The quarterfinals of The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 began yesterday. In the quarterfinals, we have seven men from Rashad Evans‘ team and one from Quinton Jackson‘s. First up were Roy Nelson against Justin Wren, both Evans’ guys.
Evans was concerned about how to coach these people, who were on the same team, yet fighting each other. He determined that the best solution was not to coach, but to continue to have practice sessions in the different disciplines. Last week, he had tried to get Jackson’s men to come practice with his, but his approach to them was poor, somewhat egocentric, and he put down their coach, so their reaction was to walk away.
Both Nelson and Wren have jiu jitsu backgrounds, with Nelson having earned a black belt in BJJ. He was the IFL heavyweight champion and his record coming into The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 was 13-4.
Wren’s background is Greco-Roman wrestling. He was two-time national champion in high school. Before an injury sidelined him, he trained for the Olympics in Greco-Roman. While injured, he became interested in MMA and now studies with Travis Lutter. He is ten years’ younger than Nelson, and about twenty pounds’ lighter (Nelson tipped the scales at the weigh-in at 264). His record coming into The Ultimate Fighter is 10-1.
Everyone who spoke about the two men mentioned that their skills on the ground were comparable, so they would probably remain standing and slug it out. Dana White was impressed by Wren’s preliminary bout against Wes Sims but was yet to be impressed by Roy Nelson.
During the episode, the drama of Matt Mitrione‘s life continued: his “brain” still hurt (he told someone that his opponent had “rattled” his brain) and he eventually spent the night in the hospital. Afterward, he told Dana White that he still wanted to fight, but White wanted to have the doctor’s approval.
Round 1 of the first quarterfinal bout: Wren was the aggressor from the beginning, going after Nelson with big punches. Nelson rushed Wren to the fence and while in the clinch applied some knees. The referee split them up after no further action.
Both men then battled it out in the center of the ring. Wren began to fatigue at about the 2 1/2 minute mark and had his hands too low. From then on, McSweeney yelled intermittently for Wren to raise his hands. Wren threw lots of wild shots, most of which missed their mark; he expended a great deal of energy with those shots, throwing his whole body into them.
Round 2 began with jabs from Nelson and an outside leg kick from Wren. Wren then used strikes and a kick combo. Nelson continued with the jabs and, when in the clinch, Wren applied a solid elbow.
The round continued with Nelson picking Wren apart, throwing punches right down the middle. Wren’s hands were extremely low and he was exhausted.
The fight went to decision with the majority going to Nelson. We thought the first round might have been a draw and the second went to Nelson, so it was close.
Nelson has a huge ego and told White that the fight was something for Dana to be excited about. White was again not impressed.
The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 is on Wednesdays at Spike at 10:00 p.m. EST.
Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 3- Note: Roy Nelson’s preliminary fight was in this episode.
November 12, 2009