Last week on “The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck“, the two wildcards faced off for a shot at redemption in this season’s tournament. After a very positive opening round for Marc Stevens, early in the second Aaron Wilkinson caught him in a guillotine choke, forcing the tap.
Following the fight, the remaining competitors were asked to pick who they would most like to fight in their next appearance inside the cage. The four fights are announced, and we’re moving on to the quarterfinals of the tournament.
This episode begins back at the fighter house, where Sevak Magakian is urging Sako Chivitchian to defeat Jonathan Brookins, who defeated the former in the preliminary round and has become one of the clear favorites to win at this point in time.
In the gym, Georges St. Pierre discusses his team’s strategy in training leading up to the finals, stating that he wants to focus on cardio for the most part. Brookins is then shown in confessional explaining that he is excited for this fight and understands that he needs to avoid Chivitchian’s striking game.
When Josh Koscheck’s team hits the gym, the head coach is shown talking to Chivitchian, explaining that he needs to avoid the ground and not give up any dominant positions, most notably his back. The way Brookins has looked thus far on the show, it’s no wonder Team Koscheck is a bit concerned about anyone heading to the floor with him. However, both Koscheck and Chivitchian seems confident in victory.
Back at the house, Nam Phan and Brookins head out to the back yard to avoid their teammates, who are clearly annoying them. They are easily two of the most focused fighters in the house, while a few others don’t appear to be as concerned.
Sako Chivitchian vs. Jonathan Brookins
Round 1: Herb Dean kicks off the action, and the two fighters take a few moments for a feeling-out process. Chivitchian comes forward first, but Brookins goes for a takedown. The two clinch, and Chivitchian presses Brookins up against the cage. However, Brookins earns the takedown and quickly moves to the back of his opponent. He only has one hook in. And now he has two, with his back up against the fence. He is looking to work that choke in, but Chivitchian is doing fine for now. And, just as I say that, Brookins sinks in the choke for the victory. Brookins def. Chivitchian via submission (rear naked choke) in Round 1.
Chivitchian is clearly upset about his first loss, while Brookins is extremely happy with his victory. Dana White also is shown saying that he is very impressed with Brookins, who has been quite dominant so far this season.
Next, St. Pierre is shown discussing McKenzie, who he believes is a very confident fighter. McKenzie certainly is and it appears he believes he is going to dominant Phan in their match up. Let’s just see if he can do it without the guillotine choke he has become known for.
St. Pierre begins working with McKenzie about how to earn the victory over Phan. McKenzie says that he plans on tricking the more experienced fighter by attempting to grind it out as opposed to going all out at the start.
Back to Team Koscheck, Josh is shown telling Phan that he needs to get the win over McKenzie. In case you have missed it, Koscheck and McKenzie have been going back and forth for the majority of the season. Koscheck says that they are not getting guillotined again, or he is going to hit Phan in the head with a chair.
Back to the house, Phan and McKenzie are shown in the kitchen, and they seem to be in good spirits. Each are willing to engage in conversation, though McKenzie finds it curious how talkative his upcoming opponent really is. McKenzie is then shown in a confessional, stating that people may underestimate him because he does not look like a fighter. Meanwhile, Phan believes that he will be able to take out McKenzie and give him his first loss.
Nam Phan vs. Cody McKenzie
Round 1: Josh Rosenthal gets the action started, and McKenzie comes out fast. The two clinch and McKenzie looks for the takedown, and he nearly earns it. Underhooks for McKenzie up against the cage and he drops down, looking for another takedown. Phan avoids the takedown yet again. The next time, however, Phan gets taken to the ground. McKenzie looks for a bit of ground and pound, but he’s getting tied up. Koscheck urges Phan to use the cage and make a move. Butterfly guard for Phan allows him to roll out of the position. Koscheck tells him to get off the fence and Phan does just that, for a moment at least. McKenzie keeps pressing Phan against the cage, and Koscheck absolutely hates this. He continues to urge Phan to get off the cage. McKenzie appears to be tiring a bit after all this clinch work. Phan, however, looks very fresh, just weathering McKenzie’s attempts. Another takedown attempt fails for McKenzie, as we reach the one minute mark. Front kick lands for McKenzie, but Phan lands a big right, and another. Desperation takedown for McKenzie is stuffed, and Phan begins pounding elbows down. McKenzie falls to his back, but the referee stands him back up. Spinning back fist misses for McKenzie, and he ends the round with another failed takedwon attempt.
Round 2: The second round begins with Koscheck yelling at Phan that McKenzie is tired. Phan begins picking up the pace, while McKenzie is only moving backwards. Takedown attempt misses for McKenzie, but it leads to the clinch. They separate and Pahn lets off a nice head kick, followed by another. Body shots land for Phan. McKenzie pushes froward for another takedown, but Phan separates once again. Right hand lands for Phan, while a head kick misses. Koscheck continues to inform Phan that McKenzie is tired. Jab lands for Phan, followed by a right. Phan’s starting to get his range, working combinations nicely. Combination lands for Phan and McKenzie appears to be in trouble. Body shot sends McKenzie to the floor, and Phan moves in for the technical knockout stoppage. Phan def. McKenzie via technical knockout in Round 2.
Koscheck rushed into the cage following the fight, celebrating his team member’s big victory. St. Pierre, however, did not find this to be the correct way for Koscheck to handle himself. He may have a point, considering McKenzie seems very upset about the loss. St. Pierre admits that Koscheck did get under his skin. Koscheck then is shown in a confessional, saying that the victory was personal after all the trash talk McKenzie had been dishing out.
McKenzie is then shown in the dressing room and he is unhappy to say the least. He is disappointed that he got beat like that, and that his friends and family have to see that. However, he ends by saying that life goes on.
Next week, teammates Michael Johnson and Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres face off, while Aaron Wilkinson and Kyle Watson look to advance to the semi-finals. Then, Dana White will set up the semi-finals to determine the top two fighters from this season of “The Ultimate Fighter”.