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The Ultimate Fighter: Season 13 Episode 3: “Chicken Salad”
Previously on TUF, Keon Caldwell called it quits, leaving an open spot on Team Dos Santos. Underdog Chris Cope fought his way to a 3rd round decision over Javier Torres, giving Team Lesnar a needed win and now, fight control. Who will Lesnar pick for fight #3?
Team Lesnar gets right to training, but apparently some of the guys took Lesnar’s previous “Chicken Shit” comments to heart. They swear that none of them are chicken shit! Brock tries to clear the air and explain that he meant that prior to the show they were no one fighters. But now, under the tutelage of Brock, they are becoming real fighters. Gee, the guys don’t seem to be appeased by Lesnar’s explanation.
Later, Team Dos Santos welcomes their newest member, Justin Edwards, who bears a striking resemblance to Randy Couture. He is taken in warmly and they get right to work. Coach Lew discusses how he feels as a coach and wonders if they are doing all they can to really prepare these guys. He pushes them hard in training (with some curious looks from JDS in the process) which results in Shamar getting cut while rolling. JDS now expresses his concern with Lew’s training style — being mean is not just not his thing.
Moving on to the fight announcement, Team Lesnar chooses his own Len Bentley (sensing that Len has been on edge and anxious lately) to fight Ryan McGillivray. Not really sure I understand Lesnar’s strategy here…his #1 vs. JDS’s #2?
Back at the house, we finally see the guys coming together and bonding. Len and the rest of Team Lesnar have noticed that teammate Chris Cope has been spending an awful lot of time with the opposition. Chuck tries to alert Chris of their observations, but Chris laughs it off and seemingly ignores it.
At training, Len pulls Brock aside and expresses his concern that Chris has been watching him practice and is afraid that he will spill the beans to the other side. Brock tries to allay his fears, but he still doesn’t want his gameplan discussed in front of Chris…just in case. He claims to not be afraid, but obviously if he’s mentioning it to Brock, he is.
Again, Dos Santos is concerned about how hard Coach Lew is pushing the guys. JDS feels like he has taken it too far, so he pulls him aside to remind him who’s boss. He emphasizes that it’s a team effort and that the coaches need to work together to make decisions. A win is a win for the team, not Coach Lew. Thankfully Lew takes it well and agrees to back off.
Unfortunately, at this point, Ryan is weighing in a 180 with weigh-ins looming at 4:00. And so the weight dropping process begins. Coach Lew rattles off a massive list of the tools needed to shed the 10 pounds — Epsom salts? Blankets? A bath? Wow, whatever works. When the moment of truth arrives, Len weighs in no problem, as does Ryan. Big bullet dodged there.
In a moment of dÃ©jÃ vu, Lesnar explains that something has come up in his personal life and that he won’t be there for the fight. He feels the need to add that his personal life comes first; and everybody knows that. Ummm…ok? Didn’t like it when Rampage did it; don’t like it now.
Both guys seem anxious, but determined to win it for their team. This could be interesting.
Both come out swinging with combos and Bentley is the first to connect. He comes at McGillivray hard with a body kick. He continues to charge and gets McGillivray on his back. He pounces and looks to maintain control. He briefly ends up in his guard, all the while alternating between fists and elbows. This continues in an awkward version of side control until Bentley allows McGillivray up. On their feet, Bentley is more aggressive and is swinging for the fences. McGillivray starts swinging big too and finally lands a shot that drops Bentley. McGillivray ends up in his guard and Bentley immediately wraps his legs around and reaches up to pull his neck down. McGillivray pushes Bentley up against the cage for leverage, but Bentley uses it to his advantage instead, trying to trap one of McGillivray’s arms. McGillivray tries to turn out but Bentley is not letting go of the arm. Just as it seems McGillivray is going to tap, he gets out of it and turns the tables on Bentley. He reverses and gets Bentley in a neck crank. McGillivray holds onto the choke but Bentley is turning red as the round ends.
That round totally made up for the last 2 (crap) fights. Shogun, sitting next to Dana, asks, “Who even won that round?” Good question, indeed.
Huge left from McGillivray connects to start, but Bentley eats it. Same pace from the last round in the exchange. Neither seems gased. Nice body kick from Bentley is checked. Several combos from both and both are taking the shots like they’re nothing. Now McGillivray takes a shot to the chin. Spinning backfist from Bentley, but it lands sloppily to McGillivray’s back. McGillivray charges at Bentley and peppers him until he pins Bentley against the cage. McGillivray looks for a takedown but Bentley is doing well at defending. They clinch with Bentley landing some serious knees to McGillivray’s kidneys. Back to the center, they continue to throw bombs (and another unsuccessful spinning backfist for Bentley). Bentley throws in some leg kicks for good measure. The pace starts to slow and the round ends with the two just duking out in slow mo.
Winner: Ryan McGillivray (Majority Decision)
Now that was a brawl. Both guys came to fight and they brought it hard. One judge even scored it 19-19 and I completely see how. Of course Len is bummed out, but Dana comes to him and tells him he has nothing to be embarrassed about. That’s how you fight and he should be proud. Besides, anything can happen on this show…the wildcard is still a factor that could be in his favor.
A very proud Ryan kisses his daughter’s picture and is overcome by tears of joy. Having missed his daughter’s birthday, this meant more to him than just a fight. I always love to see a fighter with a soft spot.
Next week: Team Lesnar wonders if Ramsey realizes he’s there to fight (naked antics, oh boy). MMA legend Matt Hughes makes a visit to the gym for some training time. And Team Dos Santos makes their pick for fight #4. Good luck topping that last fight, boys.