Caution: This post contains spoilers from the sixth episode of The Ultimate Fighter 6: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra
Episode 6, AKA the Dan Barrera episode, immediately begins with fight selections and this week it’s Team Serra’s turn to choose the participants for the weekly elimination bout. This week’s fight proves to be a pivotal one for Matt Hughes because if his team loses this week, he will have no say in picking the quarter final matches. Hughes is definitely nervous as his boys are presently on a 5 fight losing skid. Ultimately, Team Serra chooses Ben Saunders to go against Teams Hughes’ Dan Barrera.
As mentioned, this week’s episode mainly focuses on Team Hughes’ Dan Barrera. Matt Hughes admits that when it comes to training, Barrera is a monster. There is just one slight problem and that is Barrera cannot differentiate between his training partners and his opponents. Barrera’s balls-out approach to training results in hurting his very own teammates and he is quickly becoming public enemy number 1 amongst the team. Then there is also the problem of Barrera’s mysterious washroom breaks. Everyone on the team, including Matt Hughes, notices that Barrera tends to run off to the can at every chance that he can get, and he stays in there for unusual amounts of time. Security footage reveals Barrera shadow boxing in the washroom at various different times, even with his pants down.
Hughes has had enough of Barrera’s antics and what better way to teach him a lesson than giving him a taste of his own medicine. Barrera is treated to a one on one training session with Hughes. To the delight of the team, Hughes puts a beating on Barrera in an effort to get him to relax and turn it down a notch. Hughes also gives Barrera a memento in the form of battered and bruised hand which later on puffs up double in size.
The swelling on Barrera’s hand gets worse. Eventually the guys on Team Serra notice the swelling and report the news much to the delight of their coach, Matt Serra. Barrera is forced to have it checked out by a doctor. A broken hand would mean the end of his run on the show. Fortunately, Barrera’s bruised hand is not serious enough to prevent him from fighting Saunders. It turns out that the hand is not broken but instead has picked up a bad infection, causing it to swell.
Leading to the fight everything seems to go wrong for Barrera as he receives an urgent phone call from home. Barrera’s speaks with his wife who has apparently suffered an anxiety attack. She pleads with Barrera to come home immediately as she believes she is dying. Tears run down Barrera’s face as he finds himself in a difficult position. Over the phone, together they pray for everything to be okay. Eventually, Barrera is able to comfort his wife and suggests that her sister come stay with her over the remainder of his absence.
Fight day arrives and going into the match, the game plan for the lanky Saunders is to keep the distance and use his long limbs to his advantage against the much shorter Barrera. The first round is highlighted with a big right hand counter by Barrera that drops Saunders to the canvas. Blood gushes out of Saunders’s nose who is absolutely dazed. However, Barrera allows Saunders to recover as he tentatively stands before the fallen Saunders eating up precious time; rather, than falling back to stand up the fight immediately. Eventually, Herb Dean steps in and directs Saunders to step up. Saunders attempts to square the affair by opening a cut on Barrera’s forehead before the end of the first. Despite Saunders’ late round damage, the first round is in favor of Barrera. As Barrera makes his way to his corner, Hughes tells him, “You didn’t listen to a word I said.”
The second frame starts with Saunders trying to touch gloves with Barrera who apparently doesn’t want to. An angered Serra yells, “Ben he doesn’t wanna play like that. Throw everything with bad intentions Ben.” The second round sees Saunders maintaining the distance, effectively using his reach advantage. Saunders works away on the cut on Barrera’s forehead by throwing various knees and kicks. He manages to land a knee which sends Barrera to the canvas. Fortunately, for Barrera he is able to escape. Barrera just can’t seem to close the distance; in fact, he spends most of the second frame running away from Saunders’ assault. At this point, Barrera’s face is covered in blood and Herb Dean calls a time out to see if the blood is affecting Barrera’s ability to see. After a bit of confusion, Dean deems Barrera fit to continue fighting. Time runs out and there is no question the second round belongs to Saunders.
At this point, almost everyone is certain that the fight is a draw and that there is going to be a third round. However, much to the surprise of everyone, referee Herb Dean announces that a winner has been decided by the judges. Ben Saunders is declared the winner by majority decision. Immediately Matt Hughes grabs the score cards, noticing that the judges have scored the first round in favor of Saunders. Hughes approaches one of the judges, questioning his credentials and ability to score an MMA fight.
Inside the Serra locker room, Saunders is met by Dana White who congratulates him on putting forth such a great fight. In reward for his efforts, Dana announces that he is going to present Saunders with a $5000 bonus which is usually only given to a fighter if he is able to off his opponent. Dana doesn’t stop there. The UFC President then pays a visit to Dan Barrera and offers him the $5000 bonus for his performance as well. Shortly after this, Matt Serra shows a heap of class by going into the Hughes locker room to congratulate Barrera on such a valiant battle.
The show ends with a dejected Hughes pondering things to himself as his team is now down 5-1.
Here’s a look at the teams after week 6.
- Matt Arroyo (1-0)
- John Kolosci (1-0)
- Richie Hightower (1-0)
- Troy Mandaloniz (1-0)
- Ben Saunders (1-0)
- George Sotiropoulos
- Jon Koppenhaver
Joe Scarola(Eliminated by Mac Danzig – Week 1) Roman Mitichyan(Injured – Week 1)
- Mac Danzig (1-0)
- Tommy Speer
- Jared Rollins
Dan Barrera(Eliminated by Ben Saunders – Week 6) Paul Georgieff(Eliminated by Troy Mandaloniz – Week 5) Blake Bowman(Eliminated by Richie Hightower – Week 4) Dorian Price(Eliminated by Matt Arroyo – Week 2) Billy Miles(Eliminated John Kolosci – Week 3)
Next week on The Ultimate Fighter:
- Matt Hughes begins to questions his picks and expectations
- Hughes becomes frustrated and angry, questioning why he even agreed to come on the show
- Coach Hughes tells his team, “Guys, give me a reason to stay on the show.”
For more on this season, check our previous recaps: