Episode No. 9 of “The Ultimate Fighter 27: Undefeated” opens with the athletes and coaches getting some time away from The Ultimate Fighter Gym and House by visiting Exotic Racing track in Las Vegas.
There’s an opportunity to drive Lamborghinis, Ferraris and some other expensive vehicles. Some of the fighters say they would rather be back in the gym training but appreciate the opportunity to do something a little bit different.
Back at the TUF Gym, preparation for the semifinal round of the competition is underway. The first matchup takes place in the lightweight division and will see Team Miocic teammates Mike Trizano and John Gunther face off.
Trizano and Gunther have been teammates and training partners throughout the tournament. The coaching staffs will be split for the upcoming fight, while head coach Stipe Miocic will watch from the sidelines. Both fighters are preparing in the gym at the same time, but do their best to keep a respectful distance.
Back at the TUF House, the first The Ultimate Fighter Talent Show goes down. The fighters have all sorts of fun showcasing their talents, and oddly enough, Trizano and Gunther actually do a skit together, despite being upcoming opponents.
During the next Team Cormier training session, head coach Daniel Cormier introduces a pair of special assistant coaches for his team. Cormier brings in former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold and current UFC featherweight titleholder Max Holloway. The fighters are very excited to have such prominent figures around and attempt to pick their brains about the mental and physical aspect of the sport.
At the official weigh-in, Trizano and Gunther come in under the 156-pound lightweight limit. With a friendly staredown, the first lightweight semifinal matchup is now set.
The following day, the Trizano and Gunther return to the TUF Gym for their semifinal bout. They warm up in the locker rooms with their individual members of the Team Miocic coaching staff before walking out to the octagon.
Team Miocic’s Mike Trizano (6-0) vs. Team Miocic’s John Gunther (6-0)
Round 1 – Trizano comes out throwing low kicks as Gunther is clearly reaching in hopes of getting a takedown. Trizano tags Gunther with a pair of jabs followed by another kick. Gunther is obviously the slower and less coordinated fighter on the feet, but he’s trying to pressure Trizano, who is light on his feet and using plenty of movement. Gunther finds a moment to push Trizano up against the cage and manages to secure a takedown. Trizano instantly tries to get back to his feet, but Gunther grapevines the legs and is holding his opponent in position. The referee offers multiple warnings to Gunther to improve his position, which nearly gives Trizano an opening to stand up. Trizano stands up but takes a hip toss on his way to the feet. He immediately scrambles upright, though. Trizano picks up the aggression on his feet, tagging Gunther with some clean shots that force him into another takedown attempt. Trizano goes for a guillotine, but Gunther escapes it. Gunther is bleeding blow his right eye and is eating some heavy punches from Trizano before the end of the round.
Round 2 – Trizano is the more composed fighter to begin the second frame. He’s sitting down on his strikes and landing at will on Gunther, who is lost on the feet and throwing wild, low percentage techniques. Gunther shoots for another takedown, but Trizano has the entry well scouted and shakes his opponent off. Gunther shoots for another takedown and eats a massive knee coming in, but he still somehow powers through it and gets the takedown. Gunther isn’t doing much with the top position, but he is grinding Trizano out and burning time off the clock. Trizano attempts to threaten from his back with a triangle choke, but Gunther easily avoids it. Trizano finally gets back to his feet with just over two minutes left. He unloads another big knee that opens another cut above Gunther’s eye. Trizano then turns the tables and lands an easy takedown of his own. Gunther instantly attacks from a triangle choke from the bottom, and he almost gets it locked in. He doesn’t have the time to finish the fight, though.
Round 3 – Trizano opens the round landing combinations and tagging Gunther with his precise jab. Gunther is struggling to accomplish anything on the feet but is trying to pressure and close the distance. Gunther tries for a takedown, but Trizano knows its coming and rejects it. Gunther keeps trying, though, and pushes Trizano against the fence. Trizano reverses the position before breaking free. Gunther’s face is covered with blood after eating the jab all fight, but he’s still trying to make something happen. Trizano’s uppercut is on point and he’s using it to work Gunther over badly. Trizano is running away with it down the final stretch, but to Gunther’s credit, he’s not rolling over. Trizano shoots for a takedown in the final minute, but he can’t keep Gunther grounded for more than a few seconds. He gets another takedown late, though, and continues to batter Gunther until the final bell.
Mike Trizano def. John Gunther via unanimous decision
With the victory, Trizano becomes the first to advance to the lightweight final. He will meet the winner of Joe Giannetti vs. Allan Zuniga at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale on July 6 in Las Vegas.
“I felt super comfortable in there today,” Trizano says after his win. “Every time I get in there, I try to make a newer and better version of myself. I look to build on every single fight. This fight is over now, but my mind is already thinking of my future fight. I will study my film and see what I can work on for the finale so I am ready to win this whole thing.”
Coach Miocic is thrilled to have one of his athletes advance, and although it wasn’t easy to watch two members of his team clash, he believes Trizano has what it takes to win the whole thing.
“That was tough for me to watch, as I love both guys,” Miocic says. “That is the reason I didn’t coach either side in the fight. Mike does what he is told and did what he needed to do to get the W. Now on to the next step and I know he is winning the finale.”
The next matchup goes down in the featherweight division when Team Cormier teammates Brad Katona and Bryce Mitchell fight in a semifinal bout.
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Catch new episodes of “The Ultimate Fighter 27: Undefeated” every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) on FS1. MMAjunkie recaps each episode of the reality series.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Episode No. 9 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 27: Undefeated'