Tonight will be all about the remaining quarterfinal bouts, as Kyle Watson and Aaron Wilkinson face off, and the much anticipated match up between Alex Caceres and Michael Johnson goes down. In addition to the two bouts, the semi-final match ups will also be announced as the season draws closer to the determination of the
At the house, Caceres takes the mental warfare to Johnson with the continued pranks. Will the head games have any effect on Michael Johnson in the Octagon?
Kyle Watson meanwhile, gets the one-on-one coaching that most fighters dream of from Coach GSP, who thinks that the key to defeating Aaron Wilkinson is fighting him where he is weakest, namely on the ground, which should not be much of a surprise for Wilkinson.
“He probably thinks I’m going to shoot on him, but I plan on taking him down from the clinch,” said Watson. “Then finish him on the ground.”
Coach Koscheck understands the weakness of his fighter, and anticipates Coach GSP’s strategy for the fight. Coach Koscheck instructs Wilkinson to not throw knees, as to not risk being taken down, clearly understanding that the best chance for Wilkinson to advance is by keeping the fight on the feet.
Without much delay, it is time for the first bout of the evening.
Round 1 – A leg kick to start for Watson. Watson shows multiple feints, showing Wilkinson the threat of a take down. Watson shoots, gets the body lock, and the subsequent take down. It has started picture perfect for Watson.
Watson is in the half guard of Wilkinson, and so far Watson has been a little tentative from the top. Watson is going for the guard pass, trying to get to side mount, and he gets it, but only for a moment. Wilkinson works to retain guard, and manages half guard. Not much action other than head pressure by Watson… so far it looks like a jiu jitsu match by Watson.
Wilkinson creates some space, and scrambles, makes his way to his feet, but Watson quickly takes his back and takes him back down again. Watson is now in the full mount, but needs to do something from the top, but to his credit, he is remaining very patient.
Wilkinson is working hard from the bottom, but Watson transitions to his back as Wilkinson tries to turn into him. Watson is working on the rear naked now and Wilkinson is in trouble with 1:30 to go. Wilkinson trying to go two-on-one to fight the submission, but is panicking pretty badly. Watson keeps working and Wilkinson taps.
Kyle Watson advances to the semis with a first round rear naked choke submission victory over Aaron Wilkinson.
Freddie Roach shows up at the training center much to the delight of Team GSP. While Roach had nothing but praise for Michael Johnson, his thoughts varied on Caceres.
“He’s a little clumsy and a little awkward, but you know what, he’s very effective,” said Roach. “I mean, he knows what he’s doing, he knows distance really well, and I think he’s going to do really well in this fight.”
Caceres is insistent that he can stop the take downs of Johnson, but Johnson sees it differently.
“I plan on keeping it standing for a little bit, pushing the pace seeing it how it goes,” said Johnson. “If I see the opportunity for a take down, I’m going to take him down and beat him up for a little bit.”
Although Coach Koscheck does not have a fighter in the match up between Caceres and Johnson, Koscheck is very verbal in his belief that Coach GSP is sacrificing the weak link (Caceres), to get Michael Johnson to the next round of the competition.
The trash talk between the two continues non stop, blah, blah, blah… it’s fight time.
Round 1 – Leg kick scores for Alex. Johnson is coming forward and lands a nice straight right hand, before slamming Caceres to the mat. Alex kicks off and is back on his feet.
Nice left hand, kick combo by Johnson. Alex lands a kick, but Johnson counters with a left hook that sends the mouthpiece of Alex flying. After a restart, Johnson closes and takes Alex back down again.
Alex is scrambling, but Johnson looks very good on the ground, easily passing to side mount.
Johnson is standing over Caceres, and Alex is back up, and lands a four punch combo as Johnson leans on the cage. Alex comes forward and lands a couple of shots, but Johnson clinches, then lands some nice knees from the clinch.
Johnson is changing levels and looking for another take down. Alex lands a nice knee from the clinch, and Johnson backs off.
Johnson is coming forward again throwing big power shots that just miss. Alex fires off a body kick and slips, costing him position. Johnson fails to capitalize and Alex is back on his feet with :30 to go.
They clinch, then disengage and Alex lands a nice kick, but Johnson comes right back and lands some big shots just before the bell. ProMMAnow scores Round 1 for Johnson, 10-9.
Round 2 – Body kick by Alex, Johnson counters with a right hand. Alex leans in for a right hand, and is taken down easily. Johnson is in side control now. Alex is fighting to retain guard, but Johnson is controlling for the moment, but Alex keeps working and gets back to full guard.
Johnson is posturing and working some ground and pound, but Alex proves to be slippery and makes his way back to his feet. Good exchange and Alex is smiling but needs to do something. Alex is back on the ground, but shakes Johnson and is on top for a moment.
Alex with some nice grinding elbows, but he cannot control Johnson on the ground for long. Johnson throws some shots to set up the take down, pulls Alex off the cage and puts him on his back again.
Alex scrambles to get off his back after opening his guard, and he is up. Both guys are throwing everything at each other, but Alex makes a mistake going for the body kick again, and gets taken down. Johnson is on top with 10 seconds to go, and finishes the fight in a dominant position. ProMMAnow scores the Round for Johnson 10-9, and the fight overall to Johnson 20-18.
Michael Johnson defeats Alex Caceres by unanimous decision and advances to the semis.
After the fight, the coaches are called in to discuss the semi-final match ups. All three guys immediately agree that Michael Johnson should face off against Nam Phan, and Dana White is surprised just how quickly everyone agreed, thinking that the process would take much, much longer.
The semi-finals look like this:
Jonathon Brookins vs. Kyle Watson
Michael Johnson vs. Nam Phan
Stay tuned to ProMMAnow.com for continued coverage of TUF 12, and join us on December 1st for the 2 hour season finale.