Episode eleven of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 9 gets underway with a Team USA training session that finds Coach Dan Henderson working on the strategy of Cameron Dollar, who is a little tender in the ribs. Dollar works the stand up and Hendo reminds him to work the shoot. Dollar starts complaining that a shot to the body will end him.
On the other side of things, Coach Michael Bisping is working with Andre Winner who will face Dollar in the first lightweight elimination fight.
Winner is sporting a Rich Franklin-esque pre-fight black eye but has nary a thing to say other than he's going to kick some American arse.
Back at the house, Winner gets heat for being an adult thumb-sucker. His candor makes it difficult to point and laugh. Both guys talk it up heading into their elimination fight.
Lightweight semifinal elimination bout #1: Andre Winner (9-2-1) vs. Cameron Dollar (4-1)
Round 1: Dollar jabs. Winner answers with a hook. Dollar misses a combo, gets clipped and shoots but gets rejected. Winner tosses him to the ground and wallops him as he stands up. Dollar is persistent and gets Winner down but it doesn't stay there. Back to the feet and Dollar is clinging to a leg against the cage. He knees the body, lands a right cross and gets another takedown. Winner plays possum and traps an overzealous Dollar in a tight triangle. Dollar swings for the fences but has nowhere to go but tapsville.
Andre Winner defeats Cameron Dollar via submission (triangle choke)
Winner celebrates in the locker room while Dollar has to answer to Coach Henderson. Hendo gives him a pat on the back and tells him success won't happen overnight.
No time for mourning as Ross Pearson stands ready to dismantle Jason Dent -- unfortunately he gets his shoulder popped in training. Like the dog that he is, it just gets popped back into place and he keeps on going without complaining. Hopefully Jason Pierce is somewhere taking notes.
Dana doesn't think Jason Dent has the goods -- something that Dent takes exception to since he made it to the semis without a scratch on him. He calls it "fighting intelligently" but vows to let it all hang out in his fight against Pearson.
Pearson promises to "hurt him" and "make it messy."
Lightweight semifinal elimination bout #2: Ross Pearson (9-2-1) vs. Jason Dent (4-1)
Round 1: Low kick misses by Dent. Then lands. Ross muscles him to the cage and Dent reverses position. Pearson eats a few knees to the body. They break away and Dent starts taunting. They clinch and exchange dirty boxing. Back to the cage and Pearson with a hard high kick and right cross. Dent pushes him off and misses a looping kick. Pearson starts teeing off so Dent ties him up. Dent knees and escapes. Spinning back kick airball by Dent. Pearson lands a couple of combos and Dent smiles and keeps taunting. Pearson gets clipped in an exchange but is unfazed. Nice combo by Dent to end the round.
Round 2: They mix it up in the center of the Octagon. Even exchanges. Pearson lands a couple extra and they go to the cage. Henderson yelling "single leg is there" but Dent ignores him. Back to the center and Pearson landing a bit more. Dent stuns him with a knee to the body but Pearson grabs him and takes him down. Dent is smashed against the cage but wiggles his way up. They start swinging wildly and Pearson backs away. Dent shoots but Pearson stays upright and then pounces on a downed Dent. Nice elbow from the top for Pearson. Round ends with Dent getting mugged on bottom.
Round 3: Dent jabs and backs Pearson up with a flurry of kicks and punches. Pearson answers with a big takedown and grinds him into the cage. Pearson working the elbows. He postures up and Dent rolls over. Pearson working for an arm while punching Dent in the side of the head. Dent rolls onto his back but is still in trouble. Pearson running away with it. Pearson postures again and Dent makes a last ditch effort to get to his feet. Pearson isn't having it. Dent rolls back over and Pearson just pounds on him until time expires.
Ross Pearson defeats Jason Dent via unanimous decision
Despite the loss, Dana gives Dent a ton of props for showing heart and a much improved game. Team UK is all smiles as the lightweight final is British Fu.
Stay tuned next week as Frank Lester tries to avenge his missing teeth in a rematch against James Wilks. Who will face Damarques Johnson in the June 20 TUF finale?
We'll find out in seven days!