The Ultimate Fighter Season 9: Episode 8


Episode 8: “Negative Energy”

Last week, Pierce’s injured ankle caused his teammates to question his heart, while his good friend Dave Faulkner was injure-ridden. Meanwhile, Brit Ross Pearson submitted Richie Whitson to put the UK up 4-2.

As tonight’s episode begins, Mr. Grumpy himself, Pierce is complaining about his training and his injuries. Apparently, he has a staph infection in his foot, causing it to swell badly and creating an open wound on his calf.

Speaking of injured fighters, Faulkner is training with Bisping and complains about his “gum shield” and the fact that he can’t keep it in his mouth due to his gag reflex. Bisping is worried that it could make him lose a fight or lose a point. It’s a concern because instead of thinking about how to win, he’s thinking about what’s in his mouth. Not something you really want to be preoccupied with during a fight.

This week it’s Team USA’s turn for unorthodox training techniques. Henderson decides that the guys need a break from the house and the gym. They’re playing Ultimate Frisbee in a field, which seems to be good for morale. Unfortunately, the fresh doesn’t seem to help everyone. Pierce feels weak from the meds he’s on, and there is worry that the docs won’t clear him. The infection is not contagious, but his leg hurts and is sore to the touch. Every time one of the coaches asks him if that’s going to keep him from fighting, Pierce has some excuse for it. Hendo is questioning his attitude and doesn’t like his negativity. No one fights at 100%. Though at the end, Pierce says he’s not taking himself out of any fights. I just don’t buy it. And apparently I’m not alone in this. Back at the house, the guys are all hanging out and whining about Pierce. They say he’s grumpy, eats everyone’s food (when it suits him) but doesn’t seem to like anyone but the Brits.

The next day, the guys gather for the fight announcement, where Hendo chooses Jason Dent to fight Jeff Lawson. Truth be told, he really had no choice because of Pierce’s bum leg.

And oh joy, we get to learn about the chosen ones. Dent is airing his grievances about living with 16 other guys and the lack of peace and privacy. Defranco likes Dent, but thinks he’s out of his mind. He’s fidgety and nervous and Defranco’s afraid that Dent is gonna kill him. He’s got that Taxi Driver air about him. That being said, it’s no surprise that Dent is happy to get in the cage to get out his aggression. Hendo commends his ground game, though he adds that he’s resistant to change, and doesn’t seem to want to get better at his weaknesses. He likes to do things his way and wants to stick to what he’s good at — which irritates Hendo as a coach. Hendo tries to talk to him, and explain that they’re just trying to HELP him, not to just yell at him. Hendo labels him as “tough to coach.” It seems like Dent is just tough to be around.

Back at the house, we are treated to something we haven’t really seen this season — antics! Jokester Lawson dons a rubber glove on his head and the comedy routine ensues. Amasinger yanks down the pants of Lawson…which everyone seems to love. And Lawson just seems to enjoy entertaining everyone and making them laugh, along with Faulkner. Pearson attributes their sanity to this playfulness and camaraderie. They even put on a “pro-wrestling show.” The show ends up down by the pool, and it just feels like someone is going to get hurt. Luckily, no one does (except for a container of flour). You can definitely see the difference in the attitudes of the Brits and Americans. I hate to say it, but at this point, I’d much rather hang around the Brits.

The next day the Brits are discussing Lawson’s record and his 21 wins by arm bar. Lawson is hoping to come at Dent quickly, wait for him to make a mistake and get him to submit. He recognizes that Dent is losing it a little in the house, and looks at that as an advantage to him. He knows he’ll be underestimated (even refers to himself as a ginger), but insists he will not lose.


Dent is admittedly nervous, and Lester doesn’t see anywhere where Lawson is better. Dent is anxious to go and feels good. As the guys are getting ready to fight, Dana peeks his head into the US locker room and asks to talk to Dan about Pierce’s infection. The doc is confident that Pierce can fight but Dana wants to talk to both of them to get Pierce’s opinion on the matter. Pierce says he’s mentally in it, but once again, he makes excuse after excuse. EVEN DANA SEES IT! Dana decides to give him until Tuesday to get his situation straightened out. The way I see it, if Pierce really wanted to fight, he would’ve sold it to Dana.

Jeff Lawson vs. Jason Dent

Round 1: Neither seems to want to get the fight going. Lawson takes a huge risk with a head kick, but misses. Tries to clinch, but Dent wrestles free. A straight kick from Lawson misses. A minute in and Lawson finally lands a leg kick. He tries some overhands, but Dent backs up. Lawson goes in for a takedown but Dent sweeps him and has his back. Lawson tries to maneuver for a leg lock and gets Dent on his back in full guard. He straight punches Dent but nothing really gets through. Dent lands some shots to Lawson’s head, and is warned for elbows to the back of the head. Lawson picks up Dent and slams him, but it does nothing. Dent gets warned again. Lawson drops a couple good elbows. They’re both fighting for control, but no one is doing any damage. Lawson backs off, and rains some good punches down on Dent. Lawson manages to mount Dent and won’t let him roll over. Lawson backs off again and ends up back in full guard. Dent manages to get good shots in from his back. The round ends with Dent pulling off a reversal and getting on top of Lawson.

Round 2: Great leg kick from Dent and Lawson goes for the takedown. They clinch and Lawson has Dent’s back. They separate and Dent tries to keep it standing. Lawson attempts a takedown but Dent defends it and they’re both down. Lawson turtles up and Dent lands a lot of clean shots to Lawson’s head. An exhausted Lawson doesn’t want to get up so the ref stands them up. Lawson sweeps Dent and gets him down and Lawson goes for a heel hook. It looks like he might get it, but Dent slips loose. Back up on their feet, Lawson feigns exhaustion and comes up with a flying knee that lands. Dent goes for a kick and gets Lawson is on all fours. Dent lands some good shots to his head. He latches onto Lawson’s neck, rolls over for the anaconda and Lawson taps.

Winner: Jason Dent via Submission (anaconda choke)

Lawson blames the loss on gassing, but Dana criticizes Dent in that he didn’t really take advantage of it. Thankfully, Team USA bounces back and brings it to 4-3.

Lawson doesn’t give a shit about losing, but is disappointed that now he can’t take his family on vacation. Though he claims not to be making excuses, he feels the need to blame his lack of training due to his chest infection at the beginning of the show.

Then the real drama begins. Pulling them aside, Dana talks to Pierce and Hendo after the fight, and tells him he’s not going to let him fight. The way he saw it, he wanted nothing to do with fighting (cue Pierce’s crocodile tears). His assessment is that Pierce showed up and realized that he didn’t want to be a fighter. Pierce claims to be frustrated and feels like he’s been benched, but he took himself out of it. Hendo says he’s better off because he would’ve lost his fight. I couldn’t agree more.

Next week: Hendo breaks the news to the Team and looks to someone else to step up and take the fight (which several are willing to do — Pierce could learn a thing or two)! Bisping and Demarques nearly come to blows. A desperate Faulkner will try anything to fix his gag reflex. A shocking end to a fight determines the last spot for the semis. Looks like each episode just gets better!


  1. mawpah

    May 21, 2009 at 2:47 am

    I thought Dent was supposed to get armbared right after a quick flurry or 5 punches or so!


  2. tom

    May 21, 2009 at 4:58 am

    good fight hell yeah Mark is coming back to fight

  3. tom

    May 21, 2009 at 4:58 am

    you forgot The throw then Armbar haha

  4. Cobra Clutch

    May 21, 2009 at 5:16 am

    Great, now the Brits show they're just as stupid as the Americans. Come on…GAG REFLEX?????? How the F—!!! did he ever train and fight in the first place??!!?? Where is Dana finding these pathetic chumps??? Gag flex, dude crying about missing his family (even though he's only gone for a few weeks), staff infection takes the kid's heart out and then he cries when it's obvious he didn't want to fight. Totall bullsh– this season is.

    I was watching this episode with a friend of mine who was starting to get interested in MMA, and he was like "what's this crap??? This is stupid." I'm not saying this show it bad for the fans, but those who don't know a lot about MMA watch this season, and they're not going to respect the sport or the fighters very much.

    I hope next season they have a stricter vetting process and only get FIGHTERS in here.

  5. Nichole Lesniak

    May 21, 2009 at 6:21 am

    Yeah, the whole Faulkner thing was pretty lame….

    but I feel like Pierce lost his heart before the infection. The staph just gives him an excuse to quit.

  6. Dave

    May 21, 2009 at 8:09 am

    This is the worst group of "fighters" yet. Between the gag reflex guy and the Americans, its almost embarrassing. How did this Pierce guy ever get into MMA anyway? He doesn't want to fight, then he gets taken out of the fight, but still acts like he is upset. I couldn't even watch the scenes that he was in…so frusterating to watch a guy bundle up in a hoodie for a week because of a staph infection. What a nut job! And then how bad was that fight last night. Dent had the guy gasping for air, curled up in a ball the entire second round and he acted like he has never wrestled before in his life. I am not impressed by any of these guys so far.

  7. dane drebin

    May 21, 2009 at 9:21 am

    you have to have heart in order to lose it nichole lol ;)

  8. Porsche930_Pilot

    May 21, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Yea I totally agree that this season of TUF is just terrible. The fights that have happened so far are just so disappointing, man I'm beginning to think the brit's just came because it's a free trip to Vegas. The Americans aren't much better. On both sides I'd say there are 2 or 3 guys that really want this the rest are just taking up spots that should of been for guys who would kill for a chance to be where these guys are. Perfect example is this weeks fight. Even if it had gone this guys way and he got the arm bar he predicted he'd of never gotten any farther and I don't think he cared at least he could take his family on vacation FFS!!

  9. trent

    May 21, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    My predictions

    Ross pearson to win lightweights.

    Damarques v Osipczak in the welterweights final probably Damarques to win though i think Nick is the dark horse. his kicks are really good.

    I agree with you's all though crap season. wouldnt expect many to be kept on after this show is done.

  10. mawpah

    May 21, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    Crap or not it's free.


  11. Nichole Lesniak

    May 21, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Yes, dane, but apparently he only had it before he got on the show. He DID have fights before getting on TUF.

  12. dangerman

    May 22, 2009 at 12:57 am

    David Faulkner & Ross Pearson to win. You'll see.

  13. tom

    May 22, 2009 at 1:03 am

    Dermakis and Ross will win..I dont think David will be Mark

  14. tom

    May 22, 2009 at 1:06 am

    Idk nick vs Dermarkis will be on the finals i thinj..i thought nick was one of the better ones wtahcing him try to make it on the show, then he beat Mark, so i think he could truly win the show

  15. tom

    May 22, 2009 at 1:07 am

    they will keep Mark, Demarkis,Nick,David, Ross, Martin UK guy..Maybe Richie aka shaun White..

  16. ron shaw

    May 22, 2009 at 4:03 am

    i don't see how the pierce situation is any different than junie. i remember when the coaches last season said junie was acting up because he wanted out of the house and they said no way, you're not going to blow your chance.

    i'm not saying that pierce didn't want out but for dana to push him out is just dumb. it makes for better tv since the guy was not entertaining i guess. but if they bring rob browning to take his place i'm done with tuf.

  17. Nichole Lesniak

    May 22, 2009 at 5:30 am

    I agree that Pierce is definitely a lot like Junie, but I think Dana did the right thing with Pierce. He SHOULD have kicked Junie out when he had the chance.

    I didn't get the impression that they were bringing in an alternate to take Pierce's place. I got the impression they were bringing back someone who already lost.

  18. Mike

    May 23, 2009 at 2:05 am

    Dent got extremely lucky, but luck sometimes plays a part (Lawson gassed due to not being able to do C.V for 10 days)

    Ross will win LW

    Winner will win the WW

    Faulkner will probably beat Mark.

  19. karma-killer

    May 25, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    The difference is they thought Junie would win based on his agression. Believe it or not they wanted him to be a big UFC star its good TV makes $s. With Pierce its obvious he's a pussy and they don't want him spoiling the show. Feel sorry for Jeff i think he did genuinely run out of steam and was a class above Dent although he did pull off a classy anaconda roll into choke. I loved Jeff's faint then huge knee to the head towards the end of the fight. I' slightly consearned that the USA have one of their fighters come back to replace Pierce. Not worried about Frank and his fake teeth but the other one can't remember his name now i thought was a pretty good fighter.

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