Episode three of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 11, featuring coaches Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell and Tito "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" Ortiz, gets underway and right off the bat there is a group meeting to announce that Chris Camozzi is getting kicked off the show.
Unfortunately he fractured his jaw in his elimination bout and UFC President Dana White will not permit him to continue.
Now Team Ortiz is in the position of having to fill a pretty big hole in his line up and has four names of eliminated fighters to choose from as possible replacements.
In their first training session since winning the opening fight, Team Liddell is in good spirits as they sweat their way through another workout. So far the team has been receptive to his coaching style and personality.
Trainer John Hackleman makes note of how cohesive their group is.
Back at the house, Charles Blanchard is giving a back massage but gets way too throaty in his play-by-play. Apparently some of the other contestants aren't digging the man-to-man contact either and start voicing their displeasure.
The next day Seth Baczynski gets called back to replace Camozzi because he "showed a lot of heart" in his elimination loss.
Coach Liddell steps up and makes his next pick: Brad Tavares vs. James Hammertree. Following the fight announcement things get a little rough in the cage between Nick Ring and Jamie Yager. It seems Yager was running his mouth and Ring took exception to it.
Ortiz tries his rah-rah team spirit speech but it doesn't look like it's getting through.
Both Hammertree and Tavares make weight without exception and both teams are predicting a knockout. Hammertree's style is described as "Fighting like someone is holding his family hostage."
We get a pre-fight look at Brad Tavares and both Hackleman and striking coach Howard Davis like his stand-up (sans inactive jab) and career potential.
Hammertree's preview reveals a five-second knockout on his resume and wants to put Tavares out on his feet -- but has no problem paying homage to his coach with a takedown and ground-and-pound.
Wow, fight is starting very early. Only scheduled for two rounds I have to assume this things goes to sudden victory.
Elimination bout #2: Brad Tavares (4-0) vs. James Hammertree (5-1)
Round 1: Inside kick and high kick graze for Tavares. Hammertree eats a stiff jab who then shoots and drives Tavares to the cage. Hammertree struggles for the takedown, gets reversed and ends up kissing the canvas. Tavares on top looking for the choke but Hammertree powers out and gets top position. Tavares works back to his feet and Hammertree wrestles him down but once again loses position. Tavares riding him like a pony and gets turned around. Hammertree on top but doesn't do a whole lot as they wiggle their way in and out of dominant positions.
Round 2: Hammertree bumrushes him to the cage, tries for the takedown and ends up in guard. Some wacky wrestling on display here. He powers up after escaping an armlock and eats a knee but Tavares falls down and Hammertree takes his back. Tavares gets to his feet and eats a knee. Hammertree drags him back down. Tito very vocal with his instructions. Chuck barely audible. Hammertree warned for spine strikes. Tavares working a Kimura but has no leverage and gives it up for guard. Action slowing down as Hammertree lays in guard with intermittent punches.
Round 3: Hammertree swings for the fences and throws an airball. Tavares with a nice jab. Hammertree has seen enough on the feet and takes him down. Tavares is gassed. Hammertree to mount but voila, Tavares reverses. Hammertree has enough juice to stay out of danger even though Tavares has a good hold on his arm. Unfortunately they don't do much for the last minute or so and just struggle for position until time expires.
Brad Tavares defeats James Hammertree via unanimous decision.
Following the very close decision, Ortiz tries to find an explanation for his second straight loss. Chuck is fired up.
Stay tuned next week as Coach Ortiz looks to rebound while trying to keep his team from imploding, an in-cage controversy sends both coaches into a rage and two fights on one show! Whoo-hoo!
See you next week!