The quarter-finals move into high gear with two fights
Previously on The Ultimate Fighter: Chuck O’Neill transformed into Cold Steel and easily beat Javier Torres, who lost his second fight for the season. This week, we’re going to see two quarter-final bouts: Ramsey Nijem vs. Clay Harvison and Shamar Bailey vs. Chris Cope. Who will become The Ultimate Fighter? We literally have just a few weeks left to find out.
Shamar Bailey and Young Randy Couture talk about Shamar’s back. He says he thinks he did something to it but just wants to get the fight out of the way so he can get it looked at. Chris walks by and Shamar says he feels like Chris just lurks everywhere. This is true.
Ramsey Nijem hits the gym for a boxing session with Junior, who says Ramsey is the best wrestler on his team. Ramsey says he’s been to his homeland of Palestine and that he’s seen the things they go through over there, so he feels blessed to be fighting in the controlled environment of the cage and not, you know, for his life.
Dana White brings in Brian Stann to meet both teams. Stann tells his Afghanistan story and says that the things he learned in the Marine Corps have really helped him in his fighting career. Ramsey says Stann helped him understand what it means to be a fighter. Stann encourages them to learn as much as possible as they can from Brock and Junior. Brock tells the guys to thank Brian for coming by and tells Brian he should have brought applications for some of the jokers to sign up for the Marines. I have a feeling those two guys could be best friends.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there is literally no guy on the entire UFC roster, no matter what the weight class is, more marketable than Brian Stann.
Brock shows Clay how to do the whizzer that Carwin used to defend his own takedown last summer. Clay likes this move and practices it quite a bit. I have a feeling it still won’t help him against Ramsey’s wrestling.
Time for weigh-ins: Ramsey Nijem (171) vs. Clay Harvison (170)
Dos Santos thinks Ramsey is the toughest dude in the house, but he’s obviously embarrassed by Ramsey’s choice of tiny, tiny underwear for the weigh-ins. Those actually look like panties, to be honest.
Backstage before his fight, Ramsey is crazy sick. He says he’s never been more sick before a fight but that he can beat Clay even if he’s throwing up.
RAMSEY NIJEM vs. CLAY HARVISON
Round 1: Ramsey gets a takedown and takes Clay’s back almost immediately. This isn’t good for Clay, who tries to roll out but Ramsey stays on his back. Ramsey gets the hooks in, flattens him out and chokes him out. Well, that was quick. So much for being sick.
Winner: Ramsey Nijem d. Clay Harvison via submission (round 1)
Dana says Ramsey is probably the guy to beat. Clay is upset by beating submitted so quickly. Everyone, Dana White included, encourages Clay and tells him that he is a tough bastard for having his knuckle pop out of the skin last week and fighting one week later.
Shamar goes into training for his fight against Chris. Junior says Shamar’s back is feeling much better.
Shamar says his issues with Chris stem from the fact that Chris likes to scream for no reason. They’re pretty confident that he’s much, much better than Chris. For real, Chris does like to scream a lot, and that’s kind of annoying, so I can see why Shamar takes issue with it. I thought about doing a Cope Scream Counter as a gimmick during this recap, but then I’d have to listen to it over and over again and I have zero desire to do that to myself.
Time for weigh-ins. Oh, and these weigh-ins are sponsored by Dodge.
Weigh-ins: Chris Cope (171) vs. Shamar Bailey (170)
Dana says all of the guys think Shamar is the toughest guy in the house, but Dana thinks he’s one-dimensional and will be exposed.
Nordin is trying to coach Chris on the guillotine, but Chris isn’t listening. They argue the entire time they’re working on the choke. I have a feeling this will come into play sooner rather than later.
SHAMAR BAILEY vs. CHRIS COPE
Round 1: Shamar presses forward and Chris circles back and out of the way. Shamar catches Chris with a nice left hook, and then another. Chris just smiles at him. Shamar grabs a double and presses Chris against the cage. Chris does a really nice job of defending even though he’s not using the wnizzer as Brock wants. Chris finally gets away. Shamar shoots again and grabs a clinch against the cage, but Chris gets away. Shamar grabs him again. Chris gets away again. He’s making that look far easier than it probably should be. Shamar appears to be tiring at this point, but still has enough left in the tank to grab a double and push Chris against the cage. He can’t do anything with it, however, and Chris ultimately uses the whizzer and gets away. Shamar grabs him again and pushes him against the cage as the round ends. Dana implores Shamar to let his hands go. HeavyMMA.com scores the round 10-9 for Shamar Bailey, but only barely.
Round 2: Shamar presses in and Chris lands a couple of nice punches. Chris apparently listened to Brock, who told him to let his hands go between rounds. Chris is landing almost at will until Shamar grabs a single and uses that to transition into a clinch against the cage. Chris gets away. Chris has a style that is nearly like Chuck Liddell’s except not as good. Shamar shoots again and tries for a takedown, but Chris refuses to go down yet again. He gets away. Shamar lands a nice left hook, but Chris counters and starts moving forward with punches. Shamar shoots again, but Chris uses the whizzer and reverses and escapes. Chris is bouncing around and has a ton of energy, while Shamar just looks exhausted. Shamar gets him against the cage again, but Chris punches him about 30 times and then reverses before escaping. You know, I could see the judges giving the first round to Chris based on defense and punches landed. He certainly won the second round. And just like that, we have a decision.
Winner: Chris Cope by decision
Yep, that’s the way I figured this would go. Shamar controlled the cage but did almost nothing but execute failed takedown attempts.
Junior is shocked. Shamar says Chris fought well but that you can’t win backing up the whole time. Shamar tells Dana that he wanted to put on a show for him and so he stood up and banged instead of taking the easy way out and taking him down. Dana says “but you tried to take him down and you failed.” Shamar says his back was injured. Dana smirks.