Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns with episode 11 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 19, coached by Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn, and Cory Anderson kicks things off by talking about the influence of his father, then starts hyping up his fight against team mate Pat Walsh as the potential best yet.
Considering how low the bar has been set, that's not saying much.
Walsh, meanwhile, is "upset" because Team Edgar has just one practice each day because there is only a week left in the house, so he looks to "double up" by rolling with some of the guys on Team Penn when BJ and Co. get their turn in the gym.
What could possibly go wrong?
As promised, Team Penn shows up and "The Prodigy" is there to welcome the turncoat with open arms. Later that night, Team Edgar finds out Walsh defected and puts him on blast for potentially selling secrets. How do they know he's not telling Roger Zapata what to expect from Dhiego Lima?
Walsh calls it "ridiculous" and thinks Anderson is "scared" if he is threatened by the extra gym time.
Things get heated in the locker room when the coaches confront him and Walsh storms out in a huff. I know I'm just a dopey MMA writer who doesn't know what it's like and blah, blah, blah, but the name of the show is The Ultimate Fighter, not The Ultimate Teammate.
You do whatever it takes to win the competition.
Cooler heads eventually prevail and Anderson uses the "bygones be bygones" line. Walsh is sticking with Team Edgar and won't be training anywhere else. Emotions are still running high, but keep in mind it's the last week of the season, so things are a but tense.
Okay enough drama, let's fight.
Light heavyweight semifinal: Cory Anderson (Team Edgar) vs. Pat Walsh (Team Edgar)
Round 1: We start with 30 seconds of lazy striking and I'm still marveling at how Walsh is a 205-pounder. Easily a middleweight. Easily. Walsh with a Riddle-esque jab with his hands low. Anderson makes him pay with a combo. Walsh stumbles on shaky legs then eats a knee. Walsh tries to run away and gets taken down. Anderson can't keep him grounded and it's back to the striking. Walsh drops his hands and is already sucking wind. He swings wild and gets taken down. He gets back up after a brief struggle and they resume their striking battle. Anderson taking some shots but they don't even faze him and he returns fire. Walsh bobbing and weaving with his hands at his side and constantly smirking. Unfortunately he's also getting tagged and pulls off a weird rolling guillotine-into-mount maneuver at the horn. I have it 10-9 Anderson.
Round 2: Touch of gloves and Walsh goes batshit crazy with punches in bunches, but most of them are blocked. Anderson still looks light on his feet, but he's not really doing anything, just kind of juking and jiving and throwing the occasional punch. Walsh starting to ape Matt Mitrione. Dana White can be heard cageside, "If Cory Anderson threw a leg kick this fight would be over," referring to Walsh walking around with his hands at his side. Anderson shoots, gets denied, but then staggers Walsh with a knee, then follows up with a nice punch and dumps him on the floor. Walsh pops right back up. He's nothing if not resilient. Dana brings up the head kick again. Walsh shoots and gets stuffed. Anderson tags him and he shoots again. Denied. 10-9 Anderson.
Round 3: Walsh being aggressive but most of his strikes are wild and miss. Anderson seems content to just stand there and take punches. And not a single kick was given. Walsh shoots and drags Anderson down but he gets out of it and resumes striking. Well, the striking stance I guess. Walsh just lumbering forward throwing awful punches. This is ugly. Why isn't Anderson doing anything? Dana White calls Walsh a "zombie" and pokes fun at his awful technique. This looks like two guys in the parking lot of a bar duking it out over some broad. Anderson shoots just because. Anderson throws a knee and it lands -- but also gets taken down at the horn. 10-9 Walsh for activity.
Final result: Cory Anderson def. Pat Walsh via unanimous decision
Here's where we stand heading into episode 12.
185 lbs.: Eddie Gordon vs.
205 lbs.: Cory Anderson vs.
185 lbs.: Dhiego Lima vs. Roger Zapata
205 lbs.: Matt Van Buren vs. Daniel Spohn
TUF 19 Finale match ups:
185 lbs.: Eddie Gordon vs. TBA
205 lbs.: Cory Anderson vs. TBA
Stay tuned next week for the final episode -- complete with two fights in one night -- as Dhiego Lima takes on Roger Zapata and Matt Van Buren battles Daniel Spohn. Hey look, it's Chuck Liddell!
See you in seven!