Previously on TUF, Nick Ring aggravated a knee injury. In the final prelim fight, Baczynski beat Henle in a 3-round decision. Court McGee was chosen to replace Attonito. Kyacey Uscola and Kris McCray were chosen to compete in the wildcard fight.
To start tonight, Uscola is brought to tears with the news that his son has been born: Charles “Champ” Uscola. But he realizes that he still has a job to do, and that is to prepare for that night’s wildcard fight.
McCray is disappointed that he has to fight someone on his team, but he understands that it needs to be done to advance. He also realizes that he is the underdog, and sees Uscola strengths. He has hope anyway. Considering that Tito is coach to both, he opts to sit on the bleachers to let them fight on their own laurels.
McCray starts out with a leg kick, but Uscola comes back with some nice body shots. McCray fakes a jab but then lands a leg kick which Uscola counters. A nice exchange lands a right from Uscola. They are both choosing shots carefully. Uscola lands a leg kick that seems to really hurt McCray. They clinch and McCray slams Uscola awkwardly. Having Uscola pinned against the cage, McCray lands several shots to his face which he alternates with knees. Continuous knees, but not much else. McCray first tries to sweep Uscola, then slam him, but Uscola defends the takedown. The ref restarts them at center cage and McCray is walking gingerly on his right leg. They both engage in successful exchanges, both landing leg kicks and jabs. Finally McCray takes Uscola down, but they are back up immediately. In the process, several shots to the face are landed by Uscola. Back to the center, McCray charges and slams Uscola. Uscola is face down and McCray takes his back, landing several body and head shots. Uscola attempts to maneuver out and the round ends as McCray looks for a choke.
Uscola goes right in with a big swinging right. They clinch against the cage with Uscola in control, but McCray goes for and gets the slam. McCray has side control as U tries to roll out. McCray works for a better position and gets a good hold of Uscola’s arm. He yanks it hard and Uscola taps.
Winner: Kris McCray via Submission (armbar)
It was nice to see McCray more composed and technical. Uscola admits he had a lot on his mind, but refuses to use that as an excuse. He is disappointed, but has nothing else to say.
The coaches sit down with Dana to discuss the quarterfinal fights. Chuck is at a complete loss, and it seems to extremely hard for anyone to come to any sort of consensus. What seems to be the issue is the effed up fight between Ring and McGee. The coaches are sent out of the room and Dana is left to his own devices to decide the match-ups. Shortly thereafter, the guys are gathered and are very anxiously awaiting the quarterfinal fights. Dana has decreed the following:
#1 — Nick Ring vs. Court McGee — they finally get their 3rd round!
#2 — Kyle Noke vs. Kris McCray — yikes! Poor McCray…
#3 — Brad Tavares vs. Seth Baczynski — my money’s on Brad
#4 — Jamie Yager vs. Josh Bryant — unfortunately, I think Yager takes this one
Obviously both coaches think their guys have the shot at winning every fight. Personally, I see Team Liddell taking 3 out of the 4 fights.
Back at the house, the guys are chilling, when out of nowhere, Forrest Griffin comes strolling in donning a creepy trench coat, UFC Undisputed 2010 in hand for everyone to play. It’s a hit in the house, especially the part where they get to play against Forrest (and Hammortree KO’s Forrest via Tito!). Attonito says it was the fastest two hours he has experienced since being in the house.
Ring makes a visit to the doctor to get his knee checked out. He is told that there is very little tissue there, and as such he as re-torn his ACL. This requires yet another (his 3rd) reconstructive surgery. This is frustrating to Ring, who is tired of picking himself up and dusting himself off. There are risks of even further damage (torn meniscus, etc.). Should he eke out 1 or 2 more fights? Or should he just play it safe and call it a day now? It’s surely a tough decision that no fighter ever wants to face.
Dana then makes a visit to the house to talk to Ring. Just the presence of Dana gets the guys on edge. Dana has already spoken to the doctor about Ring’s knee. The doc told him that he can and is cleared to fight, but Ring tells Dana of his concerns. He thinks that long-term, it is not smart for him to continue on despite being a favorite to possibly win. Ring knows he’s losing a huge opportunity, but he feels he needs to listen to what his body is telling him.
The guys are gathered and told that Ring is out due to his knee. This opens another spot to bring another loser back in. That person will fight McGee in the first quarterfinal. Since so many are hurt, that really only leaves Henle and Hammortree (though he, too, went to the hospital). Dana needs to speak to the coaches before he decides. Hammortree uses his chance to run after Dana and put it out there that he wants to fight. He was cleared by the hospital and is good to go. No surprise, this impresses the hell outta Dana. Dana turns right around, marches back into the house and tells the guys that Hammortree is back. Henle is p-i-s-s-e-d and approaches Dana. His anger is seething through. But Yager makes a good point: the “closed mouth don’t get fed.” (Is that supposed to be the ghetto version of “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”? lol)
Court McGee vs. James Hammortree — Quarterfinal Fight #1
McGee strikes first with a missed jab. Both seem tentative. Hammortree leans in for a jab and McGee shoots but cannot get Hammortree down. McGee fakes a right hook and lands a nice leg kick. He follows up with a jab that snaps H’s head back. Both are circling a lot but are being very cautious. Hammortree throws a kick but McGee catches it and forces Hammortree backwards toward the cage. They clinch and McGee controls it, wrapping himself around Hammortree’s back. He wrangles Hammortree to the ground, getting in a few head shots, but Hammortree gets back up. They exchange a few jabs. McGee swings a big overhand right that misses and Hammortree uses it to go in for a solid jab that lands. Continued circling allows McGee to be more aggressive. Again, McGee charges into the clinch and gets Hammortree down. He nearly gets his back and gets in for a choke, but Hammortree gets free and back on his feet. Hammortree is dropping his guard more. McGee shoots and pins Hammortree against the cage. He tries to pick up and slam Hammortree but can’t get a good hold. McGee tries a spinning back kick, but he gets caught and Hammortree takes him down. McGee rolls and pins Hammortree against the cage again. He works upward and ends up in half guard as the round ends.
Hammortree strikes first with a big combo. This time he shoots first but he cannot get McGee down. Instead, McGee immediately wraps both arms around Hammortree’s neck and sinks the hooks in hard for a standing guillotine and Hammortree taps nearly instantly.
Winner: Court McGee via Submission (Guillotine )
Tito gave Hammortree the first round (though he adds barely), but everyone else saw the same fight we did, giving McGee the round. What’s to blame is Hammortree’s inexperience, but also McGee seems to be getting better with every fight. He made a fan out of Dana, who dubs him the dark horse of the house.
Next week: Team Ortiz is delivered more bad news, but this time it’s involving Tito, leaving the fight with him and Chuck in jeopardy. And we get 2 more quarterfinal fights, one of which goes to a controversial decision that sparks a fight between the coaches.