by: Jack Bratcher

FIGHT 1 OF THE QUARTERFINALS: Jesse Taylor vs. Dante Rivera. They showed Jesse Taylor prior to his fight sweating off some pounds and pissing his pants. Yes that’s right…pissing his pants. He was sitting in the hottub and I guess better than peeing in the hottub, he got out, stood on the side of the pool and peed on himself, let it drip down his shorts’ leg then got back in the hottub. You just never know what hijinx to expect from fighters….you just never know. So here goes the fight:

Round 1 – They immediately clinch and go to the ground with Jesse on top throwing punches and disrupting Dante’s breathing. Jesse throwing little rabbit punches followed by bombs and elbows but not connecting too much and Dante is doing a good job of defending against damage by holding Jesse’s hands and grabbing his head and body. Yet, Jesse continues his assault now in Dante’s full gaurd. Dante seems satisfied to fight from his back the entire round, making no effort to improve his position although he does try for a triangle submission near the end of the round but doesn’t come close to getting it.

Round 2 – Touch gloves. Jesse gets a takedown and it’s instant deja vu of round one with Jesse right back in Dante’s gaurd. Dante really needs to try and get out of this and Rampage at that very moment tells him to push him away and stand up because he’s not doing anything off his back. Just as I typed that Rampage uttered those words. Thankfully the ref stands them up. And Jesse immediately takes it right back down like they never left. Jesse lands a good couple of big punches to the face but still in Dante’s gaurd. Dante is making no attempt to get up and is feebly seeking anything but pure defense. And when Dante does make a scramble attempt he eats multiple shots. Forrest tells Jesse just to hold him down that he’s doing fine. Jesse definitely has control and is scoring all the points. Pretty decent ground and pound by Jesse. Unanimous decision by Jesse Taylor. Dana said after the fight that Jesse “didn’t look like a world beater” even though he won.

I would love to see the FightMetric stats for that fight because honestly it may be the first fight I can remember where one opponent did not attempt nor land a single shot. Seriously, I cannot remember a single strike of any kind by Dante. From his back he was purely defensive and threw no elbows, no strikes, and no submissions. He moved his hips a few times like he may try for a submission but never actually went for it. How can you be a fighter if you don’t fight? I rarely will criticize a fighter because I have so much respect for what they do but I’m really just at a loss for words by what I just saw from Dante Rivera. I really don’t understand it. The only thing I can think of is that he was just so incredibly overwhelmed and mismatched that he had no hope. It’s not often you see such a completely one-sided performance that goes the distance.

FIGHT 2 OF THE QUARTERFINALS: Matt Brown vs. Amir Sadollah. Matt Brown has been my pick to win the whole show since the beginning. I like him and I like his style better than anyone else on the show. Alot of people like C.B. Dalloway and while I think C.B. is very good I just feel more attuned to Matt Brown’s personality and style. Matt has that mean edge that can be a deciding factor in many fights. He has that aura about him that says, “you do not want to fuck with me.” And I can relate to and appreciate that. We really got to see this side of Matt when Jeremy May put lime juice in Matt’s dip and it pissed Matt off. Matt told Jeremy he would be sorry for it and Matt backed up his words and made him pay for it in the cage by beating the shit out of him violently.

Round 1 – They exhchange kicks. Matt strikes with multiple punches. Amir throws some kicks. They clinch. Amir has one underhook and Matt has the plum. Matt has a body lock looking for a takedown. Elbow by Amir. Matt still looking for takedown but lets it go moves back and starts striking. Nice high kicks by Amir. Butt Brown fires back aggressively. Matt clinches up again looking for a takedown but lets go and backs up. Matt lands a two nice shots to the head. Nice leg kick by Amir that trips up Matt just a little. Both guys are exchanging. They clinch up again, both have the muay thai plum. Matt gets a takedown but Amir gets back up quickly. They clinched up and the bell rings. That was a really active and very good first round. We saw some pretty good and fairly technical striking with both guys going for it and keeping it going back and forth for the entire round. Good stuff. I may give that round to Matt just by and edge but it was close and I may be biased but they both did good. I think Matt did a little better though.

Round 2 – Matt comes out throws a ton of strikes landing big. Amir throws a flying kick that misses then lands a powerful strike that stuns Matt. They clinch. Amir lands a good hich kick. Amir gets a takedown and is in Matt’s full gaurd. Amir stands up then mounts. Matt gets back to butterfly gaurd and is trying to get up. Amir gets full mount. Amir lands and elbow and punch to the body. Matt pushes Amir back tries to get up but Amir mounts again and is landing some small rabbit punches. Elbows by Amir. Damn Amir is a real gamer. I had no idea he was this tough and aggressive. Only one minute and twenty seconds left. Matt rolls out oh my god Matt gets on top and Amir gets him in a triangle and makes him tap. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. That was a great fight. Dana was very excited as he watched the fight. Matt is going to go on and be fine. He’s a great fighter and if he can get with a good camp and keep at it I think he will do very well in the UFC.

Amir after the fight said Matt is his friend and he thinks they are very evenly matched and he just happen to win that day. Matt said he did his best so he felt good about it even though he lost. I have to agree. I was very impressed with both of these guys and I’m glad to see they are good friends and this fight won’t affect that friendship in a negative way. For some reason I just became a fan of Matt Brown over the course of the show and was really rooting for him to win the whole thing. Now that he is eliminated, I will have to go with what everyone else is saying; it looks like C.B. Dalloway will most likely be the next Ultimate Fighter.

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