TUF 12, Episode 7 recap

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Team GSP’s Dane Sayers (7-1) vs. Team Koscheck’s Sako Chivitchian (5-0)

From the get-go, Chivitchian wants to use his judo skills and shoots for a takedown. He leaves his neck exposed in the process and nearly gets choked out with a guillotine. Sayers, though, doesn’t have it against the cage and lets go.

Chivitchian postures up, and it’s ground and pound time. Sayers manages to right himself as St-Pierre urges him to watch for a throw. Sure enough, “Psycho” gives it a try, but Sayers escapes.

Chivitchian charges for another takedown and is denied. They’re on their feet, and Sayers looks more loose as he gets on his bicycle to avoid a tie-up. That doesn’t last for long. “Psycho” charges again and presses the action to the cage. The two jockey for position in the clinch, and more takedown attempts by Chivitchian are thwarted.

Again, Sayers escapes and lands his most significant strike of the fight with a kick to Chivitchian’s body. Now he’s looking for a takedown, and despite an obvious fence-grab from Chivitchian, he gets it as the clock ticks down. But he can’t get on top, and Chivitchian is back up in a flash. Round one ends in a clinchfest.

Between rounds, both coaches think it’s a close one.

Sayers comes out swinging in the second frame and lands a nice straight left as he backs Chivitchian to the cage. But before you know it, he’s taking a ride courtesy of a hip toss. He pops back up and the two trade shots before Chivitchian scrambles and gets a sort-of-takedown.

Chivitchian takes half-guard but does almost nothing with the position, which prompts Sayers to throw up his hands in frustration. Finally, he sees an opening and scoots up. But it isn’t long before Chivitchian locks him up again, and they’re clinched against the cage.

Both men are tiring, and the position is starting to look more like rest time than fight time. Sayers breaks the stalemate with a trip, and again, Chivitchian blatantly grabs the fence, though he’s just not good enough at it to stop the takedown. He is good enough, however, to use the cage to aid him in standing. When another hip toss fails, it’s back to the clinch.

Chivitchian knees Sayer’s legs as the clock ticks down, and the round ends in a clinch.

Koscheck is sure it’s going to a third round, but White shoots down that notion. All three judges have given both rounds to Chivitchian by scores of 20-18.

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