Never leave it in the hands of the judges.
It's a sentiment that you hear more and more these days in the mixed martial arts (MMA) community. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White says it all the time, and he's had plenty of opportunities keep singing that same old tune on this, the 16th season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF).
After a controversial decision in episode six's fight between Colton Smith and Eddy Ellis, everyone hoped to rinse the sour taste out of their mouths with a fight in episode seven that would hopefully bring some fireworks and a result that was devoid of contention.
Unfortunately, neither target was acquired.
It all started with another unique fight selection by coach Roy Nelson, who decided to do away with the "drawing straws" method, in favor of having the remaining eligible fighters choose a number between one and twenty.
"Big Country" is nothing if not scientific and methodical.
After Team Nelson's guys were done doing math, it was all settled. Michael Hill would be fighting Matt Secor of Team Carwin in a match up between two fighters who had less than fond feelings between each other, due largely in part to an in-house run in over some missing chicken.
You can't make this kind of stuff up.
After the weigh ins, the obligatory "I like him, but he's standing in my way" comments, and all the other extraneous hype, it was time to finally get it on.
Round one was close, and it was anything but exciting. Surprisingly, Hill shot for a fairly early takedown, and was able to control things for the most part. It could have probably gone either way, but Hill did appear to have the advantage and to have done enough to win the round.
But, then it all changed.
In round number two, Secor was able to implement his ground game, bloody up his opponent, and even came close to sinking in a choke at one point, late in the round.
Hill survived, but there was absolutely no doubt that Secor had taken the round, as well as all of the momentum, as a defeated looking Hill slowly plodded over to his stool.
It was announced that a third and final round would be fought to decide the outcome, which seemed to cement the scoring status as a 19-19 tie.
In the third round, Hill was able to score another early takedown, but he did little to no damage and was unable to hold onto top position for hardly any time at all.
As Hill hovered over his down opponent, Secor stood and landed an unorthodox kick on his way up, completely surprising Hill and coming out of nowhere.
After getting back to his feet, it wasn't long before Secor was able to land a takedown of his own, and he spent the entire rest of the round in dominant position.
Though Secor was unable to secure the finish, it seemed fairly obvious that he had won the fight by what looked to be a unanimous decision.
Apparently, the judges didn't get the memo.
Dana White sheepishly approached the center of the Octagon, where he delivered the embarrassing news that Hill had won, by way of a split decision.
It was fairly shocking, but Secor took things about as professionally as he could have, congratulating Hill for a fight well fought and chalking it up to experience.
Another episode is in the books. Be sure to tune in next week, where we'll find out which inspirational method of divination that Roy Nelson will use to determine who will be fighting who. Perhaps he'll ask his fighters to play a rousing game of "what color am I think of?"
Did you miss episode seven? Do yourself a favor and check out our liveblog with blow-by-blow details from our very own Geno Mrosko, here.