Previously on The Ultimate Fighter, Michael Johnson got fed up with teammate Alex Caceres’ antics. In the first quarterfinal fight, Jonathan Brookins quickly took out Sako Chivitchian while underdog Nam Phan gave Team Kos a needed win when he shut out Cody McKenzie. Coming up tonight are the two remaining quarterfinal fights. Veteran Kyle Watson steps into the ring with wildcard winner Aaron Wilkinson and Michael Johnson and Alex Caceres finally get to settle their score.
At the house, Sako plays a prank, putting a rubber band on the kitchen sink sprayer. He immediately blamed Alex (who had done it previously), but alas, it wasn’t him this time.
Kyle Watson will be taking on Aaron Wilkinson in his quarterfinal fight. Aaron’s strength is his striking, but Team GSP is not particularly worried about the power behind his punches. Kyle’s game plan is not necessarily to take Aaron down, but to tie him up and keep him from striking.
Kos wants Aaron to keep the fight standing. Knowing this is his second (and probably last) chance, Aaron is motivated and feeling the pressure of representing the UK.
Watson starts the fight with a leg kick. He keeps faking the shoot and follows up with another leg kick. Wilkinson has yet to respond. Finally Watson shoots and gets the takedown. He has an awkward side control. He gets into half mount and begins peppering Wilkinson with body and head shots. Wilkinson is also landing a good number of shots to Watson’s head. While Watson is looking for a better position, Wilkinson is looking to get out. They manage to stand but it doesn’t last and Watson gets Wilkinson mounted. Wilkinson keeps turning and eventually turns enough to give Watson his back. Wilkinson holds onto one of Watson’s arm and his barely managing to fend off the choke. Watson gets the right arm in and under, getting the choke locked with the left arm. But Wilkinson is not giving in very easily. It’s a good solid minute and Wilkinson is desperately looking to free himself. But the choke is too far sunk and Wilkinson taps.
Winner: Kyle Watson via Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Pretty much no surprises there.
In talking about Bruce Leroy, GSP is promising an exciting fight. Dana can’t even call this one.
GSP brings in Freddie Roach (boxing guru) to train the guys. As Pacqiao’s trainer, this guy’s got some serious boxing cred. The guys are in AWE. Roach seems to like Caceres, predicting that he will do well.
This is definitely an emotional fight — meaning that it is fueled by their hatred for each other. But Alex thinks that this hatred will be Michael’s downfall. He claims that all the pressure is on Michael, as he doesn’t want to lose to someone who he feels doesn’t belong there. Michael plans on keeping it standing, at least to start. And then he’ll just wear him down.
Before the weigh-ins, Kos starts ribbing Michael, predicting a win for Alex (also calling him the “black Georges”). Kos thinks that GSP’s theory is that Michael is their strongest, so he can sacrifice Alex to him to move him on. However, GSP comments that he really doesn’t know how the fight will go — either could potentially win. Either way, this is going to be a helluva fight. Great way to end the quarterfinals.
Johnson doesn’t even touch gloves. Caceres lands a solid leg kick followed by a straight leg. Johnson responds by going after Caceres and gets him down with an authoritative slam. Caceres is on his side and Johnson is trying at least get into his guard. Johnson backs off a bit and Caceres springs up. Caceres tries a head kick but it is checked. Johnson lands a big jab that sends Caceres’s mouthpiece flying. When they resume Johnson backs Caceres against the cage and slams him down hard again. Johnson gets right into Caceres’s guard. Caceres tries to get up, but Johnson pushes him right back down. Johnson backs off, but Caceres keeps his feet up to fend him off. Back to standing and Caceres gets in a good combo. Johnson responds with a straight jab followed by a painful leg kick. Caceres charges, peppering him with jabs. Johnson turns it around, and gets Caceres with his back at the fence. They clinch briefly before they return to the middle. With a minute to go, Johnson gets Caceres on his back again. Before he can do any damage Caceres kicks him back off. On their feet, Johnson goes offensive with a few jabs before they clinch. A big head kick attempt from Caceres is checked. Clinching again, Caceres has the control as the round ends.
(All Johnson there…but can he keep up that pace??)
Both are looking antsy. A good jab exchange. Caceres misses a superman punch. Johnson shoots and gets Caceres down. In side control, he alternates between elbows and jabs. He looks to spin into north-south but maintains side control. He scrambles and ends up in Caceres’s guard, pushing him into the corner. With him pinned back, he lands several unanswered big shots. AC leans forward and it looks like Johnson goes for a choke, but they get back up. Johnson lands a good combo, but Caceres counters. Caceres ducks a shot from Johnson and Johnson shoots immediately. As they scramble down, Caceres reverses and is on top for a change. It is short-lived. They are back up in the clinch. Johnson gets Caceres around the waist and slams him again. In full guard, Johnson tries to keep one fist on his throat while punching with the other. He gets a few nice hammerfists through. Caceres tries to scramble up, and eventually does. Caceres attempts a head kick that Johnson catches, using his leg to drive him back. Still holding on the leg, Johnson sweeps and slams Caceres. In side control again, he doesn’t do much and the round ends.
Winner: Michael Johnson via Unanimous Decision
No matter how many times Michael threw punch, Alex was able to keep moving enough to dodge it. No matter how many times Michael took him down, Alex was able to pop back up. Definitely a huge battle.
Ok. I have been a BIG defender of Kos this ENTIRE season. But for Kos to say that he didn’t know what fight GSP was watching because it sucked?? What fight was HE watching?!?! Sour grapes, Koscheck, sour grapes.
And so the feud between Michael and Alex comes to an end.
Dana and the coaches get together to discuss the semi-final fight matchups. Amazingly, they agree right away. Whoa…has hell frozen over?
So the semi-final fights will be:
1. Jonathan Brookins vs. Kyle Watson
2. Michael Johnson vs. Nam Phan
Next week: Two hour semi-final extravaganza! Four men will enter the cage, but only two will go on to the live finale!