The show this week wastes no time kicking off as we’re taken right back to the training center in Las Vegas, Nevada for the remaining eight elimination bouts. The first bout is between Englishman Wesley Murch and self-diagnosed ADHD patient John Polakowski.
Lightweight Elimination Bout: Wesley Murch vs. John Polakowski
Round one begins and the fighters trade some hard shots with Murch on the receiving end of some particularly hard shots. The two tangle against the cage and Murch is eventually able to trip Polakowski to the ground and gets to mount where he rains down some shots. He tries for a heel hook but is unable to execute and loses position as Polakowski ends up on top. They eventually make their way to their feet and Murch is somehow able to take Polakowski’s back and tries for the choke but Polakowski is able to defend, turn into Murch, and end up on top. They make their way back to the feet again and Murch lands a big low kick and crumples to the mat and eats some big shots as the round ends. He’s left clutching his leg at the end of the first round and it doesn’t look like he’ll be able to continue but his corner urges him to fight through it.
Round two opens and Murch comes out with a jab and tries to go for the gusto with a flying knee but when he lands it’s clear that his leg injury is serious and he’ll be unable to continue. Polakowski runs around the cage like he did something spectacular, hugs Nogueira who says “I like to hug too,” hugs Dana White, and hugs Frank Mir who seems very uncomfortable with the length of the hug. Polakowski wins via TKO due to injury.
Light Heavyweight Elimination Bout: Shane Primm vs. Sean O’Connell
O’Connell grabs a nice single leg takedown as the round starts but Primm is able to work an armbar from the position as the fight hits the ground. O’Connell is able to get out but gives up position and the fighters work back to their feet. O’Connell tries another takedown but Primm is able to secure a kimura and sweep him over for dominant position, eventually taking O’Connell’s back and finishing with a rear naked choke submission. Dominant victory for Primm who credits Mir for “great coaching” throughout the fight.
Lightweight Elimination Bout: Ido Pariente vs. Efrain Escudero
Escudero lands a nice takedown early but Pariente is able to scramble back to his feet and tries for a takedown of his own but Escudero is able to shrug him off. The fighters exchange punches and Escudero ducks in for another takedown and lands it and locks in a guillotine but eventually lets go, takes Pariente’s back and finishes him with a rear naked choke.
Light Heavyweight Elimination Bout: Ryan Lopez vs. Tom Lawlor
Lopez is a physical specimen who is a bounty hunter by day, fighter by night. And part time male model. Hm. He’s a huge guy but as we all know, size matters not in MMA. Lawlor takes Lopez down with ease at the beginning of the first round and chokes him out with a rear naked even more easily. Lawlor didn’t break a sweat. Mir comments that “you have to be complete” to compete in MMA noawadays. That’s correct, Frank.
Lightweight Elimination Bout: George Roop vs. Roli Delgado
They only showed highlights of this fight and it looks like Roop was able to defend Roli’s submissions and outclass him on the feet, winning a decision. Roop and Delgado are both very tall for lightweights and Delgado admits that he wasn’t prepared to fight someone as tall as him.
Light Heavyweight Elimination Bout: Kyle Kingsbury vs. Ryan Bader
Once again, highlights only in this fight and Kingsbury takes round one but Bader is able to come back, use his strong wrestling and his power to lock in an arm triangle to force Kingsbury to submit in the second round. Bader is one of the favorites among the light heavyweights as he’s a two time All American from Arizona State, teammate of C.B. Dollaway, and trains out of Arizona Combat Sports.
Lightweight Elimination Bout: Shane Nelson vs. Charles Diaz
Nelson dominates this fight from start to finish as only highlights are shown. Nelson punishes Diaz with a barrage of strikes and knees in the standup, eventually winning a decision. Nelson is a lightweight to keep an eye on as he trains out of BJ Penn’s academy and looked like a beast in this fight.
Light Heavyweight Elimination Bout: Elliott Marshall vs. Karn Grigoryan
Grigoryan comes out wild with strikes and a low kick. Marshall shoots for a takedown but gets stuffed and Grigoryan wrestles him to the ground. Marshall uses strong jiu jitsu to avoid damage and throw up all kinds of submission attempts as Grigoryan tries to ground and pound and improve position.
Round two begins with Marshall landing a half-assed head kick and the fighters trading blows on the feet. Grigoryan is throwing hard shots but Marshall has done some damage as Grigoryan is bleeding out of his nose. Marshall eventually takes the fight to the ground and is able to get side control and throws hard knees until the bell sounds. The fight is too close to call at this point so the referees call for a third round.
Round three opens with both fighters throwing hard haymakers and Marshall taking the fight to the ground as quickly as possible. Grigoryan is able to get mount after a struggle on the ground but Marshall is able to sweep him and takes Grigoryan’s back. As Grigoryan is struggling for position Marshall transitions to the mount position and lands some elbows. Grigoryan is able to power out and land on top but is oozing blood onto Marshall’s chest. Mazagatti stands them up for inactivity and they go all out as the round ends but nothing major lands. Marshall owns rounds three for sure.
The judges come to a decision and due to everyone’s dismay they rule in favor of Grigoryan via split decision. Mir and Dana White can’t believe it and Nogueira doesn’t seem to care one way or another but is happy for Grigoryan.
Dana White congratulates the guys who made it and tells the others they fought their heart out. We also learn that Antwain Britt has a broken hand and will be unable to continue so Elliott Marshall is given a second chance and will take Antwain’s spot in the competition.
Next week’s preview leads us to believe that either Grigoryan or the lightweight McLaughlin will be unable to continue and another fighter will be brought back to replace them. That fighter, I believe, is Kyle Kingsbury as he was shown during the preview for the next episode which would mean that Grigoryan is unable to continue. The preview for the season lookes pretty ridiculous as far as general drunkenness and jackassery. But it’s TUF so that’s to be expected, right?