Another week and it’s fight #6 of the eight preliminaries. Team Tate has the hammer after Jessamyn Duke and Racquel Pennington had a wild, sloppy brawl and we have an interesting version of a striker/grappler matchup.
Josh Hill is a grappler with a 9-0 record … and only one submission to his credit. He boasts a substantial NAGA record, of course, but the proof is usually in the pudding in that he only has one submission on the regional circuit. Mike Wooten is a Brit with four finishes via strikes and two via submission toting a 7-0 record onto the show.
Fallout from last week as Dana White tells Pennington to let her hands go, as she could win this. Can’t say as I disagree; right now I’d gamble on Pennington, Julianna Pena or Peggy Morgan winning this season.
Josh Hill’s good looks are pointed out early, as he’s a former model, and has roots in the pro wrestling community. He’s a distant relative of “Gentleman” Jerry Valiant and took his nickname from that.
And now Team Tate begins yet another prank war. This time it’s foiled by Dana White in the name of peace. More eyebrow gags and people are not exactly all that thrilled with it. This is the point of the season that always annoys me; I can understand blowing off steam but none of the pranks are ever all that clever. It takes away from the fact that these guys and gals are professional athletes trying to make a living.
Now, as always, it’s time to introduce tonight’s fighters. Wooten is big for the weight class. Hill is presented as a grinding wrestler, which is more accurate. Both guys make weight.
It’s 9:25pm CST and we’re already going into the fight. That’s very interesting because something big has to happen afterwards as well as we’re looking at a three round affair most likely. No other fight was announced for the show, either, thus something substantial has to happen you’d think. Either that or they completely oversold adverts and we’re getting like not a lot of show for the whole hour.
Round 1: Hill comes out and we’re looking at a grindy affair. Big slam about a minute in, as well, and Hill is diligently working to get position. He gets back and is looking for a rear naked, has it locked but Wooten fights out. He stands up and nearly escape but Hill’s wrestling is solid. He’s all over Wooten, though, and Hill spends the rest of the round trying to get him back down there. 10-9 Hill
Round 2: Wooten comes out and gets the takedown to start the round. Hill manages to reverse position against the cage after standing up and Wooten is back on him. Hill pulls guard with a guillotine but can’t finish. Wooten is laying into him on the ground; he’s much more active on top than Hill. Hill manages to get on top with a minute left but Wooten has than on my card. 10-9 Wooten, 19-19
The judges agree with me and we’re going to a third. There’s a ton of commercials, though, as it’s 9:48pm CST as I’m writing this right now and we’ve got one round to go.
Round 3: Scramble to start as we’re going takedown heavy again. Hill winds up deep on a single with Wooten against the cage for a while as we get some cage dancing in. We’re getting some decent striking exchanges between both guys trying for takedowns against the cage. Spinning back first from Hill misses badly and the Brit gets the fight sealing takedown with 90 seconds left. Wooten earns the round with a fight ending flurry from top; he really worked top position on the wrestler. That backfist was why he lost; it was even to that point. 10-9 Wooten, 29-28 Wooten.
The judges agree with me and we have a unanimous decision for Wooten.
Team Rousey has the hammer and the fight has been made. Rousey gets to make the next two fights, actually, with that win as we only have two fights remaining.
Next week’s fight: Peggy Morgan vs. Sara Moras and Cody Bollinger vs. Anthony Gutierrez are scheduled. Both fights will be on next week’s episode as well.