This week's episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson saw the conclusion of the quarter-final round, along with the announcement of the semi-finals. Let's get right to the results:
Quarter-final #3: Jon Manley def. Joey Rivera by majority decision (19-19, 20-18, 20-18)
Yeah this fight wasn't so hot. It was a reminder of all those dull fights in the previous round. Clinch clinch clinch, stall stall stall. Manley takes the decision, though certainly doesn't come out of it looking very impressive. It's a shame because I like Rivera, but for whatever reason, he just didn't deliver here.
Another pretty lopsided fight here, as Ricci was simply the superior fighter all around. As expected, he came out of this fght looking like a solid, all-around professional fighter, while Hill looked to just be in over his head. Ricci controlled on the feet, and on the mat, sending his Canadian Bro packing, and in my opinion continuing to show that he is the season favorite. Not a fantastic or competitive fight, but a very nice performance from Ricci.
After that, we got the semi-final announcements, and, not surprisingly, they went with teammate vs. teammate in order to guarantee a Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson finale:
Jon Manley vs. Colton Smith
Neil Magney vs. Mike Ricci
And let me just say - that sucks. Magney vs. Ricci should be the finals, as those are the best two guys this season. That should be a good fight, and the winner there will be the easy pick over whoever wins the Nelson battle. Right now, I'll go with a Ricci vs. Smith final.
Other random bits:
- It's kind of amazing how little either Roy Nelson or Shane Carwin are even on the show at this point. Both are just total non-entities right now.
- During the show, it was very cool to see so many of Joey Rivera's students on twitter talking up their coach. That kind of support says a lot about what sort of person Rivera truly is, and I hope he gets some MMA opportunities out of this experience.
- 12 fights so far this season and we have had I believe just 1 stoppage (Manley's sub over Chaney). That's bad.
- From the preview for next week's show: "4 men, 2 fights, 1 thing is for sure - there will be a knock out." Well good.
Next week - both semi-finals in the last episode of the season before the big live finale. That means it's your last chance to see all but two of these guys on UFC programming, so come join us at Bloody Elbow to bid them all adieu.