Welcome to FightLine’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.
This episode starts with the fighters entering the house for the first time; before long, they decide to raid the fridge and barbecue.
The fun and games don’t last long, as we cut away to Coaches Bisping and Miller looking over prospects for their teams with their respective coaching staffs. Dana White calls them together and flips the coin, with Team Bisping getting to choose either the first pick or the first fight; Bisping wants the first team pick, giving Mayhem control of the first fight.
The coaches pick teams and it looks like this, in order, starting with the bantamweights:
Dana White reiterates that the superlative fighters (best fight, knockout and submission of the season) of this season will earn $25,000 for their performances. Miller immediately chides Bisping for having team members who look like they want to be on his team; Bisping responds that no one actually wants to be on the team with the “Strikeforce reject.”
Team Mayhem gets in their first practice and morale is high, the team responding well to Mayhem’s upbeat attitude and technical coaching. Team Bisping hits the mats next and their practice goes well also, for essentially the same reasons.
Back at the house, Mayhem and Ryan Parsons squeal into the driveway and deliver to their team astronaut-looking compression suits; the team appreciates the extra effort on Mayhem’s part and appear to enjoy the effects.
The fight picks are up next, with Mayhem choosing Bryan Caraway to take on Team Bisping’s Marcus Brimage. Bisping likes the match-up and Miller says he chose the fight for the grappling skill gap that exists between Caraway and Brimage.
Brimage hits the gym first to train for his fight; Brimage explains that he got into got fighting because of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Dragon Ball Z. Word.
Brimage hits the scale preliminarily at 157lbs., which concerns him because he doesn’t know the art of cutting weight. Bisping and his coaches accompany Brimage to the house to help him shed the pounds. They have him run laps out back and then take a salt bath, alternating with time spent in bed with blankets on.
Caraway is in the gym next; Miller believes his worst enemy is himself. Caraway talks about seeing a sports psychologist before coming to the show and having to get past his fear of taking damage in a fight. Caraway admits his nervousness before the fight and says he’s working on not letting fear overcome him.
Cut to the antics: Team Mayhem roll the workout tires into Bisping’s room, making sure to block the door from the inside.
And the weigh-ins. Brimage hits the scale first, hitting 145lbs. even. Caraway is up next and also makes the 145 mark.
Dana White says he thinks it was a “ballsy” move by Team Mayhem to pick Brimage against Caraway. Team Bisping chants during the staredown, something Mayhem refers to as “the cutest show tune ever.” Coach Bisping kicks in the door to get past the tires and vengeance is promised.
It’s fight day.
Brimage, uh, farts during his pre-fight interview… but he promises to take Caraway out with strikes. Caraway talks about how nervous he is. Team Bisping already has a new door; the TUF production team has apparently learned to keep extras on hand after years of excessive door abuse on the show.
Bryan Caraway vs. Marcus Brimage
Round 1: Brimage takes the center and looks to send shots down the pipe. Caraway doesn’t mess around on the feet for long, shooting in and dumping Brimage to the mat. Caraway moves him to the cage and promptly takes his back, sinking both hooks and flattening Brimage out. Brimage tries to buck, but Caraway just falls to his back and locks the body triangle. Three minutes left and the two are hand-fighting, occasionally trading punches. Brimage lands some good punches while fighting off the choke. They battle back and forth, but Brimage manages to defend. Caraway rides top position, landing shots until the bell.
Round 2: Brimage takes the center again and puts together some aggressive offense before Caraway wrestles him to the mat and takes his back again. Brimage threatens to turn into guard and Caraway lets him to his feet. Caraway takes a knee to the shoulder when he drops for a takedown. Brimage defends for a time but Caraway eventually gets him down and tries to take his back. Brimage rolls out of it and lets Caraway up. Caraway ducks a head kick but can’t get the takedown. He lands a few knees from the clinch and then gets the takedown again. Caraway takes his back again with two minutes to go; he flattens Caraway out and sinks the choke, forcing Brimage to tap.
Bryan Caraway defeated Marcus Brimage via submission (rear naked choke)
Brimage is very disappointed, as is Bisping that Miller no gets control of the next fight in addition to bragging rights. Miller is happy to have gotten the first win out of the way, especially with their “nervous Nellie.”
And that concludes this week, folks. Tune in again next Wednesday.