Nick Ring’s Ultimate Fighter 11 Blog: Episode 10

by Nick Ring

Tito Pulls Out

I do understand Chuck being upset about Tito pulling out and he was quite vocal about his feelings towards him over the weeks and not getting to fight him was probably frustrating to him. In Tito’s defence, neck injuries are serious and if it is as serious as it sounds like it is then it should probably get addressed. Besides that, Chuck has already gotten to beat on Tito twice – what is the point of a third fight.

Jamie Yager versus Josh Bryant

I thought that Yager looked good in this fight for the majority of it. Even though Yager and I don’t work well with each other as training partners, I still do find him rather impressive ability-wise as a martial artist. Yager naturally has speed and power that has taken me literally years to develop, and his timing is impeccable too.

Josh on the other hand is not as flashy as Yager, and instead is a master of the unspectacular – he is good at stopping takedowns and landing punches and all the while being very consistent in his pressure. I think Josh has really good basics but he gets overlooked and underestimated a lot which I think actually poses an advantage for him. Underlying an un-intimidating demeanour is a hardened competitor who is willing to fight and will force you to fight him right to the end. You can definitely see the determination on his face when he fights and he will not roll-over for anybody.

Round 1 – I would say that in this round Yager was in control for the majority of it using good range and landing good kicks on Bryant (however looking closely at the video I can see that Josh landed some very solid punches that probably didn’t get much notice to us on-lookers at the time). In the judges eyes Yager probably had this round right up until the knockdown at the end of the round which probably tilted round 1 in Bryant’s favour.

Round 2 – I would have to give the first part of the round to Yager for some of the strikes he was landing despite looking quite tired. Josh however again was very consistent with his pressure, and in my mind solidified the round in his favour for good when he got sidemount on Yager. It didn’t look like Yager was doing much from the bottom to improve his position and I had seen that look on Yager’s face in training before – I knew that he was done fighting.

Round 3 – What round 3!!! I felt that Josh had done enough to win both rounds so I didn’t understand the need for a 3rd but here it was and this was Yager’s chance to win the fight, too bad he decided not to participate. I’m sure that he probably regrets this now, but what is done is done.

Tito – You’re Fired!!

Dana pulls Tito into his office to have a chat with him. The good news was Dana set Tito up with a doctor’s appointment with a specialist hand-picked by Dana White himself, the bad news was the process would be carried out immediately and Tito would be forced off of the show.

I couldn’t help but feel a bit sorry for Tito by watching this interaction… Tito looked both confused and devastated as he was trying to absorb what Dana was telling him.

We on the red team had no idea what was going on after Tito was pulled into Dana’s office, we were told by the producers to sit in the van and we were left waiting what seemed to be ages. Finally we saw Tito walk out of the gym and he looked quite upset, he was talking to one of his assistant coaches (Razor Rob) and it was obviously something serious because he wasn’t making eye-contact with any of us. Rob, very carefully, listened to Tito so as not to miss a word and then Tito got into his vehicle and drove off.

All of us in the van were very confused as we contemplated and discussed what we thought was going on from the van as we waited, whatever it was it was bad enough that Tito just drove off without a word to us.

After a few more minutes of waiting in the van we were called back into the gym and Dana gave us the news that Tito was gone and that we would be getting a new coach for the duration of the show. Dana made it sound a little bit like Tito left on his own accord rather than being forced out against his will – I remember us asking Dana some pretty specific questions only to get some really vague answers that didn’t explain anything.

Either way it was made clear to us that we would be getting a different coach even though there was only days left in house and it would be up to Kris to adapt to the situation.

Tito Says Goodbye

Tito came to the house to say goodbye. It was really sad to say goodbye to Tito, he had been such a big part of our lives for the last few weeks and to know that this would be the last we were going to see of him made for a sombre mood as he explained to us why he was leaving. We all listened intently as he communicated the situation and we tried to come to grips with how this would be affecting our team, and most importantly our last remaining red-team competitor.

This being the last time we would see him, everybody in the house (on both teams) got into a frenzy trying to get Tito to sign their gear and trade contact info (I guess we are at heart still fight fans). We then had one last drink with our now former-coach. Take-care Tito – you will be missed.

Semi-Final Fight Announcements

Court McGee Versus Brad Tavares and Kris McCray versus Josh Bryant
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Rich Franklin Joins the Red Team

This was not the first time I have met Rich, I met him in Calgary once and he is easily one of the nicest guys I think I have ever met. I was not disappointed to have him coach us at all, unfortunately I would have to be stuck to watching Rich work with the guys from the sidelines but I was still looking forward to it.

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