The Ultimate Fighter 9 Big Board: Episode 8 a�� Dent vs. Lawson, Pierce drops out

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

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

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The final first-round matchup at lightweight pitted Team USAa��s UFC vet Jason Dent against Team UKa��s Jeff Lawson. In one of the strangest fights of the season, Dent prevailed via an anaconda choke in round two. With the first round of lightweight fights complete, Team UK still holds a 4-3 lead overall.
In other noteworthy news, Jason Piercea��s negativity was finally killed off by Dana White, who declared Pierce unfit to fight after Pierce failed to convince White that he was physically or mentally prepared to fight. A staph infection, coupled with Piercea��s seeming lack of will to tough out the circumstances, led White to pull the plug on Pierce, mercifully ending his sad-sack moping and any chance that Pierce would be labeled a�?The Ultimate Fightera�?.
In this weeka��s fight, Lawson convincingly won the opening round, despite frequently dropping his hands in favor of trying high-impact strikes and slams. Dent never tried to capitalize, however, and Lawson turned a sloppy clinch into a sutemi waza-like takedown and kept top position for the rest of the round.

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Lawson gassed badly in the second round however, making no effort to hold up his hands and lacking any kind of power in his strikes. Dent inexplicably failed to press, instead keeping up his methodical pacing and an occasional leg kick. Despite having no energy (a case of bronchitis earlier in the show was offered as an explanation by Michael Bisping), Lawson almost turned a leg-scissors into a heel hook before lunging into the arms of Dent, who gator-rolled Lawson and applied an anaconda choke for the win.

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Needless to say, the sight of Lawson bent over gasping for air in the second round while Dent just stood there slowly circling made for a poor-quality TUF viewing experience. With Dent basically labeled borderline-uncoachable by Dan Henderson, one can see why Dent didna��t stick in the UFC during his two-fight tenure with the company in 2006-07.

Spike TVa��s teaser of the next show promised a firecracker of a show, as Team USA selects another welterweight to fight David Faulkner, Demarques Johnson flips out on Bisping, and the Faulkner vs. ????? fight is revealed to go into a sudden-victory roundInflatable Arch.

TUF Top 3

The final four lightweights have been decided, but after two unconvincing performances, Jason Dent fails to break into the top three LWs.

Lightweight

  1. Ross Pearson a�� Team UK (Previous rank: 1)
    The illegal knee to Ritchie Whitson will surely be up for much debate among TUF fans, but Pearson was already winning the stand-up exchange even before the knee. Pearson picked up right where he left off in the prelims, outslugging and overpowering his opponent while roaring back to the top of the lightweight heap.
  2. Andre Winner a�� Team UK (Previous rank: 2)
    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.
  3. Cameron Dollar a�� Team USA (Previous rank: 3)
    For all of the trash talk, antagonizing his own teammates, and then pre-fight crisis of confidence, Dollar still managed to put on a solid ground showing versus Martin Stapleton. Despite Jason Denta��s lack of aggression, Dollar is still probably the matchup both Winner and Pearson would favor.

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 Amasinger wasna��t one of the top welterweights, Johnsona��s finish was still convincing enough for him to keep the top spot.
  2. James Wilks a�� Team UK (Previous rank: 2)
    Wilks, who submitted the notable Che Mills in his prelim fight, handled Team USAa��s Frank Lester in brutal fashion, showing a hard Thai clinch and knees before finishing things up on the ground. While Lester wasna��t exactly the most seasoned welterweight on the show, Wilks proved that he is no slouch on his feet in addition to being a definite danger on the ground.
  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.

Quote of the Show:
a�?Physically Ia��m nothing to look ata��Ia��m a ginger, for goda��s sake.a�?

- Jeff Lawson on why some fighters might underestimate him.

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