The Ultimate Fighter franchise got a jolt of energy this week with the debut of TUF 17, a season featuring two of the company’s biggest stars as opposing coaches in addition to some welcome tweaks making for a fresher product. Last night’s episode served as the show’s standard introductory piece, featuring a round of qualifying fights aimed at earning competitors a place in the house while also giving Jon Jones–Chael Sonnen an opportunity to scout talent. However, it was also very different thanks to the UFC’s decision to unveil a new documentary-style approach to filming instead of rinsing/repeating the standard format, as well as the welcome introduction of friends/family being allowed to attend their loved ones’ elimination efforts.
The entire approach resulted in intriguing television made even better by some slick stoppages and impressive outings from the attached Mixed Martial Artists. Amongst the evening’s biggest stand-outs were the likes of Kevin Casey, Tor Troeng, Josh Samman, Bubba McDaniel, Clint Hester, Luke Barnatt, and Uriah Hall.
Additionally, teams were picked with the first match-up was also made official. Sonnen won a coin flip, opting to take the 6’6” Barnatt with his first selection, with Jones deciding to put stocky scrapper Gilbert Smith up against the lanky Brit in hopes of delivering a crushing blow to Team Sonnen’s morale.
A “wild card” was also announced meaning two fighters who lose will be brought back for one last chance depending on how they perform.
Read below for the night’s full results including a breakdown of teams:
Collin Hart def. Mike Jaspar via Submission Round 1 (Rear-Naked Choke)
Dylan Andrews def. Tim Williams via Majority Decision
Luke Barnatt def. Nicholas Kohring via Unanimous Decision
Gilbert Smith def. Eric Wahlin via Submission Round 1 (Triangle Choke)
Uriah Hall def. Andy Enz via Unanimous Decision
Jimmy Quinlan def. Mike Persons via TKO Round 2 (Strikes)
Kelvin Gastelum def. Kito Andrews via Unanimous Decision
Josh Samman def. Leo Bercier via TKO Round 1 (Strikes)
Bubba McDaniel def. Ryan Bigler via TKO Round 2 (Strikes)
Clint Hester def. Frasier Opie via Unanimous Decision
Tor Troeng def. Scott Rosa via Submission Round 1 (Rear-Naked Choke)
Kevin Kasey def. Eldon Sproat via Submission Round 1 (Rear-Naked Choke)
Zak Cummings def. Nik Fekete via TKO Round 1 (Strikes)
Adam Cella def. Jake Heun via TKO Round 1 (Strikes)
TEAM SONNEN: Luke Barnatt, Uriah Hall, Zak Cummings, Tor Troeng, Jimmy Quinlan, Kevin Casey, Kelvin Gastelum
TEAM JONES: Clint Hester, Josh Samman, Bubba McDaniel, Gilbert Smith, Collin Hart, Adam Cella, Dylan Andrews
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC