Episode five of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 9 gets underway with a brief recap of Nick Osipczak's surprising knockout win over Mark Miller. Bisping reminds us that it was Team US who picked the fight and had it blow up in their face.
A long van ride back for the stateside boys as they try to figure out why the opposing team is so cohesive and they are a Motley crew. Cameron Dollar declares his independence from the group and Damarques concedes that their team is anything but.
Dollar then decides to prove how cool he is by telling some of the guys by the pool that he's humped over 70 girls. When they react with a sense of apathy, he raises the stakes by admitting that one of the lucky 70 was his best friend's bride-to-be.
So much for "Bro's before Ho's."
Team US keeps with the tired mantra "I'm not here to make friends, I'm just here to win fights." You know, because it's always worked so well in the past.
Fight selection and Team UK is in control picking Andre Winner to face Santino DeFranco. Bisping is confident that Winner won't be outstruck or taken down. Hendo disagrees.
Winner rolls around with Bisping to prep for the fight and the team erupts when he is able to secure a takedown on "The Count." Bisping blames it on his own coaching that made Winner good enough to pull it off.
Training session for the Brits and Winner likes to get paid to fight as well as feed his competitive spirit. DeFranco refreshes our memory about his TUF 2 tryout that resulted in brain surgery and the end of mixed martial arts. He defied the odds to come back and had a thrilling come-from-behind win in episode two.
Fight day is here and DeFranco tries to convince himself he's going to win by screaming "I'm the champ!" ad nauseam. Winner finds the idea of losing to be kind of amusing.
Lightweight elimination fight #1: Andre Winner (9-2-1) vs. Santino DeFranco (13-4)
Round 1: Low kick by DeFranco. Body shot by Winner. DeFranco shoots and gets denied. An exchange of low kicks. Again. Sloppy shoot by DeFranco rejected. Winner with a punch-kick combo. Low kick by Winner. Returned by DeFranco. Nice body shot by Winner. DeFranco shoots and Winner flops on top and gets mount. DeFranco tries to do his best BJ Penn impersonation by working an Omplata. He can't secure it and Winner breaks free and starts to unload bombs onto a fetal DeFranco. This continues with no defense and Mazz jumps in for the stoppage.
Andre Winner defeats Santino DeFranco via TKO (strikes)
After the fight, Hendo looks for some consoling words and finds none. DeFranco calls himself an idiot. Winner and Team UK celebrate like they just won two straight from a baffled Team US, probably because they did.
Back at the house Team US starts to unravel and we even get a gratuitous Kriss-Kross wiggity-whack reference from Jason Dent. 10 out of 10 for that one.
Hendo takes his team for a run and starts fantasy matchmaking - until Jason Pierce decides he can't beat anybody on Team UK. They pile into the van and start bickering like a bunch of insecure sixth graders. As an American rooting for his homeland, it's a sad sight to see.
Hendo comes in for the save with a Rah-Rah speech that is delivered in the same monotone delivery he says everything else in. It doesn't resonate but at least it shuts them up for a few minutes.
The Brits attribute their bond to a complete lack of egos. They are shown having fun, getting along, basically all the things that Team US can't seem to get a handle on.
We get our second fight announcement of the episode and Hendo chooses Damarques Johnson to try and stop the bleeding by taking on Dean Amasinger. Bisping warns that this fight is hardly a lock for Team US.
Dean is reminded to be weary of the triangle choke, which Johnson uses and Dean is susceptible to. Dean is all smiles during training and even hits a Hulkamaniac pose for his fans overseas.
Johnson on the other hand seems content to just bounce around the cage by himself. He assures the viewers he's not there to rape and pillage anyone and then prays for God to give him the strength to whoop some ass.
Dean has his back shaved before the fight. Those Brits, they're so polite. Bisping is inexplicably absent from the locker room as he gets ready and it puts a damper on Dean's fighting spirit. Dean seems way too kind and gentle to be a fighter.
Welterweight elimination fight #2: Damarques Johnson (13-6) vs. Dean Amasinger (4-1)
Round 1: Hard low kick by Amasinger. Then another but Johnson catches it and Amasinger slips. They get back up and Amasinger shoots and gets him down but Johnson takes an arm with him. Amasinger escapes the kimura and takes mount. Unfortunately he also takes a walk down Triangle lane and gets tapped for his efforts.
Damarques Johnson defeats Dean Amasinger vis submission (triangle choke)
Following the fight, Team US figures Bisping was MIA because he knew his fighter would lose and that he was avoiding the inevitable. Amasinger has a meltdown in the locker room and even I started to get aggravated that Bisping was a no-show.
Stay tuned next week as Bisping tries to atone for his absence, Team US grows further apart and we're treated to another two-fight episode!
See you in seven!