The TUF 27 TUFtermath
We’ve now arrived at episode nine of TUF 27! This week, Daniel Cormier would see Bryce Mitchell and Brad Katona square off in a battle of teammates, leaving Stipe Miocic on the sidelines for the first featherweight semi-final match.
The Big Three
#1) Guest Lecture – Team Cormier was able to get a little bit of insight and encouragement from Michael Chiesa at the start of the episode. This is one thing that Coach Cormier has done well, bringing in guest speakers to reinforce his team mentally.
#2) Friend Fights – It was heartening to hear the discussion around Bryce Mitchell and Brad Katona’s fight focus on their being friends and teammates. Grudge matches seldom live up to the hype, with both competitors generally fighting not to lose as opposed to fighting to win. When friends fight, they go all out.
#3) Born to be Wild – In another life, Bryce Mitchell would have been a trapper, living alone in the woods. This week, he carved a flint arrowhead and made a necklace from it to show his appreciation for Coach Cormier. He also went on a Forrest Gump-esque list of all the ways he likes to eat squirrel. Yes, Bryce Mitchell is a man born in the wrong time.
The Stock Report
Stock Up – Brad Katona. By the time the third round started, it looked like Brad Katona was going to lose a decision. However, he used his jiu jitsu skills to turn the tide and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. A good show of both technique and mental fortitude.
Round One of Brad Katona vs. Bryce Mitchell was a relatively close round. Neither man clearly took over on the feet, each had a takedown, and spent significant time in top position. Katona had a slight edge in time on top, but was a little too loose in a couple of transitions. This allowed Mitchell to escape and either get on top or get back to his feet. Bryce ended the round on top, and I would give him the slight edge in that stanza.
The second round saw Bryce Mitchell start to take over a little more. While there were still little swings of momentum, Mitchell landed a little more often and with more power, and also scored the only takedown of the round on Brad Katona.
It looked like Bryce Mitchell was en route to taking the third round as well. He was landing on the feet, and was able to score an early takedown. That ended up being his undoing, though, as Brad Katona was able to threaten with enough submissions off his back to be able to sweep and take top position. Eventually, Katona was quick enough in a scramble to take Mithcell’s back and tap him out at 4:17 of the third round with a rear naked choke.
The semi-finals continue next weekl on next week as Allan Zuniga of Team Miocic and Joe Gianetti of Team Cormier square off in the second lightweight semi-final. Keep it locked to MMASucka.com for the next TUF 27 TUFtermath!