UFC's The Ultimate Fighter Episode 12: Who advanced to the finals?



By Josh Nason

Roy Nelson - Tracy LeeTeam Nelson (mainly Cameron Diffley and Joey Rivera) opened the show talking about how bad Roy Nelson was at coaching. This was placed, of course, right before the semifinal fight between teammates Jon Manley and Colton Smith. Rivera told Nelson that they 'got raped on the field' and how their team didn't get the attention he deserved.

Nelson said that the guys all had excuses. He wasn't taking the criticism well at all and said that some guys came on a mission to win.

Jon Manley (Team Nelson) vs. Colton Smith (Team Nelson)

R1: These are two completely distinct body types as Manley is a lot bigger and more muscled. This was a stalemate until Smith got Manley got the mat with three minutes to go. Smith controlled Manley but didn't do any significant damage.

The fight got to the feet with 90 seconds to go and was it was mainly cage grappling. Smith took this 10-9, but there wasn't much excitement here.

R2: Big surprise: Smith got a takedown a minute into the round. After some blah standup, he got another takedown halfway through. I appreciate the wrestling acumen, but in front of crowds, Smith is going to get booed relentlessly.

It looks like the competition caught up to Manley, who physically looks toasted. Smith closed it out by controlling Manley's head and attacking with knee strikes. 10-9 Smith.

The fight is going to a third because it's the semifinals. Of course, they never explain this. EVER. Why not? It's halfway through the show so the second fight must end quickly.

R3: Smith isn't exactly engaging to open the round, circling out away from Manley for the first 90 seconds. We get more cage grappling but Smith is connecting on some clean elbows. Manley lands a punch and Dana White says, "This is the first punch he's landed the whole fight." Manley lands some punches, but Smith continues to ride his bike. Manley 10-9 in the 3rd.

Manley immediately stars crying after the fight is over as he knows he lost. Smith wins by unanimous decision and advances to the finals. I don't know how he'll survive at 170 if he wins in the finals, both because of size and his fighting style.

Mike Ricci (Team Carwin) vs. Neil Magny (Team Carwin)

Both guys were testing each other early, but Ricci started the damage by landing a straight left that dropped Magny on his back. Ricci swarmed in and with less than a minute to go, he had Magny's back. As both guys stood up, Ricci rotated and threw a hard left elbow that knocked Magny out. He hit him with one more before Steve Mazzagatti broke it up.

Magny had no idea where he was when he came to and tried to wrestle Mazz in that classic spot.

So, Ricci wins via 1st round KO and moves onto the finals. Afterward, he was in tears and said that he'd rather have won by decision because he knows what Magny is going through. Alright then. If Ricci wins, he'll be the first Canadian winner in TUF history. Of course, he's up against an active U.S. military member.

Your final for 12/15 with an American vs. Canadian final: Colton Smith (Nelson) vs. Mike Ricci (Carwin).

And with that, this season -- exciting at certain times but very boring at too many others -- is finally over. Hooray! Thanks for reading the updates all season long and perhaps we'll see you again in this space for TUF '13: Jones vs. Sonnen.

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