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TUF 16 Weekly Recap - Episode 7

Weekly recaps of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson, airing Fridays on FX at 10 p.m. ET/PT, with re-airs on FUEL TV Sunday nights, UltimateFighter.com a week after that and UFC.tv.
The episode opens in the Team Nelson after Colton Smith’s latest win over Eddy Ellis. After seeing how poorly the straw pulling strategy went last time, Roy decides to go with a new method -- pick a number. Dom Waters winds up winning the strategically exhausting contest and asks his coach to pick for him. Roy refuses, saying it's not his fight. This leads to Dom passing control to Michael Hill.

We then cut right away to fight announcement time. To the surprise of very few, Michael Hill decides to call out Matt Secor, and he does have sound justifications. “I called out Secor because he’s been trash talking. He called me a girl, a thief.” How can you blame the guy? Secor called him a girl! Coach Carwin looks forward to the fight because he hopes the outcome will either make Secor shut his mouth or force Michael Hill to wear a shirt.

During the Team Nelson training session, Forrest Griffin shows the guys some striking drills while Cameron Diffley again reminds us that he’s Forrest’s jiu-jitsu coach. Michael Hill tells us that he’s wasted other athletic opportunities in his life before and he’s not going to waste this one. Coach Nelson admits that Hill lacks experience, but anticipates that his raw strength and power will push him past Secor.

At the Team Carwin training session, we glimpse into Matt Secor’s game plan. The team plans on using Hill’s aggressiveness against him to earn easy takedowns. Secor even suggests that he’ll keep running his mouth during the fight to get Hill to lose focus. He also refers to his opponent as “the Backstreet Boy” of the house and he doesn’t like Hill’s nipple ring. It may come off as superficial, but I’m sure we’ve all seen guys fight for worse reasons... right?!

As the build-up to the fight continues, so does the trash talking. Michael Hill decides to go the animal analogy route. Secor is the pet dog of the house “because he’s always barking” and calls himself a lion. I assume it’s because he considers himself to be big and powerful and not because he’s a member of the local Lions Club. Secor admits that he doesn’t harbor any ill will towards Hill, he just finds the guy “a little douchebaggy.” He goes on to call Hill one-dimensional and says that his own grappling skills will make the difference. He also claims he has more heart than Hill; in fact, he has two hearts! Again, I think he means that he he really likes the Phil Collins song, or it's a reference to his late father looking over him, not that he literally has two hearts, a condition I have to think the Nevada State Athletic Commission would frown upon.

Fight Time
Round one starts with a whimper. Secor waits for Hill to rush in, while Hill tries to resist doing just that. The first big exchange occurs when Secor throws a kick, Hill grabs it and takes him down. Hill smothers Secor in half guard for a while, then gets back into full guard. Both fighters throw short, ineffective punches and the stalemate continues. After Hill thwarts a triangle choke attempt, referee Josh Rosenthal decides to stand them up. With just 15 seconds left, the round ends.

The second round begins and they don’t dance this time as Secor shoots right away. Hill defends and takes side mount. The two roll around and Hill finds himself with a front headlock. Secor pushes Hill against the cage, trips him and takes top position. As Hill tries to stand up, he exposes his back and Secor pounces on the mistake. The rest of the round continues in this position. Secor tries to get the rear naked choke and Hill defends. There’s some ineffectual ground and pound, but both fighters appear to be content hanging out until the round ends.

So far, the judges get it right and the fight heads into a “sudden victory” round. Hill throws a couple big right hands and even works a spinning backfist into the exchange. Unfortunately, his aggressiveness brings him too close, and Secor pulls guard. Hill is able to escape, but Secor soon shoots again and gets another takedown. Much like the second round, Hill exposes his back, Secor takes it and rides him out until the round ends.

Dana walks in and announces that Michael Hill wins by split decision. Shockingly, we have another controversial decision. Everyone involved has their criticisms of the fight, but no one seems to believe that Michael Hill actually won the decision. Coach Carwin subtly admonishes both fighters for their tentativeness while Dana White takes a less subtle approach, calling the first round, “The [superlative expletive] round in TUF history.” He goes one to say, “Nobody fights like they want to win. This isn’t [expletive] summer camp.” Roy Nelson weighs in with sage insight by adding, “The thing is, about the judging is, you know, they’re the judges.”

As the episode ends we get a sneak peek into next week’s episode. Will Roy Nelson pass out during the track and field challenge? Does anyone get kicked off the show when “all hell breaks loose” inside the house? Does someone from the NSAC show up to let Matt Secor punch him in the face as penitence? Find out next week on The Ultimate Fighter!

Team Carwin (3-3)
Sam Alvey (0-1, lost to Joey Rivera by decision in episode 3)
Bristol Marunde (1-0, defeated Julian Lane by decision in episode 4)
Mike Ricci
Neil Magny (1-0, defeated Cameron Diffley by decision in episode 2)
James Chaney
Eddy Ellis (0-1, lost to Colton Smith by majority decision in epsiode 6)
Igor Araujo (1-0, defeated Nic Herron-Webb by majority decision in episode 5)
Matt Secor (0-1, lost to Michael Hill by split decision in episode 7)

Team Nelson
(3-3)
Dom Waters
Michael Hill (1-0, defeated Matt Secor by split decision in episode 7)
Cameron Diffley (0-1, lost to Neil Magny by decision in episode 2)
Colton Smith (1-0, defeated Eddy Ellis by majority decision in episode 6)
Jon Manley
Nic Herron-Webb (0-1, lost to Igor Araujo by majority decision in episode 5
Joey Rivera (1-0, defeated Sam Alvey by decision in episode 3)
Julian Lane (0-1, lost to Bristol Marunde by decision in episode 4)

In the meantime, be sure to follow me on Twitter @dannyboydownes the show @TUFonFX and check out some of my other work here.

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ETPT
Las Vegas, NV

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