Rory Singer 1
Kendall Grove 3
Matt Hammill 9
Michael Bisping 6
Josh Haynes 3
Ed Herman 1
Kalib Starnes 0
Mike Nickels 11
Jesse Forbes 2
– Previously on TUF: Tito thinks Hammill is a champion in the making. Does season-long occasional narrator Mike Nickels stand a chance whatsoever? Nope.
– Kendall and Rory recap the previous fight. Danny landed a shot then Ed won the other 3:40 that the match lasted.
– Tito notices Hammill, whose only friend was Danny, is depressed. Awwww. Poor Hammill. Will he ever win against Mike Nickels? The guy we have rarely heard from all season?
– Hammill says he has won four gold medals in the deaf World Games. I have a feeling the competition isn’t exactly too deep in the deaf world games.
– Hammill opens himself to the rest of the group. Him and his friend had cow tipping contests apparently where if Matt wins he goes to IHOP.
– Bisping wants Mike to win because it’s not that he thinks he can’t beat Matt, but because Bisping’s weakness is wrestling. So in other words, it’s because he doesn’t think he can beat Matt.
Personally I thought Bisping’s weakness was taking shots to the side of the head.
– Bisping and Hammill are sparring. Hammill was practicing getting out of an armbar. However, Hammill’s stubbornness prevents him to tap and results in a hyperextension of his elbow.
– Mike Nickels does a good impression of Matt. Maybe Matt shouldn’t have told the cow tipping story.
– Saul, the only assistant coach ever to get confessionals thus far in TUF’s history, takes the team aside and tells them they’ve been D-bags to Matt despite Matt teaching them plenty of ways to defend against wrestling takedowns. For once, Bisping admits he treated Matt without respect. What the heck? Where is this side of Bisping coming from? Kendall admits they haven’t been treating him the best either.
– Nickels is promoting his tattoo shop, his wife, and two kids. He likes tattoos. I have a feeling this will be his only source of income once this episode ends.
– Matt’s hyper extension results in him approaching Saul saying
MIKE: He eats cereal and bologna sandwiches? How can I not beat him?!
Matt (ORTIZ) vs. Mike Nickels (Shamrock)
MATT HAMMILL LOVELAND, OHIO 2-0
MIKE NICKELS OCALA, FLORIDA 3-1
– Mazzagatti our referee.
– Hammill and Mike stand up and trade. Hammill dros him with a punch. Mike leans in for a takedown but Hammill holds him and punches. Hammill then puts him in a headlock on the ground and gets into half guard. Mike escapes the choke. Matt stands up and lets Mike get up. They are trading on their feet again. Both of their standup looks terrible. Hammill is the only one that’s landing. Matt tosses Mike down but merely hovers him for about ten seconds. My brother describes it as slow-motion standup. I agree. Mike is exhausted as Matt’s pillow punches are miraculously doing damage. Mike has the ugliest punching I’ve ever seen. He tries to cower in defense while he punches the floor with Matt nowhere close in contact. Mike goes to the ground where Matt takes his back and is landing a couple strikes. Mike somersaults as his mouthpiece falls out. Timeout. One minute left. Mike and Matt continue chasing each other around with ugly ugly ugly striking. Matt has Mike’s back but he somersaults once again and Matt signals for him to stand up. Ken calls for a flying knee. I don’t know if raising his leg is Mike’s version of a flying knee, but he doesn’t do anything whatever the case is. Matt lands a punch which makes Mike fall down and cover up. Matt follows it up with punches that are extraordinarily weak. End of round one.
– Matt attempts a slow uppercut but it does nothing. Mike comes to the ground but Matt doesn’t come into his guard. Mike lands a flying knee but it’s weak. Matt and Mike are trading punches. Ken calls for Mike to throw a knee about thirty times. He tosses his first leg kick of the match, though. Mike is bleeding a bit more. Matt has Mike’s back on the ground and throws some rabid punches. Mike somersaults for the third or fourth time of the match. Matt is winning the trading of punches standing up and Mike intentionally cowers to the ground yet again. Matt takes his back. Mike tries to go for a heel hook and gets really close but Matt lazily gets out of it. Two minutes left. Mike’s mouthpiece falls for a second time. Matt has a blood goatee. Mike is doing his downward punches that don’t seem to be aiming for anything. Matt lands a punch on the chin. Mike gets a knee. Matt punches twice more before Mike COWERS TO THE CANVAS AGAIN! Mike is hunched over. Matt seems to have more control of his back than usual. Both are resting. Matt is switching to controlling Mike’s back from the side. End of round two. Decent fight. They both had equally terrible punching skills.
– Everyone assesses the fight and agree it’s sloppy. A unanimous decision by 20-18 for Matt Hammill. Who knew the hero built up for nine episodes would win against the narrating tattoo artist.
– Oh, we’re not done. Matt is having trouble walking. His hyper extended arm is giving him problems. The doctors are taking him to the hospital to be evaluated.
What? Matt is on a stretcher? He pulls Tito in close to say a few words? What is this? A Hollywood action film that has just experienced its climax? My goodness.
– Mike says he’ll be back. Okay.
8) 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.)
7) Danny Abbadi vs. Ed Herman (The fight starts off well with them trading on their feet. Danny looks like he’ll pull an underdog victory. However, we quickly go to a clinch and it becomes a blatant one-sided fight from that point forward.)
6) 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.)
5) 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.)
4) 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.
3) Matt Hammill vs. Mike Nickels (Ever seen two ground fighters opt to do a stand-up game knowing they both equally suck at it? Well that’s what happens in this fight. There’s a lot of action. If it went to a third round, I am certain we would have seen a finish. Both fighters, regardless of their atrocious kickboxing skills and turning their back to each other at rather stupid times, put on an exciting performance. Good fight.)
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.)