Ever since Noah decided to walk out on Team Ortiz, its been a suspense filled week as to which fighter would be selected to take his place on the show. Therefore, this weeks episode began with Dana White announcing during a meeting with all the fighters that Jesse would be rejoining his old teammates on Shamrocks squad.
Ever since Noah decided to walk out on Team Ortiz, its been a suspense filled week as to which fighter would be selected to take his place on the show. Therefore, this weeks episode began with Dana White announcing during a meeting with all the fighters that Jesse would be rejoining his old teammates on Shamrocks squad. It was somewhat interesting that Jesse was invited back since it was Noah that eliminated him, nonetheless, after losing the last 4 fights team Shamrock certainly got a much needed shot in the arm getting their #1 pick back.
However, it still doesnt look good for the credibility of the show when a guy who lost his lone fight, is not only allowed to come back but hes also given a spot in the semi-finals. How would it look if somehow Jesse went onto the finals and won the contract after he was technically eliminated? Hopefully this is one area of the show the Zuffa brain trust will tweak for season 4, they should consider selecting a few fighters as reserves in both weight classes that could be called upon in the event of an injury or if someone leaves the show. For instance, after Josh Burkman broke his arm early in TUF season 2, Jason Von Flue was brought in as his replacement in the third episode and there wasnt any controversy surrounding him.
As was announced last week, Josh Haynes (Ortiz) was set to fight Tait Fletcher (Shamrock) but leading up to their fight, Josh was accidentally hit with a bottle that cut him over his left eye during some shenanigans in the house. Fortunately, nurse Rory was onsite to patch his teammate up and avoid any unfortunate circumstances. Also, it was revealed that Josh would be going into his fight against Tait with a heavy heart, as he was fighting for his family but in particular his inspiration came from his young son who had survived his own health battle.
After all the drama was over it was finally time to get down to business, and see who would advance in the third preliminary light heavyweight battle. The fight began with a lengthy feeling out process and after an initial clinch, Tait quickly pulled guard. When the fight went to the ground Tait was relentless with his submission attempts, first trying to secure a triangle and when Josh was able to pull away, Tait then tried to transition to an arm bar. Once the fight was back on the feet, Tait was able to control Josh along the cage and landed some nice knees. However, Josh did a really good job of defending the takedown with a little more then one minute remaining in the 1st round, and appeared to land the cleaner punches during the stand up exchanges, even though he looked wild. I felt Tait was more aggressive and pushed the pace but Josh was able to do a little more damage with his striking, close round.
At the start of the 2nd round Tait rushed in for another clinch and was again able to control Josh along the cage. After Josh was hit by an inadvertent low blow he was given a bit of time to regain his composure, and when the fight was restarted Tait seemed to find his range and connected with some nice strikes, much to Shamrocks dismay as the coach shouted Dont box with him. Surprising the striker, Josh, took Tait down but once again the jiu-jitsu specialist was like an octopus, immediately going for an arm bar attempt. Josh defended the arm bar but in escaping the submission he gave up top position to Tait who worked to get his opponents back. Nevertheless, with about 40 seconds remaining in the round and both fighters back on their feet, Josh dropped Tait with a punch and immediately pounced on his downed opponent. However, Josh went in a bit overzealous and Tait applied a triangle, and in the process delivered a series of elbows to Joshs head. I would score this round in Taits favour.
Marc Ratner advised Herb Dean that after two rounds of action the judges agreed on a winner, thus eliminating the chance of a possible OT round. A split decision victory was awarded to Josh, the first round was close to score but I cant understand how Josh did enough to win both rounds on two of the judges scorecards. In any event, the team Ortiz express keeps on rolling as theyve now won 5 straight fights.
Next week: Ed Herman vs. Danny Abaddi
Fighters remaining in the Competition
Jesse Forbes (Advanced to Semi Finals)
Mike Bisping (Advanced to Semi Finals)
Josh Haynes (Advanced to Semi Finals)
Kalib Starnes (Advanced to Semi Finals)
Ed Herman ( Fights Danny Abaddi Next Week)
Danny Abaddi ( Fights Ed Herman Next Week)
Rory Singer (Advanced to Semi Finals)
Kendall Groves (Advanced to Semi Finals)