Week 10 of The Ultimate Fighter saw the focus squarely where it should be - the fights. With two quarter-finals, both of which went 2 rounds, there wasn't a lot of time for extra nonsense, which is as it should be. Let's take a look at the results:
Not exactly a fantastic fight here, but I continue to be pleasantly impressed by Magny's work. Much of the emphasis pre-fight was on his reach advantage, and that ended up playing a big role in the fight. In round 1, Magny simply outstruck Marunde, using his reach, good movement, and a more relaxed stand-up game to pick his opponent apart. Marunde just had no answer for that reach. Round 2 was closer in my eyes thanks to some ground control for Bristol and Magny being a bit too passive at time. I saw that round as tight, but the judges went with Magny, who now moves on. I'm hoping he makes the finals at this point, as he think he's a prospect worth keeping around.
Interesting post-fight bit here, as in Dana White's breakdown, he completely disagrees with my scoring, calling round 1 too close to call, and round 2 firmly for Magny - the exact opposite of my view. Your thoughts BE crew?
Quarter-final #2: Colton Smith def. Igor Araujo by unanimous decision (20-18, 20-18, 20-18)
Some pre-fight fireworks here as Aruajo got very angry over... something? I'm still not entirely clear on what happened, but Roy Nelson sure found it funny.
The fight itself was pretty dull. Smith is a good wrestler, and he flat out dominated Araujo. Of course, that domination was purely of the "control" variety, not "damage", so it wasn't the most thrilling. Basically both rounds were identical - quick takedown from Smith, then a solid use of wrestling to maintain top control and ride Araujo to the easy decision.
Hard to say what Smith's prospects are on the show. At this level, a guy who is good at pure wrestling control can go far. But put him in the UFC, where he won't be going against guys with this low level of wrestling defense, and he'll be in a world of trouble. His chances of moving to the finals depend quite a bit on who he is paired with in the semis.
Other random bits:
- Colton Smith needs better trunks. He looked like he was wearing his grandpa's underwear.
- I'm going on record now to predict a Magny vs. Ricci final. You?
- Quote of the week goes to Marunde for this gem: "This is a fight. Anything goes." Perhaps he has missed the entirety of MMA from 1994 to today?
- Roy Nelson corner advice of the week: when Aruajo was barely touching the ground to avoid being kneed - "pull up and then knee." Hey that's actually really good advice. Well played Big Country.
- Not much silliness this week, which may let some folks down, but I was pleased with the fight-heavy show. Maybe it's just the exceptionally lowered expectations from the first part of the season, but the past few episodes have not been so bad.
Next week - well, nothing. No show due to Thanksgiving. Eat some turkey. Two weeks from now we return with Jon Manley vs. Joey Rivera and the Canadian bro-down with Michael Hill vs. Mike Ricci. Plus the semi-final fights are announced.