The Ultimate Fighter Episode 7 Recap: The Judges Should Be Fired

October 27, 2012
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TUF 16 Logo - Ultimate Fighter FridaysJudging has plagued the last two weeks of The Ultimate Fighter 16: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson, and it got worse in episode 7.

Team Nelson seized matchmaking control with Colton Smith’s win over Eddy Ellis last week and Coach Roy Nelson decided to continue his unorthodox method of choosing fights.  He elected to have his team pick a number between 1 and 20 to determine which of his fighters would compete next.

The secret number was 17 and Dom Waters was closest without going over with his pick of 16.  Waters couldn’t decide who he wanted to fight, so instead of competing this week, Waters decided to pass the opportunity along to teammate Michael Hill.

During the official fight announcement, Coach Nelson revealed Hill’s opponent.  Hill chose to face Team Carwin’s Matt Secor.  The two had a heated exchange of words in episode 6 and Hill wanted to settle their differences inside the cage.

“I called out Secor because he’s been starting a lot of trash talking.  Secor called me a girl.  He called me a thief,” said Hill.

“I like this fight,” said Secor.  “This is obviously the fight I’ve been preparing for.  I think I have a very good chance of implementing my game plan and seeing it through and getting the victory.”

Team Nelson brought in former UFC light heavyweight titleholder and The Ultimate Fighter 1 winner Forrest Griffin to work drills with the team.

Hill’s game plan was simple.  He planned to knock Secor out.  Secor planned to draw on his jiu-jitsu and ability to get the fight to the ground to secure victory.

Michael Hill vs. Matt Secor:

The opening round was lackluster.  Neither fighter did much for the first two minutes other than dance around.  Secor threw a kick to the body and Hill caught it and quickly took the fight to the ground.  Hill was unable to inflict much damage from top position and referee Josh Rosenthal opted to stand them up in the closing seconds of the round.  Hill won the round with the takedown and top control.

The second round would play out quite differently.  Secor shot in for an early takedown but Hill stuffed it.  Hill decided to stand and Secor worked hard to secure a takedown.  Secor took Hill’s back, applied a body triangle and controlled Hill for the duration of the round.  The round clearly went to Secor.

Considering how the last two episodes’ decisions went, we had to wait for the judge’s totals to know for sure, but it looked like it was heading to a sudden-victory round.  After the judges’ scorecards were totaled, there would be a third round.

The pace picked up in the final stanza.  Hill moved in with big punches.  He missed with a spinning back fist and Secor changed levels, looking for a takedown. In a scramble, Hill ended up in top position.  Forty seconds later Hill would stand and Secor delivered a kick from the canvas that landed on Hill’s jaw. It was hard to tell how much power was behind impact, but it was visuallly impressive and gave Secor the opportunity to get back to his feet.

With just over three minutes remaining in the fight, Secor dropped down and secured a double leg takedown.  Hill peppered Secor with short shots from the bottom while Secor advanced to the mount position.  Hill rolled, giving up his back.  Secor applied a body triangle and worked to lock on a rear naked choke.  Hill defended the choke but couldn’t get free from Secor having him in back mount.

It appeared that Secor had done more than enough to win, but the judges didn’t see it that way. To the dismay of Secor, UFC President Dana White and most everyone watching, the judges scored Hill the winner by split decision.

The decision didn’t sit well with White and neither did Secor and Hill’s performance.

“That first round would probably have to go down as one of the (expletive) worst rounds in TUF history,” said White.  “One punch was thrown by each guy and then a bunch of lying around.”

“At the end of the first round, I gave Matt that round, but if somebody said to me, ‘no, no, no, Mike won the round,’ I wouldn’t argue it,” continued the UFC president.  “The second round, if you don’t give that round to Matt, I don’t know what the hell you’re doing.  There’s no doubt who won that round.

“Nobody is fighting with a sense of urgency.  Nobody is fighting like they want to (expletive) win.  Are you on summer vacation right now, or did you come here to win this (expletive) show, become the Ultimate Fighter, make it into the UFC and become a (expletive) world champion someday,” questioned White.

The judging has stood out this season for all the wrong reasons.  In episode 7, one of the worst decisions of the year was rendered.

“The judges handed me the piece of paper and I was like, you have to be (expletive) kidding me.  If that doesn’t keep somebody from judging ever again, nothing should.  I had a hard time walking up there and reading the scores.  Even the blue team (Team Nelson) is pissed about the outcome of this fight.  The Nevada State Athletic Commission should be embarrassed,” said White.

“Deep down I do feel I did enough to win the fight,” said Hill following the controversial decision win.  “My next fight I’m going to have to perform better.”

Secor felt that he clearly won the fight, but took the loss in stride.

“Hey, he won the fight.  The judges say he won.  I won.  Anyone that watches that fight is going to say I won,” said Secor.  “I’m not taking anything from Michael Hill.  He won.  He deserves it.  I lost for a reason. God only knows why but I’m just going to come back and work even harder.”

  • thewhitewonder

    Ridiculous how they came out to this damn decision. I would be a better judge than this and take half the pay of what they pay these f-ups.

  • Timothy Malone

    Two points with this episode:

    Nelson’s coaching:

    Nelson doing the random draw and letting his fighters pick is fine. But when the fighter says “I dont know, I want you to pick,” the coach should actually try to help him figure it out. Nelson refused any advice to Dom and that’s bad coaching in my opinion.

    As for the decision:

    Secor had a dominant position most of the third round and should have won. However, he did absolutely nothing to try to finish. He seemed pretty content to just lay there with a body triangle. Yeah he was going to take a rear-naked choke if Mike gave it to him, but Mike just lay there holding his arm and Secor made no real effort to work for it.

    Bad decision, but I don’t feel bad for Secor. You shouldn’t have to be given the win, you should EARN it.

    • yell0wm0nkey

      I agree completely on all points but especially your last. I don’t feel bad at all that someone who did next to nothing lost a decision. If there was a way for both fighters to lose at once these guys would have nailed it.

      Also, I think the Rosenthal could have done more. Could have been more vocal and could have broke it up when there is no advancement of position, or maybe more importantly, no damage.

      Overall an awful display on all sides.

  • oa2k

    I could care less if these fighters get screwed over by decisions. FINISH YOUR FIGHTS DAMNIT!!!!

  • adam1848

    That fight was as horrible as the decision. When two guys go to war and one gets screwed by the decision, I feel horrible for the fighter, but I don’t feel bad for anybody after that fight. It was as boring as a fight can possibly be, neither guy showed any heart or determination to win. There was no winner in that fight, just two losers laying around waiting for the clock to expire. What a waste of time.

    • I think it is a mistake to say that the fact that it was an extremely lame fight and that there was extremely lame judging are not completely seperate issues. One does not justify the other. Address each issue seperately.

  • bajafox

    I saw the title and had to watch it on my DVR. Sad to say I ended up fast forwarding through 12 minutes of the “fight” just so I could read the article and comments, lol

  • awesomefightlmao

    lmao the most exciting part of that 3rd round was the last 10 seconds where hill decides finally to throw some hard shot from that bad position while secor pretends his face is made of steel and grins and trys to take them.

  • judgesonacid

    has anyone seen a worse round than that round 1??? and yes…despite how awful the fight was there is still no excuse for the judging.

  • El Gvapo

    MMAweekly, this is the second time this week that you’ve ruined the latest TUF episode for a lot of people. For TUF Smashes you put the result in the article headline, and you’ve pretty much given the fight away in this article headline too. HOW HARD CAN IT BE TO NOT GIVE AWAY THE RESULT/FINISH OF THE FIGHT IN A HEADLINE?!? Many of us record these episodes and in some countries, the episodes are shown a couple of days after they are shown in the US. Sort it out ffs, you’re continually doing this.

    • Bored to death

      In this case I think you’ve been done a favour and would not bother wasting your time watching this one. The first 3 minutes were so terrible I fast forwarded through the rest of the round. I started to watch the second then started fast forwarding again. I watched the third just to see who if either guy was gonna step up and go for the win – neither really did. Some fights even though there isn’t a lot of big strikes have good back and forth positional fighting with lots of submission attempts, this had none of the 3. I am a little upset that I’ve even given up the time to write anything about this terribly un-noteworthy fight.

      • El Gvapo

        Appreciate the advice man, but I’d still prefer to have watched it myself. That’s the fun of the TUF series, watching the build up, weigh-in and then fight, without obviously knowing the result. Once you know the result, or even the way the fight ends, the show is instantly ruined. These shows can be one of the high points of peoples weeks but this website doesnt give you the chance to enjoy them. MMAweekly never used to do this *** and now they do it all the time. The last article for the UK vs Australia TUF was “Team UK level the score at 3-3”. There you have it, episode instantly ******* ruined. Ad it was a good fight too, but it’s bollocks watching a fight knowing its going to a decision.

        • macgrubber

          cry more please

          • El Gvapo

            Boo hoo etc

  • RealityCheck

    The only thing MMAWeekly spoiled was that it was a bad decision. The result wasn’t disclosed. What team won and who fought wasn’t disclosed. If you don’t want to hear MMA news than don’t go to MMA websites til after you’ve watched the show. It’s not rocket science.

    • El Gvapo

      A fair enough point but come on, the fact that they said it went to a decision gave the fight away. I want to hear mma news, that’s why I come to the site. Why should we have to not visit a site for a number of days just in case the writers give away a TUF episode result. Surely common sense says just call the article “Episode 7 Review” or whatever, that way whoever wants to read it can click on the link. Those who don’t can skip the article and read other articles without any spoiled episodes. You’re right, it’s not rocket science.

  • bjjmma

    It’s pretty clear to me when fighters are fighting to win or fighting not to lose. It seems like the industry, more and more, is creating fighters who don’t want to lose and then accepting that as winning. They’re fooling themselves.

    Hill said, at the very end of the show, that deep inside he felt he did enough to come away with the decision. I say to Hill: No you didn’t. Stop fooling yourself.

    As for the judges… I didn’t realize that blindness was a requirement to be one in MMA.

    • El Gvapo

      Deep down he knew he won?!? What does that even mean? If you know you won deep down, then you know you won on the surface, when you think about it properly for a bit etc etc. What that statement means is he knows he didn’t deserve to win and is trying to convince himself that he did deserve to win.


    If you take an opponent down you have to work the ground. Count the total punches and activity, wrestling is not a submission. It was a close fight and both fighters were nervous. Even Rogan says its common to be timid in the lime light. Judges score based on punch count, power punches, defense same as offense; stuffing take downs, blocking submissions. Nobody deserved the win, they both choked, Hill won by defense and power punches. 

    • El Gvapo

      I can’t understand why these fighters on TUF don’t just go all out for the finish anyway. There’s so many fighters currently in the UFC who came through, but didn’t win, a TUF season. Based on this showing, there’s no way either of these guys will be asked back to fight at the TUF finale and beyond.