The Ultimate Fighter: US vs UK - Episode Nine Recap
CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – The final quarterfinal match on The Ultimate Fighter: US vs UK takes place this week. But after Jason Pierce was removed from the competition, who will receive the opportunity to return and face Team UK’s David Faulkner?
This week’s episode begins with US coach Dan Henderson breaking the news to his team that Jason Pierce is out of the competition, but now he’s wondering who will be coming back to take on Faulkner.
Mark Miller has a broken nose, but he wants the fight. So does Frank Lester, who had a few teeth knocked out in his last fight. Meanwhile, the US team doubts that Pierce even wanted to fight. Eventually, UFC President Dana White decides on the returning Team US member and informs Henderson.
“Frank,” said Henderson to Lester, “be ready to fight on Tuesday.”
Now Lester was still banged up, which concerned Henderson, but he gutted it out and prepared for his second shot at the semifinals.
“I hope Frank does really well,” said Pierce, who shouted encouragement during his teammate’s mitt work with Cyrille Diabate.
After the workout, Henderson meets up with Bisping and asks about changing training times with Team UK, but ‘The Count’ isn’t going for it. He offers to let the winning team from the Faulkner-Lester fight dictate the time. Henderson simply asks Bisping to compromise for a week, and Bisping fires back “don’t you believe in your fighter?’
The two teams then lined up for the fight announcement, and Bisping squirts water in the face of Damarques Johnson. Johnson throws his hat at Bisping and the two begin jawing at each other. It turns out that Bisping was mad about a comment that Cameron Dollar made, and just assumed it came from Johnson. Bisping apologizes, but Johnson wasn’t in any mood to take it. “I would fight Bisping in a parking lot,” said Johnson.
As for the training times, Henderson wasn’t making any deals, and it ultimately didn’t matter, as the UK team was switched to the morning session, something that didn’t please the squad from across the pond.
Meanwhile, Faulkner was brought to a hypnotherapist to deal with the issue of him gagging with his mouthpiece in, and he seemed to think that the session worked. We would find out soon enough.
“Knock out the rest of the teeth for him,” Bisping told Faulkner before the opening bell of the final quarterfinal bout. “This is another day at the office.”
Faulkner scored with leg kicks early in the first round, but it isn’t until 90 seconds are gone that the two truly engage and lock up against the fence. After a long stalemate, the fighters break and pick up the pace, with Lester and Faulkner both scoring at close range. Faulkner then scores a quick takedown, but Lester rises immediately. Faulkner is now the more aggressive fighter, but in the final minute, he looks to be winded.
30 seconds into the second round, Faulkner drops his mouthpiece. “He spit that out,” yells Henderson. After the action resumes, Lester starts to push the action, but Faulkner ties him up. Once they break, Lester lands some solid shots to the head and body. As the clock ticks down, Faulkner looks done, but he makes it to the bell. Both camps expect a third tie-breaking round, and then the word comes down from the UFC President:
“It’s a draw, we’re going to sudden victory,” said White.
It’s chaos in the Faulkner corner though, as the fighter doesn’t want to continue. Finally, he’s asked, “Are you done?”
“Sorry guys,” said Faulkner. “I am.”
Just like that, one of the UK team’s favorites is eliminated, and Bisping is devastated. On the other side, Henderson is pleased with Lester evening the score with the UK.
“What Frank showed, you can’t teach that,” said Henderson.
With the quarterfinals complete the tally stands at US 4, UK4. Here’s how the teams look…
Mark Miller – eliminated on episode four by Nick Osipczak
Jason Pierce – removed from the competition by UFC President Dana White
Damarques Johnson 1-0
Frank Lester – eliminated on episode six by James Wilks; brought back after Pierce’s removal. 1-1
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
David Faulkner – eliminated on episode nine by Frank Lester
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.