Episode 7 begins with Team Nelson celebrating Colton Smith’s win. Coach Nelson does away with the straw method for picking the next fighter, instead going with picking numbers. Dom Waters is the closest and after some discussion on who he should or should not fight, Dom decides to pass, giving the fight to Michael Hill.
Hill celebrates the turn of events, and as the teams hit the training center, it’s pretty obvious who the fight pick from Team Carwin will likely be. As expected, Coach Nelson selects Matt Secor. The stare down is very drama free considering how these two have been going at each other at the fighter house.
Forrest Griffin is brought in as an assistant coach to work with Team Nelson. Griffin’s philosophy is to get the guys to be able to concentrate and think when fatigue sets in. Diffley explains that Griffin has been instrumental in coaching him up as a fighter.
Michael Hill talks about his opportunities in multiple sports growing up, but goes on to explain that getting in trouble cost him some of those opportunities. MMA has been his redemption.
Matt Secor gets in his last training session before his fight with Hill, and talks about his time in an Airborne unit, and how his brother died in battle. Secor’s gameplan is no secret. He plans to take Hill to the mat and get the submission. His coaches agree that the fight will likely be won by submission.
At the house, Secor talks about another family member that he recently lost. With the passing of his father, Secor’s dream is to be in the UFC, but he tells his teammates that he would give up this opportunity without hesitation if it meant seeing his father just one more time.
Team Nelson – Michael Hill vs. Team Carwin – Matt Secor
Round 1 – Feeling out process to start. Winging right hand by Hill misses. Secor is looking for an opportunity to put Hill on the mat. Left hook Hill. Secor counters but misses. Inside leg kick by Hill. Overhand right for Secor scores. Hill is hesitating, knowing that Secor wants him on the canvas. Lots of feints by Secor. Not much action to start. Jab by Hill. Take down by Hill. Secor is dangerous on his back. He’s working a very high guard, looking to set up a triangle. Nelson is instructing from the corner telling Hill to keep his hands inside and trap the other leg of Secor. Short punches from Hill. He’s warned for hitting the back of the head. Hill to the body. Short right hands from Secor from his back. He’s controlling the posture of Hill very nicely. Not much offense from the top. Hill pulls free but it’s one-and-done with a left hand. Hill may win this round just based on being on top. Secor goes for a sweep but Hill maintains top control after a scramble. Under 30 seconds to go. The referee stands them up after calling for action a couple of times. After the restart, Hill advances to meet Secor at the cage but eats a right hand. A late takedown by Hill likely wins him the round.
Round 2 – Leg kick Secor. Counter right connects for Hill. Secor switches stances, then eats a leg kick. Secor fakes the jab, then shoots. He doesn’t get the takedown initially, but rolls into his guard. AFter a scramble he re-shoots, but gets stuffed. Hill has his neck from the north-south position. He throws a knee but gives up position, letting Secor get deep into his hips. After a struggle on the cage, Secor finally gets the fight to the mat. He then moves to the back of Hill as Nelson screams out “Danger!” from the corner. He’s defending the rear naked choke attempts so far with good wrist control. Secor drops an elbow, then gets his arm under the chin. Hill is in trouble. Secor is nearly to a mount position, then loses the choke. He goes right to the back again and flattens Hill out. Secor lands a short right hand and Hill is bleeding. Secor locks up the body triangle. Hill goes two-on-one to defend against the repeated choke attempts. 45 seconds to go now. Secor has dominated this round. Another choke attempt from Secor. End of round. That one clearly goes to Secor.
This fight should be going to a third round. The decision is in and a third round is in order.
Round 3 – Hill flashes his jab but isn’t throwing it. Lots of feints. Very little action for a sudden victory round to start. Winging right hand misses for Hill. Secor ducks and shoots, then pulls guard. He’s on his back which could prove disastrous if he stays here. Hill pawing at the body but has no heat on his strikes. The referee calls for action. Short hammerfists for Hill. Hill retreats after a sweep attempt. Secor is on his butt, then elevates and lands a kick on his way to his feet. Secor then drives for a takedown. That could prove pivotal. He’s on top now looking to pass. Elbows from Hill on his back. Secor moves to mount, then takes the back of Hill as he rolls. Secor locks up the body triangle again but Hill is doing a good job with wrist control and has been in little danger of a sub since the fight hit the mat. Hill isolates an arm and then tries to use it to sweep but still has Secor on his back with under a minute to go. Hill fires off a flurry of punches over his head that connects with Secor on his back as the bell sounds. Secor should get the round and the win.
The cards are in. Who will it be? There has been some controversy in recent episodes with the scoring from the judges. Dana White believes that Round 1 could have went either way, but that rounds 2 and 3 were all Matt Secor. White’s big complaint is about the lack of urgency by either guy to go out there and win the fight. White has the announcement and it’s Michael Hill that is awarded the fight by split decision. After the announcement, White is flabbergasted.
He goes on to explain that he cannot see any possible way that Hill won the fight. He makes his way to the locker room and tells Secor that he won the fight. Hill looks just as shocked at the decision. Secor explains that he has no hard feelings about the loss, but knows the he won it. It’s pretty clear that most everyone else agrees with him, including Team Nelson.