Episode 10 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 22 gets underway and we're not dicking around with any pleasantries. That means two lightweight quarterfinal fights are on tap featuring Artem Lobov vs. Martin Svensson and Saul Rogers vs. Ryan Hall.
Hall is the jiu-jitsu wizard with the nasty leg locks.
Team USA and coach Urijah Faber are still reeling after UFC President Dana White booted Chris Gruetzemacher from the competition -- despite the fact that "Gritz" didn't lose -- because of some cockamamie elimination gimmick concocted by producers.
That said, he will replace anyone who gets hurt and bows out, like Martin Svensson, who claims his arm is all fucked up from his fight against Thanh Le. After going to get it looked at, the doctor reveals a broken elbow and just like that, Gruetzemacher is back in the mix.
He takes over to fight Artem Lobov and according to coach Conor McGregor, will get KTFO in round one.
Both teams head back to the TUF house and WTF? There are girls running around in bikinis. White informs the troops he's gone and thrown them a pool party, because he's cool like that (and because everyone fought hard over the past nine episodes).
Fast-forward five days and it's time to get it on. Lobov tells Gruetzemacher to "be ready to die in there." Let's hope for everyone's sake it doesn't come to that.
155 lbs.: Artem Lobov (11-10-1, 1 NC) vs. Chris Gruetzemacher (12-1)
Round 1: No touch of gloves and Gritz opens with a couple of low kicks. Lobov uncorks a combo to keep him honest. Coach McGregor tells Lobov to "be playful in there." Gritz rushes in and tries to make it ugly against the cage but eats a bunch of punches. They meet in the center of the cage and trade blows. Gritz lands a couple of body kicks but gets hammered with hard punches on the exit. Gritz pushes him to the cage and time is called after a knee finds Lobov's balls. Gritz is bleeding from the nose. They restart and it's back to the legs and midsection for Grtiz. Similarly, Lobov continues to land shots to the dome while keeping his hands at his waist. Credit to Gritz for keeping the pressure on but he's taking a ton of damage in the process. His only hope is to wear Lobov down -- assuming he doesn't get slept in the process. Coach Faber yelling "He's tired Gritz!" 30 seconds left in the opening frame and Lobov tries to tie him up. Some dirty boxing ensues and there's the horn. 10-9 Lobov.
Round 2: More low kicks from Gritz, followed by more head shots from Lobov. "Beautiful shots!" shouts an approving McGregor. Both fighters warned for bonking heads. Gritz manages to land a few head shots but unfortunately he doesn't have the kind of power to put a guy like Lobov to the floor, who just walks through punches like cobwebs. Gritz starting to slow down and Lobov lands a pair on the button. Gritz crumbles and Lobov jumps in for the kill. When he gets down south for the hammerfists of doom, Gritz ties him up and manages to get back to his feet. It doesn't last for long and Gritz is toast by way of Rush 'N Attack.
Final result: Lobov def. Gruetzemacher via knockout
After the fight, Lobov says "it's all fun and games until your jaw crumbles under the Russian hammer." Hard to argue otherwise, since he's headed to the semifinals. Who will he meet? We're about to find out, as Hall laughs when hearing that Team Europe plans to stop his heel hook.
Rogers is "comfortable" in the 50/50 and coach McGregor insists the key to staying safe is not panicking. Think Alan Blecher vs. Rousimar Palhares. That said, Hall claims there are no guarantees he will even take it south, hoping to surprise people with his stand up.
We shall see.
155 lbs.: Saul Rogers (10-1) vs. Ryan Hall (4-1)
Round 1: Touch of gloves and low kick by Hall. Rogers keeping a low base to avoid the sneaky takedowns. High kick by Hall. Rogers answers with a combination. Hall flops to the ground but Rogers won't follow. Back on the feet and every time Hall gets tagged, he falls to the floor but Rogers won't take the bait. Hall lands a running jab. Rogers throws heavy leather but doesn't land cleanly. High kick sails wide for Hall. Two minutes left in the round and so far it's nothing but a sloppy kickboxing match. Hall kicks and Rogers punches. They briefly tie up in the center of the cage but nothing happens and they break away. Hall dives for a takedown from like 10 feet away and not surprisingly, fails to secure a leg. Rogers pelts him when he gets back to his feet. If Hall has more to offer than jiu-jitsu, now would be the time to show it. More punches from Rogers. Round over and I am horrible at scoring fights. Rogers controlled the fight but Hall landed more shots and was busier so 10-9 Hall.
Round 2: Glove touch and Rogers decks him with a punch. Hall tries to kick and fails. Rogers swinging wild. Coach Faber calling for pressure, prompting Hall to shoot and secure the takedown. Now we get to see how well Hall works from guard because Rogers is strong and heavy on top. Rogers pushes him to the fence and then lets him up. Hall is slow to follow and then rushes in for a reckless takedown. He gets clipped and drops to his knees. What about all that shit he was talking about being a striking expert? Not a good look. Hall runs in and Rogers grabs a leg. They tumble to the floor and Hall working for an arm. Rogers is too strong and powers out. Rogers now fighting with supreme confidence and Hall looks worried. Hall jumps in for a leg lock but Rogers sees it coming and dances out of danger. Back to the feet and Rogers slugs him. Sloppy shot by Hall and Rogers falls on him. Rogers riding out the clock and Hall is pressed against the cage with nowhere to go. 30 seconds left and Hall with a desperation triangle choke that fails. Back to the feet and there's the horn. 10-9 Rogers.
Judges have a decision!
Final result: Rogers def. Hall via majority decision
After the fight, McGregor taunts Faber because Team Europe is taking over the entire season. We'll find out next week who else goes to the semifinals when Marcin Wrzosek battles David Teymur and Julian Erosa takes on Abner Lloveras.
See you in seven!