The Ultimate Fighter 17 returned to action tonight on FX. This week featured the final two quarterfinal bouts. 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]
This week’s episode kicked off in the Team Jones practice with Bubba McDaniels hurting both physically and mentally over his upcoming fight with Team Sonnen’s Uriah Hall. Teammate Clint Hester talks about how he wanted the wildcard to begin with and is staying ready in case something changes. Jones has his doubt about his Team Jackson-Winklejohn teammate, saying he is unsure if the big man will be able to go.
Jones also talks about Josh Samman’s fight with Jimmy Quinlan. Coach Frank Mir tells Samman to win this fight by forcing Quinlan to have to punch in order to win the fight. Samman’s teammates and coaches believe he should win, but his lingering rib and leg injuries leave them with some doubts.
At the Team Sonnen practice, Quinlan really seems to be hitting his stride. Sonnen is really glowing about the fighter’s progress and really believes in his guy. Quinlan says his game plan is no secret and he believes he is the better fighter.
After the break, Bubba McDaniels goes to the doctor to have his kidneys checked out after some extreme back pain and puts his future in the doctors’ hands.
Samman and Quinlan are ready to go and no weigh-ins are showed, so it is fight time.
Josh Samman vs. Jimmy Quinlan
- Hard knee by Samman lands on Quinlan. Quinlan with a double leg and despite being stuffed early he gets a big driving takedown. Samman is being very active off his back and Quinlan is pouring blood now. Quinlan is just holding Samman down and eats some hard elbows. Both coaches are working the referee/judges here but Quinlan is not doing much at all. Samman tries to start a standup after landing more elbows from bottom but Quinlan again uses it to pass. Samman works back up and lands a pair of huge knees that cause Quinlan to wilt. Samman takes his back and begins pounding away on Quinlan with double fists to side of the head and Quinlan taps to strikes. Josh Samman def. Jimmy Quinlan via submission (strikes) – Round 1
Samman is ecstatic to have finished all of his fights in the first round and is really excited with his win. Samman and Quinlan are respectful of each other after the fight. The Massachusetts native admits that Samman broke him and forced him to quit in there.
At the Team Jones training session, McDaniel talks about being getting a big boost after the doctor tells him his kidneys are good to go. Jones talks about turning this fight into the type of striking battle that favors them rather than Hall.
At the Team Sonnen session, Uriah Hall talks about how he has been told that McDaniel is scared of him. Sonnen is very confident about Hall’s chances, and talks about how the only person that will beat Hall is Hall himself.
Jones isn’t thrilled with Bubba’s mindset before the fight, as he seems to think Bubba has psyched himself out. Coach Bubba Jenkins tries to pump up McDaniel before the fight, telling him he is being looked over.
Back in the Sonnen locker room, Hall seems the more mentally ready fighter (which is usually not the case) and he talks about the holes he sees in McDaniels game.
Uriah Hall vs. Bubba McDaniel
- Hall catches McDaniel with a knee and then catches McDaniel walking in with his hands down with a one-punch knockout from a Silva-like right and McDaniels is done. Uriah Hall def. Bubba McDaniel via KO (punch) – Round 1
Bubba’s eye is in bad shape after the fight but he recovers pretty quickly otherwise. UFC president Dana White believes Hall is the nastiest fighter in TUF history and Sonnen thinks he is an immediate contender at middleweight.
- Kelvin Gastelum (Team Sonnen) def. Colin Hart (Team Jones) via TKO (strikes) – Round 1
- Dylan Andrews (Team Jones) def. Luke Barnatt (Team Sonnen) via TKO (strikes) – Round 3
- Josh Samman (Team Jones) def. Jimmy Quinlan (Team Sonnen) via submission (strikes) – Round 1
- Uriah Hall (Team Sonnen) def. Bubba McDaniel (Team Jones) via KO (punch) – Round 1
A very even competition finishes the semis with the teams tied at 2-2. The fighters come in and announce their choices for their semis but the coaches are in complete agreement about the matchups they want which would have seen Samman vs. Hall and Andrews vs. Gastelum. White does his own thing however, but he does his own thing to set up a possible Hall vs. Samman final.
- Josh Samman (Team Jones) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (Team Sonnen)
- Uriah Hall (Team Sonnen) vs. Dylan Andrews (Team Jones)