The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 11: Episode 8 recap and discussion

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Episode eight of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Season 11, featuring coaches Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell and Tito "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" Ortiz, gets underway with Kyacey Uscola phoning home to celebrate the birth of his son.

Speaking of rebirth, Uscola has a chance to get back into the competition as he faces Kris McCray in the first-ever TUF wildcard elimination match. Since both fighters are from Team Ortiz, Tito sits this one out from a coaching perspective.

Uscola feels more pressure now that his son has been born but McCray isn't going to just roll over and promises fireworks.

Wildcard elimination fight: Kyacey Uscola (18-15) vs. Kris McCray (5-0)

Round 1: Low kick by McCray and a jab. Hard low kick answers for Uscola. Quick exchange and they back away. McCray gets kicked in the leg and grimaces hard with a Peter Griffin-esque Arrrrgh. Uscola swarms him but McCray is able to stay upright and they go to the cage. McCray knees the legs. And again. Uscola tied up and has no offense while McCray knees him. Referee Steve Mazzagatti separates them. Another quick exchange. They tie up after a failed takedown and leather is flying. Both men reckless in their striking. McCray gets a big takedown and whales on the body after Uscola turtles up. McCray working the rear naked choke as time expires. This round was all McCray.

Round 2: Uscola aggressive and pushes McCray to the cage who answers with a powerful takedown right into side control. McCray has the arm and is cranking it hard. Uscola pressed against the cage and has nowhere to go but tapsville.

Kris McCray defeats Kyacey Uscola via submission

After the fight Dana White rounds up the coaches to pick the quarterfinal fights. Chuck has no input until Tito gives his and now the bickering begins. Dana can't make a decision while they're arguing so he kicks them out of the room to decide on his own.

Dana chooses:

Nick Ring vs. Court McGee (Rematch!)

Kyle Noke vs. Kris McCray

Brad Tavares vs. Seth Baczynsky

Jamie Yager vs. Josh Bryant

Back at the TUF house Forrest Griffin shows up with a copy of UFC Undisputed 2010. Nothing like a little product placement. I half expected Bill Cosby to pop in with a bottle of Coke doing his Leonard 6 shtick.

Nick Ring goes to the doctor to have his knee looked at. It appears his ACL is torn and he could be looking at a third reconstruction. The doctor clears him to fight and says he can press on but instead Ring opts to bow out and go under the knife to possibly avoid further damage.

That sends Dana to the TUF house.

Ring reaffirms his decision to leave and Dana has to pick a replacement. That requires him to have a pow-wow with Chuck and Tito but Joe Henle is convinced he's the only eligible candidate. James Hammertree isn't letting Dana walk away without knowing he wants that spot so he chases him down in the parking lot and lets him know.

Dana is impressed that someone finally steps up and gives him the spot. Henle protests but like Yager says, a closed mouth doesn't get fed.

Both guys make weight without incident.

Quarterfinal fight number #1: Court McGee (9-1) vs. James Hammertree (5-1)

Round 1: Hammertree comes out firing. McGee shoots and gets nothing. Low kick misses for McGee. Then a high kick. Hammertree gets a low kick caught and McGee pushes him to the fence and takes him down. Hammertree right back up and spins out. Low kick lands for McGee. They exchange and back away. Low kick for McGee and they tie up. McGee with a big takedown but Hammertree powers out. Back on the feet and McGee charges him into the cage but fails to secure the takedown. Spinning back kick for McGee and Hammertree laughs it off and they get all tied up. McGee works it into a takedown. Round over and it's a close one but likely goes to McGee for the takedowns.

Round 2: Hard exchange but nothing lands. Hammertree dives in for a takedown and right into a standing guillotine choke. Just like that and it's over.

Court McGee defeats James Hammertree via submission

After the fight Dana calls McGee the dark horse of the competition.

Stay tuned next week as Team Ortiz faces the possibility of losing their coach, two more quarterfinal bouts go down and Chuck and Tito nearly come to blows.

See you next week!

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