The Ultimate Fighter 9 Episode 7
With a 3-2 lead in the competition, Michael Bisping decides that his next fighter will be welterweight, and his good friend, David Faulkner. Faulkner is said to be a great striker and good on the ground, but only his groundwork was seen in his preliminary fight against James Bateman.
While Team UK works out, Richie Whitson learns he’s got a contagious bacterial infection. Jason Pierce is probably the most worried about the infection, spraying the whole house and everything Whitson touches with an aerosol can.
Pierce is representing Team USA in the next fight, and he’s far from healthy. Pierce busted some blood vessels in his foot from his preliminary fight, and struggles to get over his natural instinct to throw kicks.
Meanwhile, back to Team UK, Bisping has them run a slightly more unorthodox training circuit. Slamming a sledge hammer on a tractor tire, several members of Team UK showed comedic ally just how poor some of their hand-eye coordination truly is, missing the huge tire completely.
Jason Pierce is unhappy with his training sessions. Liking to train on his own schedule, he unwillingly spars with Henderson, much to his coaches’ disgust. In the end of a speech by his striking coach, Pierce walks off angrily, shocking his teammates, who wish he was stronger mentally. Damarques Johnson verbalizes how much he dislikes Pierce, saying simply being around him brings him down.
Team UK constantly trains with all their energy. In another one of their training sessions, it is learned that David Faulkner could possibly have cellulites from hitting himself with the hammer in their previous session. Team UK may have to switch fighters.
Both teams are brought out to some tennis courts for the seasonal “Coaches Challenge.” This year both coaches will be playing tennis. The winning coach will walk away with $10,000 cash, and team of the winning coach will receive $1,500 each. With a few modified rules, the game is set to begin.
Bisping takes the first point with Henderson misunderstanding the rules. Henderson quickly comes back with several points to come up 2 sets to 0. After the score reaches 4-0, Bisping finally comes back and wins a set. By the end of the match, Henderson wins 6-2.
At the fight announcement, the fight is set for Ross Pearson vs. Richie Whitson. Henderson has some concerns for his fighter, as Whitson hasn’t been on the mat in a week with his infection.
Richie Whitson comes from a small fishing community in Alaska. He boxed throughout high school and went to Thailand to learn Muay Thai. In his preliminary fight, Whitson looked decent from the ground as well to go with his striking, so he definitely looked like a complete fighter.
Pearson on the other hand is a superb wrestler whose greatest strength is his aggression and ability to control the octagon. He too, is a scrappy fighter who’ll stop at nothing to get the win. He dominated his preliminary fight and was projected by myself to go far in the season. This’ll be an interesting match-up for him, however, and one would be hard-pressed to choose a winner.
While Team USA celebrates a bit inside, Cameron Dollar has a slight breakdown. Standing on the balcony of the house, Dollar holds back tears as he talks about missing his family and wanting to make money for his family. After a brief talking-to with the striking coach, Frank Lester, and Dan Henderson, Dollar quickly cheers up and goes back inside.
Pearson’s strategy for the fight is to throw quick combinations and to circle away. Bisping stresses that he doesn’t want Pearson to stand around and try to brawl with Whitson.
Ross Pearson vs. Richie Whitson
When the fight starts, Whitson throws a couple punches and two kicks before the two fighters clinch. Pearson holds Whitson against the cage for a bit before the two break. Pearson then quickly picks Whitson up and slams him to the mat.
Whitson gets to he feet with Pearson at his back. As they break, Pearson connects with a strong punch to Whitson’s face. Once again they clinch and Pearson gets a double-legged takedown. As Whitson moves to get to his feet, Pearson connects with an illegal knee to Whitson’s head.
Pearson gets a point deducted and the fight resumes. After throwing a wild kick, Whitson finds himself clinched with his back to the cage once again. The two fighters struggle for position but it is clear Pearson has an advantage in the wrestling.
The fighters exchange knees as the two-minute mark is reached. Pearson quickly takes Whitson down third time and as Whitson turns away trying to escape, Pearson takes his back. Pearson then changes from the back to take one of Whitson’s arms, submitting him with an arm-bar.
Winner: Ross Pearson (Arm-bar)
This episode ends with only one fight, instead of the two viewers have been accustomed seeing this season. Pierce and Faulkner have yet to fight, and we’ll soon fight out in next week’s episode whether they actually will.