The Ultimate Fighter has learned. They’ve found the flaws in previous seasons and have done what they can to correct them in subsequent ones. This time, for Team Rampage vs. Team Griffin, they have the makings of the best season yet. The first round of fights, whittling 32 fighters to 16, weeded out the unworthy fighters, the ones who were more interested in screen time than actually, you know, fighting. Tonight was a perfect example – the two guys who ended up fighting were all about getting into the Octagon and demolishing their opponent. It’s safe to say that UFC president Dana White knows what he’s doing.
Jesse Taylor was an impressive fighter in the last episode, even though Mike Dolce gave him a run at times. But, Taylor was a much better wrestler. Afterwards, Jesse decides to have a few drinks at the house. He’s a big kid – he admits that he’s squandered a lot of opportunities in the house. Matthew Riddle and Dante Rivera are having a lot of back and forths in the house. It’s quasi-serious, at this point.
Team Rampage is thinking that Forest Griffin is going to choose Patrick Schultz to fight, since he was a replacement, and is the only guy on the show right now who hasn’t won a fight.
Riddle is talking a big game. He tells everybody that he wants to fight, and he wants to fights soon. He really wants to fight Dante, because Dante’s had a long, semi-distinguished career. Riddle is a confident guy. Maybe foolish, but confident.
Forest, at the fight announcement picks his own Tim Credeur to fight Team Rampage’s Matthew Riddle. Riddle is super-confident, ready to fight. Rampage is pretty happy with the fight choice. Credeur is also extremely confident.
Dante Rivera decides to get in Riddle’s head, trying to psyche him out, telling him that he doesn’t think Riddle will make it out of the first round. Credeur has been fighting for much of his life – he says he doesn’t care about fame, fortune, he just wants to battle. He’s kind of a sadist. He also uses the phrase “neato mosquito” which is probably the first time such a phrase has been uttered by an MMA fighter. Riddle is a small-town guy, admits he’s the underdog, but revels in it.
It’s a classic veteran versus rookie fight. Credeur and Riddle both agree that Tim has a lot more to lose in this fight than Riddle does. Credeur is 30 years old, Riddle is 22.
Riddle takes Tim to the ground almost immediately and holds on to his back. Tim can’t get much going, but there’s not a lot of action either way. After a minute, they get back to their feet. Tim throws some kicks, punches, doesn’t land much. Riddle takes it to the ground once more. After a little more stand-up, Matt gets position on the ground, but Matt takes it back, and manages some effective ground and pound. Tim gets position again, and lands a number of punches. It gets nasty, and in the last minute Matt gets pounded. But, Matt manages to stay alive.
Matt comes out firing, and takes Tim to the ground. He doesn’t land much, and Tim gets position against the fence. Matt lands a kick to the face and takes it back to stand-up, where Matt wails on Tim for awhile, but Tim wisely takes it back to the ground. He ends up luckily putting Matt in an arm bar – Matt taps out. Things were looking grim for Tim there for awhile, but he manages the arm bar victory.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of UFC)