TUF, Episode 9 recap; semi-finals matchups are set
Team Lesnar’s Chuck O’Neil (8-3) vs. Team Dos Santos’ Zach Davis (4-1)
UFC president Dana White does the intros, and Steve Mazzagatti calls the action.
A touch of gloves get us started, and Zach opens with a quick jab. Zach goes low with a kick but is tagged with a quick flurry and then a straight right and a low kick. The fighters trade leather, and Zach shoots for the takedown. Chuck fends it off with his back against the cage, but Zach continues working for the single leg. Zach works knees to the legs and goes high with his clinch. The fighters jockey for underhooks and trade the occasional knee. Zach looks again for a single leg and eats some short punches. He moves back high with his clinch while the two trade ineffective knees. The ref calls for a break, and we start again. Chuck lands a nice low kick and a two-punch combo. Zach throws low kicks but doesn’t have much behind them. Chuck lands another nice combo, but Zach answers. A big right lands for Chuck, and he pours on follow-up shots until Zach clinches and puts him against the cage to buy some recovery time. Zach works a single leg and looks for a trip-takedown, but Chuck stays upright. Zach lands a nice uppercut on the break and then looks for a single leg again. Chuck defends and eats a couple quick knees. The fighters finally separate and start trading punches, and Chuck unloads a vicious barrage that open facial cuts and has Zach reeling. The round ends. Chuck clearly wins it thanks to the late fireworks.
Chuck is very confident between rounds. Zach already looks beaten.
As the second round begins, Chuck knocks Zach to the mat with a low kick, works from half guard, and delivers punches. He gets to his knees and then opts to back away and allow Zach to stand. Zach lands a nice left. They circle, and Chuck snaps off another solid leg kick and follows it with lunging punches. Zach shoots for a single leg, but Chuck puts his back against the cage and fends it off. Chuck eventually collapses on top of him and into full guard. Chuck postures to his knees and then backs away again. On the restart, Zach looks depleted. Chuck lands more lunging shots and then collapses on top of Zach when he shoots. They eventually return to the standing position, and Zach presses Chuck into the cage. The punches and knees aren’t effective from either fighter, and they reverse each other while fighting for position. The pace slows while they’re clinched, and the ref restarts them in the center. Zach moves forward with punches but is picked apart with kicks and lunging shots. Zach is just too slow to the punch. Chuck lands a nice left-right combo, easily shakes off a low kick, and then lands a stiff right to the chin. Zach shoots for a final time, and Chuck easily avoids it as the round ends. MMAjunkie.com scores it 10-9 for Chuck in what turned out to be a pretty lopsided fight.
It’s unanimous, and Chuck takes it 20-18 on all three judges’ cards.
Team Dos Santos’ Ryan McGillivray (11-4-1) vs. Team Lesnar’s Tony Ferguson (10-2)
Josh Rosenthal gets us started, and the fight is underway.
Ryan works a jab to create distance, but Tony strikes first with a straight left. Tony then lands a nice inside leg kick and then drops Ryan with a solid short left uppercut. Tony swarms in with additional punches and forces the quick KO stoppage.
-Ramsey Nijem (Team Dos Santos’ No. 4 pick) vs. Chris Cope (Team Lesnar’s No. 5 pick)
-Tony Ferguson (Team Lesnar’s No. 3 pick) vs. Chuck O’Neil (Team Lesnar’s injury replacement)