The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra Episode Six recap provided courtesy of UFC.com:
CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – With three fights left to go in the first round of eliminations on The Ultimate Fighter, Team Hughes needs to win all three to have a say in the quarterfinal matchups. Will this be the week they get back in contention, or will Team Serra put them away for good?
The stakes are high in episode six, as Team Hughes has to win this week’s matchup between their own number one pick, Dan Barrera, and Team Serra’s Ben Saunders to stay alive when it comes to picking fights in the next round.
Barrera, just 1-0 entering the competition, is a tireless worker who has impressed Hughes with his energy level. Of course, that hasn’t gone over too well with teammates who have had to work with the Kentucky resident and have been the recipients of him sometimes going too hard in the practice room. Jared Rollins responded by going back just as hard at Barrera, but cooler heads prevailed before the war escalated.
Hughes wasn’t too pleased with Barrera’s refusal to tone things down though, and he responded by getting on the mat with his fighter and giving him a crash course in MMA 101.
Eventually, Barrera’s take no prisoners attitude caused him to injure his right hand, which swelled to twice its size. Barrera visits the doctor, praying that his hand isn’t broken, which would cause him to be eliminated from the competition. The fighter returns to the house and tells his teammates that he’s out due to a broken hand, only to turn around and tell them the truth; that he has been cleared to battle Saunders.
And while that lightened the mood in the house, when Barrera was given the opportunity to speak to his wife due to an emergency at home that involved a seizure, the fighter’s world was again thrown into disarray just before the biggest fight of his career.
A concerned Dana White came to the house to discuss the situation with Barrera, who explained how he had given up everything to compete on the show and how hard his wife was taking his absence. But Barrera gritted his
teeth and moved forward, determined to win his fight against Saunders, who was simply happy to be in the competition and able to finally fight.
In the fight, Saunders jumped out to an early lead due to some crisp striking, but Barrera bounced back in style with a big right hand that dropped his foe. By the end of the exciting round, both fighters were bloodied and ready for another five minutes.
The second round was all Saunders, again due to his accurate striking on the bruised and tired Barrera. At the end of the frame, most – including the fighters and White – expected a third ‘sudden victory’ round. But it was not to be as Saunders was awarded a two round majority decision win.
The verdict incited outrage from Hughes, who confronted Nevada State Athletic Commission boss Keith Kizer about the scoring, but to no avail. White, who also disagreed with the scoring, visited the locker rooms of both men and awarded them both bonuses for their efforts.
With the close victory, Team Serra now leads 5-1 and has clinched an opening round win with two preliminary round fights still left to go.