The third episode of The Ultimate Fighter 11 opens with the fighters gathered in the UFC gym at the request of UFC President Dana White, who appears with coaches Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell to tell Team Punishment’s Chris Camozzi that he has a broken jaw and will be unable to continue in the middleweight tourney.
With Camozzi out of the competition, Ortiz must fill his spot by choosing from four fighters who lost their preliminary bout, but are healthy to continue on the show.
After a Team Liddell training session and some footage from the house, the teams return to the gym where Seth Baczynski, who dropped a three-round unanimous decision to Court McGee in the prelims, is announced as Ortiz’s pick.
Following Kyle Noke’s win over Team Punishment’s Clayton McKinney on episode two, Liddell gets to select this week’s matchup, and after teasing that Baczynski could be selected, he ultimately taps Brad Tavares to face Ortiz’s James Hammortree.
Next, we jump to Team Punishment training, where Nick Ring and Jamie Yager get into an argument while sparring, but things finally simmer down.
Tavares and Hammortree successfully weigh-in before we get quick preview of the matchup, as John Hackleman touts Tavares as raw but well-rounded while Hammortree talks up his power and says he holds the Florida record for fastest KO at just 5-seconds.
After making their way to the Octagon, Tavares and Hammortree get started, with Tavares taking Hammortree’s back early and working a rear naked choke before Hammortree escaped and held top control. Tavares gets Hammortree’s back again, but Hammortree again escapes and finishes the round on top while connecting with occasional ground and pound.
Hammortree looks to take the fight to the ground to begin the second, but Tavares reverses to the top and scores a trip of his own following a scramble. Hammortree ends up on top and looks to get free for ground and pound, while Tavares unsuccessfully works for a kimura. From Tavares’ guard, Hammortree tries to throw punches but Tavares largely neutralizes the efforts.
The judges declare the first two rounds a draw and we head to a decisive third round, which begins with Tavares connecting with punches in a standup exchange before Hammortree gets a takedown. On the ground, Hammortree is unable to connect with much, but manages to mount Tavares only to have him escape and drop punches from the top. The fighters scramble and Hammortree presses for another takedown, but Tavares manages to stay on his feet while working for a kimura and connecting with punches before the round ends.
Unsurprisingly, Ortiz feels Hammortee should win the bout, while Liddell thinks Tavares did enough to get the decision.
White announces that all three judges scored the third for Tavares 10-9, earning him a unanimous decision win to advance to the show’s quarterfinals.
Ortiz says he’s “frustrated” by the loss, which drops his team to 0-2, while Hammortree has his sights set on the wildcard in hopes of advancing to the second round.
Next week on The Ultimate Fighter 11, Team Punishment will look to rebound for their first win of the season, but continued hostility threatens their chances, while two more opening round bouts are set to air, including one that ends in controversy and sets off a “post-fight riot”.