The Ultimate Fighter 14 – episode 9 recap

The episode starts off with a bit of good will as Dustin Pague has the TUF van slow long enough for him to hand out a bag of food to one of the homeless in the streets of Las Vegas.

Coach Miller believes that Dustin has truly grown on the show, and there is no secret that his wrestling improvements will be vital when he steps in the octagon against Team Bisping fighter TJ Dillashaw.

Coach Miller shows up at the house for a little grilling, and somehow the topic goes from eating barbecue to eating bugs. A cockroach turns out to be the first victim, followed by a wider variety of bug life being added to the mix. Dustin Pague lives up to the challenge given by “Mayhem”, eating a handful of the insects chased with gatorade to pocket a cool $60 from his coach.

It’s that time of the season for the coaches challenge, and this time around it turns out that air hockey will be the game to decide bragging rights and a generous award of cash to the tune of $10k from UFC president Dana White.

A very awkward looking Michael Bisping somehow manages to score first, before pouring it on to take a 6-0 advantage. Coach Miller finally manages to score a point, but it was Bisping that would wrap up the first game 7-1. How embarassing…

Game 2 looks pretty much the same, as Bisping closes it out 7-4. That’s when the trash talk starts. While Bisping is busy talking, “Mayhem” takes game 3. It would not be enough however, as Bisping closed out the final game 7-4 to take the series.

Bisping collected his cash and busted his ass, jumping off of the table and slipping on the landing. He gets a 5 for that dismount.

Assistant Coach Tiki Ghosn works the strategy of TJ Dillashaw, and both believe that TJ’s superior wrestling will keep Pague off balance enough to concentrate on his underrated striking skills.

Both fighters make weight, and it’s now time for the first bantamweight semifinal bout.

Bantamweight semifinal bout – Team Miller’s Dustin Pague vs. Team Bisping’s TJ Dillashaw

Round 1 – TJ strikes first with a superman punch. Dustin looks a bit tentative as expected due to the threat of TJ’s wrestling. TJ looks very crisp with his punches so far. He ducks under a Dustin right hand and gets an easy takedown early. Dustin is very active from his back. TJ attacks the body and Dustin swings his hips and goes for an armbar but doesn’t get it. Bisping is calling for TJ to pass the guard of Dustin, but Dustin is maintaining his guard nicely. TJ postures and lands some big punches from the top. “Mayhem” is telling Dustin to open his guard and move his hips. Dustin is very active but with 2:30 to go, he’s still on his back. TJ lands a couple of hammerfists from the top, and Dustin kicks off to create space, but TJ maintains top position. Dustin lands a short elbow from his back but he’s losing the round. Dustin finally opens his guard and kicks off but can’t get TJ off of him long enough to get back to his feet. TJ postures and lands some more hammerfists. Under a minute to go now. Dustin is working to control the wrists of TJ, then scrambles and gets back to his feet. He lands a nice knee and then shrugs off a TJ takedown but time has run out on Round 1. Easy round for TJ Dillashaw.

Round 2 – TJ drops to shoot early but eats a right hand from Dustin. Dustin fires off a one-two then eats a big right hand from TJ. Dustin closes and lands a big knee again, but soon finds himself on his back again. He’s listening more this round, using a more open guard to create scrambles. TJ scores from the top with a punch, and Dustin immediately closes his guard. TJ moves to half guard, and tries to get to side mount and does. Dustin tries to bridge but the top control of TJ wins out as he maintains a dominant position. TJ then fires off some short grinding elbows from the top. More elbows from TJ now. Dustin scrambles and gives up full mount for a moment. He scrambles again and threatens to grab TJ’s ankle forcing TJ to dive back into the full guard. TJ breaks free to score with a couple of huge elbows. TJ is not doing a huge amount of work from the top, but it’s enough to keep the fight on the ground. Less than a minute to go now. TJ postures and starts to land some big strikes from the top with :30 to go. TJ flurries with hammerfists and that is it for the round. Another easy round for TJ.

Round 3 – Dustin establishes his jab early. TJ comes back with a fake shoot and lands an uppercut. Dustin flies in with a knee and fights off the initial takedown, but ends up on his back again. Hammerfists from TJ, and this just may do it. Dustin HAS to get off of his back if he has any chance of winning this fight. TJ can sense how close he is, pouring on the punishment from the top. TJ passes to side control, but Dustin manages to work back to half guard. He retains his guard but that does nothing to help him off of his back. Dustin goes for an armbar but TJ recognizes and pulls out before diving back into Dustin’s guard. Just over 2 minutes to go. This has been a clinic by TJ Dillashaw. TJ gets warned for hitting the back of the head by the referee. TJ is now in side control again and landing knees to the body. Elbows and right hands are landing now from the top. Under a minute to go now. TJ is dominating from the top and punishing Dustin now. No contest. Another dominating round for TJ. ProMMAnow.com scores it 30-27.

OFFICIAL RESULT: TJ Dillashaw def. Dustin Pague via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)

Here are the updated standings and remaining match-ups:

Bantamweight

TJ Dillashaw def. Dustin Pague via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)

Team Miller’s John Dodson vs. Team Miller’s Johnny Bedford

Featherweight

Dennis Bermudez def. Akira Corassani via submission (guillotine) Rd 1.

Team Miller’s Bryan Caraway vs. Team Bisping’s Diego Brandao

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