As episode No. 10 of “The Ultimate Fighter 17? opens, Team Jones’ Robert “Bubba” McDaniel admits he’s not thrilled about the way the quarterfinal matchups were made and that Team Sonnen’s Uriah Hall is basically in his head.
Team Sonnen’s Kelvin Gastelum, meanwhile, thinks his opponents ares till underestimating his skills. He’s paired up with Team Jones’ Collin Hart, who’s known as a jiu-jitsu specialist. Hart admits he wasn’t satisfied with his opening-round win over Kevin Casey and wants to instead throw his hands and be exciting. Chael Sonnen seems to believe that would be fantastic, as he sees Kelvin as a brawler – not the wrestler most seem to believe.
As preparation carries on, UFC women’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey stops by the gym to lead the training session she promised as motivation for Kelvin to pull the upset in his first-round fight. Kelvin (an admitted Rousey fan) definitely enjoys the session, and Ronda takes a second to offer a pep talk for the team before she leaves.
It’s time to make the season’s first quarterfinal bout official. Both fighters make weight, and it’s time for a fight.
TEAM JONES’ COLIN HART (4-1-1) VS. TEAM SONNEN’S KELVIN GASTELUM (4-0)
Round 1 – Referee Steve Mazzagatti in charge. Both fighters are busy with their hands early, and it’s a solid back-and-forth pace to open. In a flurry, Kelvin scores with a combination that buckles Colin’s legs. He falls to the canvas and continues to fight despite his head slamming into the mat, but Kelvin pounces until he’s pulled off with an impressive TKO win.
Kelvin Gastelum def. Colin Hart via TKO (punches) – Round 1
Next up is Team Sonnen’s Luke Barnatt vs. Team Jones’ Dylan Andrews. Luke enjoys a big height advantage, and Chael believes it will play very much to his fighter’s advantage. Meanwhile, New Zealander Dylan and Team Jones’ striking coach Stonehorse Goeman have formed a strong bond, and Dylan is soaking up all the knowledge he can.
Boxing legend Mike Tyson comes by on the day of the fight and visits the fighters in their locker room. Both are blown away by the opportunity to meet the former champ and to have him cage side for the fight.
TEAM JONES’ DYLAN ANDREWS (15-4) VS. TEAM SONNEN’S LUKE BARNATT (5-0)
Round 1 – Referee Herb Dean oversees the fight. Dylan lands two crisp right hands and scores a takedown. Luke is very active from his back and looks for options. Dylan heavy on top and prevents his opponent from rising. Luke turns twice for an armbar that won’t come, but he’s keeping Dylan busy with an active guard. Dylan backs away and allows Luke to stand. As soon as he does, Dylan pushes forward and latches the neck. He lets go of a guillotine in favor of moving to the back. Luke defends well and eventually crawls back to his feet and breaks free before unleashing some nasty knees and kicks. Dylan drives in for another takedown and tries to lace in a few punches before the bell. Luke again busy, but he can’t secure anything before the bell.
Round 2 – Luke works his jab from length to open, but Dylan tees off with counter shots to the chin and body. Dylan drives on for a takedown that won’t come, as Luke shows nice defense agains the cage and actually falls to mount on a scramble. Dylan reverses the position in a nifty sweep, but he struggles to get through his opponent’s long legs. Dylan backs away top reset and again attacks as Luke moves to his feet. He scores another takedown and continues to work from top position. Luke works in a few short elbows from the bottom, but he seems to have tired a bit. Dylan continues to press for offense from the top, but Luke defends himself well underneath. The round ends in a transition, as Dylan moves to the back and nearly secures the neck. Jon seems to think Dylan did enough to win, but judges disagree and send the fight to a third round. UFC President Dana White actually calls it “great judging.”
Round 3 – The pair moves quickly into a clinch, where Luke capitalizes with knees. Dylan backs away and scores with heavy punches. It’s an entertaining slugfest. Both look a little tired, but they wing punches, elbows and knees. Both are scoring, though Dylan eventually gets the best of the exchanges and blasts away with heavy shots to the chin. Luke tries to return fire, but he’s lit up by Dylan and crumples to the floor on the strength of several heavy right hands. Dylan pounces with hammerfists to seal the deal.
Dylan Andrews def. Luke Barnatt via TKO (strikes) – Round 3.
Luke gets a few words of encouragement from Tyson, while Syland is emotional as he celbrates his win. Next week, it’s two more quarterfinal matchups.
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