The remaining cast of UFC bantamweight hopefuls graced television screens across the nation Wednesday evening in episode five of The Ultimate Fighter.
Featuring a one-sided beatdown between friends as the night's main course, this episode continued the season's trend of high drama and intensity between Team Rousey and Team Tate.
Let's break it down.
While the drama and banter between teams and coaches is fun (sometimes), The Ultimate Fighter is ultimately (see what I did there?) about fighting.
Sixteen professional fighters enter, two emerge victorious. This is why everybody is here, this is why they suffer and this is what they're working toward.
In episode five, Team Tate's Louis Fisette took on Team Rousey's David Grant.
Creating drama in this matchup, the episode showcased the fact that Fisette and Grant are roommates and friends. Cameras documented the two talking about their upcoming battle, with each man determining that they had to put the camaraderie aside, slug it out and make peace later.
Apparently Grant found this process to be easier, because he absolutely demolished Fisette inside the Octagon.
In Round 1, Grant outstruck Fisette before taking him to the mat, where he worked a smothering and vicious top game. For well over three minutes, Grant smashed Fisette with a variety of punches and elbows, bloodying his opponent and nearly earning a stoppage at the round's end.
Unfortunately for Fisette, the bell only prolonged the inevitable, as Grant again worked the fight to the mat in Round 2 and immediately transitioned to back mount. From here, Grant softened Fisette with strikes before sinking in the fight-ending rear-naked choke just one minute into the round.
For six minutes, Grant obliterated Fisette in all facets of the game. He looked bigger, stronger, faster and more technical everywhere, and Fisette was badly outclassed as he exited the competition.
With the victory, Team Rousey retained control of the matchup selection, and the UFC women's bantamweight champion arranged an excellent fight for us to look forward to next week.
Fight Announcement: Jessamyn Duke vs. Raquel Pennington
This matchup has me all kinds of excited.
Duke remains a favorite in the women's bracket, but Pennington is experienced, gritty and super determined from everything we've seen so far in Season 18, so this one should be fantastic.
Ahh, the annoying fun stuff. With men and women sharing a house for the first time in The Ultimate Fighter history, Season 18 has been filled with immaturity and ridiculousness so far, and episode five did not disappoint on this front.
So, what went down?
— Ronda's mom visited the training facility and showed no shyness in blasting Team Rousey's work ethic. As Ronda sat idly by and smiled, Mamma Rousey explained that her daughter's team was not working hard enough, even calling out Jessica Rakoczy, who is currently nursing a shoulder injury after her win last week. Weird, but not unexpected from a fierce competitor like the elder Rousey.
— In a game of truth or dare, Team Rousey's Anthony Gutierrez called Fisette the "weakest link" in the house. Fisette proceeded to prove him right by crumbling against Grant.
— Team Tate's Josh Hill was dared to use a cheesy pickup line on Roxy Modafferi, and the result was exactly as perfect as one would expect. Going with the classic, "Nice shoes. Wanna f***?," Hill elicited a response of "You can't handle this" from the quirky Modafferi. The house erupted in laughter.
— Is all this talk about cutting weight foreshadowing problems in the future? The episode took a few minutes to detail Gutierrez's and Cody Bollinger's troubles maintaining a strict diet, with both fighters assuring us they have the situation under control. Bollinger clocked in at a healthy 157.5 pounds, 21.5 pounds over his 136-pound limit, so we will have to wait and see if this was relevant info or simply filler material for the show.
— Did I mention that David Grant looked good? He looked super good.
— Ronda Rousey is going to look (and act) exactly like her mother in 30 years. It's uncanny.
That adequately wraps this one up, folks. If you feel shortchanged in any way by my recap and you want a little more depth and detail, be sure to check out Nathan McCarter's play-by-play.
Otherwise, hit me up on Twitter @HunterAHomistek, and we'll talk TUF, music, cooking or anything else that suits you.
Party on, friends.
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