Previously on TUF, shoulder surgery knocked McKinney out of wildcard contention. Fearing another loss, Tito pushed his team to their limits (to the chagrin of some). And finally, Bryant was able to defeat a quickly gassed McCray via decision to give Team Liddell yet another win.
Team Ortiz is a little down due to McCray’s loss. According to Uscola, McCray looked sloppy and lays much of the blame on Tito. In his eyes, Tito is working them too hard, they are being overtrained and not given enough rest.
Over at the Liddell camp, their esteemed coach finally returns and is happy to hear of Bryant’s win. He’s also happy to see the progress his remaining fighters (McGee and Henley) have made. His hopes are to go 6-1.
At the house, McCray disagrees that Tito is overtraining them. Yager agrees that they should not be pointing fingers and is proud of McCray for doing his “dizzle.” As far as he’s concerned, he’s doing a great job. Hammortree is also in the same camp. Yes, they’re being pushed, but it’s not bad. To the contrary, it’s good for them. Ring agrees, even calling it a vacation.
Tito has gotten wind of Uscola’s little mutiny, and decides to call a team meeting. He calls Uscola out, making the good point that one bad apple can spoil the bunch. I will give Tito that much — he may be a (insert a few choice words), personally, but he is a good coach.
And then we have the coaches challenge!! My favorite part of the season (and apparently Dana’s too!). What better challenge for two such hateful coaches than dodgeball! The first team to 3 wins gets the money.
Game #1 starts off rip roaring, guys picking each other off left and right. Chuck is seriously gunning the ball. Next thing you know, it’s just Tito vs Chuck+2. Team Liddell wins.
Game #2 goes the same route, and in the end it’s Tito vs Chuck. Tito gets popped. Liddell up 2-0.
Game #3 finally gets down to just Chuck and Tito again. They’re chucking (pun intended) balls back and forth and finally Chuck nails him. Team Liddell gets the $10K and bragging rights. I don’t think Chuck will EVER get tired of beating Tito.
Back at the gym, the guys are gathered for Chuck’s fight announcement. It will be Court McGee vs. Nick Ring (who promptly gives McGee the “oh no you didn’t” finger — yikes). Up until now, Dana has questioned Chuck’s decisions. But considering his record, Dana is no longer questioning him. Maybe there’s something he knows about McGee that we don’t?
Ring is a good kicker, so Chuck warns McGee to either check them or step into them. McGee seems to have his head on straight and how to avoid getting sub’d. Even Hackleman is impressed with him, particularly his speed and stamina.
At the house, McGee is talking about his past drug and alcohol addictions — how he nearly died, the crazy situations he got into and how he changed his life. He wouldn’t rather be anywhere else.
At Team Ortiz training, Hammortree is sparring with McCray. McCray locks up with him and goes to take him down. Suddenly Hammortree goes down and is literally screaming in pain that his back is on fire and there is tingling down his leg. The medics strap him to a board and away he goes into an ambulance. And there go Hammortree’s wildcard chances…
Later that night, Ring talks about his trials and tribulations. After having had knee surgery, he’s happy to have been able to get back to fighting condition. With excellent BJJ as well as kickboxing, Tito sees Ring winning via submission. Although he was Tito’s first pick, he handles the pressure well.
Back from the hospital, Hammortree feels thankful that everything is okay with his back. Chances are that he just twisted the wrong way. He does have swelling but he will heal.
Once again, it’s the battle of the favorite vs. the underdog. Team Liddell is behind McGee, while those on Team Ortiz talk like Ring is the second coming of Jesus. Uscola has already given the win to Ring via armbar.
McGee strikes first with a solid jab to the face but Ring counters with a straight leg kick. McGee charges and takes Ring down easily. In Ring’s guard, McGee is working to advance, but Ring won’t let him. Not much progress and they are back up. Both attempt body kicks that are checked. Nice head kick from McGee. Both look a little unsure. Several unanswered kicks from Ring. McGee answeres with a combo and they clinch in the center. They both throw repeated knees that connect. Back apart, McGee is more the aggressor and goes for another takedown. Ring splays and gets his arms around McGee’s neck in a reverse choke. He can’t get it in, but he spins around to take McGee’s back. McGee goes fetal, but then ends up on his back. Ring is in half-guard looking for side control. Both are taking shots, but not doing much damage. Ring ends up in his guard, but again, is not doing much. They simply exchange elbow after elbow as the round ends.
McGee goes in first, but fakes. Ring is the first to connect with a leg kick. And the two begin exchanging leg kicks. McGee changes it up with a jab that throws Ring off. Every time Ring throws a kick, so does McGee. But Ring keeps with the inside leg kicks, as per Tito. McGee is no schlub though, landing quite a few jabs to the face. Ring reaches in for a takedown and McGee pops him straight in the face. Ring backs up and McGee aggresses to the clinch. McGee lands several more solid jabs and crosses. Now Ring is fighting back less, throwing fewer kicks. McGee goes for the takedown, but Ring defends it. They clinch and McGee lands a few knees, followed by an overhand. Ring keeps going forward, but gets smacked every time he does. Ring finally throws a head kick but it’s checked. They hook up, with Ring throwing knees. McGee looks like he wants to take Ring down, but he pushes him against the cage instead. Still clinching, they circle, but do nothing. Solid leg kick from Ring. The round ends with McGee chasing and peppering Ring with shots.
Another Round 3??? I wouldn’t be surprised!
Yager is running his mouth at Chuck, claiming that it’s all about takedowns and aggression and that Ring controlled the pace of the fight. The way Chuck saw it, Ring did control and win the first round, but that McGee won the second.
Judge #1: 20-18 Ring
Judge #2: 19-19
Judge #3: 20-18 Ring
Winner: Nick Ring via Majority Decision
I have to agree with Chuck — how did they give Ring the 2nd round? Even Dana questioned it! But, Dana makes a good point — this is exactly why you don’t leave the fight in the hands of the judges.
Chuck starts exchanging words with Dana, like he can do something about it. He continues his rampage into the back as all coaches do. But at least McGee takes the loss in stride.
Next Week: Ring advances into the quarters, but a nagging injury may get in the way. Joe Henley takes on Seth Baczynski. And the wait is over — the wildcard is announced!