Episode five of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 "Swagger Jacker" gets underway and Diego Brandao is off the rails over something Steve Siler did ... just nobody seems to know what it is. "Mayhem" shows up at the TUF house to drop off a cowboy hat for Dustin Neace -- much to the chagrin of a previously hatted Josh Ferguson.
It's soon discovered that John Dodson is the mole so Miller starts feeding him misinformation in hopes to further infuriate Brandao. Plus, they hope to let Neace capitalize on the conditioning of Akira Corassani, who they refer to as "fat."
Bisping and Co. thinks it's going to be Brandao vs. Siler -- but they will be wrong.
Back at the house, Ferguson decides there's only room on this show for one badass cowboy hat and absconds with Neace's lid, but Corassani, known for his pranks, is wrongly accused as the abductor. This leads to a slight overcompensation by Neace who dumps Akira's laundry all over the team locker room.
Have sweaty jock strap, will travel.
This leads to a brawl at the fight announcement and Mayhem and Bisping get into it as well. Never have I seen a bunch of people so sensitive about being touched.
John Dodson gets scolded by coach Miller for Mole-Gate and he just shrugs his shoulders and says "Meh, whatever." There follows an assortment of training montages but the fight has some controversy so let's skip the small talk and get right to it.
145 lbs.: Dustin Neace (22-16-1) vs. Akira Corassani (9-3)
Round 1: Referee Herb Dean gets it started and they spend the first minute or so juking and jiving, exchanging intermittent shots but doing no damage. Clock is winding down to three minute mark and Neace fails on a spinning back kick that does nothing but get him put on his butt. Akira muscles his way into guard and lands a big elbow. Not long after that he seems to run out of ideas and Bisping gets an unintentional laugh for saying "please" after shouting every instruction. Both guys look lost and as Akira postures up, Neace explodes into a heel hook and whoa -- did I just see a tap? Since I have this sucker on DVD I'm going to replay the shit out of it ... uh ... that looks like a tap to me ... mouth open, face wincing in pain and the kind of hand-slapping that look like it's an involuntary reaction to pain rather than an "I give up" kinda thing. It's brief, but man from my perspective it's there. Definitely going to be debated. Anyway, Herb doesn't call it or doesn't see it and Team Miller goes off the rails screaming "He tapped!" Not surprisingly, Team Bisping fires back "No he didn't!" Akira manages to wiggle and work his way out of the hold and they get back to their feet with less than a minute to go. Neace shoots and lands the takedown and stands at the buzzer but eats a quick 1-2. Nostradumbass has it 10-9 Neace.
After the round ends, the first thing Neace tells his corner? "He tapped." Hardly scientific but just another perspective of the phantom (or not) tap:
Round 2: They exchange kicks then wing a few punches before Akira rushes and pushes him to the cage. Knees start flying and Neace breaks away. Center of the cage and fists are flying but neither guy lands cleanly. Akira stalking and a straight left crumbles Neace against the cage. Corassani pounces and unleashes a flurry of bombs and Herb Dean right on top ready to call it. Neace is able to tie him up and get back to guard but he's still taking punishment. Two minutes left in the round. Akira postures but can't land the finishing shot. Neace rolls and gets inadvertently tea-bagged. Yuck. Now they're connected a la human centipede. Tough to watch. Akira gets sloppy and Neace with a quick triangle but loses it. Back to guard and Neace is just trying to survive. Five seconds left in the fight and Akira stand up and backs away, raising his hands. I say 10-9 Corassani, sending it to a third round, but the judges disagree.
Akira Corassani def. Dustin Neace via majority decision
After the fight, Akira goes over to Neace on the stool and showboats in his face. Annnnnd the benches clear. Pretty disrespectful. Astonishingly, Bisping pulls Akira back and says "Don't lower yourself to their level."
Whoa! Keith Kizer, Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, storms the cage like he's taking Hamburger Hill and tells Akira he's about to get suspended and thrown off the show.
More of Tap-Gate after the fight and Dana says if the ref didn't see it, it didn't happen. The segment ends with Miller's car being towed for parking in a handicap spot (earlier in the show Team Bisping moved his marker into the wrong spot as a goof).
Stay tuned next week as the controversy continues surrounding Akira's alleged tap, T.J. Dillashaw gets cocky and two fights in one night.
See you next week!