The third episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Edgar vs. Team Penn featured a visit from MMA legend Renzo Gracie and the first team light heavyweight match-up between Team Penn’s Daniel Spohn and Team Edgar’s Todd Monaghan.
Renzo Gracie Helps Team Edgar
“Master Renzo technically knows everything about this game. He’s been in the game before the UFC has been around. He’s like the godfather of all of this,” said Coach Frankie Edgar. “He’s a very inspirational person. Any time he speaks, these guys should listen because it’s beneficial to them. And obviously the technique he shows is world class. I don’t think there’s a position in the world that Renzo doesn’t have a million things for, so these guys are lucky.”
“I’ve been training with Frank for a long time and helping him to improve his jiu-jitsu. I was really impressed when I got here at the UFC gym. These boys really know what they’re doing, very solid jiu-jitsu, good striking and beautiful wrestling. It’s a pleasure to work with professionals like that,” said Gracie.
The Fight: Daniel Spohn vs. Todd Monaghan
Spohn moved forward at the opening bell and landed first with an inside leg kick. After landing a left hook, he opted to take Monaghan down. The Team Penn fighter quickly advanced to the mount position. Monaghan bucked his way out of the bad spot but was unable to get to his feet. As he tired to stand, Spohn took his back and looked to isolate an arm. Monaghan got free and briefly gained top position, but the round ended with Spohn landing ground and pound.
Monaghan got aggressive in the early going of the second frame. He pressed forward with a flurry, but Spohn ducked under and took the Baptist preacher down. He was able to power to his feet only to be put on his back again. Spohn controlled Monaghan on the canvas. In the closing moments of the round, Spohn took Monaghan’s back and worked for a rear naked choke. He flattened Monaghan out, but ran out of time before being to force the tap out.
The judges didn’t have a difficult time scoring the fight for Spohn by unanimous decision.
“I felt really good about my fight. I got to do what I wanted to. I threw a little bit, but I wanted to show some of my other skillset and that’s exactly what I did,” said Spohn following the win. “I think for the red team, I think it’s just going to bring them down. They’ve lost two-in-a-row, and I think every time they get a loss it’s just bringing them further apart.”
“I can accept defeat. Life goes on. Somehow God’s going to get some glory out of that defeat,” said Monaghan after the loss. “The main thing that bugs me the most is just over-preparing for a stand up fight instead of a mixed martial arts fight. You’ve got to be prepared for all of that. And I wasn’t. That’s on me.”
Team Penn retained matchmaking control with the win. Coach BJ Penn called on Tim Williams to represent the team in the next middleweight bout against Team Edgar’s Dhiego Lima. Both fighters were picked second by their coaches during team selections.
“We chose this fight because Tim has more size, and he can wear Dhiego down. Tim is just a cardio machine. And I think that’s what’s going to be the story of the fight,” said Penn.
“Dhiego is one of our best guys. He really is. I think he’s our most well rounded guy. When I heard the match-up I kind of got pretty happy. I was pretty pumped up for it, big smile on my face. I just think that’s a match-up we’re going to win,” said Edgar.