As with all good things, the preliminary round of The Ultimate Fighter Season 25 came to an end this week. The wildcard bout between Hayder Hassan and Joe “Daddy” Stevenson went down in record time, setting the stage for a busy episode. Not only were the quarter-final matches set and started, but the Coaches Challenge was contested as well. So let’s take a look at the important things from this week’s episode of TUF 25.
The Big Three
#1) Prayer Meeting – After getting starched in less than 20 seconds by Hayder Hassan at the start of this week’s episode, Joe “Daddy” Stevenson took it upon himself to bring every member of the cast together for a moment of solemn reflection and prayer. It was a beautiful moment of unity, as a voiceover from Stevenson talked about the power of two men of different faiths – himself and Hassan – coming together in prayer. While some of you may scoff, I appreciated this.
#2) The Quarter-Finals Are Set – With Hayder Hassan putting Joe Stevenson’s lights out, he earned his way back into contention as the eighth man in the quarterfinals. Tom Galicchio vs. Justin Edwards, Hayder Hassan vs. Jesse Taylor, Dhiego Lima vs. Gilbert Smith, and Ramsey Nijem vs. James Krause. Team No Love will be represented by Edwards and Hassan; while Team Killashaw will have Galicchio, Lima, Smith, Taylor, Nijem, and Krause throwing down.
#3) “No Love,” No Luck – The Coaches’ Challenge saw Cody Garbrandt take on TJ Dillashaw in a game of tetherball while balanced above the pool of the TUF House. “No Love” came out to an early lead, only to see Dillashaw catch up and take the victory for his team.
The Stock Report
Stock Hold – Cody Garbrandt. The UFC Bantamweight Champion was right to be concerned about Joe Stevenson’s well-being, it turns out. Stevenson was knocked out in short order just six days after this scrappy decision loss to Justin Edwards. All the concern withered away after the fight though, as Garbrandt felt the need to gloat immediately after the fight. While he was right, it still could have waited.
Stock Up – Joe Stevenson. Though he lost his fight in brutal fashion, Joe Stevenson still took it upon himself to bring the teams together for a prayer session as a show of unity. He also then became a defacto assistant coach for Team Killashaw, helping Tom Gallicchio prepare for his bout with Justin Edwards. Thumbs up to Joe “Daddy” for switching gears and find positives even after such a rough loss. He may have a bright future as a coach ahead of him.
Joe Stevenson squared off with Hayder Hassan in the wildcard bout. It was a short fight, 18 seconds officially. Joe “Daddy” was KOed by Hassan’s powerful uppercuts.
The first quarterfinal bout saw Tom Gallicchio of Team Killashaw take on Justin Edwards of Team No Love. While Edwards took control early on the feet, he made the mistake of jumping for a guillotine after rocking the hirsute grapper. After working his defense with Joe Stevenson, Gallichio was able to escape the guillotine, take Edwards back, and tap him with a rear naked choke to earn the first round submission victory.
The quarter-finals continue next week, so keep it locked to MMASucka.com for another TUFtermath and all the other MMA news you desire!