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411’s The Ultimate Fighter 24: Team Benavidez vs. Team Cejudo Report 9.07.16

September 7, 2016 | Posted by Larry Csonka

The Ultimate Fighter 24: Episode Two
The Ultimate Fighter 24: Team Benavidez vs. Team Cejudo is a flyweight spectacular. The coaches are top flyweights, the 16 competitors are top flyweight champions from outside of the UFC, and the winner will receive a title shot against Demetrious Johnson, and a Harley Davidson motorcycle of their choosing, and the six-figure UFC contract. Basically, Demetrious Johnson is a very bad man and has cleaned shit out. LAST WEEK the coaches picked teams, and Team Henry Cejudo jumped out to a 2-0 lead, as Kai Kara-France defeated Terrence Mitchell and Alexandre Pantoja defeated Brandon Moreno. This week’s fight is #5. Hiromasa Ogikubo (Shooto (Japan) 15-3 MMA) from Team Joseph Benavidez vs. #12. Nkazimulo Zulu (EFC Africa, 7-2 MMA) from Team Henry Cejudo.

* The guys talk about Zulu being different, he hides food and is not used to being around so many guys that are friendly. Some of the guys feel that he is being disrespectful. Damacio Page “doesn’t give a fuck if he’s an African Prince or whatever.” Zulu tries to say that Page yelled at him, but he’s playing the victim a bit.

* We get to learn about Zulu, who got into Karate due to being bullied as a kid. His highlights look impressive, but it’s hard to see the level of fighter he’s really facing. He’s doomed, Dana just compared him to a smaller Anderson Silva. This leads to clips of Zulu training and Cejudo praising his striking, but says that they have to work on his takedown and ground defense.

* We now see some home video of Hiromasa Ogikubo in Japan. On top of training, he teaches children martial arts, which he finds relaxing. He admits to being dragged into MMA, but as he started to learn and win his love grew. He always prays before fights for the victory. He feels he’s the #1 fighter in Japan and looks forward to testing himself in the UFC. We see clips of Ogikubo fighting, which leads to his workout. He likes to use his karate strikes to break down his opponents and then to take them to the ground so that he can get a submission. He admits that the language issue can be difficult, and Benavidez is using broken English and hand gestures most of the time to communicate.

* Ogikubo and Ronaldo have become friends, despite the language barrier. We then see Zulu showing off pictures of his daughters and his son. Since he is not educated, he has to work multiple jobs. He works as a mechanic and also fights to make ends meet. In South Africa there are no good training facilities, and he has to use a wrestling gym.

* Cejudo and Benavidez talk shit while at the gym, and Benavidez mocks Cejudo for his “scripted” comments. Cejudo calls Benavidez a bad example for Mexican Americans. Dana discusses the fact that Johnson has already beaten the coaches and that they may be bitter in having to coach the next contender. When we go to weigh-ins, the beef continues between the coaches. It was weak as all hell.

* WEIGH-INS: Ogikubo is 126, while Zulu is 125.5. Dana discusses that this is the striker (Zulu) vs. grappler (Ogikubo) fight.

* FIGHT DAY: Ogikubo, like most of the guys here, fights for family. He believes in himself and his technique. Ogikubo says he will finish Zulu in round one. Zulu says he will show everyone who he really is by defeating a very good fighter

* We get the usual pre-fight warm up footage and then head to the cage.

#5. Hiromasa Ogikubo (Shooto (Japan) 15-3 MMA) vs. #12. Nkazimulo Zulu (EFC Africa, 7-2 MMA): ROUND ONE: Ogikubo takes center cage, and they trade as he tries to push Zulu back. Zulu is counterstriking well and keeping distance, which is allowing him to connect well. He’s mixing in some leg kicks now, Ogikubo shoots and after some effort, gets Zulu to the mat. Ogikubo works from half guard, working in some short strikes as he tries to better his position. Zulu defending as Ogikubo looks for side control and mixes in some elbows as Zulu pulls him to guard. Zulu is working some strikes and elbows from the bottom, but can’t get Ogikubo off of him; his ground defense is rather poor. Ogikubo gets the back now, fishes for the choke ad Zulu is cut open from those elbow strikes. Ogikubo locks in the choke but Zulu managed to fight out with god hand control and survived the round. SCORE CARD: Ogikubo 10-9

ROUND TWO: Zulu comes out right away trying to find his range, Ogikubo shoots but Zulu lands on top and backs out. Zulu ignores his corner as they keep telling him to throw the front kick, so Ogikubo takes him down and controls from half guard. Zulu pulls him back to full guard, but Ogikubo is smothering him with ease. Zulu simply has no idea what to do from his back. Ogikubo takes the back, looks for the choke and finally gets it and Zulu can’t escape this time and taps.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Hiromasa Ogikubo via RD2 Submission

– Team Henry Cejudo is up 2-1.

– Zulu says he has to work his ground game, well at least he learned something.

– After three fights, Dana feels confident that they are going to find a quality challenger for Johnson.

– Next week’s fight is #4. Damacio Page (Legacy FC, 19-10 MMA) from Team Joseph Benavidez vs. #13. Adam Antolin (Tachi Palace Fights, 11-3 MMA) from Team Henry Cejudo.

– We get a video preview for next week.

Team Joseph Benavidez
#5. Hiromasa Ogikubo (Shooto (Japan) 15-3 MMA, 1-0 TUF)
#3. Tim Elliott (Titan FC, 16-6 MMA)
#4. Damacio Page (Legacy FC, 19-10 MMA)
#7. Ronaldo Candido de Oliveira (Shooto South America, 6-0 MMA)
#11. Matt Rizzo (Ring of Combat, 9-2 MMA)
#15. Eric Shelton (Caged Aggression Iowa, 10-2 MMA)
#8. Terrence Mitchell (Alaska FC, 11-2 MMA, 0-1 TUF)
#16. Brandon Moreno (World Fighting Federation, 11-3 MMA, 0-1 TUF)

Team Henry Cejudo
#1.Alexandre Pantoja (Resurrection Fighting Alliance, 16-2 MMA, 1-0 TUF)
#9. Kai Kara-France (Bragging Rights Australia, 12-5-1nc MMA, 1-0 TUF)
#2. Yoni Sherbatov (XFFC Canada, 5-0-1 MMA)
#6. Matt Schnell (Legacy FC, 9-2 MMA)
#10. Jaime Alvarez (Absolute Fighting Championship, 6-1 MMA)
#13. Adam Antolin (Tachi Palace Fights, 11-3 MMA)
#14. Charlie Alaniz (Hex Fight Series Australia, 6-1 MMA)
#12. Nkazimulo Zulu (EFC Africa, 7-2 MMA, 0-1 TUF)