By default the last preliminary match-up which takes place tonight will be Zak Cummings (15-3), 28, Kansas City, Mo. of Team Sonnen vs. Dylan Andrews (16-4-1), 32, Gold Coast, AUS of Team Jones.
This episode also features the coach’s challenge and the wildcard announcement.
As episode eight starts, Team Jones’ Bubba McDaniel is sitting outside with Adam Cella and is talking about hoping he gets the wildcard pick. Cella says he thinks Bubba deserves it more than anyone.
Next we see Dylan Andrews working on some striking techniques with one of his Team Jones coaches. Jon Jones knows this will be a tough fight for Dylan but says he feels he’s up for the challenge and his most dangerous weapon is his right hook.
Dylan describes how he first got into MMA and recounts a story when he went to a local video store in Australia to look for UFC videos. In the store he saw dust falling from the ceiling and heard a loud pounding noise. When he went to check out what all the racket was it was a Lion’s Den gym next door and the loud pounding noise was a guy smashing the heavy bag with kicks.
Dylan said he started training MMA at the gym and never left for six years.
Dylan said he grew up in a hydroponic room with marijuana plants surrounding his bed. His brothers went the way of drugs, but he credits MMA as saving him. In a talk with Uriah Hall, Dylan says he feels MMA is the only thing he is really good at and his only chance to be successful.
“People feel my pain in the cage. They feel the pain I have gone through in my life,” said Dylan Andrews.
Zak Cummings said people around him thought he was too intelligent to be a fighter and thought he would either be an engineer or physical therapist. Over time they saw his dedication and potential and are now supportive.
Zak said he “doesn’t think” he’s ever been in a street fight. (Wouldn’t you remember that?) “To me it’s just competition, nothing more than that,” said Zak. He also described Dylan as probably the nicest guy he’s ever met.
Chael Sonnen tells one of his assistant coaches this was Zak’s seventh time trying out for the show. He respects the determination of Zak to keep coming back and trying out time and again, of not giving up when a door is shut in your face.
Coach’s Challenge: Dig This
UFC President Dana White, the coaches and the fighters from both teams gather in an open lot for the coach’s challenge. Dana says they will compete in three different competitions while driving escavators.
The winning coach will receive $10,000 and each fighter on his team will receive $1,500.
Dana describes the challenges. The first thing they have to do is fill a 14-yard dumpster with dirt. Next, they must drive to the next station where they will build a pyramid with three large (very large) tires, using the escavator to pick them up and move them. Finally, they drive to the last station where they must scoop up a basketball and drop it into the center of a tire. The first one to finish all three challenges wins.
Chael says he’s never been on one, but his father-in-law owns an excavation company and had he known the challenge he would have called him for some tips.
Jones starts out quickly but Sonnen rallies and fills up his dumpster first. Chael moves on to the next station and is stacking the tires and of course starts talking smack on Jones. Jones finally gets to the tires and picks one up, then drops it and it rolls far away. Chael is doing a good job picking the tires up but he’s having a hard time stacking them and Jon is catching up. Jones catches up and stacks the tires first and moves on to the final challenge.
Jon scoops the ball, goes to drop it in the tire and misses. This allows Chael time to scoop the ball, get over to the tire and drops it in the tire first try to win the challenge. “One more for the bad guys,” Sonnen says as he sticks his head out of the excavator. They are super excited!
That might be the best challenge yet. Lots of tension with the back-and-forth action and the come from behind victory by Sonnen.
Weigh-ins and Fight
Zak Cummings – 185 pounds
Dylan Andrews – 185 pounds
Sonnen says he doesn’t really know what to expect in this fight. He described Dylan as a well-rounded fighter but he didn’t stand out in any way during his bout to get in the house. And he said Zak had a quick KO that was “a bit of a fluke”.
Jones thinks it will be primarily a striking match.
Dylan Andrews (Team Jones) vs. Zak Cummings (Team Sonnen)
Round 1 – Touch gloves. Leg kick from Zak, shoots for a single, drives him to the cage. Sonnen calls for two legs. Zak picks the leg up but can’t get him down. They square up. Leg kick from Dylan. One two from Zak after he checks a leg kick attempt. Dylan shoots, Zak stuffs it and catches him in a D’arce choke. 3:45 left. Zak tries readjusting the choke, gives him a knee and some elbows after he lets it go. Dylan covers up but Zak continues dropping elbows, he tries locking on the choke again, readjusts it, then drops more elbows. Goes to mount but gets swept and now Dylan is on top and his head is cut up and bleeding. Big elbow from Dylan. Sonnen wants Zak to open his guard and get up but he’s taking big shots. Big elbows with the left and right arm of Dylan. Zak tries to hang on in full guard, but gets to half guard. Big punches from Dylan as Zak is still caught in half guard. They remain in this position with Dylan dropping shots until the bell. PMN has it 10-9 for Dylan Andrews.
Round 2 – Touch gloves. Right from Zak, then a wheel kick, misses a Superman punch. Checks a leg kick. Zak scores with a nice left then throws a flying knee while Dylan is retreating. Dylan catches him and puts him on his back, now he’s on top in half guard where we left off last round. Dylan lands an elbow as Zak tries to control his left arm. Dylan lands more elbows and punches. Ref wants action. Zak holds on looking for the standup. 2:25 left in the round. More punches and elbows from Dylan. Zak tries to get up but Dylan is too heavy on him and has him presses to the cage. Right hand and more elbows from Dylan with 1:30 left. Zak pushes off the cage and creates some space. Body shot from Dylan, then more short elbows. 30 seconds left. Zak pushes off the cage again and goes for a kimura but time is almost up. At the 10 second mark Dylan unloads some punches to finish it out. PMN has it 10-9 and 20-28 for Dylan Andrews.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Dylan Andrews def. Zak Cummings by majority decision (20-18, 20-18, 19-19)
After the fight Dylan said he almost tapped in the first round but somehow went to another place in his mind and made it. Zak says he hopes he can get another shot in the wildcard.
Dana says he’s going to let the coaches pick the wildcards for the first time in TUF history because they are tied up 2-2. The guys eligible for the wildcard are: From Team Sonnen – Kevin Casey and Zak Cummings, and from Team Jones – Bubba McDaniel and Clint Hester.
Sonnen says he’s got an easy pick with Kevin Casey. Jones has a little tougher pick and needs time to think about it. Jones trains with Bubba and but Clint was Jones’ No. 1 pick. Jones first tells Clint and Bubba they have to flip a coin, but Bubba hates that idea.
Bubba says to let Chael make the pick, but Jones hates that idea. Jones finally gathers everyone together and says he’s decided to pick the guy who has spent the most years in the sport working to get here and it’s Bubba.
Bubba says he thinks Jon felt a sense of loyalty, but doesn’t care why he was picked and is going to make the most of it. So Bubba McDaniel will face Kevin Casey in the wildcard fight. Great match-up. Remember the heat these guys had earlier in the season. Bubba actually had called him out a few episodes ago.
Kevin and Bubba will face off on episode 9 and the preview calls it “one of the most shocking finishes in TUF history” so you don’t want to miss that! See ya next week!