Episode 11 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Season 11, featuring coaches Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell and late replacement Rich "Ace" Franklin, gets underway with Coach Franklin taking over for the last week of training and along for the ride are Forrest Griffin, Gray Maynard and Tyson Griffin.
"Ace" goes right after Kris McCray to help get him ready for his semifinal fight against Josh Bryant while Forrest starts rolling with some of the remaining guys who aren't banged up. McCray seems to have transitioned well to the new coaches.
Over on Team Liddell's side of things, Chuck is trying to adapt to his new opponent going from one of the most hated guys in the sport to one of the nicest. Tavares and McGee have to throw down and it makes the team uncomfortable.
Assistant Coach Hackleman wants to keep the group together instead of breaking them up but isn't sure how the strategy will work out. Chuck feels like he wants to coach both of them at the same time but realizes it's not practical for either contestant.
Back at the house, the guys plan an attack on the Minority Report as revenge for their late-night shenanigans. Airhorns and silly string start flying. Those crazy kids!
Brad Tavares thought they crossed the line so he sent the house chess set to its doom to pay them back. Nice work, Brad. Fortunately the tomfoolery doesn't stop him from making weight as he and McGee both hit their respective marks.
Court admits that he's afraid of dying from shooting heroin. Tavares says he's relaxed and ready to go. I'm taking the heroin guy after that kind of pre-fight trash talk.
Semifinal fight #1: Brad Tavares (4-0) vs. Court McGee (9-1)
Round 1: McGee low kick. Tavares jab. Quick exchange and out. Tavares low kick. Lot of feeling out. McGee bumrush and they go to the cage. McGee works hard for the takedown and gets it. McGee postures and Tavares escapes. They slug it out in the center of the cage but no one gets hurt. McGee rushes and back to the cage they go. McGee works the body and Tavares breaks free. High kick for McGee. He shoots but gets pushed off so he tries again and they go back to the cage. McGee with a huge takedown Hulk-smash style. Tavares doesn't let him stay there and pops right back up at the bell. Close round but probably goes to McGee on takedowns.
Round 2: Tavares stiff jab. Another. A minute goes by as both guys stick and move. Tavares low kick and he eats a hard right. McGee eats a jab and shoots and they go to the cage but Tavares isn't having it. Tavares starts to let the hands go and gets the better of the exchanges. McGee shoots and gets denied and starts to get picked apart on his feet. McGee catches a kick and tries for the takedown but Tavares defends. Round over and I say goes to Tavares.
Round 3: They come out urgently and McGee takes one in the yam-bag. Quick break and it's back on. They exchange in the center of the cage and McGee flaunts his iron chin. Two low kicks by McGee but he eats a hard right in the process. Hard low kick by Tavares. McGee backs him up with a combo. Tavares keeping him at bay with strikes so McGee tries for the takedown and doesn't get it. Without them he's losing the fight. Tavares gets rattled but still defends the many shots from McGee. Now Tavares takes a nut job. They resume and throw hands. McGee stuns him but Tavares answers with a combo. Tavares gets another kick to the balls. It's back on and McGee lands a huge left and rocks Tavares. McGee picks him up and slams him down. In the scramble he locks up the rear naked choke for the submission win.
Court McGee defeats Brad Tavares via submission (rear naked choke)
Dana White called it a dogfight and that pretty much sums it up. It took the entire season but we finally had a great fight. And it came from Court McGee. Take that, naysayers.
The next day Dana rallies the troops and brings representatives of the United States Marine Corps to give them some military training including circuit training and disarmament. They also whap each other with those padded sticks American Gladiators style.
The fighters return the favor by showing them some jits and cage fighting techniques. They also bring them back to the house for a good old fashioned barbecue. Nick Ring gets called out for being a Canadian to group laughs.
Coach Franklin gets some one-on-one time with Kris McCray and tries to help him correct the mistakes he made in his first fight with Josh Bryant. Rich wants him to be a more efficient fighter and has no doubt that McCray will win.
Back at the house, Jamie Yager starts to map out his revenge for the early morning wake up call. In the midst of the fun and games, James Hammertree gets hit with a bag of flour as he's sunbathing. He storms into Yager's room and dumps trash all over the place.
Yager gets mad and then unloads a bag of unidentified perishable goods in Hammertree's room.
He also manages to piss of Kyacey Uscola and they have to be separated. McKinney gets in on the action as well and tells Yager to shut up because he's a quitter. Uscola and Yager agree to go outside to duke it out and (surprise) Yager never shows up.
He's later overheard shouting "It's gone too far dawg" and then goes off to brush his teeth.
Anyway, Bryant and McCray weigh in without incident. Dana finds it very hard to pick against Bryant because he already beat McCray in addition to his performance in the other elimination fights.
Semifinal elimination fight #2: Josh Bryant (10-0) vs. Kris McCray (5-0)
Round 1: A bizarre dance/scramble opens the fight . After exchanging shots and a few hot-steps, McCray presses Bryant to the fence. He secures a takedown. Bryant gets to his feet and breaks away. They exchange leather but nothing significant lands. They clinch a few times and break apart. Ugly striking on display and Bryant eats an uppercut. They clinch and go to the cage. Bryant tags him on the break and they both start firing off punches. It's an ugly slugfest until the bell.
Round 2: McCray eats a right and shoots, pushing Bryant to the cage who quickly breaks free. McCray lands ten body uppercuts and Bryant tags him in the face. Bryant looking for the takedown and isn't getting it. Both guys look extremely gassed and just lay on each other. Mazzagatti separates them. They whale on each other for awhile and Bryant shoots and gets nothing but a rest against the cage. They separate and they're winded. Striking is hideous. Another failed shot by Bryant but at least he gets a break. Bryant working the body and McCray responds with some knees. McCray gets a shot stuffed and they go back to the fence.
Round 3: They stand and trade and both fighters landing at will. No defense here. McCray wants the takedown but doesn't get it. McCray ties him up and they fall down. They get back up. McCray eats an uppercut and returns with a combo. They can barely keep their arms up. They tangle up against the cage and strike in slow motion. What a difference from the first fight. Franklin yells "He's tired Kris!" Really? McCray tries for takedown and can't get it but rests on Bryant until he escapes. He tries again to similar results. Fight over. Nothing to be proud of.
Kris McCray defeats Josh Bryant via unanimous decision
So the TUF 11 live finale is Court McGee vs. Kris McCray. Josh Bryant promises to come back "vicious." What's interesting is that McGee and McCray were both eliminated contestants who came back to make it to the finale.
Credit to McCray for fighting five times this season -- a TUF record. Well, that's a wrap for TUF 11. Who ya' got for the live finale? McCray or McGee?