TUF 14 - Episode 7 Recap: The Ballad Of T.J. Dillashaw
This was a decent episode of TUF this week, highlighted by a dominant performance by a Urijah Faber disciple not named Bryan Alvarez and the semifinal fights being announced.Guest Coaches
Each man brought in a guest coach this week as Jason "Mayhem" Miller introduced Rafael Cordeiro to his charges for a slew of striking drills. Cordeiro was a fighter and then a coach at the Chute Boxe Academy and has taught/coached striking to a litany of top MMA talent through the years like Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva, "Shogun" Rua and Miller. He's now with California-based Kings MMA.
Michael Bisping brought in former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz to do a session on ground-and-pound techniques. Marcus Brimage's observation; "He's got a big f***king head!" Well said, Marcus. Ortiz was Bisping's coach on the show and as he noted, they're both bad boys. Back in the day? Yes. Current day? Not even close on the heel heat level.Pain In Training
The leftover issues within Team Bisping about T.J. Dillashaw getting a perceived easy fight against Roland Delorme continued. Akira Corassani and Diego Brandao planned to put the "draft dodger" through his paces and did just that as Brandao went extra-hard during BJJ drills and Corassani was extra aggressive during sparring in the cake. Dillashaw then went hard during sparring and got into it with Brimage, even though he wasn't aware of any plan. Dillashaw was made to look whiny during this whole deal, not something Team Alpha Male is known for.Dillashaw vs. Delorme
Delorme (Team Miller) was cleared to fight after it was feared he'd have to bow out due to a staph infection in his right foot. We learned he sold his restaurant outside Winnipeg, Canada, to chase his dream but we never found out what type of restaurant it was. Italian? Buffet-style? Specialty crepes?
Unfortunately for the Canadian, he looked like the ordeal with the infection took a mental and physical toll. His weight was on, but he just didn't show any life. It didn't help that Dillashaw is a really good bantamweight and dominated Delorme during the first round. Dillashaw got takedowns at will and unleashed some nasty Ortiz-style ground-and-pound, especially some killer elbows to the face. You couldn't look any better in a round unless you finished and Dillashaw easily won this 10-8.
The end in the second round was academic. Dillashaw threw a straight right that flattened Delorme but he woke back up to a rainstorm of bad intentioned elbows. Delorme took a beating until he gave up his back and tapped at 3:16 after a rear-naked choke. The left side of Delorme's face had a large egg on it, courtesy of Dillashaw's bionic elbows of doom. This was about as one-sided a fight as you'll get on TUF.The Semifinals Are Made
With the first round done, Miller won 5-3 which means two of his fighters will battle in the semifinals. You might think there's an issue there, but when you remember the presence of John Dodson on the show
, the picture becomes clear. TUF 135 Semifinals:
TJ Dillashaw (Bisping) vs. Dustin Pague (Miller)
John Dodson (Miller) vs. Johnny Bedford (Miller)TUF 145 Semifinals:
Akira Corassani (Bisping) vs. Dennis Bermudez (Miller)
Diego Brandao (Bisping) vs. Bryan Caraway (Miller)
Caraway was frustrated because he campaigned for Corassani, saying he felt he and Brandao would be in the finals. No one was buying that, especially Dillashaw who said Caraway was "mentally weak" and that could play a factor in the fight.
Overall, these should be four really fun fights but I see Dillashaw vs. Dodson in the 135 finals and Brandao vs. Bermudez in the 145 finals. It kills me to pick against Bedford, but I feel Dodson's speed will give him fits. Random Notes
- The prank of this episode was Miller getting a construction crew to put concrete highway barrier around the truck of Tiki Ghosn (pictured above). Ghosn and Bisping just happened to hear the trucks beeping outside during training and said, "Someone's getting towed". The Bisping team proceeded to watch this happen and just sit there. This felt extremely fake and rehearsed and probably was. Does each coach have a budget for pranks?
- If you watch the show, you'll see that as Dillashaw is warming up to fight, John Albert is being taped up in the background. He fought on last week's episode and lost, so that might be a tell for what happens with Dillashaw in his next fight. They really wanted to build up the issues with him, so expect a bit more on that storyline going forward.
- Next week is the "wildest prank in TUF history" and Bermudez vs. Corassani in one of the 145-pound semifinals. Josh Nason is the TUF recapper for Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Online, along with being the compiler of the MMA staff picks. He is a scribe for FIGHT! Magazine, a regular visitor on Figure Four Daily and hosts the weekly WGAM MMA Show on New Hampshire's ESPN Radio affiliate.
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