We open with a recap of last week’s bout between Nick Ring and Court McGee. Fighters offer their opinion of the bout, with several saying that Nick didn’t perform up to his full potential. Liddell puts Nick on blast, saying that he looked horrible compared to what everyone else said he could do.
Nick pays a visit to the doctor to check out an injury. He tells the doc that his tendons are loose, his knee is wobbly and not doing what it’s supposed to do. He hurt the knee during the fight to get into the house and believes he hurt it much worse during the fight with Court. He says he can’t push off the knee and can’t trust in his own joints. He asks the doc to find some way to fix it, which the doc promises that he’ll do.
FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENT: Seth Baczynski vs. Joe Henle
Nobody gives Joe a chance against Seth because he’s too inexperienced. Which means he’ll probably win the fight.
Time for a Team Ortiz training session, where we get to meet Seth. It’s been a tough road for Seth because he had to receive a second chance just to get into the house. Tito says dealing with Seth has been nothing but a pleasure because he’s grateful for the second chance Tito, in his almighty wisdom, granted to him. Tito is a benevolent coach.
Joe says he got into fighting by mistake. He literally turned pro in July. As in, several weeks before the show taping began. He didn’t believe he was even going to make the show because “that would be too many things going right for me,” but sure enough, he did. Rich says Joe is the nicest guy he’s ever met, but wonders if he’s mentally fit to be in the cage with a more experienced veteran.
Joe says he’s given up a lot to be here. He works with kids and has an MBA in financial planning, but he doesn’t want to spend his life in an office. So Joe begins training for the fight with the rest of his team and says he’s going to be the best fighter in the world. Howard Davis says that a fighter coming as far as Joe has in six months is pretty incredible, and Chuck says he has a lot of potential. And then Joe catches Chuck with a punch during sparring that looked like it nearly sent Chuck for a loop.
Back to a Team Ortiz training session, where Nick is sparring with Seth to help him get ready. Nick’s knee gives out and he goes to the mat in agony. He says that shouldn’t have been a problem. Nick says he’s had three years of non-stop trouble with it, and his last surgeon said he would never fight again. Nick was trying to keep the knee injury quiet. Tito messes with the knee and sees how much give it has and deduces that it is, in fact, injured. And of course, he immediately starts complaining about the world being against him, rather than discussing Nick’s injury. That’s par for the course, though.
FIGHTER WEIGH-IN: Seth (185), Joe (185)
The eliminated fighters talk about the wild-card spots. Everyone thinks they deserve it, except for Kyacey, who is completely sure that he’s going to be the guy chosen for one of the spots.
The morning of the fight, Seth and Joe relax at the house. Joe says he’s different than most fighters because he’s got more education, but he still has just as much drive and determination as the next guy.
SETH BACZYNSKI VS. JOE HENLE
Much of the first round consisted of a grappling battle, with both guys going for submissions that they just couldn’t quite secure. Henle probably came closer to submitting Seth than the other way around, but Seth ended up on top, raining down elbows as the round came to a close. For that, we’ll scored the round 10-9 to Seth, but it was a pretty close five minutes.
The second round looked a lot like the first, except with fewer submission attempts from Joe and fewer chances to capitalize with elbows from Seth. Joe was able to negate almost everything Seth did on the ground. Joe nearly had a north-south choke near the end of the fight, but Seth was able to escape. And then Seth tried a flying knee that was so high, he nearly flew out of the cage. Joe ducked it, but the exchange took plenty out of him and Seth secured his back as the round came to an end. He wasn’t able to choke him out, however, and this one went to a third round.
Seth controlled the opening minutes of the final frame, using elbows mixed with submission attempts to wear down an already-exhausted Joe. And then he proceeded to do the exact same thing for the final three minutes as well. The elbows weren’t hurting Henle in the least, but Seth was far more active and didn’t allow Joe any room to move or mount any kind of comeback. For a guy who had perhaps eight months of total MMA training prior to entering the house, Henle did surprisingly well for himself. He’s got natural ability and could use that to make a name for himself if he keeps working. He’ll need to work on the cardio.
OFFICIAL DECISION: Seth Baczynski
Seth says he was lucky to escape with a win and that Joe has a ton of potential. Joe says his heart isn’t going away just because of the loss. He wants the wild-card spot. Get in line, Joe.
WILD CARD ANNOUNCEMENT: Kyacey Uscola vs. Kris McCray
Rich Attonito was injured, so they’re putting somebody back in his spot. Dana says he can’t do anything about fights going to the judges — until now. He gives Court McGee the spot because he felt the fight against Ring should have gone to a third round. Court is back in the competition, and this time he swears that he won’t leave his fights in the hands of the judges.