(Anybody feel like dining in hell tonight?)
Nick Ring is in bad shape after his fight. He felt his knee slip on him, and he tells the doctor that his ligaments are loose. This house is becoming a ghost ship. Court McGee hopes he can come back as Rich Attonito‘s replacement after getting robbed last week in his fight against Nick, but will Nick need to be replaced himself?
The last fight before the wild card match is Team Liddell’s last pick Joe "Caveman" Henle against Team Ortiz’s injury replacement Seth Baczynski. "I don’t see how Seth doesn’t win this fight," Dana says, which feels like bad foreshadowing, but we’ll see.
Henle has only been a pro fighter since last July. He got into it "by accident" — finding an MMA gym randomly, trying it on a whim, and winning his first fights. Now he’s on TUF, completely outgunned by some of the more experienced fighters in the house. A substitute teacher and coach when he’s not fighting, Joe has an MBA in financial planning, but doesn’t want to be in an office all day. "I’m not the best fighter in the world," he says. "I will be, that’s for damn sure." Good attitude, but he might be too raw.
Nick’s knee gives out during training. He wants to keep it a secret from his potential opponents in the house, but that’s a tall order in this place. Dr. Tito diagnoses a torn ACL. "What else can go wrong?" he laments. Nick doesn’t know if he should try to fight through it, or quit and get it fixed.
Once again, Joe mentions his MBA and says he’s more educated that the other guys in the house. Y’know, if this guy can scrap his way into the UFC, he could really play up a Genius-esque heel angle.
Round 1: It’s a grappling match for the most part. After landing a leg kick, Joe shoots and presses Seth against the cage. Seth drops to guard and works for a triangle. Joe slips out. Seth re-establishes it, but loses it again. Seth gets up for a hot second, and Joe pulls him back down. Seth sets up a guillotine. It looks tight, but Joe hangs on and slips out. Joe transitions to north/south, then tries an anaconda choke when Seth rolls out. It turns into a guillotine attempt before failing completely. Seth bucks him off and goes for an arm. Joe moves to his back but can’t do anything with it. Seth gets on top and spends a solid minute dropping elbows and hammerfists, clinching the round.
Round 2: After a brief striking foray by Joe, they clinch, and Seth drags Joe down, but winds up on bottom. Joe gets in side control, then half-guard. He transitions to Seth’s back and looks for a choke. Seth wall-walks out of the position and tries to grab Joe’s arm. Joe gets in guard and throws a few punches. He moves to side control, then north-south. Another choke attempt from Joe, but Seth escapes and whiffs on a flying knee when he’s back on his feet. Joe immediately shoots for his legs and muscles him down. He takes Seth’s back. Seth escapes and takes Joe’s back. Seth sets up a rear-naked choke, but Joe is saved by the bell. Joe evens the score and we’re going to Sudden Victory.
Round 3: Seth comes out throwing. He clinches and gets a takedown. Joe clamps onto Seth’s arm, but Seth frees it and starts punching. Seth briefly tries a guillotine but it doesn’t pan out, so he throws a few more punches from the top. He switches to elbows, and begins to really do some damage. Joe is absolutely exhausted; he tries to struggle out but has nothing left. More punches from Seth, and Joe is barely defending himself at this point. Seth finishes out the round pounding a nearly-helpless opponent. All three judges give the obvious nod to Seth, who now rolls into the quarterfinals after being eliminated by Court McGee in the prelim round. Life is strange, and Joe was just too green.
(TUF trivia question: When was the last time a fight on the show went to Sudden Victory, and the fight ended in that round? They should change the name to Sudden Gas-Out.)
After talking with the coaches, Dana announces that two of Tito’s guys will be fighting for the wild-card spot: Kyacey Uscola (who was disqualified in his fight against Rich Attonito) and Kris McCray (who