Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was back on FX Channel on Tuesday night with episode three of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17: "Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen."
We start with a brief review of episode two (read our detailed recap here) and Uriah Hall and Adam Cella give each other dirty looks prior to their fight later in the show. Bubba McDaniel whines because he's not fighting and proceeds to call out Kevin Casey, who thinks it was a "weak move."
Bubba uses the word "homie."
Hall talks about the "horrible" time he spent as a youth imported from Jamaica, bullied and made fun of on a regular basis. He starts to get agitated and squeezes an orange to help him manage his anger. Thank god martial arts was there to save him!
Coach Sonnen calls Hall the best athlete on his squad but also cautions he can become a victim of self-destruction, as in "his own worst enemy."
We switch over to Cella and he's talking himself up, about what a big shot he is on the regional circuit and how he has a good paying job and a college degree and doesn't need to fight like the rest of these struggling cretins. Ho boy, this guy is not doing a good job of endearing himself to the audience.
Adam predicts a stand-up fight but has no problem going to the ground.
Coach Jones teaches his team how to land devastating elbows, like the ones he used to damn near kill Matt Hamill and Brandon Vera. "Bones" says half the guys in the house are intimidated by Uriah Hall but hopes to humanize him to give Cella an edge.
During the commercial break, I applied to become an Axe astronaut.
Coming out of the break, we're back in the gym with Hall while Coach Sonnen says his team is training to be offense based; proactive instead of reactive. Uriah says he has nothing to lose except his confidence.
Chael talks to him about going to a sports psychologist to help him overcome his chronic submission losses but also recognizes you can never truly overcome the fear of failing, you only can compete with it.
Wow, four minutes later and we're back in commercial. Must be a quick fight!
The van ride gets Jimmy Quinlan annoyed because Casey is already talking about the second round. At the gym, Adam is perturbed because people are treating the line up card like an advent calendar, swapping little graphics in and out.
Both Hall and Cella make weight without incident.
Coach Jones arrives at the TUF house and turns it into a big barbecue, complete with campfire stories. "Bones" has a pooch with him and tells his guys they're family. Oh hey, look, another commercial break. This has been an easy night for my digits.
Just saw a body lotion commercial featuring Shaq, who is now fat.
It's fight day! Cella reiterates his confidence and his teammates drop some pointers. Frank Mir says "Take him into deep waters and drown him." On the other side, Sonnen is psyching up Hall and tells him to embrace the adversity and actually sounds like a good coach and not the clown he portrays in the media.
Here we go.
Elimination fight #2: Uriah Hall (Team Sonnen) vs. Adam Cella (Team Jones):
Round 1: Touch of gloves and Cella pressing the action. Cella charges with punches and gets locked up in the clinch. He breaks free and Hall misses a wild kick. Cella gets a leg caught and Hall takes him down. They take a breather and Cella sneaks in an elbow from bottom. Hall stands up and Cella scoots to his feet and gets dumped with a push kick. He jumps back up and misses a wild right. Hall catches another kick and dumps him. They return to the striking and Cella eats a high kick. Hall knocks him down briefly with another push kick. They clinch and break away. Back to the center of the cage and they paw at one another for a few seconds. Spinning back fist goes wide for Adam. Hall stings him with a jab and then shuts the lights off with a brutal spinning back kick to the jaw. Cella go night-night. Ouch.
Uriah Hall def. Adam Cella via knockout
It gets scary for a minute as Cella won't wake up. Never want to see that.
Team Sonnen is up 2-0 and the house has been put on notice. That looks like an early contender for "knockout of the season" (worth $25,000). UFC President Dana White comes back to the locker room to congratulate the winner and everyone is in high spirits.
Referee Steve Mazzagatti informs Team Sonnen that Cella is hospital-bound but will be okay.
Here's the updated TUF 17 roster following episode three:
Kevin Casey steps up to fight Collin Hart on next week's episode and Bubba can't believe his ears. It's all about the strategy, homie! Casey expects to take less damage in this fight. We will see. Hart vows to make Casey pay for thinking he's an easy out.
Stay tuned next week as "the rubber meets the road." See you in seven!