Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was back on FOX Sports 1 last night (Weds., Nov. 7, 2018) with episode nine of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 28, featuring a split cast of men’s heavyweights and women’s featherweights. Last week, Team Gastelum’s Justin Frazier continued his unlikely run with a knockout of Cuban Olympian Michel Batista.
We open the show with a look at Maurice Greene smoking outside. He claims he feels calmer when he’s smoking and that he works out hard enough to overcome the effects on his cardio. Justin Frazier shows up to give him a pep talk, and soon the waterworks start. Greene’s incredibly disappointed in himself, bringing up his family’s history of alcoholism.
Back inside, Coach Gastelum offers support, but makes clear his disapproval of Greene’s actions. Greene is contrite, and Gastelum remains confident in his ability to reach the Finale. Meanwhile, his assistant coach runs Greene though some cardio, making him do a series of rough drills while spelling out “H-E-N-N-E-S-S-Y” do create a mental assosication.
On we go to Stoliarenko, who is predictably confident in her victory. She tells Coach Whittaker that she plans to to strike long enough to set up her takedowns. Whittaker himself believes it will come down to who can impose their will.
Pressure, Stoliarenko believes, will be key. She intends to make it gritty until she can get Kianzad to the mat and get the finish. She considers this a fight for the European title.
When we return, the squads head to a local waterpark for a rest day. We get a great shot of Bea Malecki screaming in fear at the top of a waterslide, then see a slide race between Whittaker and Gastelum. Whittaker wins, though it’s marred by a fairly blatant false start.
Once the fun’’s over, they all go to a sushi place that looks absolutely incredible. Whittaker bets Ben Sosoli $50 that he won’t eat a wasabi-ginger sandwich. He wisely splits the burden (and payout) with Katharina Lehner, but the abject misery of the thing is still painted clear on his face.
Coach Gastelum doesn’t have a complex plan for Kianzad. He’s confident in her ground game, which we see her drilling with one of the Heavyweights. She, for her part, considers Stoliarenko a “one-trick pony” whose willingness to be on her back won’t scale against top competition.
Weigh-ins goes smoothly. Showtime.
145 lbs.: Team Whittaker’s Julija Stoliarenko (4-2-1) vs. Team Gastelum’s Pannie Kianzad (10-3)
Round one: Kianzad lands a counter jab early on. Low kick from Stoliarenko, who shoots and gets tossed aside. Left hook from Kianzad. Another Stoliarenko low kick a minute in. Kianznad jabs the body, eats a left hook and jab. They trade in the center. Left hook from Kianzad. Stoliarenko catches her coming in with a right, then eats a jab. Two minutes in. Counter hook by Stoliarenko. She shoots, stuffed, eats lefts. Low kick by Kianzad. Two minutes to go.
Kianzad tries a 1-2-3, lands a leg kick and jab. Kianzad left hook, Stoliarenko right hand. Stoliarenko gets in deep on a takedown, can’t complete it but lands an elbow. Body kick on the break with a minute to go. Body kick connects again. 3-2 lands clean for Kianzad, her best punches of the round. Close. 10-9 Kianzad?
Round two: Low kick from Kianzad to start. Stoliarenko answers, then goes to the body. Kianzad tries a head kick. Left from Kianzad, who eats a jab coming in. One minute in. Kianzad lands a left hook as Stoliarenko disengages. Right cross lands for Stoliarenko inside, then a counter overhand off a leg kick. Kianzad finds the mark with another left hook, then takes a jab. Stoliarenko gets knocked to a knee, recovers, and shoots. It’s a nice shot, but she doesn’t drive through enough and Kianzad denies it two minutes in. Big hook by Kianzad against the fence. BIG 2-3, her best shots yet. Another cracking right. Stoliarenko’s smiling but those are big shots. Stoliarenko shoots, stuffed, lands a right on the break and eats a left hook. Two minutes to go.
Another sharp right cross by Kianzad. Again on the counter. Low kick connects. Stoliarenko shoots under a left hook; her timing’s great, but she just can’t quite follow through. Kianzad comes out swinging after denying it. One minute to go. Good combination by Kianzad. Elbow connects inside. Another lead right lands clean. 3-2. Kianzad low kick. 10-9 Kianzad.
Round three: Another right straight connects for Kianzad. Stoliarenko catches her coming in with a straight right, eats a knee. Low leg kick from Kianzad. Hard 3-2 and lead hook. One minute in. Nice hook by Kianzad, who’s found her range and continues to land the bigger punches. Glancing overhand right by Stoliarenko. Straight right comes back at her two minutes in. Stoliarenko shoots off a Kianzad low kick, stuffed, eats a knee. Stiff jab from Kianzad. 1-3 by Stoliarenko. Stoliarenko eats a knee shooting in and a left hook on the break. Kianzad finds the mark with another hook with two minutes to go.
Good right hand lands inside. Stoliarenko body kick met by a left hook. Kianzad low kick. One minute to go. Straight right from Stoliarenko. Kianzad with a harder one in return. 3-2 connects. Stoliarenko shoots, stuffed, eats a 3-2. Stoliarenko connects on the inside. 10-9 Kianzad.
Final result: Kianzad def. Stoliarenko by unanimous decision
Here’s where we’re at after Episode 10:
Michel Batista vs. Justin Frazier Julija Stoliarenko vs. Pannie Kianzad
Juan Espino vs. Maurice Greene
Leah Letson vs. Macy Chiasson
Come back next week when we finally see the grudge match between Juan Espino and Maurice Greene.