Rory Singer 1
Kendall Grove 1
Matt Hammill 0
Michael Bisping 1
Josh Haynes 9
Ed Herman 0
Kalib Starnes 0
Mike Nickels 0
Tait Fletcher 8
Jesse Forbes 1
– We are reminded Noah is an idiot. A guy came back from Team Shamrock. It’s Jesse Forbes a.k.a. The Guy Who Breaks S—. He has a Mohawk. And a ticket to the semi-finals for losing to a par-level fighter. Tito’s team advantage is all but erased. At least Jesse has an approximately zero percent chance of making it past Hammill or Bisping.
– Josh and Tait will indeed fight this episode. Hopefully their training will not eat up too much airtime.
– Ah. Instead it seems they all will be pissed that a loser will be brought back. Guess what? It’s happened EVERY SINGLE SEASON TO DATE! You must be expecting it at this point.
– Ortiz appeases this uneasy development by taking everyone out for some sushi. You know you’ve been watching reality TV for a long time when your first thought is “Are the producers paying for this meal?”
– Tait threw an exploding bottle up the balcony and it caught Josh of all people who happened to be walking by right above the eye. That’s a huge fluke.
– Time for us to get to know a contestant better. Josh shows pictures of his kids and cries. One of his kids had a tumour half the size of a fist. More to the story is added to make Noah’s quit look increasingly more pathetic. Josh has a picture above his son that says ‘Never Quit!’
– Fletcher meanwhile enjoys a chocolate bar in his room.
JOSH (TITO) VS. TATI (SHAMROCK)
JOSH HAYNES GRANTS PASS, OREGON 9-4
TAIT FLETCHER ALPENA, IDAHO 3-1
– Josh: Tait you’re done. I’m going to do everything to beat the s— out of you and send you home in a wooden box.
– Herb Dean is our referee. Is Tait going to win?
– Circling for three minutes. Out of nowhere they knee each other and exchange wild punches. Tait backs up halfway across the octagon as Josh keeps charging with punchs. They grapple on the fence and keep switching position. They both sneak in punches as they attempt underhooks. Nobody is getting a takedown. They break the clinch. They exchange punches. End of round one.
– They slowly approach each other for the first fifteen seconds. Twenty. Twenty-five. Thirty. Tait charges and connects with a knee. They clinch against the fence. Tait hits below the belt. Timeout. Josh recovers and time resumes.
– Tait throws punches but misses and Josh opts for a clinch. They are up against the fence. They’re still clinching. Josh eventually throws Tait down. Fletcher pulls full guard. Elbows.
– Tait gets Josh’s back and tries to choke him but he’s too exhausted so Josh reverses it and gets into Tait’s guard. Josh stands up and makes Tait stand up. Forty seconds left. Thirty. Josh is swinging for the fences. Josh lands a punch and Tait falls down. Josh goes in for the knockout strikes but Tait plays possum. He was really close to closing up a submission on Josh but time is up. It wasn’t a good fight. Josh swung for the fences but Tait didn’t start making moves until very late. We wait for the decision.
– Dana thinks Josh and Tait split the first two rounds with Josh winning round one and Tait winning round two. They all think it’s going to sudden victory.
– WHAT? Dana says it’s over. We await results. Everyone is pissed. They change things by recapping the fight before announcing its result.
– Josh Haynes wins by split decision. Shamrock loses AGAIN. Five consecutive losses. He’s won once but has a semi-finalist in there who lost. Shamrock could come close to beating Couture’s level of epic coaching failure.
6) Mike Stine vs. Kalib Starnes (Stine was an ugly fighter all around. After fifteen seconds you knew Kalib would win in the first round; it was only a question of how he would do it. Not a bad fight to start the season. In fact, this is the only fight to occur in the opening episode thanks to last season’s double quit opener and season one having its first two eliminations be from a coach’s elimination.)
5) Josh Haynes vs. Tait Fletcher (A split decision is always an ugly finish to a fight. But hey, it wasn’t THAT bad. It was an even fight with sloppy techniques, and sometimes those are the best fights. It’s nothing special, but it’s fine to see one fight go to decision every once in a while. I just wish they weren’t so fatigued. Don‘t forget some of their exchanges.)
4) Kendall Grove vs. Ross Pointon (It started off punches vs. leg kicks. Quickly it became grappler vs. striker. Then it became Willpower vs. stamina and Ross loses this aspect by a landslide. A standing rear naked choke without hooks inserted is the most unique submission I have seen in the 1, 100+ MMA matches that I’ve watched.)
3) Michael Bisping vs. Kristian Rothaermel (Everyone knew Bisping would win from the onset but we all wondered how long it would take. Kristian puts up a good fight. It was neat to see some blood being drawn for once and someone appearing as if they had been truly knocked out. Ortiz’ team is at the peak of their cockiness now that they won three in a row at this time. That skull cut was nasty.
2) Noah Inhofer vs. Jesse Forbes (Tito really wanted Noah to underhook that left arm apparently. Jesse has control for the first ninety seconds and it looks like Noah was a bad fighter regardless of the sprained ankle. However, Noah listens to Tito’s advice and uses the sprained ankle to his advantage as he uses his upper body strength to pull off an armbar after doing nothing prior to that. I wonder how much of the success can be attributed to the basketball?)
1) Rory Singer vs. Solomon Hutcherson (The first fight that goes to round two. Both were evenly matched but an amazing head kick by Rory makes for a spectacular finish and ends the Team Dagger storyline. Alliances never work. A good mix of stand-up and ground battling makes for an excellent fight.)