By Thomas Gerbasi
CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – Roy Nelson battled his way into the semifinals of The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights last week with a close win over Justin Wren. Who will join him this week?
As the show opens, it looks like Team Rashad’s Matt Mitrione is a question mark, as he still doesn’t feel a hundred percent after his bout with Scott Junk. The coaching staff isn’t too sure what to believe when it comes to their fighter’s claims, but a doctor’s examination will be the final determinant in whether he continues in the competition or not.
McSweeney – who is scheduled to fight Mitrione in the quarterfinals – isn’t too pleased with his opponent and teammate’s antics, calling them disrespectful.
“Matt is definitely making waves in the house and it’s also keeping James on his toes because he doesn’t know who he’s going to prepare for,” said Junk.
The opposing coach, Quinton Jackson, is hoping that if Mitrione drops out, his fighter – Kimbo Slice – can come back into the competition, but Slice has his own issues after his left knee was banged up while rolling with Demico Rogers. Regardless, Team Rampage is preparing Slice for a possible fight.
There is no drama regarding this week’s fight though, as Team Rashad’s Brendan Schaub and Jon Madsen prepare to do battle. Unfortunately, they’ve been forced to get ready without the aid of their coach, who has decided to let the fighters prepare on their own as to not show favoritism towards anyone.
Next up is the Coaches’ Challenge, and its Rampage and Tiki Ghosn against Rashad and Mike Van Arsdale in beach volleyball for $10,000, with each member of the winning coach’s team getting $1,500.
Team Rampage romps in the first game, 15-8, but Team Rashad roars back to take game two 15-10. In the third and deciding game, it’s a war to the end, but Team Rashad emerges victorious 15-13.
Back at the house, Kimbo is worried about his knee, which Doctor Steven Sanders said has developed water on it, but he still wants to fight, even after an agonizing ice bath.
In the gym, Evans has a heart to heart talk with Mitrione, asking him if he wants to fight.
“If you don’t get in there a hundred percent wanting to do it, you can really get hurt,” said Evans.
With Mitrione still on the fence, Evans says that he’s going to take it out of his hands, call UFC President Dana White and let him know that Mitrione doesn’t want to fight.
White shows up to the house and talks to both teams about the situation, letting them know that the next day will be the one that determines whether Mitrione is medically cleared or not.
“If fighting is what you want to do, don’t forget why you came here,” said White. “Some of you guys have played football and other sports and you’re never a hundred percent. What we will never do, ever, is force somebody to fight. That’s never gonna happen. I would never force somebody to fight injured. I would never ask somebody to go out and fight that didn’t want to fight. It’s not what this is all about, that’s not who I am, and it’s not what this company or show is about. I’m not calling anybody out on their manhood. If you don’t want to fight, you came to the wrong place.”
Schaub (239) and Madsen (247) are definitely fighting, and Schaub tosses off Madsen’s initial takedown attempt and begins stalking his foe. Madsen’s second takedown attempt is successful, and he looks to pound away on the mat. Schaub keeps his cool, not allowing Madsen to get his offense in gear, and referee re-starts the action. Madsen immediately looks for another takedown, but Schaub stays upright and scores with body punches at close range before getting put on the canvas a second time. This time, Madsen works from the side until the bell sounds to end the round.
Down one round, Schaub needs to turn things around in the second, and after fighting off two takedown attempts, he erupts with a big right to the chin which puts Madsen down and out and earns him a berth in the semifinals.
Here’s how the teams stand:
James McSweeney 1-0
Brendan Schaub 2-0
Justin Wren 1-1 – Eliminated in the quarterfinals (episode nine) by Roy Nelson
Jon Madsen 1-1 – Eliminated in the quarterfinals (episode ten) by Brendan Schaub
Roy Nelson 2-0
Darrill Schoonover 1-0
Matt Mitrione 1-0
Mike Wessel – Eliminated on episode eight by Marcus Jones
Kimbo Slice – Eliminated on episode three by Roy Nelson
Abe Wagner – Eliminated on episode one by Jon Madsen
Demico Rogers – Eliminated on episode four by Brendan Schaub
Wes Sims – Eliminated on episode five by Justin Wren
Scott Junk – Eliminated on episode seven by Matt Mitrione
Wes Shivers – Eliminated on episode two by James McSweeney
Marcus Jones 1-0
Zak Jensen – Eliminated on episode six by Darrill Schoonover
For weekly recaps of The Ultimate Fighter, as well as fighter profiles, stay tuned to UFC.com.