Episode 3 of The Ultimate Fighter 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen ended with a beautiful but devastating knockout. Uriah Hall delivered a spinning kick that landed flush on the face of Adam Cella. Cella was taken to the hospital for observation while the rest of the cast members were left wondering if he was okay.
Cella returned to the house in his hospital gown in good spirits. He immediately sought out Hall to congratulate him.
“Don’t be sorry. You did what you were supposed to,” said Cella to Hall. “I think you’re going to get $25,000, though.”
“I’m healthy. Everything is fine,” said Cella.
With the win, Team Sonnen remained in control of the matchmaking and Kevin “King” Casey got to pick his opponent. Team Jones’ Bubba McDaniel called out Casey a few times, but Casey decided to fight Collin Hart instead.
Casey was concerned about a cut he received in his bout with Eldon Sproat to get into the house.
“In my first fight to get into the house, I got a cut and I knew that I was coming into the house already with somewhat of a weakness,” said Casey. “Stylistically I’d rather not go against someone with great hands right now, somebody that can work the cut easier.
“My choice of Collin Hart as my next opponent was definitely based on style. I think if I choose someone with a high level of striking, a guy like Bubba, than I would definitely take a lot more damage,” Casey said.
Hart felt that Casey picking him to fight next was a show of disrespect by Casey.
“The fact that King has a cut on his eye, I don’t want to win off that, but the fact that he has an injury and he’s calling me out, I take it as a sign of disrespect, like he’s still going to beat me even though he’s hurt,” said Hart.
During the weigh-in, Casey went to shake Hart’s hand, but Hart gave him the middle finger instead. It didn’t set well with most of Team Sonnen. They felt it was disrespectful, but Hart felt a prank by Casey a few nights before that disrupted his sleep warranted the middle finger.
Kevin Casey vs. Collin Hart
Hart quickly secured a takedown in the opening seconds of the first round. Hart worked short punches to the body and head of Casey for the next two minutes. Casey fought his way back to his feet and a clinch battle ensued, a battle that Hart won.
Casey came out aggressive in the second round. He landed punches early but decided to clinch. Hart got the fight to the ground and Casey spent the remainder of the round on his back taking punches to the body and head. When the bell sounded signifying the end of the fight, there was no question who won. All three judges scored the fight 20-18 for Hart.
“I hate letting it go to the judges. I’m lucky I didn’t get robbed or anything. I guess a win is a win, but I’m just depressed I didn’t finish him,” said Hart following the win.
“I was trying to wear him down to see if I could let him gas himself out, but he had a good pace. He didn’t really leave any openings for me,” said Casey. “I’m going to do my best to get back on track and hopefully get a wildcard. I also felt like I wasn’t physically all there for some reason. This is a tough tournament for everyone. He’s going through the same conditions as me so I can’t make any excuses. He fought a great fight.”
With the win, Team Jones seized matchmaking control.
Coach Jon Jones announced the next match up. Bubba McDaniel gets his opportunity to fight. He takes on Team Sonnen’s last pick and the youngest fight to make it on The Ultimate Fighter, Kelvin Gastelum.