Previously on The Ultimate Fighter, first pick Marc Stevens was choked out in 18 seconds. Koscheck found a new target for his trash talk. In the final preliminary fight, Team Koscheck found a second win hen Sako beat Dane. And the coaches choose Aaron and Mark to fight for redemption in the wild-card.
At Team GSP training, Dane talks about how he had thought he’d have been a good wild-card pick. He has shown a lot of heart and has also shown the most improvement. Most of his team also thought he had deserved it. However, even GSP agrees that Sayers doesn’t have the pedigree — he just doesn’t have the skill level yet. And Dana agrees. On paper, Marc Stevens is just the logical pick with the best skill set. Crybaby Alex, who does have a shot, whines that his back is hurting and is using it as an excuse to not train as hard as his teammates. Mike sees right through it all.
Kos’s boys, Marc Stevens and Aaron Wilkinson, are set to face each other. He feels that Stevens has a lot of potential, and while he made mistakes, he didn’t get to showcase that potential. Even Marc’s own teammates questioned the coaches’ decision, but obviously they are still behind him.
Post-training, Tate “The Male Nurse” begins pushing Kos’s buttons, trying to get him riled up about his future loss to GSP. Kos gives it right back to him, trying to get into their room, but it never really gets heated. It’s all pretty playful (plunger vs. garbage can!).
Back at the house, Alex’s teammates rib him about his laid back approach to training. Mike attributes it to his blown up ego, but Alex claims he’s just saving himself. Ha!
Aaron discusses his fight with Marc. His strategy is to jab and run, and to hopefully keep it standing and keep Marc from taking him down. It’s rough to fight a teammate, but he realizes that is part of fighting. It’s gonna happen from time to time. Kos knows it won’t be easy for him to watch the fight, as these are two guys that have sweated blood and worked their asses off for him. All seem to be in good spirits though.
As everyone is coming into the gym for the weigh-ins, Kos pantses (is that even English? lol) Tate in an attempt to embarrass him. Something must have worked, because they begin a heated exchange as soon as they sit down. Kos accuses Tate of being on the show to “get famous” while Tate predicts that Kos will become famous for losing to GSP. Then Tate criticizes Kos’s accomplishments, or lack thereof, asking if the last thing he accomplished was faking a knee. Kos mumbles something about Vaseline up his ass and resorts to once again calling him a male nurse. Clearly Kos is getting angry and threatens to take Tate on right there. He gets up in Tate’s face, grabbing him by the throat. And of course, they cut to a commercial just as Tate gets up and moves in on Kos!
Immediately guys from both teams are pulling them apart as they’re getting their hands in each others’ faces. Somehow, Dane gets in the middle of them and (perhaps unintentionally) is pushing Kos back by his face. Kos stiff arms Dane’s face, and now Kos and Dane are being kept back. Dane gets pissed off, yelling that he was just trying to help. As everyone takes their seats, Dane storms out of the room. Kos realizes what happened and goes after Dane, as does GSP. When Kos finds him, he mans up and apologizes. Dane calms down and accepts. But Kos theorizes that GSP brought Tate in specifically to get under his skin… riiiiight…as if GSP cares that much.
As for the impending fight, Dana says he knows what to expect. He expects a stand-up fight from Aaron, and he expects Marc to be really pissed off and to bring it so that he can prove himself. Or will he?
After the weigh-in, Kos asks Tate if they can walk out holding hands. Tate just stares at him. GSP sees all this and is just frustrated, feeling like he’s in kindergarten. He had told all his guys AND Tate not to engage in trash-talking with Kos. Apparently Tate didn’t get that memo, and GSP is just fed up.
In the back room, Team GSP talks quarterfinals. After the wild-card fight, there will be 3 fighters from Team Kos and 5 from Team GSP. Obviously, some GSP teammates will have to fight each other. He asks his guys to write down who on the team they’d want to fight. And, no surprise, Alex and Mike choose each other. Sweet.
At the house, Aaron gets a phone call. They knew in advance that he was getting news, but no one knew what. As it turns out, his grandmother has passed away. His mother tells him that his grandmother would kick his ass if he even thought about coming home. He is moved to tears and is saddened that he didn’t get to see her very much. He just hopes that she is looking down and watching him give it his best.
Kos is excited to see two of his guys getting second chances, but will corner neither. Instead he will sit in the stands as a fan. He wishes them both luck and tells them to put on a helluva fight for the fans.
Stevens strikes first with 2 consecutive leg kicks. Wilkinson tries to counter with a jab, but Stevens dodges. Stevens tries another leg kick and then immediately shoots on Wilkinson and gets him down. In side control he keeps Wilkinson pinned. He maneuvers into half mount. Wilkinson rolls and gives Stevens his back. Stevens slips the hooks in and looks for a choke, but Wilkinson turns out of it. Stevens still has control but Wilkinson is looking to get out. Stevens maintains control of Wilkinson’s back for a good while. He briefly ends up in a mount, but Wilkinson spins and Stevens has his arm and is looking for a possible triangle. He finally gets a leg up and over with an arm pinned. Stevens is definitely controlling the pace and tenor of the fight, as Wilkinson is defending the sub but cannot get out of trouble. Wilkinson is leaving his head vulnerable; Stevens just can’t his ankles crossed to tighten the hold. The round ends before Stevens can finish it.
(Did anyone else notice how much quieter it was without Kos doing the cornering? )
Wilkinson starts with a jab and Stevens is clearly eying a takedown. Wilkinson pushes the pace and is more aggressive with several jab/cross combos. Stevens goes for a takedown, but as they are going down, Wilkinson latches onto Stevens’s neck and within seconds has the guillotine in tight making Stevens tap quickly.
Winner: Aaron Wilkinson via Submission (Guillotine)
In Round 1 Stevens beat up on Wilkinson the way everyone expected to with some impressive BJJ and GNP. But somehow, Stevens gets caught by the SAME CHOKE that cost him the last fight. Stevens is rightfully disappointed with himself, joking that maybe he needs to work on his guillotine defense, but he also makes excuses that he couldn’t feel his legs at the end of the first round. He blames cutting weight and the Nevada elevation. Give me a break!
Dana and the coaches get together to discuss the quarterfinal fights. They bring each of the guys to ask who they would like to fight, and who they think they match up with the best. To no surprise of the coaches, Mike and Alex choose each other… but everyone else seems to pick Alex too! Kos thinks this is a strategy on GSP’s part, thinking that he would rather his weakest link, Alex, lose to his own teammate than to someone on Kos’s team. In pleading his case for Alex to fight Mike, Kos gets GSP to spill all the weaknesses of both guys…not good coaching on GSP’s part.
The quarterfinal fights are chosen:
Jonathan Brookins vs. Sako Chivitchian
Cody McKenzie vs. Nam Phan
Kyle Watson vs. Aaron Wilkinson
Michael Johnson vs. Alex Caceres
So GSP gets his wish after all. I guess all those “secrets” were spilled for naught.
Next week: The quarterfinals are set. Prepare for 2 fights in one show: Brooks vs. Chivitchian and then McKenzie vs. Phan. Who will move one step closer to a shot at becoming the next ultimate fighter?