Cleat Geeks

The Ultimate Fighter: Episode 2 recap



tufEpisode2As this episode began, we were treated to a speech from Conor McGregor to team Europe. He made it clear that he was not their “coach”, and that he was on his own path, as they should be. All of his fighters agreed that this was the way to approach this competition, as they may have to fight one another to win it all. Urijah Faber took the opposite approach with team America. He was all smiles as he greeted his team, letting each and everyone of them know that they were important for the team, as well as the sport itself. It will be interesting to see which mentality fuels whoever ends up winning this season.

The first fight was selected by team USA, in which Ryan Hall was set to fight Frantz Slioa. Ryan Hall was mentioned in the first TUF recap, but I was under the impression that this guy was fundamentally a wrestler/grappler. I had no idea that he had been a jiu jitsu ace for nearly a decade. His opening fight to enter the house had him winning by way of first round heel hook. In this technique, a fighter has to be on the mat. They will first establish control by wrapping their legs around their opponents leg of their choosing. Once control is established, the grounded fighter places the opponent’s foot under their arm pit. When a firm grip is firmly on the limb, a twisting motion is all that is required to finish the move, If the fighter in danger doesn’t tap out, they run the risk of having a knee, or an ankle severely damaged.20150717-TUF-22-ELIMINATION-0163

The fighter that Hall defeated to enter the house (Johnny Nunez) was brought back into the competition when Dana White announced that he was adding a twist to the season. One losing fighter from each side has returned. To the surprise of no one, Conor brought back training partner Artem Lobov. With this change, comes some very important incentive. One of the future winning fighters will be eliminated if their performance isn’t satisfactory. This may prove to be more heartbreaking than simply losing in the first episode, and going back home. Now a fighter could potentially go 2-0 to start the show, and still be forced to leave. I do enjoy the thought of these guys striving to put on an entertaining fight, but we will see if the departure is justified when the time comes.

In the featured fight of episode two, Slioa seemed to be doing a good job of keeping his distance, and landing a few shots to Hall, but it wouldn’t be enough as the round would continue. Ryan would eventually get into his favored position, and win this fight by the exact same measure as he did the first; heel hook. He is a very dangerous fighter in this competition, especially as he states that this isn’t even his best move in the cage. Next week Chris Gruetzemacher will try to keep America perfect, as he takes on Sascha Sharma. I have been very impressed with the beginning of this season, and expect the excitement to continue each and every week.

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