The Ultimate Fighter: US vs UK - Episode Eight Recap
CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – Only two quarterfinal fights remain on The Ultimate Fighter: US vs UK. Who will be in action this week – welterweights David Faulkner and Jason Pierce, or lightweights Jeff Lawson and Jason Dent?
The probability of Team US’ Pierce stepping into the Octagon next is dwindling with each passing day as he has now been stricken with a staph infection on his right leg. His negative attitude doesn’t help things either, and he is rapidly getting on the nerves of his teammates and coaches.
Pierce’s welterweight counterpart, Faulkner, is going through his own issues on the UK side, as he’s having problems keeping his mouthpiece in during sparring, claiming that it’s gagging him. UK coach Michael Bisping is rightfully concerned, and he explains to his fighter the importance of getting this issue dealt with immediately.
After all the daily rigors of training, Team US coach Dan Henderson decides to switch things up by taking his squad out for a game of Ultimate Frisbee. The sulking Pierce tells assistant coach Heath Sims about the doctor’s prognosis of his injury and seems to be leaning towards not fighting, despite the fact that the doctor has not axed him from the competition because of his ailment. The response surprises Sims.
With all the drama surrounding Pierce, Henderson decides to let the lightweights go at it, and it’s Team US’ Dent taking on Team UK’s Lawson in the final 155-pound quarterfinal bout.
“I think it’s gonna be more of a chess match than a brawl,” said Henderson, and while he favors his fighter in the bout, Dent is resistant to change in the gym, which frustrates “Hendo” and his staff.
In the Team UK camp, Lawson, who has 21 combined armbar victories in his pro and amateur career, makes no bones about his strategy – he’s going to try and throw Dent and submit him via armbar.
To lighten the mood before the fight, Lawson, Faulkner, and Dean Amasinger don masks and put on a pro wrestling-style performance for their teammates.
On fight day though, the drama returns, as UFC President Dana White talks to Pierce and Henderson to gauge where Pierce’s head is at.
“Do you think you’re gonna be able to fight?” White asks Pierce, whose cellulitis is clearing up while he remains stricken with the staph infection.
“Mentally, I can fight,” says Pierce, but White isn’t convinced.
“In my opinion, there is no way this kid wants to fight,” said White.
Both Dent and Lawson want to fight though, and both are looking for the victory once the bell rings in their bout. Lawson dominates the first round with his ground attack, but gasses out in the process. Dent doesn’t show any sense of urgency in the second, but when an opening shows up, he takes it, and he submits Lawson with an anaconda choke at 2:38 of the second round.
With Dent’s victory, the lightweight semifinalists are set, but the welterweights are in disarray when White calls Pierce and Henderson back and simply says “We’re not gonna let you fight.”
Now what? Next week will tell the tale.
Dent’s win pulls Team US within one of Team UK, 4-3. Here’s how the teams look…
Mark Miller – eliminated on episode four by Nick Osipczak
Damarques Johnson 1-0
Frank Lester – eliminated on episode six by James Wilks
Richie Whitson – eliminated on episode seven by Ross Pearson
Santino DeFranco– eliminated on episode five by Andre Winner
Cameron Dollar 1-0
Jason Dent 1-0
Dean Amasinger – eliminated on episode five by Damarques Johnson
Nick Osipczak 1-0
James Wilks 1-0
Ross Pearson 1-0
Martin Stapleton – eliminated on episode six by Cameron Dollar
Jeff Lawson – eliminated on episode eight by Jason Dent
Andre Winner 1-0
For weekly recaps of The Ultimate Fighter, as well as fighter profiles and a blog from UK coach Michael Bisping, stay tuned to UFC.com.