The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 11: Episode 5 recap and discussion


Episode five of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Season 11 gets underway with a recap of Jamie Yager's beatdown of Charles Blanchard. Back at the house, the "Minority Report" contemplates who will fill the open wildcard spot. James Hammertree and Kyacey Uscola seem to be the frontrunners based on injuries to some of the other eligible contestants.

Tito is all smiles as he gains control of the fight picks and immediately selects Chris "Savage" McCray to fight Josh Bryant. No one seems to give Bryant a chance based on his unassuming demeanor but it should be noted that he's 10-0.

Coach Hackleman gives the guys a pep talk before they head into a training session. Bryant talks about his struggles growing up and how fighting kept him out of trouble as a kid. Chuck remarked that he's never seen a fighter be as happy as Bryant while cutting weight.

Over at Team Ortiz, McCray talks tough for the camera and promises to break his opponent. Tito is pleased with McCray's effort in training and continually screams "Believe in yourself" as his team drills.

McKinney went in for surgery to correct his shoulder injuries and feels vindicated after getting flak about possibly milking it to get attention or phoning it in to go easy in practice. Tito mans up and apologizes for dogging him when he in fact had a serious injury.

Clayton responds by flipping him the bird once Ortiz turns his back.

Both McCray and Bryant make weight without incident and once again, Chuck has to skip town for a "previous arrangement." Must be busy filming another sneaker commercial in his birthday suit.

It's the day of the fight and John Hackleman is running the show for Team Liddell. Bryant doesn't seem the least bit concerned heading into his fight despite the general consensus that he's the underdog. Yager tries to drive the point home by giving him the Julius Caesar thumbs down routine.

McCray warns viewers not to get popcorn because he'll end the fight before it's done popping.

Elimination bout #5: Chris McCray (5-0) vs. Josh Bryant (10-0)

Round 1: Quick trade of hands. Bryant charges and tries for a takedown but can't get it. They tie up against the cage and McCray muscles him to the mat. Bryant sneaks out the back door and clocks him when they stand up. Some dirty boxing from both sides. McCray looks for the takedown and gets it but Bryant springs right back up. Fairly ugly technique so far. Up and down again. Now Bryant with a big takedown. Hackleman sounds like a drunk war vet shouting out instructions. Bryant looking for the rear naked choke but McCray defends and they're back to their feet. Lots of hugging. Pace has slowed considerably -- and it wasn't that quick to begin with. Bryant eats a knee to the body and clings to a leg as time expires.

Round 2: Nice jab from Bryant followed by an uppercut and a knee. McCray pushes him to the cage. Left by Bryant. McCray ties him up. Hackleman screaming for punches. They seem to be fighting in slow motion. Bryant pushes him to the floor. Bryant working the Kimura but gets turned over. He stands back up and hands fly. McCray with a takedown. Both fighters ignoring their corners. Grotesque display of mixed martial arts. Can they really be this exhausted? Herb Dean on the verge of falling asleep as McCray "works" in Bryant's guard. Round ends and Hackleman screams "Yeah! You got it!." God I hope he's right.

Round 3: No such luck. McCray bullies him to the cage. Bryant turns him around and drops a level to either attempt a takedown or because he's passing out from exhaustion. McCray subtly takes a knee amidst the action. Back to their feet and Bryant lands an uppercut. McCray with a knee. Bryant is completely bent over now like he's stuck in a jackknife dive. McCray stands and pushes him to the cage. I can't stress just how awful this fight is. Herb Dean separates them for inactivity so they meet in the center and trade sloppy punches. They tie up and McCray falls to the mat so Bryant falls too, luckily landing on top. He tries to mount and McCray gives up his back. Bryant has the rear naked choke but is too gassed to finish it. Round expires with McCray in trouble. Hackleman calls it  a "great fight." Local optometrists hit the white pages and search for Hackleman, J.

Josh Bryant defeats Chris McCray via unanimous decision

After the loss, McCray says it could have been a more technical fight but that he left it all in the cage. Tito thinks Chuck has a rabbit's foot up his ass to keep pulling off all these wins and vows to never give up -- which is an interesting mantra considering he leaves the show before the end of the season.

Stay tuned next week as Kyacey Uscola blames Coach Ortiz for the McCray loss, a serious injury sidelines another fighter and the Coaches Challenge returns with Tito vs. Chuck in dodgeball!

See you next week!

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