Cleat Geeks

The Ultimate Fighter: Teammate vs Teammate

hendricksAll of the entry bouts have been fought, and this looks to be one of the most promising casts in quite a long time. For the first time in The Ultimate Fighter’s history, two fighters from the same gym will have to face off against each other. Coach Joanna Jedrzejczyk wasted no time looking for the early advantage against her next opponent, and fellow coach, Claudia Gadelha, when she picked her only fighter to sustain an injury during the entry fights, Cory Hendricks. Hendricks showed very fluid, and powerful kicks during his opening win, but unfortunately for him, took a lot of damage to his left foot. X-rays showed that nothing was broken, but he was still selected to fight in the shows opening match-up. Khalil Rountree, Hendricks training partner at Syndicate MMA in Las Vegas, was very impressive in his opening bout as well. His grappling, and heavy hands would be his weapons of choice as he looked to be the latest TUF champion.

What I love about this show, is that there are many connections to current and past fighters. We saw former UFC fighter Keith Jardine’s fiancé take a loss trying to enter the house to a training partner of former title challenger Dan Henderson. Elias Urbina looks to follow in his brother Hector’s footsteps, by using The Ultimate Fighter to get into the UFC. There are story lines surrounding all of these fighters. Kahlil Rountree has a story that many Americans can relate to. He was 300 pounds, sitting at home in Las Vegas, wondering what he should do with his life. After watching the 4th season of The Ultimate Fighter, he decided to quit wasting his life, and started to train full time. All of the cards seemed to be in his hand. He was fighting against an opponent that he knows very well, that was fighting at less than 100%.khalil-roundtree-tuf-233

The beautiful thing about MMA is that there is no such thing as a sure thing. Rountree looked to be fighting a scared fighter in Hendricks. He started by landing some very hard strikes, and even knocked his opponent to the ground with relative ease. Hendricks realized that standing with Rountree was not in his best interest. He shot for the takedown, took Khalil’s back, and tapped him out with a rear-naked choke. Since this guy was able to get his fight out of the way as early as possible, he now has time to heal that foot before his next fight. He will definitely be a fighter to watch this season. We will have one male, and one female winner again this season, and for the first time, the coaches will fight at the finale, instead of the following card.

TatianaSuarezSince Gadelha’s fighter won the fight, she now gets jj-aldrichcontrol of the fight selections. She has selected her number one selection. 3-0 Tatiana Suarez, who may be the most talented female fighter on this show, will fight 2-1 JJ Aldrich. Aldrich is currently signed by Invicta FC (an all women’s MMA organization owned by the UFC) so she is relatively well known by UFC matchmakers. I am expecting our 1st strawweight fight to be a very technical, and exciting one. I am looking forward to chronicling this season’s happenings. We have a great mix of characters for the reality tv side of things, and a great clash of MMA styles to make for some impressive fights.

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