Chris Cope was an underdog from day one on the ‘Ultimate Fighter’, but at the finale he outworked and outpunched Chuck O’Neil en route to a unanimous decision win.
During his time on the reality show, Cope was seen as the easiest match-up for his opponents in each round he fought. Time and time again however, Cope proved them wrong and while he fell short of making the final match, he showed his former roommate that his will was not easy to break.
The biggest improvement that Cope showed on Saturday night from his time as a member of Team Lesnar was his willingness to engage. The early part of fights on the show served as a way for Cope to almost prove he belonged in the cage, just hanging around and showing a gutsy performance.
Against Chuck O’Neil, it was Cope who was on the attack, showing fast hands and much improved footwork. The Tae Kwon Do black belt even mixed in a spinning back fist and a few kicks, although nothing landed flush during the fight.
When it was over, Cope screamed ‘Woooo!’ along with the Las Vegas crowd as the joined him in celebrating his first UFC win with his signature scream heard on the reality show.
“A lot of people growing up doubted me, I was laughed at, people said I wasn’t that good of an athlete, look at me now,” Cope said after the win. “How do you like me in high definition?”
The win proved Cope was still improving and looking to earn a shot in the UFC, while O’Neil will likely need to get a few fights outside the Octagon to show he belongs there.