Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was back on FX Channel earlier tonight (March 12, 2013) with episode eight of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17: "Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen."
Things get underway with rumblings of the wildcard pick -- decided at the end of the show -- and Robert Jenkins wants his shot at redemption, something teammate Adam Cella believes "Bubba" has earned.
We quickly move on to previews for the final preliminary fight between Dylan Andrews vs. Zak Cummings. The former talks about his brothers' past troubles with the law and how their failures helped put him on the road to success.
The latter is scouted as having a great right hook.
After the commercial break, Cummings reflects on how his inner circle first resisted his career in combat sports, because he was smart enough to be an engineer or some other job with a prestigious title. He doesn't like the fact that Andrews is such a swell chap, since he's tasked with beating his face in.
Welcome to the fight game.
It's time for the Coaches Challenge ("Dig This") and UFC President Dana White is holding court in a construction zone, asking Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen to operate heavy machinery in a battle of wits and dexterity. Winning coach gets $10,000 and each of his pupils gets a cool $1,500.
They have to use a giant backhoe to scoop up a basketball and drop it into a huge truck tire, in addition to moving dirt and stacking rubber. Jones says, "If you want to win, put 'Bones' in." The UFC light heavyweight champion gets off to a slow start, roars back to take the lead, then chokes at the very end.
"One more for the bad guys!"
Hey, there's "The Iceman" hocking Miller Lite! Back from the break and we go right to the weighs ins. Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) Executive Director Keith Kizer is wearing a sweater so ugly it makes that tan failure from Fedor Emelianenko look downright fashionable.
Both fighters make weight without incident.
Prior to the fight, Andrews says both guys have a "bag of tools," which explains the episode title. Cummings is getting emotional while thinking about the stress his career has put on his family. Both guys have a lot on the line ... but who wants it more?
Let's find out.
Elimination fight #7: Dylan Andrews (Team Jones) vs. Zak Cummings (Team Sonnen).
Round 1: Touch of gloves to get it started and they exchange jabs. Cummings with a takedown attempt but gets denied. They reset and hands fly. Dylan eats one too many and he shoots but can't get it either. Even worse, Cummings uses the leverage to jump on top and work a guillotine. He can't lock it in but switches to ground and pound. Andrews is content to turtle. Cummings drops a few elbows and looks unsure of how to advance. A scramble ensues. Dylan reverses and climbs on top. Someone is bleeding. Andrews drops a few elbows of his own. Sonnen has to yell "please" because Cummings won't listen or work an escape. He even switches from "Zak" to "Zachary" to no avail. More elbows rain down and Cummings is using his face as a shield. He survives the round but took a pounding.
Round 2: Cummings tries to pull a Uriah Hall but the kick sails wide. A sloppy firefight ensues and Zak's running knee gets him taken down against the fence. Andrews has him pinned and tries to land a big shot but he's not getting through so he switches to short elbows. The action starts to stall. Referee Herb Dean warns him to work. Cummings looks exasperated. Short elbows land intermittently and aside from the occasional wiggle, Cummings makes no effort to escape or defend. More elbows from the Aussie and Cummings looks like he hates his life right now. 15 seconds left and Andrews stands to let him up and nothing else happens until the horn.
Dylan Andrews def. Zak Cummings via majority decision
After the fight, the coaches get together with Dana to review the eliminated fighters and come to an agreement on who will get another crack at UFC superstardom. Jones and Sonnen will have to make up their own minds as White bows out of the decision-making process.
"Bones" picks Bubba while "The American Gangster" goes with Kevin Casey, so these two will bang it out next week to see who makes the most of a second opportunity.
Here is the updated roster through week eight:
Bubba McDaniel vs. Kevin Casey
Stay tuned next week for Thanksgiving dinner, Bubba's bitching and of course, the wildcard fight, which features "one of the most shocking finishes in TUF history!" Says the voiceover...
See you in seven!