The Ultimate Fighter: Australia vs. UK – The Smashes™ continued Wednesday evening on FX with episode 4 - Pick Me! – which saw Team UK score its second lightweight win of the series over Team Australia. The result squares the competition level at two wins a piece, with each of the team’s wins coming from the same weight division.
A dominant ground game helped “Stormin’” Norman Parke (16-2) secure a unanimous points victory over a valiant Richie Vas (9-1), who battled through to the final siren. The Irishman made full use of his size advantage, taking Vas to the matt on several occasions after the Australian looked aggressive on his feet in the early moments of the first round.
Full of confidence at the fight announcement with his ‘pick me!’ chants, Parke, 25, almost got more than he bargained for as he was reduced to one knee early in the first round, clipped by a Vas overhand right hook. Parke recovered quickly to control the remainder of the fight.
Twenty-nine-year-old renowned Maroubra local and former big wave surfer, Vas, was “gutted” with the result saying: “It was a tough fight, it was the first time I represented my country and I wanted to come out with the win, but it’s pretty disappointing.”
Parke lives to fight another day and is confident of similar results, saying “This is what I came for, this is what it’s all about...I believe I can go the whole way, no matter what.”
Also on The Smashes this week, training was taken to a new level with both teams enduring punishing sessions, pushing their bodies beyond their limits. Outside of the gym, conflict over a messy TUF™ house saw pranks in the team’s respective changerooms quickly escalate in a bid to out-do each other.
The series resumes next Wednesday, October 17, at 7.30p.m. AEST on FX (FOXTEL channel 123), with episode 5 ‘Fight for your family’. Over-excited by Norman’s win, Team UK unleash in the TUF™ house with a night of wild antics, leaving the Aussies less than impressed. UK coach Ross Pearson is stunned after hearing one of his fighters wants to return home on the eve of the next welterweight showdown.
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