In last week’s episode, Team Sonnen’s Kelvin Gastelum upset Team Jones’ Bubba McDanial, giving Team Sonnen match making control.
Following the loss, the wild card scenario began being discussed. McDaniel, a training partner of Jones’ outside of the show, is a front runner for one of the wild card slots that will give him a rebirth back in to the tournament.
“Bubba lost his fight, but he’s completely healthy. He has very little damage. I think Bubba’s definitely a candidate for the wild card,” said Coach Jon Jones.
“Keep your head up Bubba. You’re going to get that wild card. I have a feeling,” said Jones to McDaniel.
Coach Chael Sonnen picked Tor Troeng to face Team Jones’ Josh Samman, and Sonnen told Tor that he would be a wildcard if he loses to Samman.
“If he comes out and exposes something today, it would be so helpful to learn where you need work. That’s the worst thing that’s going to happen. We’re going to wild card you and get you right back in,” said Coach Sonnen to Troeng.
Team Sonnen’s Uriah Hall isn’t making many friends in the house. He and Team mate Luke Barnatt has a disagreement while doing a jabbing drill in team practice. Later, Hall said he’s like to fight Barnatt despite the two being teammates.
In the house, while talking with several members of Team Jones, Hall brought up Adam Cella’s girlfriend and referred to her in a less than flattering manner.
“Uriah is a loose cannon. Anything will set him off. To bring someone’s girlfriend into it, he had to dig deep and get all the hatred out of his heart to find that one,” said Team Jones’ Collin Hart.
“I don’t know what issues he’s that he has going on, but he’s certainly distancing himself from everyone, including his own team,” said Samman.
In a rare instance in The Ultimate Fighter history, the fighters were allowed out of the house. Both teams, coaches included, went to Red Rock Resort and Spa to go bowling. While there, Coach Sonnen challenged Coach Jones to a friendly competition consisting of three frames of bowling. The loser would have to coach a practice wearing the other team’s jersey.
It was close. It was dramatic, but Sonnen won the bowling match. “I don’t like to lose. I do not like losing,” said Jones after the game.
Tor Troeng vs. Josh Samman
Samman came out aggressive, moving forward behind punches. Troeng initiated the clinch and Samman imposed his size and strength. Samman tried to secure a trip takedown but Troeng gained top position. Samman scrambled back to his feet and a clinch battle ensued, a battle that Samman was winning.
Troeng circled and separated. Samman closed the distance with a combination that knocked Troeng out.
“I’ve very happy with the fight. I’m very happy with myself. It went pretty much according to plan,” said Samman following the win. “I definitely think that if there was anyone on the other team itching to fight me, I don’t think there is anymore. Now, at this point, I think I’m the number one seed in the house.”
“No one likes to lose. It’s of course really important to try and learn something of your loss, but I don’t really see what I can learn from this loss. It feels like I got caught with a punch. It’s part of the game, but I don’t really know what I’m going to learn from it. I’m hoping to find something that’s going to make me better as a fighter, as a person,” said Troeng in defeat.
Team Jones gained matching making control with Samman’s win. Coach Jones decided his first pick, Clint Hester, would take on Team Sonnen’s Jimmy Quinlan. It’s a stylistic clash of boxer vs. grappler.
The match-up surprised Coach Sonnen.
“I was really confused by their pick,” said Sonnen. “The put Clint Hester, who was Coach Jones’ number one draft pick, and they put him against Jimmy who couldn’t be stylistically a worse fight. You got a two-time Pan American grappling champion in Jimmy. You have a former professional boxer in Clint. It’s that classic grappler vs. boxer match-up, and I was very surprised they put their number one pick in that situation.”