Caution this post contains spoilers from the tenth episode of The Ultimate Fighter 6: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra
This week Team Serra’s John Kolosci is down and out over his loss to Team Hughes’ Mac Danzig from last week. A battered and bruised Kolosci admits to the cameras that he’s at his lowest of lows. As Kolosci describes it, “When you win it’s the highest of highs, when you lose it’s the lowest of lows. You just forget about that last win because it’s that low.” To overcome his sorrows, Kolosci announces to the house, “I’m getting fat and drunk.” The other housemates join their fallen comrade and chaos ensues. As Blake Bowman describes, “Kolosci drank the state of Nevada dry.” Fortunately, none of the fighters get involved in any melees during the festivities. Instead, Kolosci and the others opt to take their frustrations out on the house. From punching holes in the wall to tossing the foosball table into the pool, Kolosci and company manage to do a number on the house that would do former TUF alumni from season’s past proud.
This week’s episode features not one, but two quarter final bouts and, to add a twist, both matches will include members from Team Serra facing one another. Despite Team Serra’s Matt Arroyo and Richie Hightower agreeing to a coin toss last week that would send them to Team Hughes to train for the quarterfinals, Arroyo and Hightower decide to remain with Team Serra. UFC President, Dana White is fine with Arroyo and Hightower’s recent change of heart but he reminds them that come fight day they’ll have to be cornered by Hughes.
Now that Team Serra is all together again, Matt Serra is having difficulties with grasping the idea of cornering one of his guys against the other. He is torn. Eventually, Matt Serra announces to his team that out of respect to his team he will take a neutral stance and not corner any of his fighters. Troy Mandaloniz is upset with Serra’s plans because come fight day he’ll have no one to guide him while Arroyo and Hightower will have Hughes in their corner. To add, both Mandaloniz and Hightower feel that Serra favors George Sotiropoulos and Matt Arroyo over them. Mandaloniz and Hightower feel neglected, compared to themselves they believe George and Arroyo receive more attention from Serra. Eventually, Serra is informed about Troy and Richie’s feelings. Serra is surprised to learn how Mandaloniz and Hightower feel. In the end, Serra insists he is not playing favorites; however, he’s not going to plead his case.
Following this Mac Danzig shows us that he’s equally gifted as a comedian as he is a fighter. Mac does a decent impression of Hightower. Danzig tells his team that he was really looking forward to sparring with Richie so that he could put a beating on him. Hughes, on the other hand is unfazed by Arroyo and Hightower’s decision; he feels that they’re losing out. Both Hughes and Robbie Lawler describe Serra’s decision not to corner anyone as a “punk move.”
Next up, the two Matt’s, Hughes and Serra, put on their bowling shoes for the seasons’ coaches challenge. This year, $10,000 is up for grabs for the winning coach plus an additional $1500.00 to each of his fighters. Hughes admits that he’s never bowled before; he’s the polar opposite of a professional bowler. However, Hughes notices during the warm up that Serra is no professional either and he’s liking his chances. So much that Hughes pulls Dana White to the side to try to talk him into doubling the fighters’ bonus to $3000.00. After much debate, White offers to double the bonus on the condition that Hughes hits a strike on his next bowl. White regrets his challenge because he believes he’s being hustled by Hughes who’s from Illinois where, according to White, there’s nothing to do but bowl. The room erupts in cheers as Hughes hits a strike thereby doubling the fighters’ bonus. All that remains is to determine the winning coach. The coaches get off to a slow start hitting gutter balls left, right, and center. The coaches are so bad that Dana realizes he was wrong about his assessment of Hughes. Things begin to warm up as each coach gets better and better with each turn. However, Serra has an advantage in Arroyo who’s a bit of a bowling expert. Serra and Arroyo exchange roles and now Arroyo is coaching Serra on how to bowl. The challenge comes down to a single frame and its Serra’s turn to bowl. Serra manages to drop all the pins except for one spare. With the help of Arroyo Serra hits the spare and wins the challenge. Matt Hughes is nowhere to be seen as he vacates the premises immediately following his defeat. Serra brings up the notion that Hughes is a sore loser. In his defense, Hughes explains, “I don’t think I’m a bad loser, I just don’t like to lose.”
Fight day arrives. First up, is Arroyo and Mandaloniz, the classic grappler versus striker match-up. Arroyo wants to take the fight to the ground while Mandaloniz prefers to keep it standing up. True to his word, a tight lipped Matt Serra is present standing ringside and not in the corner of either fighter. Instead, Jon “War Machine” Koppenhaver, Dorian Price, and John Kolosci step in to fill Serra’s shoes and corner Mandaloniz. The fight starts and Mandaloniz throws a low right kick. Arroyo starts off on a good foot landing a right high kick to Mandaloniz’s face that is partially blocked. A very nervous Mandaloniz absorbs the damage and presses forward. Arroyo manages to land a single-leg takedown and easily maintains side control. From the top, Arroyo begins working in the knees. Mandaloniz’s inexperience in fighting from his back is clearly evident at this point; he’s in panic mode. Arroyo goes for a kimura but then transitions into an armbar. The armbar attempt itself is mediocre and could be seen coming from a mile away but clearly Mandaloniz doesn’t know how to defend it. Eventually Arroyo manages to muscle the submission out, and forces Mandaloniz to tap. Following the bout, White states that he’s puzzled over the fact that, despite training with UFC veteran and black belt Brazilian Jiu-jitsu specialist, BJ “the Prodigy” Penn, Mandaloniz has zero ground game experience.
Mandaloniz is devastated by the loss. Hughes feels that Serra made the wrong decision and should have cornered Troy. In Hughes’ opinion, Serra is a ground specialist so Serra could have definitely coached Troy on how to defend the armbar. Serra explains that he had mixed emotions following the bout; he was happy for Arroyo but sad for Mandaloniz. As their coach for over a full month, Serra congratulates Arroyo on his victory and then comforts Troy. Mandaloniz tells the viewers that he has no ill feelings towards Serra and that Serra is still a great guy in his opinion.
Next up is George Sotiropoulos and Richie Hightower. Going into the fight, Hightower states that he’s the underdog and he’s setting out to prove everyone wrong. Hightower believes that he can upset the heavily favored Sotiropoulos with a knockout win or maybe even a doctor’s stoppage. Serra confirms, stating that Hightower is a sleeper; he should not be counted out. Hightower seems to be taking the fight very seriously as he enters the contest without his trademark purple locks, opting for a shaved head instead. The fight starts and Sotiropoulos finds himself in a bit of trouble as Hightower is throwing heavy punches, looking for the knockout. George clinches onto Hightower and presses him against the cage. Hightower manages to escape George’s clinch and breaks free from the fence and throws a heavy right hook that misses. Shorty after Richie throws a weak low right kick. Sotiropoulos catches the kick and immediately takes Richie Hightower down. The inexperienced Hightower wants no piece of George on the ground and instantly pushes Sotiropoulos off of him. George dives back on top of Hightower and gains side control. On top George doesn’t do much in terms of striking. Instead it appears he attempts on slowly improving his positioning. Sotiropoulos starts working his magic on the ground, attempting an armbar and later a kimura. However, Richie is not giving up without putting up a good fight; he manages to escape both submission attempts. In the end, Sotiropoulos dominance on the ground proved to be too much for the inexperienced Hightower, George secures the kimura and Hightower yelps before tapping out.
Here’s a look at the teams after week 10:
- Matt Arroyo (2-0)
- George Sotiropoulos (2-0)
- Ben Saunders (1-0)
Troy Mandaloniz(1-1, Eliminated by Matt Arroyo – Week 10) Richie Hightower(1-1, Eliminated by George Sotiropoulos – Week 10) John Kolosci(1-1, Eliminated by Mac Danzig – Week 9) Jon Koppenhaver(Eliminated by Tommy Speer – Week 8)
Joe Scarola(Eliminated by Mac Danzig – Week 1)
Roman Mitichyan(Injured – Week 1)
- Mac Danzig (2-0)
- Tommy Speer (1-0)
Jared Rollins(Eliminated by George Sotiropoulos – Week 7)
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:
- Team Serra plays a prank on Team Hughes that goes too far; chaos erupts
- Ben Saunders predicts a first round KO over Tommy Speer
Missed an episode? For more on this season, check out some of our previous recaps: