411’s The Ultimate Fighter 17 Report 02.26.13
The Ultimate Fighter 17: Team Jones vs Team Sonnen, Episode 6
Welcome back to 411 MMA’s coverage of the seventeenth season of The Ultimate Fighter. Last week, we saw Team Sonnen regain control, as Kelvin Gastellum outworked veteran Bubba McDaniel en route to a round 2 rear naked choke victory. We also got to hear from Ronda Rousey twice, as she called in to wish Kelvin luck and then congratulated him after his win, promising to come and teach a session with Team Sonnen, so we have that to look forward to yet this season. Hopefully the guys this year won’t be as awkward around Rousey as the ones from Season 15 were (or at least with this not being a live season, hopefully the editors can make it look less awkward). This week, Tor Troeng will face off against Josh Samman, who complained last week that he didn’t want the next fight if Team Jones won, as he’s nursing a litany of nagging injuries that’d make Tito Ortiz proud.
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
Bubba McDaniel Gilbert Smith Jr
FADE IN: Chael shakes hands with Bubba after the fight, and Bubba says Kelvin flat out beat him. Jones says Kelvin beat Bubba, but Bubba is completely healthy so he’s a candidate for the Wild Card. Jones says they’re very excited about the Tor/Josh match-up, and Josh says he thinks he’s stronger, faster, but he thinks Tor is a smart fighter. Chael Says Josh is a tough fighter and they’d love to have him on their team, but he says Tor is a dark horse and he can definitely win. Tor says he’s glad that they don’t know much about him, and his teammates agree that it’s to his advantage as they make him a hammer.Tor says the hammer is too small and he continues to play with it in the fan on the way to the house. Jimmy makes him a bigger hammer in the house out of what looks like kick pads and duct tape and Tor seems much happier with it.
Team Sonnen training session and they’re working on head movement. Luke is working with Uriah, and he says Uriah keeps his guard down so he pops him with soft jabs five or six times and Uriah answers with a hard jab. Luke says Uriah is a terrible training partner, Uriah says he doesn’t think Luke brought his head game because he didn’t pop him hard. Luke says he’s not a team player and while he’s got the best knockout Luke’s ever seen, his attitude sucks. Luke wants Tor to have a great performance to show the Americans what the Europeans are all about. Luke says the Americans overlook Europeans, and Tor is 4th or 5th ranked in Europe. Tor talks about getting his degree in math and working part-time while training and he thinks that it’s a good mix. Chael says Tor is unassuming and he keeps people guessing, and that Tor knows more about martial arts and cage fighting than anyone on his team, but he thinks Tor lacks the killer instinct because he’s so nice. Tor recalls a Swedish saying about silence being golden and says that’s why he doesn’t talk unless he’s got something to say.
Back at the house, Team Jones are working out in the yard, working cardio, and Dylan says Josh thinks he’s coach, and it was his idea to train in the backyard. He says Josh is trying to take control and some people are getting behind it and some people are getting annoyed with it. Adam says he calls Josh “dad” because he tries too hard to set an example and gets on people about their diet and Adam tells a story about the first dinner in the house, when he was trying to cut an onion and Josh basically came over and took the knife and showed him how to do it, because “no one can do it better than dad”. Josh says he thinks guys talk about him being a leader and some give him a hard time, but he thinks it’s all in fun.
At the Team Jones training session, Josh talks about getting a leg injury and then a blood clot, and how he nearly lost his leg and how that was the worst day of his life (interesting to note that Mir apparently got up and left out of what looked to be disgust). Jones says Josh is one of the hardest workers and he’s got a great all-around game including a nice triangle from the bottom. Josh talks about growing up in a house with a single mother who didn’t allow violence – he couldn’t play football or shoot guns or watch violent movies and MMA fighting was a way to use his physical gifts. He says he always did well in school and was in the gifted programs, but he believes fighting is his path to greatness.
Back at the house, some guys from each team are talking around the table and Gilbert asks who they’d like to fight, and Uriah says he’d like to fight Luke, then says he was just thinking out loud. Uriah says he called out Luke, which was stupid, but it’s a match-up that could happen. Luke wants to know who calls out a teammate before the prelims are over, but the guys around the table are making a pretty big deal about it. Kevin says everyone knows they might have to face a teammate, but to say that this early in the competition causes a division in Team Sonnen that they don’t need, and he takes Uriah to task for even saying that. Uriah says it shows who your friends really are and they can turn into your enemies at the drop of a hat. In the living room, Luke and Kevin are talking about Uriah’s statement, and Kevin says he shouldn’t be acting friendly up front if he’s gonna be cutthroat. Luke says he wants to put a Team Jones shirt on Uriah’s bed and tell him he’s shown his true colors and to wear it tomorrow, but he doesn’t want to deal with the aggravation. Luke says he thinks Uriah wants to be on Team Jones and he can go, because he doesn’t fit in with Team Sonnen.
Uriah is sitting around the fire with Team Jones and he says he made a mistake, because even though he does want to fight Luke, he shouldn’t have come out and said it. They continue to talk, trying to get information about Tor, but Uriah tries to get them to change the subject. Gilbert says they’re going to the Red Rock Casino and someone else says they thought it was the Hard Rock, and Gilbert would be headed to Red Rock by himself. Uriah asks if Adam’s girlfriend is a bitch like him because of his smart remarks and how it takes him back to being bullied as a kid. Josh says that Uriah can see that Team Jones just interacts with one another that way and it’s nothing personal, so he shouldn’t get upset about it, but Uriah is adamant that it bothers him because of being bullied. Uriah says that he shouldn’t have said that because he doesn’t know Adam’s girlfriend, so he apologizes for that and that only, but he’s pretty clearly alienated Team Jones. Collin says Uriah is a loose cannon and anything will set him off and he shouldn’t have brought someone’s girlfriend into it. Josh says Uriah is distancing himself from everyone, and Adam says it seems like Uriah was trying to bully them.
The next morning, Team Jones guys are joking in their room about calling Uriah “the Bully” to his face, and I think Adam says he’s going to just walk around kicking people. Uriah comes into the kitchen and says “Good morning superstar” to Collin, who doesn’t look interested in talking to him. Uriah says he shouldn’t have acted like he did, but with so much time in the middle of nowhere to do nothing but think, things come out. Bubba confronts Uriah about it, and Uriah says he has an issue with Josh, but Bubba says he thought it had to do with Adam and then Collin. Uriah says he has to see these guys again and he doesn’t want to talk about it, so all he can do is avoid it. Uriah goes for a run by himself and says he’d rather make his statement with his fists in the cage.
They go bowling and watch the fights at the Red Rock Casino, and Jimmy says it was good for them to get out of the house, a sentiment echoed by Jon Jones. Jones is talking to his assistants, and Chael challenges him to a three-frame bowling contest, whoever gets the highest score in three frames wins, and the loser has to coach one session in front of their team wearing the jersey of the other coach. Jones agrees and Chael says he’s not a bowler, but he knows how to bowl (“throw a ball at some pins”) and Chael throws a strike his first frame, while Jones picks up 7 on his first ball and none on his second. Chael gets 8 on his first ball and one on his second while Jones bowls a strike, and, in the third round, Chael again gets an 8 and a 1. Jones says he’s an extremely competitive person, and he slides past the line on his third ball and leaves a split, which means Chael wins, and Jones runs out, leaving the guys laughing and yelling “Forrest” after him. Jones says he doesn’t like losing, but he’ll come back.
Weigh-ins, and Tor is up first. Luke says Tor’s a silent killer, because people don’t know who he is, and he weighs in at 186. Adam says Josh’s confidence is high, whether he’s going into a fight or eating dinner, and he says Josh is Josh’s biggest fan. Josh weighs 185 and Zak says he knows Josh is picked to be one of Team Jones’ toughest guys but Tor is a stud. Gilbert says Josh is so well-rounded but he has no idea what Tor is going to bring so it’s one of the most intriguing fights of the season.
It’s fight day, and Tor says he feels really confident and well-prepared coming into this fight. He’s going to be relaxed and try to stop the fight, but he’s going to get a win. Josh says he can’t fathom how anyone does more cardio than him and no ones ever been able to keep up with him. He’s going to show Tor that he’s the better athlete and that no one wants it more. Zak tells Tor that they can do it right there since Josh is warming up in front of the windows, and Tor smiles. Josh says time moves so fast and so slow at the same time, and as Chael rolls across Tor’s back, Luke says “and people says wrestlers aren’t gay” to laughs. Jones tells Josh it’s his cage, while Chael tells Tor that the best thing that can happen is for Josh to expose weaknesses in Tor so that they have a better idea of where he stands. Chael says that the worst case scenario is that they Wild Card him and get him back into action with a better gameplan.. Tor says he’s thought about every way the fight can go down, positive and negative, but once you get out there, it’s a feeling of silent and calm and things move in slow motion. Josh comes out and he says that great moments are the result of great preparation and great opportunity and the stage is set for a great moment, he just has to steal it from Tor and he’s ready. Tale of the Tape and Tor is five years older and more seasoned, but Josh has a two inch height and reach advantage.
Middleweight bout: Tor Troeng (Team Sonnen) vs Josh Samman (Team Jones)
Round 1: Touch of the gloves, and Tor comes out with feints. Josh tries for a leg kick and falls but gets back up quickly. Tor looks for a combination but Josh comes forward swinging and clinches with him against the cage. Tor reverses position and lands some nice punches to Josh’s face and easily holds Josh when Josh tries to take him down. Josh reverses position and knees the cage in an attempt to knee Tor in the face. Josh lands a nice knee to the body and Tor eats another knee turing Josh to the cage. Josh turns him again, but Tor pushes him off and lands a nice uppercut before clinching again and pressing Josh to the cage. Josh tries for a trip takedown, but Tor gets behind him and ends up in guard as they fall. He lands some punches and looks to improve his position and he stands over Josh and lands some standing punches. He avoids an upkick, drops down with another punch and then Josh looks for an armlock, only to eat another unprotected punch from Tor. They scramble and Josh manages to get back to his feet with a waistlock on Tor, but Tor does a good job of staying on his feet. Josh eventually picks his ankle and looks to get a hook in, but Tor starts to stand up and Josh settles for a flurry of punches to the side of Tor’s head. Josh pushes Tor against the cage and knees him, but Tor reverses position and eats another knee. Josh puts Tor against the fence again and knees his thigh four times, but Tor gets free and takes a kick to the armpit. He looks to throw a punch, but Josh turns his lights out with a nice one-two-one combination. He lands one punch on the ground before Herb Dean waves him off!
Official Result – Winner: Josh Samman, TKO (Punches, Round 1)
Tor is out in the cage, but he gets back to his feet under his own power for the announcement, and Jones congratulates Josh. Tor and Josh hug and Jones says he was happy that Josh came out and took control of the fight early (guess he missed the part where Tor had his way with him on the ground), and Chael says Tor was too relaxed and lacked the sense of urgency, and he did the one thing that he never does in practice and dropped his hands. Josh says he thinks if there was anyone on Team Sonnen who wanted a piece of him, he doesn’t think that they do now, and he considers himself the number one seed in the house now (guess he missed the Hall/Cella fight). Tor apologizes to his team and they tell him no reason to apologize, and Chael says that he wanted another six minutes of that fight because it was great. Josh comes to the Team Sonnen locker room and tells Tor great fight, and Uriah says that Josh is that kid in the movie that you just want to see get his ass kicked (and I tend to agree).
Time for the fight announcement, and Jones chooses first pick Clint Hester to fight Jimmy Quinlan. Chael says he was confused by their pick, because they took their number one pick and pit him against the worst stylistic match-up that they could’ve. Chael says Jimmy’s a two-time Pan-American games grappling champion against a semi-pro boxer in Clint. Clint says if makes it past this fight, there’s nothing stopping him from winning the whole thing and Jimmy says he thinks Clint’s going to stay away from him, because he thinks Clint knows that when he gets his hands on him, it’s going to be a long night.
NEXT WEEK ON THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: Josh has to go to the emergency room and the rest of the guys head to Hooters for a night on the town, and Jimmy Quinlan and Clint Hester square off!
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