We're down to our final first round fight. Team GSP has won 5 of the first 6 fights and is firmly in control of the competition so far.
Tonight's fight will feature Dane Sayers (TEAM SaGSP) taking on Sako Chivitchian (TEAM KOSCHECK).
Sayers was the final fighter taken during the draft and he seems intent on making everyone forget that. That and getting everyone to refer to him as Redhorse.
Chivitchian, affectionately referred to as "Psycho," has the better personal story. He was a world class judo practioner before falling from grace and into gang violence. He was even shot in a drive-by. He's your redemption story at this point.
Team Koscheck desperately needs a win here to avoid ridiculously stacked odds in the quarter finals.
But, as with every season of The Ultimate Fighter, before we can get to that last fight, we have to sit through the Coaches' Challenge. This season it is a batting combination. I liked that the contest was held at the home field of the Las Vegas 51's, but that was about all. GSP is from Canada. He's not a baseball guy. I really think Dana White felt bad for Josh Koscheck. He's been shown up at every turn. Koscheck wins the hitting contest and $10,000 to nobody's real surprise.
Nobody asked me, but if they did, I'd cut this ridiculous segment from the season. It doesn't add anything. Since they've added the wild card fight, I think the time would better be used to get that fight on the same broadcast with the last first round fight so we'd know who our final eight fighters are.
I'm just saying.
Let's get to the fight.
It was clear from the beginning that Chivitchian had Sayers outmatched. Sayers fought a counter fight for the whole fight. Now, he did take the fight the full two rounds, but he wasn't able to mount any kind of real consistent offense. Chivitchian got reprimanded twice for grabbing the cage during takedown attempts. Those could have been game changers, but we'll never know. When it was over, Chivitchian had won by unanimous decision to give Team Koscheck its second fighter in the final eight.
Sayers made a good showing for himself and was thought to be a strong contender for one of the wild card spots. Spencer Paige also made a strong showing in his loss. Unfortunately, he broke his hand in the fight and he won't be considered.
After Dana White meets with the coaches, he brings the fighters back together to announce the participants in the wild card fight. They are Aaron Wilkinson and Marc Stevens.
I have no problem with the Wilkinson pick. He took Michael Johnson into the third round and nearly won his fight. I have a little more of a problem with the Stevens pick. I understand he was probably the most talented fighter of those eliminated. I also know he was choked out in 17 seconds by Cody McKenzie. Actual performance should count for something in a competition like this.
Still, the next fight will be Stevens against Wilkinson for the wild card spot.