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‘TUF 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen,’ Episode 2 — The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly

You’d think that Jon Jones would understand the importance of having a tremendous reach advantage, considering it’s one of the key elements of his own success in the UFC. But I’ve already said too much. Read on for our quick breakdown of the best and worst moments from last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen, which produced the season’s first middleweight quarterfinalist.

The Good
- The sheer glee on the faces of the castmembers as they enter the TUF mansion for the first time, especially the ones who are used to living a much more humble lifestyle. Not a single one of them goes straight to the booze closet and starts breaking shit. Luke Barnatt is just thankful for six weeks of free food. The house is “astronomically extraordinary,” according to Gilbert Smith. Enjoy it guys, because that beautiful house will soon become…YOUR PRISON.

- Sonnen wearing wind-pants to every appearance in the gym — gotta love it — and the familiar faces among the assistant coaching staff, including Frank Mir (Team Jones), Vinny Magalhaes (Team Sonnen) and Mike Dolce (Team Sonnen).

- Uriah Hall telling Sonnen he wants to fight the best guys in the house, after Sonnen makes it known that he’d like Hall to get an easy road to the finals. Hall’s attitude is a refreshing contrast to Bubba McDaniel, who is fixated on getting the matchups that would give him the best chance of advancing in the tournament, and spends the first half of the episode lamenting how the Smith vs. Barnatt selection puts Team Jones at risk for losing control of the picks.

- The fight between Gilbert Smith and Luke Barnatt, which Barnatt wins by knockout (flying knee to the head) in round 2. Up until the stoppage, it was a closely-pitched battle, with both men showing off their skills in wrestling and transitions. Unfortunately, Smith’s cardio became a liability later in the fight.

The Bad

- The general lack of support that Gilbert Smith got from his teammates and coaches before the fight, which filled Smith with self-doubt, which led to McDaniel and others calling him out as mentally weak behind his back, then “ambushing” him with their concerns in the locker room. So much for team spirit.

- Jon Jones’s pissed-off reaction to the fight’s result, and his criticism of Smith’s performance, particularly his cardio — as if Jones didn’t have the option to pick a guy who was in better shape and could have better dealt with Barnatt’s length. Look dude, you picked the damn matchup. It would have been nice to hear Jones take some of the responsibility. And hey, reach wins fights. What a concept.

The Ugly

- The nine-inch height difference between Smith and Barnatt during the face-off. Jee. Zuss.

- Bubba McDaniel starting shit with Kevin Casey after the fight, in a desperate (and failed) attempt to influence the next matchup. Sonnen instead selects his #2 pick Uriah Hall to go up against Team Jones’s #6 pick Adam Cella.

As we see in the promo for the next episode, Hall vs. Cella results in one of the most violent knockouts in TUF history.

Team Sonnen
Luke Barnatt – quarterfinalist, defeated Gilbert Smith
Uriah Hall
Zak Cummings
Tor Troeng
Jimmy Quinlan
Kevin Casey
Kelvin Gastelum

Team Jones
Clint Hester
Josh Samman
Robert “Bubba” McDaniel
Gilbert Smith
Collin Hart
Adam Cella
Dylan Andrews

Cagepotato Comments

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mattyk7- January 31, 2013 at 11:23 am
Unfortunately you can see that it is Uriah Hall that is being loaded up into the ambulance in the preview for next weeks episode.
ytrebil- January 31, 2013 at 1:13 am
This series is set up to be pretty good. My fellow Brit comes across as a cool guy – humble, not full of himself and looks like a bit of a warrior. I don’t necessarily think he’s got great skills (although the dude below attacking his ground game was a little harsh as Gilbert would be a tough guy to submit because of his stature) but he has a great gas tank and his timing looks good. This kid definitely has potential and isn’t afraid of hard work. I really hope he does well and not just because he’s English, but because he’s likeable. I mean, props to anyone who can go through a mini-war (what, 2 days ealier?) and then go and knock a Tyson look-a-like out in the 2nd round with a perfectly timed knee to the dome. I don’t think he’ll win the whole thing, but he’ll earn a lot of respect and if he improves his skills, I could see him in the UFC.

I would be amazed if that was Casey in the amber lamps. Awesome stuff if it is though! Other guy looks chilled.

And yes, Bubba comes across as a jumped up, arrogant penis. I hope someone shuts him up soon, preferably Hall.

Also that other guy on Team Jones with the old man abs. I forget his name, but he could do with piping down a little. He hangs off Bubba’s nuts.
rngeorgeh- January 30, 2013 at 5:34 pm
The dude who won last night had a shitty ground game. Made basic error after basic error.
rngeorgeh- January 30, 2013 at 5:32 pm
That Bubba is a frickin' asshole! Can I get an "amen"?
smellypiratehooker- January 30, 2013 at 12:20 pm
Not sure if you guys mentioned this in your previous episode summary but I was also impressed with there change to announcing next weeks fights at the end of the show, rather than on the same episode that they fight. I think that it builds anticipiation for next weeks show while also introducing a gambling option for those interested
RearNakedSpoon- January 30, 2013 at 11:47 am
No mention of Jones saying "Yea, look at all that muscle baby, yea" in a creepy way at the weigh-in?
algiersheadkick504- January 30, 2013 at 11:46 am
Jones won't take responsibilty for fighting middleweights much less the match pick
SumDumGuy- January 30, 2013 at 10:09 am
@morningwoodll: if you freeze frame it, there is a clear shot of his face.
KidDinomite- January 30, 2013 at 9:33 am
This episode proves yet again looking like a bodybuilder doesn't win fights. Knockout power doesn't necessarily translate to your six pack, yo. I do feel bad for Gibert. He would probably be better served staying out of the weight room, actually lose some mass, working on cardio instead, and finally moving to Welterweight.
MorningwoodII- January 30, 2013 at 9:25 am
I'm surprised your surprised Jones doesn't take any responsibility for the match up. With that said, I did think Smith could have won. He needs to find some confidence somewhere and stop looking for his validation's from other people.
MorningwoodII- January 30, 2013 at 9:24 am
@SumDumGuy - how do you know it's Kevin Casey in the ambulance?
enrikk- January 30, 2013 at 8:29 am
Smith didn't lose because of his lack of reach, he lost because he got out-wrestled by the lankier fighter the whole time. Jones showed him how to throw an overhand punch, and Smith never threw one. What shocked me was that he kept trying to wrestle when he was losing at wrestling. How many times do you have to get stuffed, taken down, reversed, mounted and backpacked before you stop going for a fucking single leg? Maybe the knee-to-the-head KO will knock some stop-fucking-going-for-the-single-leg sense into him. Seriously stupid fighter.
SumDumGuy- January 30, 2013 at 8:26 am
The dude in the ambulance is Kevin Casey.
ReX13- January 30, 2013 at 8:23 am
I get the feeling that Cella's KO will make the good, bad, AND ugly lists next week.