UFC The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 TUF9 US vs UK- Episode 7
Last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 revolved around the coaches’ challenge, a tennis tournament, watching the training of Dave Faulkner (UK) and Jason Pierce (US) and the fight between Richie Whitson and Ross Pearson. So much of the hour dwelt on the training of Faulkner and Pierce that I assumed they were fighting in this episode.
Faulkner and Pierce have become buddies during their time on the show which could be a problem. Bisping said he felt that Faulkner could win against anyone in the house as did Faulkner himself. During training, Bisping told Faulkner that even though the guys were friends, when they get into the octagon, Pierce was going to try to kill him. Bisping’s training sessions were hard exercises – among them, silkworm, in which you worm your way along the mats on your side, pulling your arms and legs up toward your head and down toward your feet in order to move, and a dragging exercise, in which you pull your partner along the mats. Interestingly, these are exercises which we did with regularity at our old judo club years ago. They involve your moving yourself and others and are hard work.
Strangely, both these guys are injured in this episode: Pierce broke blood vessels in his foot during his preliminary elimination match, resulting in his not being able to kick with that leg. Henderson worried about Pierce’s “sore ankle against an ankle lock guy”. In the other camp, Bisping had the guys pounding a tractor tire with a sledgehammer, resulting in Faulkner’s whacking his own leg with the hammer, creating a giant, infected lump on his calf.
When learning that the US team was going to have a sparring session, Pierce started complaining. The sparring coach gave a pep talk to everyone, but Pierce walked out. The sparring coach said Pierce was a negative guy and pain in the neck. (He is one of the main complainers in the one-on-one sessions in front of the camera.)
The coaches’ challenge was a tennis tournament with the serving area being the entire opposite side since neither guy knew how to play tennis. Both coaches were terrible; however, Henderson won 6 to 2, earning 10K in cash for himself and $1500 for each team member. It was an ugly game on both parts.
After spending most of the hour on Faulkner and Pierce, we found that they were not fighting in this episode. Richie Whitson was going to fight against Ross Pearson. Whitson is a muay thai scrapper from Alaska who trains at Henderson’s club and knows all of the coaches well. Pearson is what Bisping called a “pitbull” who needs to “relax on the horsepower” a bit.
During the training session with Bisping, we saw Bisping throw Pearson with a beautiful hip throw and show him new moves to add to his abilities. Usually the coaches watch and critique, so it was exciting to see Bisping display his skills.
Round 1 between the lightweights started at eight minutes to eleven, so the match was going to be short. Whitson had Pearson in the clinch at the fence and attempted an elbow. Pearson managed to elude him and kneed Whitson in the face. Both guys tried really high kicks, neither of which landed. At one point Whitson was on his knees and Pearson stood up and punched Whitson, resulting in a point being taken away.
The rest of the round had Pearson taking Whitson down perhaps four times. Although they traded punches, the take downs were the deciding factor: Pearson got on Whitson’s back and achieved a straight arm bar (juji gatame) after a turnover. Tapout.
The Ultimate Fighter series certainly shows sides of people you wouldn’t ordinarily see. These guys can beat the pulp out of you and yet weep uncontrollably about missing family and wanting to go home (Dollar). Whitson had impetigo on his face several days before the match and Pierce (I think it was Pierce) went berserk spraying antiseptic everywhere, as though that would help. (Impetigo is a bacterial infection which is contagious and treated with antibiotics.)
The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 TUF9 is on Spike on Wednesdays at 10 p.m.
May 14, 2009