The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 9: Episode 12 recap and discussion

The final episode of The Ultimate Fighter 9 "US vs. UK" gets underway with a Team US barbecue where Frank Lester promises to show version 2.0 of himself in his final elimination fight against James Wilks. Team UK on the other hand talks fight strategy inside a walk-in closet.

The Brits hit the gym and Wilks expects to beat Lester since he's already done it once this season. Coach Bisping is all about the submission in this fight. Lester and Wilks exchange pleasantries when Team US gets to the gym.

Hendo thinks Lester is more confident and more comfortable inside the cage and has a decent shot at taking it. Wilks and Lester continue their buddy-buddy relationship back at the house. The next day both fighters make weight without incident.

Dean Amasinger cooks up a feast for his British kin and Coach Bisping mumbles a motivational speech that regrettably does not come with subtitles. We learn that Wilks has been passing the time by spot-welding pennies to his forehead.

After Bisping sets sail Andre Winner starts spitting his food out and lo and behold we have a British food fight on our hands. It ends with Andre Winner getting baptized in the pool and then covered in flour.

Inside the house Lester gets all teary-eyed over his opportunity and DaMarques Johnson swoops in to pump him back up (figuratively).

It's fight day and Coach Henderson tells Lester "Let's get this bastard back for knocking out your teeth."

Welterweight semifinal elimination bout #4: James Wilks (5-2) vs. Frank Lester (3-2)

Round 1: A few jabs are exchanged and OUCH Wilks gets kicked in the skin flute. Quick break and action resumes. Lester with a nice low kick. Wilks lands a combo. Another low kick finds its mark for Lester. And again. Stiff jab by Lester followed by a low kick for Wilks. Lester answers. Stinging left by Wilks. Then a low kick. Wilks shoots and drives him to the cage. They clinch and Lester pops him with a left-right combo then a knee. Wilks clinches to avoid more punishment. They muscle for position and neither man yields. Wilks backs away and lands a jab.

Round 2: Lester opens the round with another kick to the yam-bag. Bisping accuses the Yanks of foul play. They resume and Wilks grazes him with a high kick. Lester with a nice left. Straight right from Wilks stuns Lester. Then a jab. Wilks getting confident. He tags Lester again. Wilks shoots and they go to the cage. Wilks working the trip but Lester defends. They separate and Lester starts getting picked apart. Lester not engaging. Wilks rocks him with a flurry and Lester shoots. Wilks uses the cage to stay upright. Lester eats a couple of knees in the clinch. Lester ends the round backing up.

Round 3: Lester comes out swinging wild. Wilks lands a low kick. Wilks with a huge right and a knee that connects. They clinch and Lester defends the takedown. Back in the center of the cage and Lester eats a knee. Wilks drags him to the cage once more and unloads a series of knees until Lester crumbles.

James Wilks defeats Frank Lester via TKO (strikes)

After the fight Team US is perturbed that Wilks was being flashy inside the cage with some unnecessary body language. Lester breaks down in the locker room but doesn't lose any respect from his team since he was pretty much going on heart after fighting four times in one month.

Afterward everybody shakes hands but Henderson refers to Bisping as a douchebag. "The Count" insists he going to destroy "Hollywood" at UFC 100 on July 11.

The TUF 9 Finale on June 20 is now comprised of the following match ups:

170 lbs.: DeMarques Johnson (9-6) vs. James Wilks (5-2)
155 lbs.: Ross Pearson (8-3) vs. Andre Winner (9-2-1)

They'll battle for TUF supremacy this Saturday, June 20 from "The Pearl" at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada live on Spike TV.

See you this September for TUF 10!

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