The TUF 27 TUFtermath
The 12th and final episode of The Ultimate Fighter Season 27 is upon us! This week, the second featherweight semi-final between Team Cormier’s Tyler Diamond and Team Miocic’s Jay Cucciniello will be decided. So, let’s break this episode down on the TUFtermath!
The Big Three
#1) Second Chance – Jay Cucciniello did not miss a beat after his loss to Bryce Mitchell in Episode 4, at least in training. He dove headlong back into practice, and earned the praise of his coaches for doing so.
#2) For Dad – for Tyler Diamond, so much of what drives him is the passing of his father. Diamond is trying to live the life his father was unable to, do the things he can’t do now. That’s a respectable mission.
#3) Study Session – It was refreshing to see a tape study session involving one of the fighters this season. Honestly, I’d like to see more of this in future seasons.
The Stock Report
Stock Up – Jay Cucciniello. From getting thrashed by Bryce Mitchell in the preliminary round, to coming back from a rough first round to stop a game Tyler Diamond in the semi-finals, it’s been quite a ride for Jay Cucciniello. He proved he can learn from defeat.
Round one saw Tyler Diamond start out strong, rocking Jay Cuccciniello and knocking him down within the first minute. Cucciniello, however, would not stay down. He did, however, eat a lot of shots and get taken down by his foe from Team Cormier. Still, he persisted, getting back to his feet and trying to get back into the fight. In doing so, he was able to buzz Diamond with a solid straight at about 2:40 into the round, showing he still had a puncher’s chance. Still, despite Cucciniellos’ best efforts, the round ended 10-9 clearly in the favor of Diamond.
The second round saw Jay Cucciniello trying to shore up his defense, and in doing so, start to land on Tyler Diamond. By being less single-minded on offense, the Brit was able to paradoxically strike more effectively while taking less damage. He was even able to keep his back off the mat in the face of one of a takedown chain from Diamond. While Tyler Diamond tried to finish the round strong, Cucciniello was able to tie it up on my scorecard by winning the second round 10-9.
Round three started like the inverse of the first stanza, with Jay Cucciniello starting strong against Tyler Diamond. While Diamond would try to get back into the fight with strikes nad takedown attempts, Cucciniello did a good job of keeping Diamond close to the fence and limiting his movement options. With two minutes left in the round, it was clear that Tyler Diamond was now running on fumes, and Cucciniello took advantage of that with a pair of thudding body kicks. These would set up the inevitable end, as Diamond would attempt a sloppy takedown, be brought up into a clinch, and dropped with an elbow en route to a stoppage victory for Jay Cucciniello at 3:53 of the third round.
Jay Cucciniello will move on to fight Brad Katona of Team Cormier at the TUF 27 Finale on Friday in the featherweight finale. Keep it locked to MMASucka.com for more on the TUF 27 Finale and other MMA news and opinion!