After last week’s solid beginning to the new season, how will “The Ultimate Fighter” top last week? Stick around and find out the top 10 thoughts on tonight’s episode, “Ambush”.
The first fight of the season is coming up and it looks like a doozy. Also, UFC has a contest up on TheUltimateFighter.com whereby you can compete with your friends, family, maybe even your co-workers, for goods and swag. In fact, Inside Fights is hosting a contest of our own. Join up, compete against the Inside Fights staff and other readers. Follow the link here: Inside Fights League
The staff of Jon Jones’ team has no faith in Gilbert Smith
He’s already starting to crack under the pressure. Adam Cella was sitting in the backyard with Smith while he looked over a signed flag from family members. “That flag represents love. And with that love, I am a powerful dude.” At least Gilbert still has confidence that his family is there for him, even if the team is already tired of him.
Chael Sonnen establishes his team right away
For what “Team Darkside” lacks in name coaches, the sexy names in MMA, Sonnen is willing to get out there and work with his team. Having a coach willing to go through the paces with you puts them in a unique position to understand how the team is holding up physically and what more they can work on…while also staying in shape. Smart one, that Chael Sonnen.
Smith walked into that one
Gilbert gets stuck behind closed doors with his teammates after they talked with Frank Mir about concerns over fight picks and their ability to retain control. After Coach Jon Jones walks into the team post-ganging-up-on-Gilbert, each member begins to talk about how they “believe” in him. Guys, that’s pretty disingenuous. We just saw you sit there and say nothing while Gilbert was railroaded.
Uriah Hall is Sonnen’s next pick to fight, but Luke needs to win
After Coach Sonnen visits the house, he quickly pulls Uriah Hall aside to let him know that ONCE they win the fight, Hall will be fighting next. Sonnen is confident that Luke Barnatt will take the win, but after the Gilbert weighs-in, I question whether the reach advantage will be an issue. Although, as well as being a nasty athlete, Jon Jones is well-known for his own freakish limbs. He could also play any sport he wanted which I don’t feel is the case with Barnatt, but we will see. Jones knows reach. Will it play a factor? Doesn’t it always?
Both fighters make weight, but that weight looks different
Luke Barnatt seems ready to fight during his talk on the back patio. At the weigh-ins shortly before the commercial break, Smith showed how freakishly muscular he is. He even poses to show off his back. His huge, Overeem-ish back. Barnatt looked like he was in good shape, but not the same kind of shape, for sure.
Fists are going to fly
Gilbert and Luke are both 100% convinced that they won’t quit or waver in their ability to win this fight. Both see that their opponents have the tools to win, but they just plain want it more. Gilbert walks to the cage with that flag with his family’s signatures and wishes draped across his shoulders. His obligations to his home are obvious. Luke stepped into the cage and certainly did NOT look relaxed. Not at all. This could be interesting.
Round 1 – Ding, Ding
An early kick by Barnatt to the cup of Smith stops the action early on. Hopefully that won’t effect his gameplan. Smith gets an early takedown on the lanky Brit, but Luke is able to walk his way back up and into a takedown of his own. Tight grappling by both fighters led to a period with Barnatt on Smith’s back. Decent round for Gilbert, but let’s see what he has in the tank. His teammates already pointed out one of his weaknesses, but unless Barnatt can push the pressure, it won’t matter.
Round 2 – Test of wills
Gilbert unleashes an early barrage that he uses to get Luke to the fence. A big takedown by Luke sees him in both mount and half guard at different times. Back to their feet, Gilbert Smith is getting the better of Barnatt for about 30 seconds before he shoots in for another takedown in the middle of the cage…and promptly eats a flying knee from Luke who takes the win via KO.
Winner: Luke Barnatt via KO (R2, flying knee)
“That was a bad matchup. Jones made that matchup too.” – Dana White
Let’s all drink some Nos, eh? Josh Samman throws Gilbert under the bus. Kevin Casey finds Bubba McDaniel’s approach disrespectful as he calls him out. Jon Jones just really sucks. He really comes off as a sore sport that is driven by only driven to not lose. Honestly, I’m sick of him already. I can’t wait to see Chael Sonnen get under his skin.
Uriah Hall is next, just like Chael promised. Adam Cella is his Team Jones opponent. Hall is everyone’s pick as the “man of the house”. Cheick Kongo, Jr. (people, he DOES look just like him, amirite?) might have his hands full with Cella, who has a chip on his shoulder. He’s the underdog for certain and it will take a lot for him to pull it off…
Vicious KO to come…
Next week is the big KO. Who gets it? Hall or Cella? Our pick? Join our Inside Fights League and compete against the staff and fans for bragging rights and some swag (which we still haven’t named as we are securing it as we speak). Great episode this week. As always, you buy into the personal story of Gilbert Smith only to have the rug pulled out from you with one very well-placed flying knee.