With Team U.K. now at a 1-0 lead over Team U.S., this weeks episode of The Ultimate Fighter begins in the hands of Michael Bisping as he selects U.K. lightweight Andre Winner against U.S. lightweight Santino DeFranco. Bisping shows his usual confidence in his team while I caught on to Dan Henderson’s remark that Santino “could” beat Andre; an attitude towards a fight that neither a fighter or coach should have.
DeFranco reminds us that he was in the process to be in TUF season 2 but had to withdraw and rush to the hospital after being informed that he had a brain aneurysm. Santino was told he would never fight again, however only time would tell he would be able to compete as a mixed martial artist and get another shot at becoming The Ultimate Fighter once more.
Before the second bout between Team U.S. and Team U.K. we see short clips of both Santino and Andre training for their fight.
Santino DeFranco vs. Andre Winner
This bout was unfortunately a little stale with Santino landing a few leg kicks and Andre throwing seemingly fast and powerful hands but doing little damage. Santino has two takedown attempts however both were defended well by Andre.
Three minutes into the first round Santino goes for a double leg but instead of driving through for the takedown he pulls guard. Santino shows us an incorrect way of holding rubber guard however still trapping Andre’s right arm. Eventually, Santino goes for the easily anticipated omoplata (shoulder lock) but Andre immediately frees his arm and reigns down heavy blows to his opponent. Mazaggati stops the fight with 1:11 left in the first round. Team U.K. lightweight Andre Winner’s hand is raised via TKO.
Team U.K. now leads the Americans 2-0.
“I need to make sure the next pick is definitely something that is gonna go our way”, said Henderson, following the second loss for the U.S. team.
Back at the house we see more issues and more fighters with ego’s out of the U.S. team. Jason Dent and Jason Pierce both expressed that it’s been much easier hanging out with Team U.K. then the Americans.
After a training session Pierce later goes on to tell coach Henderson that he doesn’t do well against the “short, stocky guys”, when Henderson wants to pit him against one. So, why is this guy on the show again? I hear every other fighter who is taller or just has a longer reach talk all day about the advantage they have over their opponent and it is some advantage to have.
Everyone meets back at the training center for the pick of the next fight and control is back to Henderson. Henderson decides to pit Team U.S. welterweight Damarques Johnson against Team U.K. welterweight Dean Amasinger. Hendo made this choice knowing that this was the Americans chance to get up on the scoreboard.
Bisping having seen tape of Johnson winning a few fights by triangle makes a point to work on triangle defense with Dean. Bisping also recalls Dean getting caught in the submission multiple times in his elimination bout.
As Amasinger is prepping right before his fight you notice that Bisping is missing. None of the team or the coaches know where Bisping is at but Dean tries to keep positive believing that Bisping must have a good excuse to not show up however, admitting that it bothered him a bit.
Damarques Johnson vs. Dean Amasinger
The fight begins with a powerful leg kick delivered to Johnson. Dean throws another leg kick but it’s caught by Johnson. Johnson gets the takedown but Dean quickly scrambles back to his feet.
Once back on the feet Dean shoots for the takendown as Johnson locks in a kimura while falling to his back. Johnson works to tweak the arm but it’s Dean who appears to be the stronger fighter and is able to defend long enough for Johnson to give up the submission.
Johnson keeps great wrist control until he eventually locks in a triangle. Johnson adjusts and begins to make the choke tighter. As a last stand effort, Dean lifts Johnson off the mat for a slam but only secures the submission forcing the tap with 3:20 left on the clock.
Team U.K. now leads 2-1 over Team U.S.
Bisping’s absence is continued for the remaining minutes of the episode while Team U.S. has finally tasted a long awaited victory.
Tune in next week to see if Team U.S. can keep the wheels turning and find out why Bisping was MIA for his team’s first loss.