The third episode of the ninth season of The Ultimate Fighter kicks off with both teams arriving at the house (U.S. arrived first) and becoming acquainted with one another. We know from last weeks episode that four U.S. fighters (Frank Lester, Kiel Reid, Jason Dent, and Rob Browning) will fight for the remaining two spots that were left vacant.
Both the U.S. and U.K. fighters get along well except for Rob Browning, brother to the infamous Junie Browning from last seasons TUF. It took no time at all before little bro filled the shoes as the house pest and found his way to the fire water. A dozen thrown eggs and a couple of confrontations later both teams were prompted to set some ground rules down for the house, obviously trying to prevent any antics that happened last season.
The next day was training day for both teams. Dan Henderson told his fighters that he will be focusing on ground and pound, working the clinch, and wrestling after expressing that he believes wrestling to be almost “non-existent” in the U.K. Michael Bisping and his group head into the cage for some sparring, promising that his team will be on weight, in shape and ready to fight.
Bisping also kicks off the mind games early this season with a little trash talk to U.S. fighters Damarques Johnson and Jason Dent which in turn only stoke the fire for the U.S. team.
Now it’s time for the two elimination fights which will finalize the U.S. roster.
First up are the welterweights: Kiel Reid vs. Frank Lester.
The fights starts and Reid finds an immediate home for his right hand following up with a takedown. Lester scrambles to his feet but Reid goes for a standing guillotine. Lester fights the choke and each fighter land a knee. Reid looks for a double leg but Lester defends and locks in a standing kimura. Lester pulls guard yanking back on Reid’s arm causing him to drop head first into the mat knocking him unconscious.
Lester tweaked Reid’s arm into a real bad spot before Mazzagatti saw what happened and stopped the fight. “I didn’t know he went to sleep, so I just kept yanking and yanking,” Lester says.
Frank Lester moves into the house by way of TKO in the first round.
Next are the lightweights: Jason Dent vs. Rob Browning.
The fighters meet in the middle and both are trading strikes moderately before Browning shoots in for the takedown but Dent defends well. Browning has a couple of push kicks to offer and Dent throws a high kick that connects with his foot. Browning shoots in but Dent stuffs the takedown once more. Browning turtles up under the bigger fighter and has nothing to offer on the ground as Dent closes up shop with some heavy hands from the top and a series of knees to the ribs of Browning. Mazzagatti again stops the fight in the first round.
Jason Dent moves in the house by way of TKO in the first round.
So the U.S. team is finally set and of course Henderson adds that he is definitely happy to see Rob Browning go. Next week we will be treated to the first U.S. vs. U.K. fight in the season as well as the first in history of TUF and the U.S. has control over the pick.
Here are the FINAL 16 fighters for the 9th season of TUF:
Mark Miller Richie Witson
Jason Pierce Jason Dent
Damarques Johnson Santino Defranco
Frank Lester Cameron Dollar
David Faulkner Ross Pearson
Dean Amasinger Martin Stapleton
Nick Osipczak Jeff Lawson
James Wilks Andre Winner