Welcome to FighLine.com’s weekly recap of The Ultimate Fighter 13. We’ll be back each week with a breakdown of the episode and a play-by-play of the fights.
Episode one of The Ultimate Fighter 13 begins with the fourteen welterweight fighters who made it through tryouts walking into the gym, where they are greeted by UFC president Dana White. White breaks the news to them that they won’t have to fight their way onto the show this time, and also announces that the wild card fighter selection process has been re-instituted. This season’s coaches, Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos, are introduced to the cheers of the competitors and the evaluations get under way.
Lesnar first puts his crew through a cardiovascular workout to find out who’s in shape and who’s been eating pizza and drinking beer. He only wants “blue chip” prospects for his team. Dos Santos apologizes to his group for his weak English, but tells them that they’ll communicate through the language of fighting. Dos Santos puts more emphasis on practical fight training than cardio conditioning in the first stage of his evaluations. Lesnar interviews his guys one-on-one, asking them why they’re here and whether they want to win or be TV stars. Dos Santos notices that and laments the fact that he can’t do the same with his guys.
Myles Jury is shown tweaking his knee during the sparring, but after it’s examined it’s revealed that the injury does not appear to be serious.
Dana brings Lesnar and dos Santos into the back room and flips a coin to determine which coach gets first pick of either fighter or fight. Lesnar gets the first choice of either and chooses to make pick first from the fighters, giving dos Santos the power to pick the first fight.
After the coaches make their picks, the teams for TUF 13 shape up like this:
Team Lesnar – Len Bentley, Charlie Rader, Myles Jury, Anthony Ferguson, Chris Cope, Clay Harvison, Nordin Asrih
Dos Santos – Shamar Bailey, Ryan McGillivray, Ramsey Nijem, Javier Torres, Zach Davis, Keon Caldwell, Mick Bowman
And with that, the boys move into the house and get ready for the first day of training. Dos Santos tests his guy’s conditioning to see who’s ready to fight first, since he now has the first pick.
A doctor comes in and tells Jury that he has torn both his ACL and his lateral meniscus and recommends that he not fight. White talks to Jury about it, who seems to be taking it in stride. White tells him that he can’t stay here but that he will be back again, considering his good record and proven toughness. Chuck O’Neil is brought in as Jury’s replacement on Team Lesnar.
Dos Santos picks Shamar Baily, whom he considered one of his strongest picks, to take on Nordin Asrih, Lesnar’s last pick. The first fight of the season is made and shortly thereafter is underway.
Shamar Bailey Vs. Nordin Asrih
Round 1: Bailey takes it to Asrih right away and gets him down after making it through some brief striking offense. Bailey transfers to side control, but has had a hard time landing strikes on an active Asrih. Asrih gets to his feet momentarily before Bailey gets back on him and gets him back down. Baileyis sitting in Asrih’s half guard but still isn’t threatening with much offense other than positional control. He backs out briefly, but moves back in behind a few punches. Asrih just doesn’t seem to have much of an answer for Bailey’s grappling dominance, but he is avoiding taking much damage. Bailey lands a pair of hard, short elbows and finishes the round out on top.
FightLine.com scores the round 10-9 for Bailey
Round 2: Asrih tries for a head kick that misses and causes him to lose his balance. Bailey follows him to the mat where he establishes mount against the fence. Asrih tries to buck out but Bailey stay on him. Asrih sweeps Bailey briefly but he recovers and gets Asrih on his back again. Bailey is just outclassing Asrih on the ground, the German fighter is clearly out of his element, but Bailey isn’t doing very much more than controlling the grappling. Bailey has mainly stuck to short ground and pound, opting not to try for submissions. Bailey takes Asrih’s back with a minute to go, but Asrih rolls back with Bailey in mount. Bailey finally starts to posture up and throw some big shots but can’t finish it before the bell.
FightLine.com scores the round 10-9 for Bailey
Shamar Bailey defeated Nordin Asrih via unanimous decision (20-18, 20-18, 20-18)
Asrih laments that he lost and that he helped Shamar to win by falling down in the second. Bailey feels he didn’t get to show his full skill set, but he’s happy to have gotten a win under his belt. White’s assessment of the fight? “Round one: Shamar Bailey lays on top of him for five minutes. Round two: lays on top of him for five minutes. Not the most exciting fight you will ever see in ‘Ultimate Fighter’ history.”
Team Dos Santos celebrates their win. Lesnar brushes off Team Dos Santos’ win since they put their number one pick against his team’s last; he warns his team about the dangers a strong wrestler presents.
The first episode of TUF 13 is in the books, make sure you check back next week on FightLine.com to catch our breakdown of episode two!