ProMMAnow.com is excited to bring you the recap for the first episode of the latest installment of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
We will continue to recap each episode weekly, and in addition, our resident TUF blogger Ryan McGillivray will be sharing his experience on the show after each episode.
This time around, there is no fighting your way into the house, but the “wild-card” is back and will likely play a big part in deciding who will be the next ultimate fighter.
After UFC president Dana White announces how things are going to go down, he gets right into introducing Brock and Junior.
The coaches get a chance for a quick look at the fighters as the guys get into their workouts to show what they have. During one of the sessions, Myles Jury injures a knee, but after a quick check of the injury, Jury feels that he isn’t hurt that bad and should be able to continue in the competition.
White calls the coaches into his office to determine who will get the first pick via a coin flip. The flip is made and the green side lands face up, which means Brock Lesnar has the choice of either the first pick, or determining the first fight matchup.
Without the coaches present, White addresses the fighters and after announcing each guys name in the order that they were picked, hands each fighter their team jersey.
Here is what the rest of the picks look like (in order):
Team Dos Santos-
After the customary welcome by UFC president Dana White, it’s off to the Ultimate Fighter house for the guys.
The lines are drawn in the house immediately. Team Lesnar takes the upstairs rooms, while Team Dos Santos members make their home on the ground floor.
At the training center, Coach Dos Santos is satisfied to be making the first match up in lieu of getting the first pick. After an intense conditioning session, Junior admits that he is very happy with his team and is confident that somebody from his team will win the competition.
Team Lesnar commences their training session, and after, Dr. Jeffrey Davidson meets with Lesnar and Jury to discuss the evaluation and extent of the knee injury. The doctor informs the two that the MRI shows a complete tear of the ACL and a partial tear of the lateral meniscus.
“It’s going to be my medical opinion that you don’t fight,” Dr. Davidson tells Jury.
Jury is clearly disappointed, and believes that he can stay and learn from Coach Lesnar until he is healed. White informs him that he can’t stay on the show, but that he will be welcome back at a later time, although White does not specify exactly in what capacity.
The positive words from the UFC president buoys the spirit of the injured fighter.
“Once I get my leg healed up, I will be in the UFC soon,” says Jury. “That’s what I believe.”
With Jury out, Chuck O’Neil gets his shot. O’Neil is 8-3 as a pro and is a Bellator veteran.
Asrih believes that his striking will overcome the wrestling advantage possessed by Shamar Bailey. Bailey disagrees, saying that his American fighting is far superior to the “European fighting” of Asrih.
Faith plays a major role in both fighter’s lives. Bailey is the son of a pastor, while Asrih is a German Muslim. I have faith that we will see a good first fight.
Here we go!
Team Dos Santos’ Shamar Bailey (10-3) vs. Team Lesnar’s Nordin Asrih (15-5-1)
Round 1 – Bailey closes quickly, throws a right hand, and then secures a single-leg takedown. Bailey lands in side mount, and Asrih scrambles to get back to his feet but Bailey maintains control. Bailey scoops him off the cage and moves Asrih toward the center of the mat. Asrih works for a guillotine but with Bailey in side control it is ineffective.
Asrih looks to sweep but Bailey maintains a dominant position. Bailey works to isolate an arm and Asrih starts to turn away from the wrestler. Bailey flattens him out and lands a couple of left hands.
Asrih scrambles and makes his way to his feet, but Bailey stays aggressive and puts him on his back again. Asrih tries to land an upkick, but eats a big right hand as Bailey dives into his guard. There hasn’t been much striking from Bailey from the top but he has dominated position through the first 3 minutes.
Bailey stands over the open guard of Asrih, then dives back in with a short, clipping left hand. Bailey stands back up, then jumps right back in the guard with a leaping right hand. Asrih tries to score with some strikes from his back, but he desperately needs to get off of his back.
Asrih locks up a leg of Bailey in half guard, but Bailey postures and lands a couple of right hands. Bailey moves Asrih toward the cage, then stops to land some nice short left elbows. Round 1 is in the books and it was a dominating — yet cautious– round for Bailey.
Round 2 –
Nordin tries to strike first with a kick, but he slips and finds himself on his back once again. Bailey is cautious, but then dives into the guard of Asrih. Once there, Bailey quickly transitions to full mount. Asrih uses the cage to kick off but ends up with Bailey on his back. Bailey gets two hooks in and goes for the rear naked choke but leaves to much space, allowing Asrih to turn into him and reverse position.
Bailey quickly goes for a leg and puts Asrih on his back again. Bailey moves to side control with ease and then lands a couple of right hands. Asrih is active on his back, but he has no answer for the top control of Bailey.
Bailey tries to lock up the crucifix position by isolating an arm, but Asrih scrambles out of immediate danger, but still has Bailey on top of him in side control. Asrih is giving it all he has, but remains flat on his back with Bailey grinding out another round.
Asrih tries to defend against Bailey moving to full mount but cannot. Bailey is landing with short, grinding elbows. Asrih scrambles and rolls, but gives up his back instead of escaping. Bailey flattens him out and lands a couple of big punches forcing Asrih to roll to his back again.
Bailey is in full mount now and posturing looking to inflict some ground-and-pound. Asrih tries desperately to defend and leaves his left arm high, giving up an arm triangle. Bailey seizes it, but before he can lock it up, Asrih scrambles and frees his arm. The round is over and so is the fight. Bailey dominated the second round and the fight overall.
The decision is in and the judges declare Bailey the winner, 20-18 on all cards.
UFC president Dana White is less than thrilled with the first bout.
“Round 1, Shamar Bailey lays on top of him for five minutes. Round 2, lays on top of him for five minutes,” said White. “Not the most exciting fight you will ever see in Ultimate Fighter history.”
After one episode, Team Dos Santos strikes first with the win. With Team Dos Santos up 1-0, our first episode is in the books.
For the latest on this season, keep it locked right here at ProMMAnow.com.