Episode 10 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17: "Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen" was back on the airwaves on Tuesday evening (March 26, 2013) via FX Channel, featuring two fights in one show as Collin Hart battled Kelvin Gastelum and Luke Barnatt took on Dylan Andrews.
Which of these quarterfinal combatants made it into the final four?
Things got underway the same way we left them last week -- with Bubba Jenkins in absolute anguish over UFC President Dana White's decision to pair him off with Uriah Hall. Coach Jon Jones gives him a virtual bro hug and tells his friend and training partner not to let the Adam Cella knockout get into his head.
Good luck with that.
But that's a problem for next week. Tonight, we have to worry about the first half of the quarterfinals and hey look, it's UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey! "Rowdy" is there by Coach Chael Sonnen's request, as a favor to Kelvin, who looks to be having way too much fun getting tossed around by the former Olympian.
She drops some "Mom-isms," like respectfully disrespecting your opponent, and the boys dutifully clap at her advice.
After the commercial break, we get right to the weigh ins and both Collin and Kelvin hit their marks without incident. Well, I guess you can classify an exposed wiener as an incident, but at least they made weight. Members from each team argue their case for both fighters.
Middleweight Quarterfinal fight #1: Collin Hart vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Round 1: Brittney sighting! Jones calls Gastelum "soft." Touch of gloves and Collin tags him before they tie up. Quick break away and back to the center of the Octagon. Both guys start throwing heavy leather with reckless abandon and Hart gets tagged clean. He flops to the ground (head first) and bounces back up -- but Kelvin is right there to finish him off with strikes. Dana screams a bunch of obscenities.
Final result: Gastelum def. Hart via technical knockout
So much for being soft.
Now it's time to focus on the second scrap and it's Team Sonnen's first pick (Luke) vs. Team Jones's last (Dylan). "The American Gangster," the good coach that he is, doesn't see any way his pupil loses this fight. "Bones" of course, respectfully disagrees.
"Iron" Mike Tyson shows up at the TUF gym to watch this round of fights. Dylan is starstruck.
Middleweight Quarterfinal fight #2: Dylan Andrews vs. Luke Barnatt
Round 1: It's only 9:35, so I guess we're going to the scorecards on this one. Touch of gloves and punches are thrown (and eaten). Dylan changes levels and takes Luke down and pushes him into the fence. Luke is able to get to his feet but Andrews drags him right back down again. Luke using his long legs to make ground work difficult and doing a decent job of fighting off his back. He finds an opening and works himself back up. Dylan quickly drops him and has a guillotine but can't seal the deal. Luke escapes but gives up his back. Dylan working the rear naked choke and both guys can be heard sucking wind. Luke back to his feet and they break away. Dylan eats a few knees then ties up a single and gets it back to the floor. The round ends with Dylan on top but he's not doing much with his position. I have it 10-9 Andrews on takedowns and control.
Round 2: Gloves touch and Luke tries to work the jab. Unfortunately, Dylan is game and fires back with some hard shots of his own including some nasty rib roasters. Dylan pushes him into the cage and they work the clinch. Luke with knees to the body and gets a quick takedown and lands right on top. Dylan tries to escape and when he circles out, Luke takes his back but then loses it and gets reversed. Now Dylan on top. Luke seems content to hug. Both guys look spent. Luke sees an opening and jumps up but Dylan won't have it and takes him back down, nearly sacrificing his arm in the process. 90 seconds left in the fight and Barnatt is on his back. Not looking good. Referee Herb Dean warns them to work. Dylan jumps up and Luke tries to escape and gives up his back. Round ends with a human pretzel. I once again had it 10-9 Andrews (for the same reasons as round one) but the judges disagree. Looks like we're getting another round.
Round 3: Dana praises the judges for counting Luke's ground work. They touch gloves and Dylan pushes him into the fence. Clinch from Luke but he's too gassed to hold it. Andrews walking him down with a possessed look on his face. Hands are low and bombs are getting dropped. It quickly dissolves into a bar fight and Luke is getting lit up. He stops defending and gets smoked by a barrage of punches and collapses. One hammerfist and it's over.
Final result: Barnatt def. Andrews via technical knockout
Dana is "blown away" by Dylan's performance. Luke gets a pep talk from Tyson and Dylan gets a hug from his coach. The same coach who showed him a picture of his kids in between rounds. Sometimes, that's all it takes it to get over that hump.
Stay tuned next week for the remaining two quarterfinal fights!