The Ultimate Fighter: Season 11 – Episode 3: “A Lotta Heart”

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Previously on the Ultimate Fighter, Dana questioned Chuck’s team picks, Camozzi fought through the pain of his previous fight, and Team Liddell got its first win when Kyle Noke submitted Clayton McKinney. Something big is coming…

The guys are all assembled at the gym by Dana for some news. Camozzi is called forward and Dana breaks the news to him that his jaw is broken and he can no longer fight. While the fracture is not serious, if he is hit hard enough it could be. Both teams are shocked as the poor kid is sent packing. It’s a sad moment for Camozzi. Tito is then given a list of the guys who lost their fights but are healthy and willing come back. It’s Tito’s choice who gets the second chance.

It’s business as usual for Team Liddell as they retain control. As all the guys are working on their sparring, everyone seems focused and generally happy. They work as a team and seem impervious to distractions (ha, so far).

Back at the house, Blanchard plays the role of the house masseuse, giving Ring a rub down. McCray, well, um, questions Ring, but Ring just plays along…a little too well!

When the guys are brought together the next day, it’s found that Tito has brought back Seth Baczysnki (yes!!! Sorry, I have a soft spot for Polish fighters :P) who gets a very warm welcome. That leads to Chuck’s announcement of the next fight: Brad Tavares vs. James Hammortree. Not an easy win for either.

At Team Ortiz training, tensions flair between Ring and Yager over some ridiculous name-calling. It boils down to who’s really there for “the team” and who’s there for themselves. Tito does make a good point — yes, only one guy can be the champ, but it does take the whole team to get there.

Suddenly, it’s only quarter after and we get to the weigh-ins already! Both sides make cases for their teammates and call it a TKO for their own. Tavares, a native Hawaiian, enjoys fighting because it’s “fun.” Hackleman describes as young, raw, talented and well-rounded. Davis is particularly impressed with his stand-up. Tavares is looking forward to standing and banging with Hammortree. “The Sledge” is a Floridian (and the record holder for fastest knockout at 5 seconds) with a hard right. But he is also not afraid to shoot for the takedown and work the ground and pound. It should be a good fight to say the least.


Round 1
Tavares comes out first with a leg kick followed by a body kick. Hammortree looks like he’s waiting to shoot, but has shown no offense yet. Tavares is far more aggressive, but still picky about his shots. Finally Hammortree shoots, but is only successful in pinning Tavares against the cage holding his one leg. Tavares manages to not only stay on his feet, but he pivots and sweeps Hammortree down. Hammortree rolls quickly and Tavares mounts his back. Tavares looks for the choke, with his legs firmly wrapped, but can’t sink it. Tavares works to keep control, but Hammortree reverses and gets Tavares on his back. Hammortree is in his guard for a short time, but Tavares works towards getting back up. The two clinch against the cage and as they battle for control, Tavares gains it eventually taking Hammortree’s back. While working for a choke, he sort of slips off. Hammortree tries to take advantage and looks for a quick choke, but Tavares slips out. Tavares regains his back, but it becomes a grapple-fest. Hammortree ends up in Tavares’s guard, but can’t do anything with it. Tavares gets back on his fight and they end up in an odd position with Hammortree in control as the round ends. So much for the banging!

Round 2
Hammortree swings first but gets clipped coming in for a takedown. In the clinch at the cage, Hammortree works to shoot, but it’s Tavares that gets the takedown. In Hammortree’s guard, he keeps swinging around looking for the mount. Hammortree nearly reverses, but Tavares keeps control. Tavares tries to sweep but Hammortree gains control and has Tavares’s back. Hammortree has him nearly pinned against the fence. Hammortree just pushes Tavares around but not doing any damage. He finally gets him on his back, but as Hammortree gets the half-mount, Tavares latches on to his arm working toward the armbar. Hammortree throws some punches sporadically, but he’s trying to free his arm. He gets the arm free and ends back in Tavares’s guard. Hammortree isn’t working much from the top, just laying on top of him. And that’s exactly how the round ends.

I would not be surprised if there was a third round. And sure enough…off to round 3 we go!

Round 3
Both come out swinging (but tired). But the aggressiveness wanes quickly. Finally some nice exchanges from both. Hammortree shoots and Tavares can’t defend. Hammortree is in Tavares’s half-guard and working some weak GNP. He manages to mount him, but it doesn’t last. Hammortree is now on his back and Tavares drops a few solid hits. Hammortree struggles up and Tavares wraps around him looking an arm. Hammortree can’t work out but he does try to get Tavares down. But Tavares is not letting go. With Hammortree’s head trapped, Tavares punches him repeatedly. Tavares is still looking to pull the arm straight. Too tired, Tavares loses the arm, but not control. They are clinching, but neither is particularly doing any work as the round ends.

Of course each coach thinks their guy won the fight, but….

Winner: Brad Tavares by unanimous decision

How could Team Ortiz really be calling “bullshit?” I hate sore losers.

Tito is frustrated and claims he must not have seen what the judges saw. Claims they must’ve missed Hammortree’s side-mount, etc. But apparently Tito missed it when Tavares did it too.

Next week? Tito needs to come back from being 0-2. But the hostility between his fighters might ruin his plans. Then there is some sort of controversy in the cage. And we are treated to not one, but TWO fights. Bring it on!