The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 – Ep. 11

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 Episode 11 contained the two semi-final matches, the first being between Kyle Watson and Jonathan Brookins, and the second between Michael Johnson and the sole Koscheck team member, Nam Phan

The fight between Brookins, a wrestler, and Watson, a jiu jitsu guy and one of Matt Hughes‘s coaches, was a fight between friends and teammates. Brookins’s game plan was just to be quicker. St-Pierre said he didn’t know who would win as their skill sets were so different.

In a filler scene before the fight, Koscheck‘s team complained about their lack of training and jealousy of GSP’s team having had great guest coaches and GSP’s main coach, John Danaher.

Round 1 of the first fight began with Watson controlling the stand up until a take down by Brookins. Getting up quickly, Watson was again taken down, with Brookins in his butterfly guard. Brookins calmly held Watson’s arm, applied ground and pound while in full guard and tried to get behind Watson for a rear naked choke. Watson managed to turn over to avoid it.

Round 2 began with a take down by Brookins again. As in the first round, when on the ground, Brookins was in control.

Round 3 Brookins achieved a double leg take down and was in control on the ground. When standing, Watson was effective. Time ran out when on the ground after the second take down of the round.

Watson was defensive on the ground, with only one strike that I noticed. Very little can be accomplished on one’s back. We’ve seen few fighters manage to strike from there. The superiour position is on the top. Watson turned over once, but when he was taken down, mainly was on his back, trying to get his arms free. The fight got quite boring because of Watson’s defensiveness.

Unanimous decision in Brookins’s favour. 

Afterward Watson said he planned on using all GSP and Danaher had taught him. Brookins said that he wanted to be great, but not lose himself along the way. He is the most introspective person we have seen on The Ultimate Fighter.

The second fight, between Nam Phan and Michael Johnson, promised to be interesting: Phan is a very strong, competent striker and Johnson is very athletic. Even GSP stated that on paper Phan was better, but he felt that Johnson’s athleticism would allow for him to be explosive. He also thought Johnson had the best transition from stand up to the ground.

In the training, unbelievably, Phan actually trained by himself one day: he didn’t ask his teammates to train with him since they had been up late the previous night (drinking and mocking him) and the coaches were elsewhere. Later when the coaches and team were together, Koscheck stated that they should be supporting Phan, but only after mocking Phan once himself.

Phan said that Johnson had holes in his game and that he himself had more boxing experience, whereas Johnson was more of a brawler.

White thought Phan had the edge and was more well-rounded.

Round one began with Phan kicking and then being taken down by Johnson. Johnson let Phan up (this is a common practice by him, sort of wearing the opponent down) and then took him down again. Phan retaliated with kicks and strikes, but was chased around the octagon by Johnson. A knee by Johnson opened up a cut below Phan’s eye and a small one to the side of the eyebrow.

Round two began the same way, with Johnson chasing Phan until Phan gave a hard body shot to Johnson’s liver. Johnson then backed up himself and, for the next two minutes or so, had arms fairly low, protecting his body and mainly just managing to stay in the game. Johnson did attempt a take down but Phan bounced off the cage. By the end of the round, Johnson had recovered and started being aggressive again.

Round three had Johnson take Phan down, but Phan tried a juji gatame. When in the clinch, Phan applied another body shot, but to Johnson’s other side. Johnson had another take down and ended in a loose guard.

Split decision in Johnson’s favour.

We were of two minds in this fight: Phan is a very good fighter and we wanted him to succeed, but did not want Koscheck to win, so we were hard-pressed as to whom to cheer for. The fight was far more aggressive and exciting than the previous semi-final bout.

In camera after the fight, Koscheck said that he had no one else to blame for the results: Josh Koscheck had picked the team and Josh Koscheck was responsible for the results. Yes, that’s right: he talked about himself in the third person. He was alienating himself from the results. It was that Josh Koscheck guy who was responsible, not “I”.

If he had wanted Phan to win and to salvage something from the season, his team should have been supportive of the sole person left, training with him and backing him up, not mocking the guy and embarrassing him. Koscheck and his coaches should have been behind Phan completely. That absolutely didn’t happen.

The finale of The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 is on Saturday, December 5, 2010 on Spike at 9 p.m. EST.


December 4, 2010

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