The Ultimate Fighter 9 Big Board: Episode 5 – Winner vs. DeFranco, Amasinger vs. Johnson

The Ultimate Fighter: Season 9 USA vs U.K.

The Ultimate Fighter: Season 9 USA vs U.K.

In an episode featuring two fights, Team UK and a�?Teama�? USA split the fights one apiece, leaving Team UK still holding the overall lead at 2-1.

In the inaugural lightweight fight, Team UKa��s Andre Winner defeated Team USAa��s Santino DeFranco via Ga��na��P in round one. The second fight of the night saw Demarques Johnson finally put Team USA on the board with a first round submission of Dean Amasinger. Both winners looked very impressive in victory, and both coaches saw the fights that they picked come out in their favor.

Winner showed sharp stand-up and great upper-body strength, his fast hands neutralized DeFrancoa��s reach advantage. His striking kept DeFranco from finding his range, and when DeFranco tried to shoot in, Winner not only stuffed the takedowns, but throttled DeFranco to the mat in the process. In the end, Winner stopped a DeFranco takedown attempt, dragged his opponent to the cage wall, and pounded him out until the stoppage.

The fight between Johnson and Amasinger was also quickly ended by Johnson, who submitted Amasinger with a triangle choke, despite the UK fightera��s best efforts to slam out of the submission. Astute viewers probably saw Johnsona��s triangle coming from a mile away, and even though Michael Bisping had previously warned Amasinger to beward of the triangle, to no avail. In any case, Johnson won quickly and provided the USA with its first win, while Amasinger stayed classy in defeat, despite the strange circumstances (see notes).

Again, two fights are slated to air on next weeka��s episode, and this time I will not foolishly try to speculate which fighters will be picked.

TUF Top 3

Which of the fighters are the front-runners to winning it all? As more and more fights occurs, the cream slowly rises to the topa��

Lightweight

  1. Richie Whitson a�� Team USA (Previous rank: 1)
    The red-haired Alaskan, already nicknamed a�?Carrot Topa�? by internet fans, defeated Paul Bird via first round submission to earn the right to represent the USA. The Team Quest prospect showed good takedown defense and quick hands in his victory, making him the top standout so far from 155.
  2. Ross Pearson a�� Team UK (Previous rank: 2)
    Pearson looked quick and spry in his slugfest victory over AJ Wenn, battering Wenn with knees and punches until picking up a 2nd round TKO. On this weeka��s episode, Pearson was showing taking exception to Team USA members drawing on his wrestling shoes.
  3. Andre Winner a�� Team UK (Previous rank: n/a)
    Winner, an early favorite coming into the show, was shaky in his prelim fight but turned up the heat against Santino DeFranco, beating the American in the stand-up game before finishing on the ground. Winnera��s combination of strength and length will provide a matchup nightmare against whichever lightweight stands in his way next.

Dropped out: Jason Dent a�� Team USA

Welterweight

  1. Demarques Johnson a��Team USA (Previous rank: 1)
    Johnson solidified his status as the welterweight to beat so far with his quick submission of Dean Amasinger. While Dean wasna��t one of the top welterweights, Johnsona��s finish was still convincing enough for him to keep the top spot.
  2. David Faulkner a�� Team UK (Previous rank: 2)
    When your own coach says that youa��re a�?mentally weaka�?, ita��s a red flag on your credentials thata��s hard to ignore. Faulkner quickly finished James Bateman with a heel hook, but we wona��t be able to see what the Wolfslair prospect is really made of until hea��s put into some kind of peril inside the cage.
  3. Nick Osipczak a�� Team UK (Previous rank: 3)
    The first winner on the main show didna��t look overly impressive in doing so, but he showed a good chin in dealing with Mark Millera��s punches in the first round. Osipczak so far has not shown much technique, and instead seems to be coasting on his physical talents alone. Now at least, his KO win should make the other welterweights respect him a little more.

Notes:

  • Michael Bisping was MIA during Dean Amasingera��s fight against Demarques Johnson, a fact which was not lost on either Dan Henderson or Team UK. The tease for next weeka��s episode advertises Bispinga��s explanation for his absence. Whatever Bispinga��s reason may be, Henderson stated it best when he said that Amasinger was missing his head coach from his corner in the a�?biggest fight of his lifea�?. The bottom line is that Bispinga��s excuse for being truant better be good.
  • In the non-fighting portion of the show, Team USA members started turning on each other, as lightweight Cameron Dollar started to grow into the role of this seasona��s resident asshole; picking fights with his teammates while jovially recalling his story of sleeping with his buddya��s wife. Meanwhile, welterweight Jason Piercea��s reluctance to agree to Hendersona��s plan for him to fight David Faulkner didna��t do his reputation any favors.
  • Quote of the Show:

    a�?Ia��m not trying to go rape or pillage anybody.a�?

    - Demarques Johnson, on his gameplan against Dean Amasinger.

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