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TUF 6: Episode 12 Recap/Thoughts

On this week’s episode, we’ve got the two semifinal fights to decide who goes onto the finals on Saturday. The first fight will be Matt Arroyo vs. Mac Danzig, the second fight will be Tommy Speer vs. George Sotiropolous.

At a Team Serra practice, Matt Arroyo and Richie Hightower spar and Richie lands on one of Matt’s ribs during a takedown attempt. Matt immediately knows something is wrong but continues to try to work it out and practice anyways. After rolling with Serra for a bit, Matt is seriously concerned with the injury.

Matt gets himself to the doctor where they confirm to him that he has a cracked rib and deep bruising. This now puts the fight to get him into the finals for a UFC contract in jeopardy. After much contemplation, Arroyo reveals to Serra that he’s having trouble breathing, it’s affecting his wrestling, and his jiu jitsu and that he doesn’t feel he can fight. He feels that if he’s not confident about his physical condition when he steps into the cage then he’s already beaten. He makes a good point.

Dana White comes to the gym for the final say on the matter. Arroyo reveals to Dana that he can’t fight. Dana basically gives him the “Do you want to be a fucking fighter?!” speech without actually saying those exact words. Dana has a valid point, as well, though. He’s made it to the semifinals, why not try to go one more fight, recover, and then you’re good to go at the finals.

It’s about what’s most important to you, though. Your health or a potential UFC contract? I felt Dana was a bit harsh on Arroyo. A cracked rib can only get worse if you’re putting it through that kind of physical punishment. Jared Rollins thought he would have to give up a fight earlier in the season because of a rib injury but he didn’t have anything that was broken. Arroyo has a legitimate injury and I think he knows what he’s doing. Arroyo’s no Blake Bowman, Richie Hightower, or Troy Mandaloniz. We’ll most likely not see much of them in the big leagues of mixed martial arts for very long. Matt Arroyo, however, could have made it to the big leagues on talent alone. Now that he’s been on a TV show, combined with his talent, that’s all he really needs.

Anyways, now we need someone to replace Arroyo. Their first pick would be Ben Saunders but his sinus infection/broken nose requires surgery, so he is unavailable to them. Dana White, Serra, and Ray Longo bring the four healthy fighters in one by one and ask them if they want to fight Mac Danzig.

War Machine says he would give it a go, maybe just go in and trade, try his best, and then gas out. Not the answer Dana White’s looking for.

Troy Mandaloniz wants nothing to do with fighting anyone, it seems. He’s weighing in at roughly 190 three days beforehand and shows no interest in an opportunity to move onto the finals.

Richie Hightower, who I think everyone would love to see get into the cage with Mac, wants nothing to do with the fight. He’s concerned about the weight cut, real tentative. Dana asks him how bad he wants it, he hesitates, and says he wants it bad enough to cut twenty pounds in three days. I love how Hightower talked all that garbage on the last episode and now, when push comes to shove and he has a chance to not only fight Mac but also go to the finals, he wants nothing to do with it. As soon as he leaves the room, Dana tells Serra that he could tell Hightower wanted nothing to do with it.

John Kolosci, the guy who Mac beat to get to the semifinals, wants everything to do with it. He comes into the room saying that he wants to fight Mac Danzig and wants the opporunity to move onto the finals. That’s what Dana White wants to hear. As soon as Dana hears him say that, the fight is Kolosci’s.

Danzig is a little pissy that John gets the chance to fight again and go to the finals but also gives him props for stepping up to the plate. Oh well, Mac, I guess you’ll just have to beat him again.

So there we have it, fight time.

John Kolosci (Team Serra) vs. Mac Danzig (Team Hughes)

Round One:

John comes out firing with some good leg kicks while both fighters feel each other out on the feet. John shoots high on Mac for a clinch but Mac throws Kolosci off of him. Kolosci lands a couple more solid leg kicks and is loading up on huge home run kicks that Mac sees coming from a mile away. Kolosci whiffs on a couple and falls to the mat. Kolosci shoots in for a single leg, but Mac quickly defends, pushing John’s head down and hitting him in the face. Mac forces the action into the cage where he reverses position and secures a takedown, coming down into Kolosci’s half guard. Kolosci holds onto a weak guillotine choke and goes for a quick armbar, but both are failures. Kolosci eventually rolls, gives up his back, tries to stand up, and Mac locks in a rear naked choke…again…to secure the victory.

Winner: Mac Danzig via rear naked choke, R1

Since all the drama of the episode surrounded Arroyo, we quickly move onto the next fight where George Sotiropolous is taking on Tommy Speer. Both fighters are confident. George says he’s fought big guys before with no problem and that Tommy is just another big guy. Tommy thinks he can completely control George throughout the fight. Matt Hughes thinks Tommy’s right hand may be Team Hughes’ best kept secret. We’ll see.

George Sotiropolous (Team Serra) vs. Tommy Speer (Team Hughes) 

Round One:

A lot of feeling out to begin the fight with not a whole lot of action. Tommy tries to chase George around for a clinch but George keeps escaping. Big John McCarthy tells Tommy to watch his fingers when he’s close to George’s eyes. George lands a right hand, Tommy lands a right hand and Tommy charges in to clinch once again and is pushed off by George. Tommy throws a punch and his finger jabs George in the eye. An immediate stop is put to the action and George is given time to recover. The doctor looks at it and says he’s good to go. Serra pleads with George to take the full five minutes but George only takes a minute or two and goes back out. Where he got poked is pretty red and a little swollen, so it looks like his vision may be impaired a bit.

The fighters come out ready to scrap and Tommy throws a flurry that backs George into the cage and George comes back with a combination of his own before Tommy lands a solid two punch combination that drops George to the mat. Tommy immediately drops on George, who is still intelligently defending at this point, and begins to drop bombs on George’s head. Hammer fists and punches rain down while George tries to get back to guard. One of the punches eventually knocks George out cold and Big John stops the bout. Team Hughes rushes the cage to congratulate their two winning fighters.

Winner: Tommy Speer via knockout, R2

George is only left to ask his trainers: “What happened?”

So there you have it, Mac Danzig (Team Hughes) vs. Tommy Speer (Team Hughes) at the TUF 6 Finale. Maybe Matt Serra should have pitted Mac vs.Tommy when he had the chance. Who knew the tables would turn like this? No wonder Serra won’t be at the finale. He’s got no reason to be. And that concludes another season of TUF. Let’s hope they spice it up next season.

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