The TUF 28 TUFtermath: Episode 11

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The TUF 28 TUFtermath

It’s week 11 of The Ultimate Fighter Season 28! The men’s semi-finals conclude as Maurice Greene of Team Gastelum takes on Juan Espino Diepa of Team Whittaker! Will there be any Greene be able to make it an all-Gastelum men’s final? Will Diepa bring it even for the Team Whittaker men? Let’s find out in this week’s TUFtermath!

The Big Three

#1) On the Wagon – Unlike for most of the season, Maurice Greene seems to have taken sobriety semi-seriously and has his head on straight. It has, however, made him cranky. To the point that he got snappy while the cast watched UFC 227, and he got cranky when Marciea Allen refused to to rewind to watch a promo for UFC 229 despite multiple requests to do so. He may have been only semi-sober, but he’s still raring for a fight, even with his team mostly on his side in this case.

#2) Mutiny Redux Pt. 1- Team Whittaker is once again unhappy at the nature of their practices. They are not feeling challenged, and are at the point where they’re talking about doing individual training. This culiminated in some members sparring while Robert Whittaker was running a BJJ session, which did not please the UFC Middleweight Champion. He accused his team of having a poor work ethic and skipping his classes and told them either do his training or stay out of the way. Taking Whittaker at his word, Team Whittaker did a training session without their coaches during their free time. Przemyslaw Mysiala led the warm-ups and oversaw the session, which to the joy of many on the team, included live sparring. This is something they hadn’t done the entire season to date.

#3) Coaches’ Challenge – In the blazing heat of Nevada, at 106`F/41`C, Kelvin Gastelum and Robert Whittaker competed in a 5 KM race. Gastelum is more concerned than Whittaker, as he focuses on sprints as opposed to long-distance running while training. So, with 13 laps ahead of them, Whittaker pulled ahead from the start. However, it was the Team Gastelum fighters who jumped out to run with Kelvin to help encourage him. This worked until about the 10th lap for Kelvin, when he had to pull over and vomit. As you may have guessed after that, Robert Whittaker was the winner by a full lap.

The Stock Report

Stock Up: Juan Espino Diepa. It was a big win for Diepa, as Greene had talked a lot of smack towards him over the course of the show. He showed power and smart finishing instincts as he choked out his Team Gastelum foe in the first round.

The Fight

The first round of Maurice Greene vs. Juan Espino Diepa started fairly slow after the horn, but picked up in intensity when the first strike was landed approximately 32 seconds in. Espina rocked Greene with an overhand right, floored him with a left hook, and then mauled him from top position for the next 20 or so seconds. Miraculously, Greene survived the onslaught and returned to his feet. It didn’t last long, as Espina dragged Green back to the mat and took top position. Greene was very active in trying to defend, but eventually succumbed when Juan took his bank and sank in a rear-naked choke. Juan Espino Diepa gained the submission victory at 1:55 of Round 1, assuring his place at the finale.

With a Team Gastelum/Team Whittaker split set for the men’s heavyweight final, the last women’s featherweight semi-final will be decided next week. Team Whittaker’s Leah Letson will take on Team Gastelum’s Macy Chiasson. Keep it locked to MMASucka.com for the next TUF 28 TUFtermath!

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Justin Pierrot is MMASucka.com's resident musicologist and TUF aficionado. When not looking after his family or writing his weekly pieces, he's making music as Stormland or building Gundam models.

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