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“The Ultimate Fighter 14″ Episode Nine Recap

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.

Episode 9

The show opens with Team Mayhem fighter Dustin Pague handing out a bag of food to a homeless man the team sees on the side of the road everyday on the way to training, breaking the stereotype of the barbaric MMA fighter.

When training Pague for his semi-finals match with TJ Dillashaw, Coach Mayhem looks to have Pague work angles, landing strikes while avoiding the heavy punches and takedowns of his opponent.

We end up back at the house, where Coach Mayhem comes to visit, noting how things there have become reminiscent of Lord of the Flies and then getting Pague to eat a live cockroach for money. Pague does it with grace and everyone revels in his display of manhood. Afterward, Pague questions his decision to eat a live cockroach.

Coaches Challenge: Air Hockey.

The winning coach gets paid $10,000 and each team member on the winning team gets $1,500.

Both men play awkwardly, tentatively to start. Dana White says they both suck. They do.

Bisping scores a point and then several more, making it to six straight before Mayhem rallies to score a point. Bisping scores again and the first match is over. Bisping takes the second game, though this time it’s more competitive. Now far ahead, Bisping starts talking trash, prompting Mayhem to mount a comeback, winning the third match. The fourth match is a nail biter, going back and forth but eventually ending in Bisping’s favor. Bisping busts his ass while celebrating on the air hockey table, but it’s of little consolation to Mayhem.

Time for the weigh-ins for Pague vs. Dillashaw. Dillashaw hits the mark at 135lbs. and Pague follows suit.

Dustin Pague vs. TJ Dillashaw

Round 1: They touch gloves, Mayhem telling Pague to “keep that jab out there.” Dillashaw getting in close and landing from the pocket here early. Pague wipes his eye. Pague overthrows a right and Dillashaw ducks under it, taking him to the mat. Pague controls his posture and threatens with the sub, prompting Dillashaw to change position, ending up in Pague’s guard. Pague active from the bottom, but Dillashaw still sneaks in shots from top position. Pague tries to make space to get up, but Dillashaw keeps him down and pegs him with an elbow. “Protect your face,” says Mayhem. Pague trying to extricate himself, but Dillashaw keeping him down and under the assault of his punches and elbows. Pague finally manages to free himself and gets to his feet, where he lands a good knee. Pague sprawls out of a takedown and they trade shots before the bell.

Round 2: Right away, both men throw overhand rights. They start trading shots, with Dillashaw getting in close again and Pague working knees. Before too long, Dillashaw works in behind a few punches to secure the takedown, planting Pague against the fence. Pague less active now, mostly trying to control posture. Dillashaw passes to half guard, side control. Dillashaw working knees to the body and trying to take mount. Pague recovers guard during the transition, but allows Dillashaw to start posture and land some big punches from there. A minute left, Mayhem is pleading for Pague to get up, do something, while Bisping asks for Dillashaw to take risks to try and finish. Dillashaw briefly stands up and drops a few punches, but neither man goes for broke before the bell.

Round 3: Dillashaw gets off first, landing a hard uppercut, Pague lunges in with a knee, but gets tagged up for his trouble and eventually taken down. Clearly the more worse for the wear, Pague is having the same difficulty getting up off his back, while Dillashaw continues to hold dominant position and land sporadic offense. Dillashaw passes to side control. A minute to go and Dillashaw is in full guard. He postures and starts to drop some heavy punches, drawing more blood from Pague’s busted face. Bisping urges Dillashaw to put him away, to finish the fight. Dillashaw can’t but he holds top position until the bell.

TJ Dillashaw defeated Dustin Pague via unanimous decision

That’s it for this week, the current team standings are below.

Team Bisping

Bantamweights: Louis Gaudinot, TJ Dillashaw**, John Albert, Josh Ferguson

Featherweights: Diego Brandao*, Akira Corassani, Marcus Brimage, Stephen Bass

Team Miller

Bantamweights: John Dodson*, Johnny Bedford*, Dustin Pague*, Roland Delorme

Featherweights: Dennis Bermudez**, Bryan Caraway*, Dustin Neace, Steven Siler

*Fighter has moved on to the semi-finals.

**Fighter has secured a spot in the finals.