The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 9: Episode 8 recap and discussion

Episode eight of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 9 gets underway with Team USA kicking it in the gym -- and Jason Pierce writhing on the floor in pain because he has a case of Staph in his foot. Hendo examines a lesion on Pierce's leg and nods accordingly.

Team UK on the other hand has to work on the gag reflex of Dave Faulkner, who feels the impulse to spit every time he puts something in his mouth. Sounds a lot like my ex-girlfriend.

Anyway, Coach Bisping is concerned because spitting out his mouthpiece in a fight could cost him a point.

Hendo takes the Yanks outside for some full contact Frisbee. It could be the first time in eight episodes the team is all together and smiling.

After the game, the assistant coaches are calling out Pierce for milking his injury. Hendo wants Pierce -- who keeps whining about the boo-boo on his foot -- to cheer up and basically suck it up.

Back at the house, it's Tex Mex night with Enchilada Fu. Pierce is seen moping at the table by himself and the rest of Team USA has had just about enough of his bad attitude.

Frank Lester exhibits a calm and level-headed approach to the situation: "I want him to die."

Fight announcement: Jason Dent (USA) vs. Jeff Lawson (UK) courtesy of a gimpy Pierce.

Jason Dent is starting to get weirded out by the entire experience of being sequestered with a bunch of other men. Social claustrophobia! Some of the guys think that Dent is a serial killer in the making.

Hendo finds Dent tough to coach because he doesn't respond to training. Dent just wants to stick with his old habits -- including the bad ones.

At the TUF mansion, the Brits pay homage to Howie from Maui by inflating a rubber medical glove over Faulkner's head, followed by a gratuitous moon shot.

Dean Amasinger is seen laughing in the background and I swear he looked like a young Clubber Lang from a distance.

They also don some wrestling masks, which I must presume are kept in ample supply in the wrestling mask closet, and start re-enacting last Monday's episode of RAW. Dean Amasinger even gets the old foreign powder in the eyes ala Mr. Fuji.

Lawson likes the idea of Dent mentally unraveling because he feels that instability will compromise his fight game when they eventually collide.

The day of the fight and Dana White makes his first appearance. He's there to confront Jason Pierce. I wait with baited breath for the "F'ing Fighter" speech while Pierce stammers his way through excuses. Dana gives him an ultimatum: Fight by Tuesday or hit the bricks.

Speaking of fighting, it's time to get down.

Lightweight elimination fight #4: Jeff Lawson (13-2) vs. Jason Dent (18-9)

Round 1: Dent jabs from ten feet away. Wild head kick from Lawson misses by a mile. Failed takedown attempt by Lawson. Dent stalking. Hard low kick by Dent who then sneaks in a takedown from behind. Lawson wriggles free and tries for a leg submission. Dent denies him but Lawson moves on top and rains down punches. Lawson picks him up and slams him and slinks right back into guard. Dent gets a warning for striking the back of the head. Lots of struggling on the ground. Nice elbow from the top by Lawson. Lawson postures and lands a few. Dent tries to roll but gets stymied. Lawson stands and gets air balanced courtesy of Dent. Think of the end scene from Dirty Dancing. Dent escapes at the last second.

Round one was all Lawson.

Round 2: Nice low kick by Dent. Lawson stuffed on the takedown attempt. They go to the cage and Lawson breaks away. He tries to shoot and again gets stuffed. Dent with a guillotine but Lawson slips out. Lawson looking sloppy and exhausted. They hit the ground and Lawson rolls into a knee bar but can't cinch it. Dent escapes and Lawson lands a desperate flying knee. He follows up with a shoot and gets rejected. Lawson collapses in exhaustion and Dent locks in the choke for a quick tap.

Jason Dent defeated Jeff Lawson via submission (anaconda choke)

After the fight, Lawson is in surprisingly good spirits. Coach Bisping blames a case of bronchitis at the beginning of the show for his lack of cardio but Lawson mans up and takes the blame.

Dana, who can smell fear, calls Pierce into the office and tells him he's off the roster. Pierce pretends to be devastated before basically running out the door in relief.

Stay tuned next week as Team USA finds a replacement for Jason Pierce, Michael Bisping and Damarques Johnson nearly come to blows, Faulkner gets help from Tangina with his gag reflex and we get teased with the most shocking ending to a fight in TUF history!

See you in seven!

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