Tonight, on Episode 9 of The Ultimate Fighter 25, Team Killashaw members collided as Dhiego Lima took on Gilbert Smith in a quarterfinal match. Additionally, the teams went out for teppenyaki, and the Team No Love coaching staff continued to make themselves look bad. So, let’s take a look at highs and lows of the episode.
The Big Three
#1) Retirement. At the end of a 3 round war with teammate Dhiego Lima, after hearing he lost the decision, Gilbert Smith announced he was done. At the age of 36, after amassing a professional record of 12-6 with two stings on TUF, Smith retired. Choking back tears, Gilbert gave an emotional speech that had a casual fan like my wife on the edge of her seat. It was a powerful moment, to see a career end like that.
#2) Own it. Bored with all of Cody Garbrandt and company’s attempts to mock him as a “Snake,” TJ Dillashaw took ownership of it. This episode, he handed out some pretty nice-looking Team Killashaw shirts to his team, complete with a Cobra as part of the logo. Say what you will, but the former Bantamweight Champ has taken pretty much everything that his former teammates have thrown at him and turned it back on them.
#3) The Last Resort of the Bully. If you remember my TUF 18 recaps, you’ll remember how I noted that when Meisha Tate needed to try and push Ronda Rousey’s buttons, she resorted to prank vandalism. Well, that’s just what the Team No Love coaching staff did this episode. Using red tape to create a serpent’s tongue on the pictures of Dillashaw hanging around the TUF Gym, taping over the nipples on those same pictures, and changing “Dillashaw” into “Dickashaw,” the Team Alpha Male members only made themselves look bad. Again.
The Stock Report
Stock Up – Dhiego Lima. He survived some solid takedowns and punishing strikes to take home a three round overtime unanimous decision victory. It was a very close fight, and Smith could very well have taken it had Dhiego not controlled the bulk of the groundwork in the sudden victory round.
Dhiego Lima and Gilbert Smith had a three round war, it’s as simple as that. Hard strikes were exchanged, positions were exchanged on the ground, and Lima had some serious submission attempts. This was the fight of the season to date.
Stay tuned for the TUFtermath next week, when we finish the quarter finals with Jesse Taylor vs. Hayder Hassan and James Krause vs. Ramsey Nijem. We’ll see you then, right here at MMASucka.com!