The Ultimate Fighter 17 returned to action tonight on FX. This week featured the first bout in The Ultimate Fighter house as Team Sonnen’s Luke Barnatt took on Team Jones’s Gilbert Smith. Be sure to stay tuned to MMAFrenzy as we track fourteen middleweights, coached by UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen, vying to become The Ultimate Fighter. [Spoilers Below]
The episode kicks off with Team Jones frustrated over this week’s fight between Smith and Barnatt. With even the coaches a little concerned over the pairing, Smith begins to get a little frustrated with the lack of support from everyone. Between the doubts and a reminder of home, the middleweight struggles to get a hold on his emotions. This display of frustration only furthers his teammates doubts ahead of the first fight, with the constant worry of losing control of fight selection a recurring theme.
Coach Chael Sonnen introduces a very stacked coaching crew including Vinny Magalhaes, Mike Dolce, and more. Sonnen is focused on making sure he knows where his team’s head at by practicing with the team.
The drama in the Team Jones situation continues to come to a head as the team goes behind Gilbert’s back and talks to coach Frank Mir about their doubts. The team then confronts the annoyed fighter, who feels even more ambushed than before. While the Gilbert and a few select teammates argue, mostly “Bubba” McDaniel and Josh Samman, Coach Jones listens to the entire exchange from behind the door. After the exchange ended, Jones entered the locker room and gave Smith his endorsement and also stood by his choice.
In the training session, Jones focuses on working with Gilbert on his overhand right, citing a tendency he noted with Barnatt. Teammates Clint Hester and Adam Cella express their belief that they believe Gilbert will win.
After the break, Chael Sonnen and his staff visit the house with the focus of talking to Uriah Hall. Sonnen talks about getting Hall to the next round and Hall states he will take on the top guys with no fear. At the training center, Sonnen talks about Barnatt’s advantage being his obvious length and size advantages over the smaller fighter.
It is now time for the weigh-ins, and both fighters make weight with ease. UFC president Dana White also expresses his doubt over the upcoming matchup, expressing his dismay at Jones picking a fight with such a large size difference.
Gilbert Smith vs. Luke Barnatt
- Rd 1- First kick of the fight from LB catches GS flush in the cup and he’s warned. GS with an overhand right into a single leg attempt the cage and after a struggle he works LB down briefly but LB uses his length to get back up and take GS down briefly on his own.GS works him back up and takes control in the clinch before LB works to a Thai clinch and lands a nice shot before a hard combo from GS separates them. Back to the clinch briefly and GS is back on a shot and takes LB down again. The Brit again uses his length to work back up and stop a subsequent shot. Smith is briefly in half guard and eats a hard elbow. Smith works back up again and takes control of the clinch. Jones asks his team to quiet down so GS can hear the coaches (common issue in wrestling and MMA). They separate and LB with a nice jab. Hard leg kick by GS. GS counters an exchange from LB with a hard punch as the round ends. Anyone’s round there, but LB appeared to have a tiny edge. 10-9 Barnatt
- Rd 2- Touch of gloves and a jab from LB is answered by hard combo from GS. GS ducks a punch and has a single but loses it when LB uses his length, hard elbow from LB and we’re back up. Clinch against the fence and a hard knee from LB. Ugly takedown by GS and LB again works back up against the fence. LB tries a body lock takedown and gets it. LB is in half guard and lands a hard elbow. GS works back up again. Big overhand by GS and another nice punch. GS clinches and his team tells him to separate. Big clinch exchange that GS gets the better of. Boom, end of fight after GS is crushed by a flying knee from LB while lowering his level. Luke Barnatt def. Gilbert Smith via TKO (flying knee) – Round 2
The Ultimate Fighter 17 Results:
Luke Barnatt def. Gilbert Smith via knockout – Round 2
Robert “Bubba” McDaniel
Gilbert Smith (lost to Luke Barnatt)
Team Jones’s “Bubba” McDaniel calls out Team Sonnen’s Kevin Casey in an effort to try and sway the selection. Sonnen is not drawn into the crap talk and pits Adam Cella vs. Uriah Hall. Next week’s preview promises one of the most violent knockouts in MMA history according to White.