We are now three episodes in to The Ultimate Fighter 25. That means trends are starting to emerge, and personalities are being set. It also means we get an episode largely free of inter-coach drama from the TUF 25. This week’s episode was primarily focused on Jesse Taylor and Mehdi Baghdad the competitors in the third preliminary bout. We’ll take a look at the fight itself, and analyze the high points of the episode now.
The Big Three
#1) Serious JT Money – Jesse Taylor was given a special focus this episode. Highlights of some of his fights from outside the UFC, specifically against other TUF alumni, were shown. Taylor was given a chance to reflect on his actions at the end of TUF 7 and the ramifications they had on his personal life. The biggest issue that “JT Money” still faces is an ongoing custody battle over his two songs. It was sobering to see the toll that one crazy night of bad behavior can have on someone’s life.
#2) Fun JT Money – Lest you think the episode was entirely serious, Taylor was shown running naked around the back yard of the TUF House. And no, he wasn’t drunk. It was first thing in the morning, and he was sober. Some fan service for the show’s female viewers, I suppose.
#3) Wisdom from the Snake’s Tongue – After the fight, coach TJ Dillashaw engaged in the usual – and already stale – banter with opposing head coach Cody Garbrandt. Near the end of it, before the next fight was announced, Dillashaw hit on an interesting point: “No Love” and his coaching staff seemed to spend an awful lot of time worrying about the former champ and his coaching than working to create a cohesive team environment. The need to keep beef alive is hindering Team No Love‘s ability to focus on their fighters
The Stock Report
Stock up – Jesse Taylor. Taylor is looking to be in a far, far healthier mindset than he was on TUF 7. If he can keep this up and stay away from the boozey-booze, he has to be a favorite to make the finals.
Stock down – The Editors. The editors on The Ultimate Fighter have always had a history of making the champ look bad. They did it to Ronda Rousey, they did it to Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and they’re doing it to Cody Garbrandt. While admittedly, “No Love,” doesn’t have to do a lot to make himself look bad, it would be nice to hear some of his fighter extolling his positives. You hear from Team Killashaw members quite often, so some balance might be nice.
There’s not really a lot to break down in this fight. Roughly eight of the ten minutes of this fight were spent on the ground. Of those eight minutes, Jesse Taylor was in control of Mehdi Baghdad for seven and a half. Baghdad had one brief shining moment in the second round, wobbling “JT Money” with a left hook, but all it ultimately did was drop Taylor into position to score a takedown. While scores weren’t announced when the decision victory for Jesee Taylor, I had it 20-16 for the Team Quest lifer.
Next week’s fight will be between current UFC Fighter James Krause and replacement fighter Johnny Nunez. With Team Killashaw up in the standings 3-0, will Nunez finally get Team No Love a win? Stay tuned next week and keep it locked to MMASucka.com for the TUF 25 TUFtermaths and all your MMA news needs!