Tonight’s two-hour finale-before-the-finale sets up the Ultimate Fighter Finale card on Dec. 5 which traditionally features the best and/or most popular fighters from the house as well as the show’s finalists. Tonight we’ll see McSweeney vs. TBA and Jones vs. Schoonover. In the second episode we’ll see the winners of those scraps face off against Roy Nelson and Brendan Schaub.
In an interview, Dana White says no one stepped over Mitrione to get a second chance so he invites Kimbo to do just that. But Kimbo says he doesn’t feel like he’ll be at his best and “doesn’t want another loss under my belt.” Kimbo’s arthritis is in his head – he doesn’t want treatment and he doesn’t want to fight as is so he turns the fight down. He demurs, saying he’ll be “ready to fight another day.”
Mitrione gets on the horn with the doctor and says he feels fine and the doctor clears him to fight. Rashad still thinks Mitrione just didn’t want to fight and McSweeney is happy because his stand up is “far superior” and Mitrione has “no ground game.”
Mitrione cops to playing head games in order to mess with McSweeney and entertain himself. “I’m really not that unstable,” he says. “I’m kind of unstable but not that unstable.”
Back at the house, Scott Junk finds out he has two small tears in his retina that require laser surgery and his fighting career is over. When Marcus Jones finds out he goes ballistic. He gets up in Mitrione’s grill at the gym, who for the first time this season legitimately has no idea why someone is pissed at it. “This is what it means to be a fighter,” says Rashad. Everyone tries to explain to Marcus that the eye poke was accidental but it’s no solace. Dude is wound UP. Later, Junk says he got another opinion and he’s out for two months and then he can resume training and fighting. Editing psyche!
Dana is confident that if Mitrione fights smart that he’ll take McSweeney out. McSweeney pushes Mitrione at the weigh in and Rashad questions the rationally, finally giving Mitrione his due. “Even though he does play some little games, he can fight,” says Rashad. “He can fight.”
It’s fight day and the authoritative voice of cable reality TV suggests you keep a six-pack of Mickey’s on hand. Round one. Leg kick McSweeney. Circling. Two kickfs from McSweeney do nothing. Leg kick McSweeney. One-two from Mitrione lands. Leg kick from McSweeney and he eats a straight left for his trouble. They trade leg kicks. Teep McSweeney. Right hook McSweeney. Lunging right from McSweeney catches air. Mitrione catches a push kick and Mitrione lands a hard right that bothers McSweeney. Another right from Mitrione lands before McSweeney circles away. The Brit throws two punches and rushes into the clinch. He grabs a single leg and keeps working for the takedown until he dumps Mitrione. Mitrione goes for a knee bar or leg lock but McSweeney scrambles and lands in side control. McSweeney tries to pass his knee over Mitrione’s arm but Mitrione bucks, turns and grabs McSweeney’s left leg. McSweeney works the body and Mitrione stands. McSweeney gets a guillotine, falls backwards and Mitrione taps.
The verdict from Dana, Rashad, and the competitors is that Mitrione hits so hard that McSweeney wanted to get the fight on the ground and that Mitrione shouldn’t have tapped so easy. Sounds about right.
Next up is Marcus Jones versus Darrill Schoonover. Round one. Leg kick Jones. Brief exchange and Jones trips Schoonover, landing in side control. Jones keeps stepping over Schoonover’s head and beating on him. Schoonover keeps working to get out, fighting off two kimura attempts before rolling to his knees and then to his back to secure guard. Schoonover creates space with his legs and almost gets up but ends up on his back again. A few hammer fists from Jones and Schoonover is done. Dude is too big, too strong. Rashad’s review is simple: “Wow.”
After the fights Dana announces the semifinal match-ups: Nelson vs. McSweeney, Schaub vs. Jones. White is leaning towards McSweeney and Jones moving on. We’ll see. There’s another tense stand off between Rampage and Rashad, which makes me excited to see…oh, wait.
In the second episode, Rampage talks Jones’ gamplan for Schaub, which is basically “get him on the ground.” While Marcus trains, Team Rampage turns Team Rashad’s training room into a little girl’s discoteque, replete with pink walls, stuffed animals and a mirrorball. At the house, the guys continue to fuck with Zak Jensen, and Scott Junk says that he thinks Jensen would be wise to “walk up on a couple of these guys and false ‘em, hit ‘em with a frying pan. But he’s too nice of a guy.”
When Team Rashad arrives at the gym they’re kind of amused by the room but like every other prank, it doesn’t seem be more than a passing concern. Speaking of pranks, McSweeney thinks it’s a great idea to block the bathroom door when Zak Jensen is in there doing his business. Little does he know that Jensen is claustrophobic, and “Lindeman” spazzes on McSweeney and the two start fighting in Zak’s bedroom. McSweeney gets Zak in a guillotine and more or less tells him to call down. The Brit is pretty smug about it afterwards.
Team Rashad visits the house on fight day to do visualization with their guys and then we go straight into McSweeney and Nelson’s warm ups.
Round one. The fighters circle, throwing punches and kicks that either don’t land or glance off. If McSweeney keeps reaching and pawing with that lead hand he’s gonna get hurt. Solid body kick McSweeney. Checked kick McSweeney. Lots of haymakers from both guys missing the mark. Roy rushes and McSweeney goes for a guillotine. Nothin’ doin’ and they separate. Leg kick McSweeney. Solid jabs from McSweeney. Simultaneous hooks jar each fighter. A straight right from Nelson stuns McSweeney momentarily and “Kung Fu Panda” moves in for the double leg. Nelson in half guard, controlling a wrist. Nelson gets his knee over for crucifix, McSweeney gets out, Nelson gets crucifix again, uses his weight to pin McSweeney down and beat on his head until Steve Mazzagati stops it. Dana White is finally impressed by Roy Nelson.
In the second fight semifinal, Brendan Schaub squares off against Marcus Jones AND DO WE SERIOUSLY HAVE TO WATCH ANOTHER FACE OFF BETWEEN RAMPAGE AND RASHAD? For the love of god.
It’s time to fight. Round one. Schaub comes in with punches but Marcus just powers through him, knocks him down and gets to side control. He moves to crucifix but Schaub frees his arm. Marcus moves to mount but Schaub scrambles to half guard and then stands up. Schaub flurries and Marcus is not happy. Marcus lands a knee to the head and Schaub backs up. Jones moves in and Schaub lands a big right. Marcus goes down and Schaub pounces, knocking Marcus out with punches on the ground.
So it’s Brendan Schaub vs. Roy Nelson in the finals live on Spike TV at 9 p.m. on Sat., Dec. 5. Who you got?