Week 9 of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson saw the conclusion of the round of 16, plus the continuing adventures of "Bangin" Julian Lane. Let's take a look at the results:
Mike Ricci def. Dominic Waters by extra round unanimous decision
Round of 16 ends with Team Carwin and Team Nelson tied 4-4
Good fight overall, probably fight of the season to date (though, admittedly, that's not saying much). First round was close at times, but Ricci definitely outstruck him. Waters clearly took the 2nd with grappling control, so I had no issues with it going to a 3rd. That final round came down to just plain old endurance - Ricci had it, Dom didn't. I'm not sure it was exactly a UFC level performance, but it's enough to move Ricci forward, and enough to cement him as the season favorite in my opinion. I'll be interested to see how he does if he stays in the UFC and drops back down to his natural division in Lightweight - that may be his best weight class, but it's also a deep, tough division in the UFC.
After that, we get the big quarter-final announcements, plus that weird segment they always do where the winners come in and say who they want to fight next. Most notable was Ricci wanting to fight his countryman Michael Hill next, while Hill didn't want to fight Ricci. Hill was let down after discovering this. Which probably means some bottles will be hit.
Anyway, the quarter-final fights, which are a weird mix of some teammate vs. teammate, and some Carwin vs. Nelson:
The first two quarter-finals take place next week, and it looks like Araujo vs. Smith gets heated at the weigh-ins. Let's hope that leads to fireworks in the actual fight.
Other random bits:
- Heading into the week I asked if anyone would let Julian Lane bang. The answer? No, no they would not. And Julian was sad because of it.
- Shane Carwin certainly has an odd take on folks from Montreal.
- Roy Nelson corner advice of the week: "Be athletic." Should he be explosive too?
- Seriously, I am thrilled that "Let me bang, bro" has become so popular. Now let us just pray that doesn't earn Lane a UFC job.
- Dom Waters speaking to his friends and family after his loss: "Sorry I let you down. Actually, I'm not sorry." Fair enough.
Next week - Hill is mad. So is Araujo. And I'm just going to assume Lane is too. See you then.