Nick Ring’s Ultimate Fighter 11 Blog: Episode Five

By Nick Ring

Red Finally In Control

Yager fought against Charlie Blanchard and won the match very decisively by TKO. I thought that Yager looked great in this fight and thanks to him the red team finally gets to pick the next fight. I think we on the red team were all excited about this situation – it seemed to us that now we could finally turn this competition around.

Despite me and Yager’s differences up to this point on the show I must say I was impressed with him. He did exactly what needed to happen for team Ortiz by winning his fight and it definitely brought our overall moral up.

Wild card

Don’t know don’t care… All the guys in the house were talking about the wild card spot. It was non-stop thread of conversation and I found it to be really boring whenever it came up.

I really wasn’t that into talking about any of it because I didn’t really see that none of us were going to have any say in how the wild card was picked anyway – I just didn’t really see the point in talking about it.

But on the other hand there really isn’t anything else to do anyway and it did give me something to listen to while I was bored as fuck in the house.

Kris McCray vs Josh Bryant

My money was on McCray for this fight. Having trained with McCray I know first-hand how tough he can be, he has a lot power in the clinch and despite his lack of striking technique he does have both excellent timing with his punches and he knows how to land a punch.

Many times I found sparring with him that it would not look like he would be able to hit me and then out of nowhere he would clobber me with a punch from some awkward angle.

He also has a lot of confidence in the cage and he doesn’t seem to worry about doing everything perfectly, he just kind of throws down without a care in the world and that combined with his awkward style is very hard to deal with.

I didn’t know much about Bryant at this point but I think that Henle said it best when he said that Josh is quite unassuming. You wouldn’t know that Bryant is tough by just looking at him but after seeing him fight and knowing him a little bit better, I now know that is exactly the kind of mistake that can cost you a match. Bryant is a gamer and I think that his unassuming look works in his favour as a fighter.

Whether our first impression of Bryant is correct or not, I know that all of us on the red team were expecting another W in this match.

McKinney’s shoulder surgery

McKinney got shoulder surgery which didn’t really surprise me that much – you can’t fake popping and cracking, I knew he was hurt despite what some of people on team Ortiz were saying.

After learning about the shoulder surgery Tito apologized to McKinney for insinuating he was a pussy and this was a point in time that I gained more respect for Tito – I thought that was really good of him.

I thought that it was a classy move on his part to admit that he was wrong and I felt that he was sincere about his apology. I thought it was also pretty hilarious to see McKinney flipping him off as he walked away after the heart-felt apology, it was both wrong but funny.
Poor Tito. He tried to be the bigger man and do the right thing and he gets flipped off for it.

Josh Bryant vs Chris McCray

Bryant comes out to the cage for his fight and Yager calls out to Bryant who turns around to acknowledge him – and when he does Yager gives Bryant the thumbs down. When I watched this from home I couldn’t help myself but to laugh out loud when I saw it – it was both very juvenile but also very funny. Yager has his moments.

Round 1

McCray came out and landed some very heavy shots and worked hard to push Bryant to the fence and worked takedowns only to have Josh nullify most of the attempts or get right back up. Most of the pressure was definitely coming from McCray for majority of the round, I gave the first round to McCray but Josh was definitely still in this fight. Despite winning round 1 it was obvious early in round 2 that McCray had simply expended too much energy.

Round 2

Josh starts off round 2 with some very heavy punches most of which landed flush on McCray while he pressed forward for the tie-up… McCray looked exhausted at this point as he pressed Josh into the cage, Josh spun him around and puts his back against the cage and took him down to sit in a side-turtle position. Bryant landed some good punches and rolled down for a kimura which proved fruitless and he abandoned it and very slickly got back up to his feet to take McCray down again for the 2nd time almost immediately.

McCray made his way back up to his feet and was able to take Bryant down and do some ground and pound. The punches were scoring but being as tired as he was they probably weren’t doing any real damage. I think at this point in the round it did even the fight up somewhat but I think that Bryant is still up on the scorecards. They finished the round with Bryant making some slick, albeit not so close, submission attempts but it proved that Bryant was very much still good to fight.

Round 3

McCray charges in again to have Bryant land some very hard punches before McCray gets Bryant’s back to the cage. Bryant then spins McCray around to get his back against the cage and then gets him to his butt after McCray makes a half-hearted kimura attempt.

McCray stands up and presses forward with the clinch again and starts to work the single leg again and as tired as he is, McCray is showing a lot of determination with getting the takedown but to no avail. The ref breaks it up and they strike again.

Bryant again lands some very heavy hands to McCray’s face as he lurches forward for the clinch. McCray was too exhausted to fight at this point and went for one last takedown which failed and ended with Bryant having McCray’s back. It was pretty clear at this point that team Ortiz would not be getting to pick the next fight as Bryant had finished the overtime round very decisively.

Bryant definitely proved himself to me in this fight and it just goes to show that underestimating a guy can turn out very badly.

Now team Ortiz had to again live with the consequences of Liddel’s team being in control – this really put a damper on us. All of us on team Ortiz were starting to feel like we could never win.