The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 21 returned to FOX Sports 1 last night (Weds., May 6, 2015), featuring episode three of the combat sports reality show, pitting American Top Team (ATT) against the neighboring (and hated) Blackzilians squad.
After a dump-and-hump win by "Buscape," the Blackzilians are up two-zip.
But since this season is based on points and not eliminations (ugh), there is no real sense of panic over at the ATT camp, though I'm sure they would love to secure home-gym advantage by winning a bout and moving operations back across town.
Back at the house, Valdir "Baby Monster" Araujo wants to have a glass of wine and welp ... someone swiped one of his bottles. He tries to interrogate the rest of the house and it's revealed that Michael Graves drank it, presumably to wash away the pain of losing his fight on episode one.
The ATT war room is trying to figure out who is the best man for the job and Steve Carl is nominated because he's a gritty veteran and the coaches are tired of relying on the new guard. Blackzilians counter with the aforementioned Araujo, but neither squad will know who they are fighting until the weigh ins.
Speaking of which, it's time to hit the scale and UFC President Dana White promises an exciting fight. Unfortunately Carl misses weight, so they send him back into the Blackzilians sauna for a second try. That doesn't sit well with Tyrone Spong, so he goes to the locker room and kicks them out of the room.
Nathan Coy from ATT tries to step up and suddenly I feel afraid.
Carl leaves the sauna and re-weighs himself. This time he's on point, so there will be no parking lot calisthenics (and no locker room melee).
Now it's time to gameplan for the fight and each side has just 24 hours to strategize. The general consensus is that Araujo will try to use his judo to score a takedown, then implement his jiu-jitsu for a submission win. But ATT coaches insist he's made of glass and that one solid punch wins the fight.
Time to find out.
170 lbs.: Steve Carl (21-4) vs. Valdir Araujo (14-5)
Round 1: Touch of gloves and Araujo being aggressive with his punches and kicks. Carl taking it all in stride. Brief lock up but then they break. Araujo with a hard low kick. Carl tags him on the chin and "Monster" rushes for the takedown. He can't get it as Carl backs into the wall and rests. Araujo does a huge takedown slam but Carl pops right back up, then spins him around and puts him into the fence. Veteran move right there. Body blows by Carl. Fence grabbing, too. Lots of hugging here and the ref doesn't seem to mind. Carl changes levels and Araujo tries a guillotine with no success. Back to the man-love for a solid 3-45 seconds. Where is the punching? "Monster" does a sneaky judo throw to escape and unloads fists, chasing Carl to the opposite fence before time expires. Tough round to score. 10-10 because I fear commitment.
Round 2: Gloves are touched and Carl swings wild. High kick from Araujo. Then a low kick. Carl returns fire. So essentially we have a sloppy kickboxing match. Carl catches an incoming kick and they tie up and go to the wall. Team "Monster" screaming for him to get off the cage. He ignores them. Carl drops down for the takedown and gets denied, then guillotined. He escapes because Araujo is too tired to finish it standing. Here come the hugs. Carl trying hard for the takedown and not getting it. Weird gameplan. Back to the guillotine for "Monster" and nope, not this time either. So he opts to jump into it and Carl can't pop out, leaving him no choice but to hit the floor, roll over, and tap out.
Final result: Araujo def. Carl via submission (guillotine choke)
Here's where we stand after week three:
ATT (0 points):
Marcelo "Grilo" Alfaya (16-7, 1 NC)
Hayder "Hulk" Hassan (6-1)
Nathan "Soul Force" Coy (14-5)
"Creepy" Steve Montgomery (8-2)
Michael Graves (4-0)
Sabah "The Punisher" Homasi (8-4)
Uros Jurisic (4-0) Steve Carl (21-4)
Blackzilians (75 points):
Jason Jackson (4-2)
Luiz "Buscape" Firmino (18-6)
Kamaru "The Nigerian Nightmare" Usman (5-1)
Andrews Nakahara (4-2-2)
Carrington Banks (3-0)
Vincente Luque (7-4-1)
Felipe "Balboa" Portela (8-2)
Valdir "Baby Monster" Araujo (14-5)
After the fight, Dana White lambasted the ATT fighter for what appeared to be a moronic gameplan. It was already established that Araujo has no chin and Carl inexplicably opted to wrestle against a formidable grappler instead of head hunting. ATT head coach Dan Lambert: "We're pissed off."
That's it for this week. See you in seven!