After the fallout from last week concerning Tito Ortiz pulling out of his fight with Liddell becasue of a hurt neck, Chuck continues with the expletives explaining to UFC president Dana White, just why he hates Tito so much.
“Tito pissed me off, I mean I don’t like the guy, I don’t like the show, I didn’t want to do the show with him,” said Liddell. “The only reward is of the show is getting to punch him in the show afterwards.”
Tito is quick to explain that he has been hurt and suffering from “tingling” in his neck since his fight with Forrest Griffin, and that now is the time to get it fixed, regardless of what Chuck may think.
After the weigh-ins, both fighters reflect on the bout, and it seems like Yager, never suffering from a lack of confidence, believes that his dynamic style will be too much for Bryant.
“You know, my coaches are just telling me basically, that Josh Bryant, probably never fought somebody with the speed and dynamics that I bring to the table,” said Yager. “I can come forward, I can move backward, I can move to the side to side, and it’s been seen and it’s know that I got power in my feet, and I got power in my hands.”
The very quiet Josh Bryant, speaks tonight more than he has the first 9 episodes talking about what he plans to do against Yager.
“Yager is probably going to be looking for me to take him down, but uh, that’s not at all my gameplan,” said Bryant. “My game plan is to hit him first, then take him down.”
Round 1 –
Both guys trade jabs to start, then Yager misses with the superman punch and eats a staggering right hand that forces him to step back. Bryant comes forward to clinch and almost eats a big kick to the head, then it’s on to the clinch.
Yager lands a grunt inducing knee to the body of Bryant from the clinch. After another knee from Yager, Bryant disengages and both guys make their way to the center of the Octagon. Yager scores with a kick to the body, and his feints are keeping Bryant guessing early.
Yager scores with a right hand, as Bryant just misses with the counter right hand that landed earlier for him. Yager is starting to mix it up now with uppercuts and left hooks in addition to some nice stinging leg kicks.
Another inside leg kick scores for Yager as he seems to be getting his timing now. Bryant is having difficulty getting inside to throw or clinch. Yager again with the inside leg kick after whiffing on the head kick.
Bryant gets inside for a second and lands a right hand, but Yager comes back head hunting. Bryant catches a leg and scrambles to take the fight down to the mat, but Yager stays up and is back to the center of the Octagon.
More inside leg kicks from Yager score with :30 to go. Bryant’s corner is calling for him to punch and he does, stepping in and landing a big right hand that drops Yager.
Yager nearly lands a huge upkick as soon as he hits the mat, but Bryant is safe and now in the full guard with only a few seconds to go in the Round. The bell sounds and it looks like Yager has the early lead winning Round 1.
Round 2 –
Leg kick from Yager lands right off the bat. Yager comes back to the body with the kick, then back to the leg. A lead left hand is next for Yager, and then Bryant scores a kick of his own… right to the nuts. After a quick break, the fight is back on.
Yager goes right back to the body with a kick, then throws a push kick-right hand combo. Yager is flying all over the place now with flying knees and kicks to the head, but loses his balance and now has Bryant on top of him.
This is what Bryant has been looking for. Yager scrambles and gets caught in a guillotine attempt, but is quickly out and firing while getting back to his feet.
Bryant is backing up now. Yager lands two big kicks then a right hand. Bryant comes back and rushes Yager landing 3 punches and clinching with Yager against the cage. It’s a brawl now.
Yager goes upstairs, then to a spinning backfist, and another kick that looks like it hurt Bryant. Bryant counters with a combo, but gets kicked again for his efforts.
Bryant to the clinch, lands a big knee, then Yager flies in with a big knee to the body that lands flush.
Both guys are swinging for the fences now with 1:45 to go. Bryant has Yager’s back against the cage and is firing body shots.
Bryant lands a right hand again that drops Yager, and is now in sidemount looking to inflict some punishment with short elbows. Bryant is locking up the crucifix and almost has it but time might run out on him.
Yager is looking to survive with Bryant in clear control from side control. Bryant is still landing short right hands at the bell.
After the bell, Yager is still down and looking like he might not be able to continue. The word is back, it’s a draw, and a 3rd round is coming up. One thing is for sure, Bryant never quits, and is really putting the will of Yager to the test.
Round 3 –
Yager is in his corner getting a pep talk from Coach Ortiz, but it does not look good. The referee steps in and tells Yager he has 5 seconds, but is Yager coming out?
Yager is done. He did not answer the bell for the third round, and now Dana is discussing with Coach Liddell just how good his picks turned out to be in the end.
Dana White pulls Tito Ortiz into a training room and tells him that he will be flying Ortiz to Los Angeles to see one of his doctors for a second opinion. Dana goes on to explain that Coach Ortiz is done with the show, and that he will not be continuing to finish the rest of the season due to him not being able to fight Coach Liddell after the show is complete.
“Tito didn’t have much of a reaction,” said White. “He sat there and asked my why, I told him, and he was like ‘ok’.”
Dana White then pulls Coach Ortiz’s guys into a training room and explains to them that a new coach is en route, and will be leading them through the end of the season.
Later that night at the house, Yager is back, with a good diagnosis from the doctor. No severe injuries, just some muscle damage.
McCray explains to him that the noise around the house is that Yager is a quitter, and that he would have gotten a lot more respect if he had answered the bell, regardless of getting KO’d or choked out in the process.
Coach Ortiz arrives next to explain the situation to his guys, and to say goodbye before leaving the show.
Back at the training center, it is time to announce the semi-final fights, and here is what it looks like:
Brad Tavares vs. Court McGee
Kris McCray vs. Josh Bryant
After the announcements are made, Rich Franklin enters the building. Team Ortiz comes into the training center to meet their new coach.
Next week’s episode will be a 2 hour episode, as the assistant coaches for Coach Franklin will be announced, in addition to more drama at the house between Yager and Uscola. Somewhere in that madness, it will be determined who will be fighting in the live finale for the chance to be the next The Ultimate Fighter.