The TUF 28 TUFtermath
It’s week nine of The Ultimate Fighter Season 28! Time for the semi-finals to begin! This week’s bout sees Team Whittaker’s Cuban-American wrestling powerhouse Michel Batista taking on the smotherin’ southerner Justin Frazier of Team Gastelum! I’m sure there will be more of Maurice Greene’s unchecked alcoholism dampening the festivities too. So, without further ado, let’s find out what happens in this week’s TUF 28 TUFtermath!
The Big Three
#1) Smirnoff Maur-Ice – Maurice Greene’s drinking problems are in focus from the jump today. To the point that Team Gastelum assistant coach Terrell Hunsinger is brought in as a talking head before we see him telling Greene he’s cut off. Of course, right after this, Greene goes and starts talking smack to Anderson “Braddock” Silva. I”m really feeling bad for the rest of the cast at this point, and I hope Greene went into treatment or a 12 step program or something after filming completed.
#2) A Tale of Two Parties – In order to celebrate getting through the prelims – and get a respite from Maurice – Coach Robert Whittaker ordered dinner for his team to be eaten at the TUF Gym. It was a relaxed affair, free from tension. At the house, however, Coach Kelvin Gastelum showed up to celebrate the prelims’ end, as well as celebrate Macy Chiasson’s birthday. It, however, turned into an intervention for Maurice. While he played like it took, and that he would be more respectful, it was not to be. After Team Whittaker arrived home, and the Team Gastelum coaches left, he went out to resume is one-sided verbal assault on Anderson.
#3) Separate and Create Distance – The effects of Maurice Greene’s drinking have cast a pall over the TUF house. His inebriated behaviour has gotten to the point that Marciea Allen can no longer handle sharing the house with him. With an injury leaving her unable to train anyways, Allen booked a flight home. She had made the decision for the sake of her own mental health, which is to be respected and commended. This left her teammates Bea Malecki and Pannie Kianzad feeling bad, and put together a last-ditch team meeting to try and convince Marciea to stay. This was Maurice’s rock bottom, as he was sober and started to take responsibility for his actions as the rest of the team began their second intervention. This was enough to convince Marciea to stay… For now.
The Stock Report
Stock Up: Justin Frazier. You seldom expect the guy picked last to run through two highly touted specialists en route to a TUF finals match-up, but that’s just what Justin Frazier did. After smothering Anderson Silva in the preliminaries, “The Grizzly Bear” used a patient, measured striking strategy to knock out high level wrestler Michel Batista. Kudos to Frazier.
Stock Down: Michel Batista. I’m not sure if there was an injury, but Batista was simply far too tentative in this episode’s fight. His landed strike count was surely in the single digits, and he didn’t even appear to attempt to close the distance, much less try for a takedown. Additionally, his striking defense just wasn’t there, and that would pose major problems against any active UFC heavyweight.
Round one of Michel Batista versus Justin Frazier started slow, with 39 seconds ticking away before a single strike was attempted. Frazier kept his distance from Batista, backing the freestyle wrestler against the cage as he did. While the striking was minimal, it was all Frazier for the first nearly two minutes. Frazier moved well, pot-shitting Batista and was decisively, if minimally, winning the round. At around the 4:17 mark, Frazier finally cornered Batista against the cage and unleashed a flurry, dropping the Cuban and earning the stoppage just 7 seconds later. The dark horse, the last pick, Justin Frazier, is moving on to the TUF 28 finals for Team Gastelum!
Team Gastelum has sent one man to the finals, and next week will hope to send their first woman. In Episode 10, Pannie Kianzad will take on Team Whittaker’s Juliya Stoliarenko in a women’s semin-final bout. Keep it locked to MMASucka.com for the next TUF 28 TUFtermath!