The episode begins in the familiar TUF Training Center, where UFC president Dana White is ready to greet a rowdy group of contestants. Dana doesn't kill the buzz and announces that, unlike past seasons, they won't need to fight their way onto the cast since the elimination round has been axed.
However, the "wild-card fight" is sticking around. It allows two opening-round losers a second shot at the quarterfinals.
Then, Dana introduces Brock and Junior. The fighters give them a nice ovation as they take their places next to Dana, who gives us a rundown of their bios.
Up next is the audition process. The fighters work out as Brock and Junior get a feel for what they have available to them.
1. Len Bentley
2. Charlie Rader
3. Tony Ferguson
4. Clay Harvison
5. Myles Jury
6. Chris Cope
7. Nordin Asrih
Team Dos Santos
1. Shamar Bailey
2. Ryan McGillivray
3. Javier Torres
4. Ramsey Nijem
5. Zach Davis
6. Mick Bowman
7. Keon Caldwell
Team Dos Santos' Shamar Bailey (10-3) vs. Team Lesnar's Nordin Asrih (15-5-1)
As usual, we get two five-minute rounds, and if there's a tie, a third tie-breaking round takes place.
Referee Steve Mazzagatti gets us started, and Shamar scores a quick single-leg takedown and then wrestles to keep Nordin on the mat. Shamar works from side control and drags his opponent away from the cage. Nordin traps an arm with his legs, but Shamar pops it free and works punches to the head. Brock pleads for Nordin to turn into his opponent instead of away from him. Shamar tries to improve his position further, but Nordin sees an opening and gets back to his feet. Shamar quickly puts him against the cage, wraps the hips and scores a drag-takedown. He then dives in with a big right hand and lands in half guard. Shamar works punches from the top as Nordin throws a few from his back. Shamar frees his leg and briefly takes mount before Nordin kicks him away. Shamar dives back in, and Nordin looks for upkicks. Shamar dives back in with a punch and works from half guard again. He delivers punches to the body and elbows to the head and body. Shamar then mixes in a couple big punches to the head after posturing up. Shamar lands two big elbows to the face, stands, and tries unsuccessfully to pass guard.
The first round is all Shamar, who takes it 10-9.
The second round gets underway, and Nordin misses with a high kick and slips to the mat. Shamar follows him to the canvas, and after a scramble, takes side control and then full mount. Nordin tries to pull him close and initially avoids damage. He then bucks Shamar and gets to his knees, and he then reverses the position and attempts a guillotine before falling to his back. Nordin has to give up the hold, and Shamar reclaims side control. Shamar traps an arm and delivers some punches, but Nordin gets out of the crucifix position. Shamar tries again to buck his way free, but Shamar blankets him from the top. Nordin avoids most of the damage, but Shamar mixes in some knees to the body. He looks to trap an arm again but instead hops into mount. Nordin pulls him close, tries to roll, but gives up his back. Shamar takes back mount, delivers punches, and then returns to the front mount when Nordin rolls to his back. Shamar delivers some heavier punches from the top. Elbows then follow. Shamar closes out the round with the continued ground and pound and wins the round again, 10-9.
Shamar's ground game was too much for Nordin. The judges declare him the winner, 20-18, across the board.
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The Ultimate Fighter Season 13 premiered tonight, at 9:00 PM EST / 6:00 PM PST on Spike TV. This season focuses on the welterweight division, but the two teams will be coached by heavyweights Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos, whom will square off June 11th in Vancouver at UFC 131 to determine the heavyweight number one contender.
The show will follow 14 welterweight participants who vie in a tournament format bracket to become 'the next Ultimate Fighter'. The show will conclude with a live finale on June 4th in Las Vegas, NV.
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