The Ultimate Fighter 9 Episode 11
As the semi-finals begin, it is clear Cameron Dollar is hurting. His ribs are messed up and his ability to go all out in practice is questioned. Since groundwork has been an obvious part of his game in the past two fights, his ability to roll around and take a couple hits to his midsection is vital.
After a long intermission discussing Andre Winner’s thumb-sucking habits, the anxiety of the two fighters is easily seen on their faces. Soon after, the fight is set to begin, a rather early beginning for a fight on the show.
Andre Winner vs. Cameron Dollar
After tapping gloves mid-ring, Cameron Dollar is the first to initiate the action. Throwing several strong combinations, Dollar lets Andre know he’s here to fight. Andre Winner soon connects with a good counter of his own, hitting Dollar upside the head a couple times.
Dollar gets rocked briefly by a quick exchange from Winner. The two scramble of the floor, and Dollar eventually gets on top. Winner’s able to get his legs underneath him, however, and is quickly back to his feet.
Cameron Dollar continues to try for the single-leg takedown. He absorbs some punches while his head is pressed against Andre’s knee and while finally taking Winner down, finds himself getting swept and on the bottom with Andre in full-mount.
Andre slaps on the triangle choke, and after a brief struggle from Dollar, forces him to tap in the first round.
Winner: Andre Winner (Submission – Triangle Choke)
Dollar is disappointed with his loss, but it is clear he did his best given his physical condition. With the adrenaline wearing off, all the pain he had before the fight are now amplified.
While training for his upcoming fight taking down Nick Osipczak, Ross Pearson’s shoulder pops out. The entire Team UK is horrified until Bisping pops it back in, and to everyone’s relief, Pearson is fine. Apparently it happens from time-to-time because of an old injury.
Jason Dent has a lot to prove, not only to the fans, but to especially Dana White. Dana called Dent’s last fight “boring,” which disappoints Dent, but he is happy with the fact that he’s probably the healthiest fighter left.
Dent maintains a “nothing-to-lose” attitude for his upcoming fight. He knows he can afford to throw crazy kicks and punches, since he’s only got one shot to win. He’s determined he can knock him out, or at the very least, submit him.
Ross Pearson vs. Jason Dent
Both fighters come out of their corners intense and aggressive. Ross Pearson uses a high-kick to cut the distance between the two, and goes for the clinch. Dent doesn’t back down from the quick battle.
Pearson’s boxing is drastically better than Jason Dent’s, but Jason has a solid chin. After getting hit several times, Dent sticks his head out, taunting Pearson, daring him to hit him again. Pearson gives Dent his wish, nailing him several more times.
The fight swings back and forth. Just when it seems one fighter’s getting the better of an exchange, the other comes back with a flurry of punches. However, it is clear Dent is taking the brunt of these exchanges.
Henderson yells at Dent to take Pearson down to win the round. Dent stays on his feet, however, and continues to throw knees at Pearson’s head. It seems Dent’s entire gameplay is to stay and brawl with Pearson, and either knock Pearson out, or get knocked out.
Dent’s unwillingness to take Pearson down upon Henderson’s instruction reminds us of Henderson’s prediction that Dent will be the hardest of the fighters to coach. He rarely listens to advice and sticks to whatever gameplan he has in his mind.
Neither fighter backs down from the standing war they are engaged in. While Pearson’s throwing the obviously stronger punches, one cannot discount Dent’s “wildcard factor.” Dent has proven on two occasions that he can fight, and his health and conditioning may give him a slight advantage.
After taking some punches and getting into some trouble, Pearson grabs Dent and goes for a double-leg takedown. A brief struggle for position ensues, and both fighters wind up standing on their feet. The two exchange in a punching war once again, with the cries of Henderson calling for “Elbows!” heard in the background.
After a failed takedown attempt, Dent allows Pearson to get on top of him, and may have lost the round because of it. Henderson is convinced Dent has lost the past two rounds and reminds him he must finish Pearson in this round. Dent begins the round as a madman, desperate to win.
Pearson seriously hurts Dent with an exchange, and takes to opportunity to take him down to the mat. Dent does what he can to keep Pearson from posturing up, but pressed up against the cage, he still takes damage.
Dent looks very uncomfortable on the ground; Pearson smothers him and every attempt he makes to improve his position fails. As Dent covers up with his face towards the mat, Pearson rides him from the side and throws punches down on his head.
Dent once again finds himself with his back to the mat, and with 1:10 left in the third round, it’s Pearson’s fight to lose. Dent looks like he’s just about run out of gas and ideas, and is just waiting for the fight to end.
Henderson desperately cries for Dent to get something going, but Dent is a dead duck. Team UK wins both of the lightweight matches, and thus the lightweight battle in the finale will be an “all-UK” battle.