Previously on TUF, Len Bentley had a solid performance in his loss to McGillivray, so when Brock gave his team a tongue-lashing, Bentley refused to sit and listen to it. Then Coach Lew’s tough-love tactics rubbed Junior the wrong way, causing some team tension. Then Clay Harvison wins a tough decision, but his broken pinky makes the win bitter sweet. Coming up tonight, 2 fights that are absolute wars; plus the wildcard is announced. (Ooohh….)
After Mick’s loss, Junior is trying to make him feel better by telling him that losses happen. But right away Lew contradicts him, telling Mick that it is their job to fight and to win. JDS turns to him with a WTF look and is like, hey, who asked you??
At Lesnar’s team practicing, we find that Clay is likely to be out, which hurts their team’s shot at winning. And then to dump a bucket of salt on that wound, Len begins rolling around on the mat, grasping at his knee and yelping in pain. Lesnar’s ready to just roll over and give up.
In the hospital, Clay learns that he has not actually broken his pinky, but merely dislocated it. That gives him hope. After learning this, he looks up to see Len rolling up in his wheelchair. Len describes what he felt to the doctor, who upon inspection of his knee, alleviates his fears and assures him that his ACL is intact. Broken bones? Torn ACL? Show ending. A couple dislocations? No problem
Trouble in paradise is brewing on Team Dos Santos. JDS learns that Lew has gone to visit the guys at the house, without telling him. JDS approaches the other coach, asking about what else he doesn’t know and learns that, more or less, Lew has been undermining him and has had this bad attitude from day one. This is very upsetting to JDS who walks off toward Lew.
Junior pulls Lew aside to speak to him alone. Lew claims that he told Junior that he wanted to go to the house, but Junior claims there must have been some confusion. With a mix of anger, frustration and sadness, he tells Lew he’s no longer needed and to go home. You tell ‘em, Junior!
Clay and Len return from the hospital and fill Lesnar in with their great news. Lesnar is relieved and hopeful that his 2 best still have a shot. Later, with control regained by Team Lesnar, Brock chooses Tony Ferguson to fight Justin Edwards, which pits wrestler versus wrestler. And in the final preliminary fight, that leaves Chuck O’Neil to fight Zach Davis.
To Lesnar, Tony is the likely winner. Not only has he been working and training with Lesnar and his coaches, but he has also been working out on his own. He describes his footwork as all over the place, which will make him hard to catch. A self-described gym rat, Ferguson says that this is his passion. Winning is the only option.
Justin, however, realizes that he shouldn’t even be here. Being that he was brought in as an alternate, he understands that the coaches didn’t get to see him in the evals and don’t kow what to expect from him. He has a helluva lot to prove. But to him, he’s a monster in the cage with a a huge heart.
At the house, the guys talk about missing Coach Lew, but they also get that it is Team Dos Santos, not Team Lew. Just hope it doesn’t affect their shot at winning.
(Tony shows up for the fight in a shirt and tie. Hmmm. Very original. I think I like it.)
Immediately, Edwards comes out swinging in a flurry, not allowing Ferguson to defend or gather himself. He finally lets up, but it’s not long before Edwards is peppering him again. Ferguson keeps trying to get away while going in for the occasional shot. Finally the pace slows and the 2 begin some more even exchanges. Ferguson lands a couple straight arms to Edwards’s face. After a left/right combo from Ferguson, Edwards shoots and stumbles for a takedown but fails to get Ferguson down. They continue the standup fight, but both are being more selective. Ferguson lands a nice right that connects with Edwards’s ear. Edwards lands a leg kick, but Ferguson returns the favor. Both are eating shots to the face and head. Edwards finally shoots at Ferguson’s waist and gets Ferguson down with a slam. In his guard, he can’t do much. Instead Ferguson is landing elbows. He backs off, and with the opening, Ferguson lands a hell kick to the chin that drops Edwards like a sack of rocks. As soon as he hits the mat, Ferguson pounces to finish but he’s stopped.
Winner: Tony Ferguson via Knock-Out
FINALLY! It’s nice to see two guys lay it all on the line and go out there with the confidence to win it.
At the house, goofy Chuck enjoys making everyone laugh, but once he’s training or fighting, he’s cold steel; all business baby. Lesnar says he’s well-rounded, but in particular, he’s great on the ground. He can certainly hold his own on the mat.
Zach seems to also be Mr. Happy-Go-Lucky, but he’s also more competitive. He promises that his desire to win is greater than anyone else’s. And Junior backs this up, saying that he just loves to fight. You would never guess that by looking at him!
Almost immediately Davis shoots for and gets the takedown, but just as fast O’Neill’s arms around his neck looking for a choke. They both scramble for control, but it doesn’t last and they are quickly back on their feet. In the clinch, Davis sneaks up some knees. O’Neill reverses control and latches onto Davis knee looking to pull him down. It’s a failed attempt. Within seconds, Davis manages to get O’Neill down and is in his guard. Davis can’t do much, but O’Neill lands a few elbows. Davis backs up off him and O’Neill looks to replay T’s big up-kick, but doesn’t make it happen. Davis allows O’Neill to get up, but in a blink O’Neill has Davis on his back. While peppering him with elbows, Davis pulls O’Neill’s head down, looking for a potential triangle. After some struggling to position it, he gets the leg over and locked down and O’Neill taps.
Winner: Zach Davis via Submission (Triangle)
Dana makes a good point — a war doesn’t have to be fought on their feet, these two fought a war on the ground and made it entertaining. Despite Dana telling Chuck how impressive he was, Chuck is mad at himself
Now that the prelims are over, Dana asks the coaches (JDS-4; Lesnar-3) to pick the wildcards. All 3 unanimously agree that Justin Edwards deserves the shot, and they tell him so…unfortunately, with a 90-day suspension (which we can only assume was due to being knocked out) from the commission, he will not be allowed to fight. Wow, that sucks.
So then they call in every single asking why they should pick them for the wildcard. They are not wowed by anyone’s answers. No one lays it out saying that no one wants the fight more than them. Bummer.
What’s weirdest is that, unlike ANY previous season, neither Brock nor Junior are blindly pushing for their guys. And not only that, they actually have a conversation calmly, really discussing who is the best pick! Wow, go figure! This should be the precedent by which all future seasons are set!
So when Dana makes the announcement, they have decided that Javier Torres of Team Dos Santos will take on Team Lesnar’s Chuck O’Neil.
Next week: Len expresses his discontent with not being picked for the wildcard, and confronts Brock. Then Brock and Junior hit the grid iron for the Coaches’ Challenge. And both wildcard picks try to avenge their losses to prove they were not flukes. Finally, the first quarterfinal matchups are announced.