Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is back with episode nine of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 19, coached by featherweight rivals Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn. The action gets underway and Matt Van Buren is already running his mouth on the way to the gym, calling Chris Fields a "turd" for "getting smart with him" on a few occasions.
Sensitive fella, I guess.
Team Penn hits the gym and Fields says you have to be a little selfish to be a fighter, but still wants to make it big to give himself and his wife a better life. He also wants to prove he belongs, since he got into the house when his opponent blew out his knee in the opening round.
The crew heads over to the Harley-Davidson showroom in Las Vegas to meet up with TUF 15 winner Michael Chiesa. He gives them a tour of the facility and the contestants get to drool over the bike they'll claim if they're able to win the show.
Coach BJ Penn is trying hard to fit in ... but yeah, no.
Back at the house, we get some sob story from Van Buren. He claims six of his friends have died of a drug overdose. I dunno, I've only been listening to him for 15 minutes and I'm considering a drug habit. He also insists that not many people in the world would be able to hang with him inside the cage.
Time for the weigh ins and Van Buren is draped in an American flag, so Fields covers himself in the Irish flag. Cathal Pendred is worried that Fields might be bringing emotion into the cage. Back at the house, Van Buren promises to jump over the cage and sit in the bleachers after he wins.
Is it 11pm yet?
It's the day of the fight and a lethargic BJ Penn says the strategy for Fields is to "not give up." Sounds like an air-tight gameplan. On the other side of the bracket, Coach Edgar expects Van Buren to push his foe into the cage and "put him away."
We shall see.
Light heavyweight elimination fight #4: Matt Van Buren (Team Edgar) vs. Chris Fields (Team Penn)
Round 1: As expected, Van Buren barrels in and pushes Fields into the cage. They jockey for position for about a minute. Van Buren landing knees and Fields countering with uppercuts. Now they are hugging. Fields breaks free at the three-minute mark. They throw hands and Van Buren bullrushes him into the cage. More hugs. Thai plum fail from both. More hugging. This fight blows. They trade knees and it's so bad referee Kim Winslow separates them. The attempt to punch it out in the center of the cage and OMG WHAT A SHOCK Van Buren clinches and pushes Fields to the cage, but at least this time he's able to drag it to the floor. Unfortunately, there is no time to work. 10-9 Van Buren on the takedown.
Round 2: Hard low kick by Van Buren right into a takedown. Fields gives up his back but is able to stand and escape. Now it's Fields on the takedown as Van Buren looks gassed. Fields postures and loses position. Van Buren stands and they have a brief slap fight. Van Buren gets another takedown, uncorks some punches, then lets Fields up, who staggers him with a right. He recovers and initiates the clinch. Coach Edgar screaming at him to let go of the clinch and he won't and works for a takedown. This fight is terrible. Fields getting mugged on the floor but none of these shots have any power. Fields easily stands and it's back to the hugging. Van Buren with a big takedown. Edgar screams at him to do some work. Round ends with Fields getting slugged on the ground. 10-9 Van Buren.
Here's where we stand after nine episodes:
Matt Van Buren
Todd Monaghan Ian Stephens
Anton Berzin Josh Clarke
Chris Fields Mike King Tim Williams
Team Edgar leads 5-3.
After the fight, UFC President Dana White shits all over their performances, calling the fight "uneventful" and even bags on the entire season, labeling it the one with guys "who just don't give a fuck." What a great segue into the semifinal selections.
Dana is furious and Coach Penn throws his team under the bus. "I told them!" Edgar sits next to him dead silent. The guys come in one by one and get scolded by the boss. It's actually pretty funny. Dana then boots the coaches and picks the semis by himself.
185 lbs.: Eddie Gordon vs. Cathal Pendred
205 lbs.: Cory Anderson vs. Pat Walsh
185 lbs.: Dhiego Lima vs. Roger Zapata
205 lbs.: Matt Van Buren vs. Daniel Spohn
Stay tuned next week as Gordon and Pendred hook 'em up, guys get drunk at the house and play grab ass, and Dana White takes the remaining contestants to "the big stage."
See you in seven!