweight bout: Kelvin Gastelum (Team Sonnen) vs Bubba McDaniels (Team Jones)
Round 1: Kelvin comes out and backs Bubba up but doesn’t really land anything. Bubba comes forward with a combination that doesn’t really land, but he gets taken down by Kelvin, only to kick him off and get back to his feet. Kelvin throws a couple of punches and then gets Bubba in a front facelock. He takes Bubba down and Bubba tries to roll him off, but Kelvin hangs on and cradles him up, looking to move to north-south position. Bubba tries to get up, but Kelvin does a good job of holding him down. Bubba manages to reverse and he ends up on Kelvin’s back and lands a couple of punches while looking to sink the hooks in. Bubba gets one hook in and looks for a choke, but Kelvin gets back to his knees. Bubba again looks for the choke and then briefly looks to transition to mount, but Kelvin stands up. Bubba retains a waistlock and lands some knees to the butt/quads, but Kelvin reverses into a takedown and works from guard, landing some ground and pound. Bubba reverses and looks for an armbar, and he briefly mounts Kelvin before getting back mount and locking in the hooks. Bubba tries for the choke, but Kelvin is able to scramble free and get back to his feet. Bubba comes forward but Kelvin takes him down again. Kelvin tries to work from the ground, but Bubba again reverses. This time, he isn’t able to do much and Kelvin reverses him, but it’s a stalemate as Kelvin has control of Bubba’s legs and Kelvin has control of Bubba’s head. Kelvin lands some punches in the final ten seconds and then lands a big diving Superman punch just before the round ends that leaves Bubba slightly slow to get up.
Scorecard: Gastellum, 10-9 (Very very close round, but I think Kelvin likely stole it at the end with the flurry of punches and the big diving Superman punch which was the cleanest shot of the round.)
Round 2: Kelvin with a leg kick and he avoids a kick attempt by Bubba. Kelvin jumps in with a punch and then backs out when Bubba tries a spinning kick. Kelvin jumps in with a combination and Bubba ties him up momentarily . Kelvin lands a knee and then throws Bubba down before dropping into side control Bubba scrambles and Kelvin looks for a guillotine. They scramble again and Kelvin lands on top, but Bubba quickly reverses and moves into side control before getting back mount. Kelvin stands up and tries to shake Bubba off and he ends up in full guard where he lands some nice elbows. Bubba tries to push him off with his feet, but Kelvin maintains position and Bubba tries for a kimura. Kelvin avoids it and they scramble again, with Kelvin ending up in a front facelock and then in back control. Kelvin lands some nice shots to Bubba’s head before sinking in the hooks and locking in a rear naked choke. Bubba fights it off for a minute, but he has no choice but to tap!
Official Result – Winner: Kelvin Gastellum, Submission (Rear naked choke, Round 2)
Kelvin is rightfully ecstatic after the fight, while Bubba screams an expletive as he gets up off of the mat. Chael says this was the best fight so far, that Bubba was their big gun, a seasoned veteran, and they expected him to perform and he did. Jones says round one was very close and there were a lot of reversals. Chael says Kelvin came out with the big leg kick that landed and then took Bubba down and settled his position and that was that. Bubba says Kelvin never stopped and Bubba puts his towel over his head and cries. Jones says the Ultimate Fighter is in that room, and he says that Bubba is still in the running for the Wild Card spot. He says if Bubba gets the Wild Card, he knows he’ll fight even harder and he says he hates seeing Bubba like this. In the Team Sonnen locker room, Chael quiets the team down and Ronda Rousey congratulates Kelvin and says she’ll be coming to coach a session and meet the team and that she’s looking forward to meeting Kelvin and Kelvin says he’s looking forward to meeting her and the whole team cheers. Chael selects Tor to take on Josh Samman. Chael says it could be the main event because nobody wants to fight either one, that guys are intimidated by both guys in the house. Josh says Tor is an interesting fight, as he thinks Tor has all the same skills without the athleticism and explosiveness.
NEXT WEEK ON THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: Tor and Josh throw down, Josh deals with recurring injuries, and Uriah Hall gets a little too intense in training, tagging Luke with a stiff jab during sparring that seems to really get under Luke’s skin.
For your convenience, here are the teams as they stand now (color coded for easy reading):
Bubba McDaniel Gilbert Smith Jr
KEY: Fighters with name crossed out have been eliminated from the competition