Episode 10 of The Ultimate Fighter 11 picks up where last week’s left off, as UFC President Dana White tells Chuck Liddell that Tito Ortiz has withdrawn from their scheduled third meeting at the end of the season with an injured neck.
Liddell tells White that he told him before the season that this would happen, and that he didn’t want to do the show except to get the chance to punch Tito’s head afterward.
Ortiz explains that after his November loss to Forrest Griffin he experience tingling and numbness in his arms and legs and must undergo another surgery to repair the injury, then listens in as Liddell vents to the castmembers and trainer John Hackleman.
Ortiz’s Jamie Yager and Liddell’s Josh Bryant successfully weigh-in for the final quarterfinal, then Ortiz predicts a first-round stoppage for Yager while teammate Kyacey Uscola says he has talent and speed, but their not always enough to win in the sport.
Yager likes the matchup because he’s again facing a shorter wrestler and is confident he can score a knockout, while Bryant says he’s not looking past anyone and will try to take advantage of what he’s better at.
It’s fight day, and Yager says Bryant’s never fought anyone like him, while Bryant sees his height as an advantage due to his style and is looking to hit Yager before going for the takedown.
The bout’s quickly underway, and Yager lunges with punches early, but Bryant connects with a counter punch and gets into the clinch where he presses for a takedown. Yager stays on his feet and connects with knees to the body before escaping. Yager attacks Bryant’s legs with kicks, but eventually hits Bryant below the belt. Yager launches more kicks after the restart before Bryant finally counters with a combinations. Bryant catches a kick, but slips only to quickly scramble back to his feet. Bryant remains tentative as Yager connects with more leg kicks, but he finally lands a one-two in the closing seconds that drops Yager and finishes the round in his guard.
Yager begins the second round with more leg kicks, then Bryant catches him with a low blow. On the restart, Bryant connects with another combo, then Yager counters with a kick. Bryant trips Yager to the canvas and jumps into side control, but Yager escapes to feet. Bryant grabs guillotine, but Yager reverses and gets a takedown of his own. Back on their feet, Bryant rushes forward but is met with more kicks by Yager. Bryant connects with another combo, and follows it up with more punches before Yager fires back with punches and kicks. After a brief clinch, they trade wild punches with Bryant seemingly getting the better of the exchange. Bryant tries for another takedown from the clinch, but it’s stuffed. Yager lands a punch as they separate, but then slips on a kick and Bryant jumps into side control. Bryant grinds away with elbows, then works Yager’s arm for a submission, before closing out the round with more ground and pound.
Yager struggles to return to his feet following the late attack, but finally stands and gets to his corner where Ortiz encourages him not to quit as the judges call for a decisive third round. Yager struggles to recover and after failing to answer the bell, referee Steve Mazagatti calls the fight allowing Bryant to claim the last semifinal slot.
After the fight, Liddell says Yager quit “just like Tito,” while Ortiz calls him a pussy for failing to continue.
Following Team Liddell’s latest success, White commends Liddell for the picks he criticized earlier in the season.
Teammate Seth Baczynski says Yager was broken by Bryant and the loss haunt him forever, while Ortiz doesn’t accept Yager’s excuses and says he simply quit as he’s fitted with a neck brace and taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
After the fight, White pulls Ortiz aside and tells him that he has an appointment the following day to get a second opinion on his back and that he’ll no longer be a coach as he needs to get healthy and Liddell is now set to face a new opponent.
Ortiz says he’s never been fired before (except on The Apprentice) and White’s decision is hard to swallow, but promises he’ll return following the surgery and vows that we haven’t seen the last of Tito Ortiz.
After Ortiz leaves without telling his team, White calls the confused squad back to the gym and tells them that they’ll soon have a new coach.
Back at the house, Team Ortiz is disappointed with Tito being dismissed with just six days remaining and surprised he didn’t tell them the news himself. Yager soon returns from the hospital after learning he has no serious injuries, and is irked that his teammates think he quit.
Ortiz arrives at the house and finally says his goodbyes, then the teams return to the gym and White announces that the semifinal matchup will be a battle between Team Liddell teammates Brad Tavares and Court McGee and a rematch between Liddell’s Bryant and formerly Ortiz’s Kris McCray.
Ortiz’s former fighters then meet their new coach: former middleweight champ Rich Franklin, who explains that White called for a replacement and he stepped up to face Liddell.
White then says he over-compensated for Ortiz’s late-dismissal and prepares to announce a former champion to assist Team Franklin as the episode ends.
Next week on The Ultimate Fighter 11, the mystery assistant coach is revealed and Tavares and McGee square off in the first semifinal to earn a spot in the finals.