Welcome to FightLine.com’s weekly recap of The Ultimate Fighter 14. We’ll be back each week with a breakdown of the episode and a play-by-play of the fights.
After being introduced to this season’s coaches, Jason “Mayhem” Miller and Michael Bisping, the crew of bantamweight and featherweight fighters are brought in to the Mandalay Bay Events Center to meet UFC president Dana White in the Octagon.
“The reason I brought you here today is because I want you to feel it,” says White. “I want you to take it in. I want you to look around, look at some of the banners up here. Not only some of the biggest UFC fights in history, some of the biggest fights ever have been held here at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.”
White lets the fighters know that fans will be voting this season for the best knockout, best submission and best fight, with the winners to earn $25,000 apiece. He gives them a variation of the “Do you wanna be a f***in’ fighter speech” and then we cut to the fighters preparing for their bouts to see if they can make it into the house.
Josh Ferguson is up first against Casey Dyer in a bantamweight bout.
Round 1: Ferrguson knocks Dyer down right off the bat with a combination of punches and finishes him off on the ground some seconds later.
Brazilian Diego Brandao takes to the cage next against fellow featherweight Jesse Newell.
Round 1: Brandao hits the takedown after eating a few shots and immediately takes Newell’s back. Newell gets up, but Brandao pulls a Hendo: knocks Newell down with a right hand and then finishes him with a flying forearm smash. Mayhem Miller notices the resemblance of this fight to Bisping’s bout with Dan Henderson.
Bantamweights John Dodson and Brandon Merkt are up next.
Round 1: After finding his rhythm and timing, Dodson unloads a head kick and follow-up barrage that have Merkt thinking twice. Dodson lands a hard liver shot that stuns Merkt, he lands a follow-up barrage that forces Merkt to crumble.
“I feel like I should have paid money for a ticket tonight,” says Mayhem.
We learn about how featherweight Dennis Bermudez cut his wrestling career short after being conned into thinking he had a child with a girl who ended up leaving him. “Look at me now b***h.” He’s to face Jimmie Rivera.
Round 1: Rivera gets off early, landing hard shots that clearly affect Bermudez. Bermudez defends the takedown and they reset on their feet, where Rivera is clearly landing the harder shots. Bermudez gets dropped off of an uppercut, but he pops back to his feet quickly; once there, Rivera slams him to the mat and tries to take his back. Bermudez fights to his feet again, but Rivera gets him down and takes his back once again. Bermudez stands with Rivera on his back and Rivera lets his hooks out. Rivera shoots a deep double after landing some nice punches and takes Bermudez’s back again. Rivera looks to lock up the RNC, but Bermudez makes it to the bell.
Round 2: Bermudez stuffs a shot early. Bermudez knocks him down with a left hook and lands a knee as Rivera tries to stand. Bermudez takes Rivera’s back now, against the fence. He flattens Rivera out and starts in with the ground and pound. Rivera eats several shots before Steve Mazzagatti steps in and stops it.
Josh Ferguson’s brother BJ is up next, also in the bantamweight division. He’ll be taking on Roland Delorme.
Round 1: BJ eats a shot to the cup but walks right through it. He gets the takedown but Delorme doesn’t stay down for long. Delorme works for a kimura standing and uses it to get BJ down. The sub looks tight, but Ferguson defends. Unfortunately, he falls into the triangle right after and taps out.
Marcus Brimage is up next against Bryson Wailehua-Hansen in a featherweight fight.
Round 1: Wailehua-Hansen tries for the takedown early; Brimage fights it off well, but ends up going for a ride. They scramble on the mat, but Brimage ends up on his back. Wailehua-Hansen takes his back after moving him closer to the fence. After Wailehua-Hansen threatens with the rear naked choke, Brimage turns into his guard. They get to their feet, where Brimage starts to put the hurt on Wailehua-Hansen. Wailehua-Hansen keeps on his feet, despite taking a serious beating and makes it to the second round.
Round 2: Brimage takes it to him immediately and Mazzagatti stops it while Wailehua-Hansen is still on his feet, having seen enough.
Chase Beebe’s younger brother Carson is up next, fighting a bantamweight contest against Johnny Bedford.
Round 1: They lock horns immediately and Bedford takes Beebe down. Beebe gest to his feet after threatening to reverse and they fight against the cage. Bedford lands a hard right hand that prompts Beebe to shoot for the takedown. He is swiftly denied and Bedford takes him down against the fence, after landing a nice knee to the body. Beebe gets to his feet after threatening with the choke. Beebe defends the takedown well and starts to land some decent shots on the feet as it looks like Bedford is tiring. Bedford lands a mean standing elbow against the fence. Beebe gets rocked by a hard right hand and then Bedford drops for the choke. Beebe taps shortly thereafter.
Dustin Pague comes out next to face fellow bantamweight Tateki Matsuda.
Round 1: They tangle immediately, with both men showing nice striking skills. Pague lands a nice spinning back fist that puts Matsuda on his heels. Pague takes Matsuda down and looks to take his back. Matsuda reverses and puts Pague on his back. Pague gets to his feet before the round ends.
Round 2: Matsuda initiates the grappling in this round, getting Pague down against the fence. Pague gets to his feet and they separate. Pague lands two nice body shots and a good straight shot that knocks Matsuda down. Pague looks to work ground and pound, but he eats an up-kick for his trouble. Pague works top position until the bell.
Dustin Pague wins via majority decision.
Scottish fighter Paul McVeigh will take on fellow bantamweight, the green-haired Louis Gaudinot next.
The fight is shown via highlights. It’s a back-and-forth scrap that displays the skills that both men possess and it’s determined that the fight has to go to a third round. Once there, Gaudinot really turns it up and clearly takes McVeigh out. Dana White wishes he could take both guys into the house.
Featherweights Eric Marriot and Bryan Caraway fight next, with Caraway taking a safe decision via top control.
Josh Clopton and Dustin Neace square off in another featherweight scrap; Neace is awarded the decision, much to the surprise of Bisping and White.
Matt Jaggers and Team Alpha Male fighter TJ Dillashaw face off in a bantamweight elimination bout.
Round 1: Dillashaw lands a good left hook to start; he’s showing some slick striking and nice head movement. Jaggers lands a stiff jab. Jaggers fails on a shot and Dillashaw goes back to work on the feet, landing hard shots. Dillashaw lands a mean overhand right. Jaggers lands a hard one-two; the coaches pick apart the fact that Dillashaw keeps his hands low while striking. Dillashaw gets Jaggers down and works from the top against the fence. Dillashaw is landing some absolutely punishing ground and pound against the fence. He takes mount, but Jaggers deftly fights out. Dillashaw takes a hard right that wobbles him, but he hits a takedown shortly afterward. He takes mount again and starts in with ground and pound. Jaggers regains half guard, but Dillashaw continues his assault from top position. He knocks Jaggers out at the bell with ground shots.
Featherweights Steven Siler and Micah Miller (Cole Miller’s younger brother) are to face off next.
White crosses Siler off before the fight even starts.
The fight is shown as highlights; it’s a three rounder and Siler ends up winning it with a guillotine choke in the last frame.
It’s a bantamweight fight next, between John Albert and Orville Smith.
Albert takes the fight with a rear naked choke in the first round.
Stephen Bass and Karsten Lenjoint square off next in a featherweight fight.
Stephen Bass wins via second-round triangle choke submission.
Featherweights Brian Pearman and Akira Corassani meet in the cage for the last elimination bout.
Round 1: Both men find success on their feet, but it looks to be Pearman who’s taking the edge. Pearman gets Corassani down and works for the d’arce choke. He loses it and goes for some ground and pound. Corassani gets to his feet, where he tries for the standing guillotine. Pearman defends and they go back to punching each other in the face. They clinch and fight from inside the phone booth, again with both men finding success. Corassani cracks Pearman with a spinning back fist but he walks right through that and some follow up shots. Pearman showing a hell of a chin; he’s eating some seriously hard shots. He finally goes down after taking a hard right hook to the face.
White tells the fighters that he’s “overly-impressed” with their performances to get into the house. “Welcome to the Ultimate Fighter.”
That’s it for this week y’all, tune in next Wednesday for our recap of episode two.