As this season of “The Ultimate Fighter” begins to wind down, the tournament based show has now moved into the semifinal rounds and last night’s episode (10) kicked it all off, with a bout between Chris Holdsworth of Team Tate and Michael Wotten from Team Rousey.
The show opened with Coach Rousey stopping by the fight’s house with burgers and as a treat for the fighters who have been eliminated. However, the treats proved to be difficult for Sarah Moras to deal with and she subsequently opted to spend the party time out on the patio, alone. In reflecting up on it, one can understand why Ronda Rousey would want to do something nice for the fighters, but at the same time, fans have to feel for the fighters who can eat, drink and be merry, because they are struggling with the rigors of maintaining weight for their upcoming fights.
Next, the show had a little drama as Raquel Pennington (team Tate) appeared to become the ring leader of discontent, regarding the team’s collective feelings that Coach Tate has been spending too much time with Julianna Pena and Chris Holdsworth. As the rest of the team sees it, Coach Tate has been favoring Pena and Holdsworth since the beginning to the show and to the detriment of her other fighters. This appears to be particularly frustrating to Pennington and Sarah Moras, who are not only still in the competition, but also have a shared bout coming up.
From there the show jumped over to Harley Davidson building and the semifinalists were shown the motorcycles that that the winning fighters and coach will be getting. As they were looking at the bikes, Cain Velasquez drove up on his Harley and began to extol the virtues of driving a motorcycle. The whole segment was a little long, a tad pointless and was nothing more than a commercial for Harley.
The other UFC star to make an appearance on last night’s show was Nate Diaz. Nate showed up to lend a hand to Ronda Rousey’s team and lead them in a session of Jiu Jitsu. Nate stated that he kept the class simple (arm-bars, Kimuras and triangle chokes), because he didn’t see the point in overwhelming the fighters with a barrage of information.
As the show moved to the house for the night, the alcohol began to flow and Chris Holdsworth began to feel some distance between himself, and his fellow teammate. As Holdsworth sees it, his teammates are out of the tournament and more interested in partying, than training with him. However, Holdsworth kept his focus and his eye on the prize, and kept to his routine of training, stretching and sleeping.
The show took on a serious tone, when Coach Tate brought on Kenny Salvini. Salvini is a motivational speaker. He has been confined to a wheelchair since 2004, when he broke his back and neck snowboarding. His purpose on the show was to tell team Tate’s members to always persevere and to never give up. That they can overcome anything if they wish, they just have to have the will to do it. His words were the highlight of the show, save for the episode’s bout.
As to the show’s fight, Chris Holdsworth vs. Michael Wotten, there isn’t a whole lot to say. The bell rang and the two came out throwing punches, but with neither fighter causing any damage. Within the first two minutes, Holdsworth pushed the fight up against the cage and then scored a takedown. From there, it was all downhill for Wooten, as the Brit was completely dominated by the Jiu Jitsu of Chris Holdsworth. The BJJ black belt owned Wooten on the ground, passing his guard at will and then taking Wooten’s back. From there Wooten made it back to his feet, but Holdsworth dragged the fight back to the ground, nearly secured a guillotine choke. However, Holdsworth gave it up in favor of a standing rear naked choke, finally submitting Wooten with 1:48 left to go in the first round.
With his hand raised, Holdsworth was declared the winner and will now move on to the finals, where he will face the winner of David Grant / Anthony Guttierez, both team Rousey.
Up next in the Octagon will be the first of the women’s semifinals, which will see Sarah Moras takes on Julianna Pena, both team Tate.