After missing a week due to computer issues, The TUFtermath has returned for episode 11. Last week, Jesse “JT Money” Taylor and James “Panzer” Kraus punched their tickets to the semi-finals. The Team Killashaw pair defeated Hayder Hassan and Ramsey Nijem, respectively. This week, the first of the semi-final fights takes place between Dhiego Lima and Tom Gallicchio. We’ll take a look at that, and the other highs and lows, today.
The Big Three
#1) Eye Can’t Even. Coming off the heels of a quarter-finals decision victory over Ramsey Nijem, James Krause was diagnosed with a scratched cornea. This puts his semi-final match with Jesse Taylor in jeopardy. If he fails a pre-fight medical on next week’s episode, a plan has been put into motion to ensure a replacement.
#2) Backdoor Surprise. Even with James Krause’s ocular injury, nobody expected that there might be a red pair of shorts entering the cage for the semi-finals. However, that may be the case. With Krause’s future in doubt, Dana White gave Cody Garbrandt the opportunity to pick one of his Team No Love members to be a back-up in case the only active UFC fighter in the competition is forced out of the fight. While no announcement was made, it stands to reason that Garbrandt will be waiting in the wings next week.
#3) Frayed Ends of Sanity. As the end of The Ultimate Fighter Season 25 approaches, tempers are finally starting to flare amongst the fighters. James Krause is not responding well to people asking about his uncertain future. Ramsey Nijem is angry that he wasn’t immediately picked to be Krause’s understudy. Gilbert Smith is frustrated with Ramsey’s complaining. Everybody who is on edge and ready to go home, but we still have one more week…
The Stock Report
Stock Up – Matt Brown. Now, I know what some of you may be thinking. “Where was Matt Brown?” you may ask. “Why are you even talking about him?” Well, Brown has been on the periphery this season, helping teammate TJ Dillashaw as an assistant. During this episode’s bout between Tom Gallicchio and Dhiego Lima, Brown’s concise and observant cornering rang through the din. This was especially apparent during the third round, as “The Immortal” helped guide Gallicchio past a coming armbar attempt from Lima. Matt Brown is a sharp guy, and if this episode was any indication, he could have a bright future as a coach once his in-cage days wind down.
Stock Up – Herb Dean. A common lament amongst MMA hardcore fans is that the officials let fighters get away with murder. Tonight, without a noisy crowd to distract him, referee Herb Dean caught Dhiego Lima successfully defending a takedown in the second round by grabbing the cage. Herb saw this, and proceeded to stop the action. He then deducted a point from Lima. This doesn’t happen often, so we should appreciate it when it does.
This was almost a showcase of Dhiego Lima’s striking. While Gallicchio was able to keep the first round somewhat close, Lima stymied nearly all of his takedown attempts and outstruck him. The second round was more of the same, with Lima pulling out further ahead despite losing a point for a fence-grab (as mentioned above). The third round saw Dhiego battering Gallicchio for the bulk of the round, barring roughly a minute and half after Tom managed to secure his only real takedown of the fight. With his sprawl, guard game, and striking all on point, Dhiego Lima took home the unanimous decision victory and punches his ticket to the TUF 25 Finale.
Next week, Jesse Taylor takes on either James Krause or a fighter still to be revealed. Be sure to keep it locked to MMASucka.com for more TUFtermath analysis and MMA news!