The Ultimate Fighter 19: Team Edgar vs. Team Penn premiered on FOX Sports 1 on Wednesday. The season features middleweights and light heavyweights and is coached by former UFC champions B.J. Penn and Frankie Edgar.
Edgar defeated Penn at UFC 112 in April 2010 to capture the lightweight title. He defeated Penn by unanimous decision in a rematch at UFC 118. Edgar lost the title to Benson Henderson at UFC 144 and has since dropped down to the featherweight division. The two will meet in the cage for the third time on July 6 at The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale.
The first episode featured the elimination round match-ups and team selections.
Tyler King (6-1) vs. Daniel Spohn (8-3)
King is a former NFL lineman turned mixed martial artist. Spohn is a father of four. Spohn landed a kick to the body to start the fight. King rushed forward and Spohn landed a right hand that left King unconscious and face-first on the canvas. Spohn became the first light heavyweight to advance into the fighter house.
Adrian Miles (14-5) vs. Hector Urbina (16-8)
Urbina, a former high school wrestler, utilized his grappling ability to take Miles down. As Miles tried to stand, Urbina applied a guillotine choke that forced Miles to tap out. Urbina became the first middleweight to earn his spot in the fighter house.
Jake Heun (5-3) vs. Todd Monaghan (8-2)
Heun tried out for the seventeenth season of The Ultimate Fighter but was defeated in the elimination round. Heun knocked Monaghan down twice in the fight and looked to be well on his way to victory. He took Monaghan down and pounded away with punches and elbows. He was dominating the fight when Monaghan applied an armbar that forced Heun to tap out. The Baptist preacher became the second middleweight to move on in the competition.
Roger Zapata (5-1) vs. Tyler Minton (5-1)
Zapata used his superior striking to punish Minton in the middleweight match-up. He landed combinations and blooded his opponent on his way to a technical knockout win.
Lyman Good (15-3) vs. Ian Stephens (4-0)
Good is a former Bellator welterweight champion with much more experience than Stephens. But Stephens didn’t let that deter him from sending Good home. Stephens quickly used his wrestling to take Good down. Good was unable to mount any offense and lost via unanimous decision.
“The Bellator champ don’t belong here,” said Stephens following the win.
Chris Fields (8-4-1) vs. Josh Stansbury (4-2)
Stansbury pressed forward. He dropped Fields with a right hand, but Fields weathered the storm and got back to his feet. While securing a takedown, Stansbury injured his knee and was unable to continue. Fields advanced into the fighter house.
Anton Berzin (3-1) vs. Cody Mumma (5-1)
Berzin outclassed Mumma in every aspect of the fight. He secured a trip takedown took Mumma’s back. From there, Berzin transitioned to an armbar and force Mumma to tap out.
Tim Williams (7-1) vs. Bojan Velickovic (8-2)
Williams tried out for the seventeenth season of the reality series but was defeated by Dylan Andrews in the elimination round. The brain tumor survivor would not waste the opportunity this time. It was a competitive fight that went to a third round. Williams pressed forward and finished the fight via TKO.
Matt Gabel (8-3) vs. Eddie Gordon (5-1)
Gordon proved to be too big and too powerful for Gabel. He landed big right hands on his way to a unanimous decision win.
John Poppie (3-1) vs. Josh Clark (5-1)
It was a back-and-forth fight that went to a third round. Poppie took Clark down in the final frame and Clark applied a triangle choke and then transitioned to an armbar. Poppie was forced to tap out.
Patrick Walsh (4-1) vs. Doug Sparks (7-2)
Sparks, who claims to be half polar bear, was unable to fend off Walsh’s wrestling ability. Walsh quickly got the fight to the ground. After defending a guillotine choke, Walsh isolated an arm and applied a kimura. Sparks was unable to escape the submission and tapped out.
Daniel Vizcaya (7-2) vs. Matt Van Buren (6-2)
They exchanged leg kicks early and Vizcaya worked to get the fight to the ground. Van Buren delivered elbows to the side of Vizcaya’s head as he worked for a single leg takedown. Referee Herb Dean stopped the fight due to the elbows. The replay showed that Vizcaya briefly went out. Van Buren advanced into the house with a TKO win.
Kelly Anundson (6-1) vs. Corey Anderson (3-0)
The two college wrestling coaches were closely matched. Anundson scored takedowns in the opening round. Anderson came back in the second frame as Anundson wore down. Anderson won via unanimous decision and advanced into the fighter house.
Adam Stroup (5-1) vs. Dhiego Lima (8-1)
Dhigo Lima is the brother of MMA veteran Douglas Lima. Lima landed combinations and worked the body of Stroup. He knocked Stroup down with a left hook, but Stroup recovered. Lima won the fight via unanimous decision and moved on in the competition.
Mike King (5-0) vs. Nordine Taleb (8-2)
Taleb appeared on The Ultimate Fighter Nations and fought on the finale fight card on Wednesday. That should tell you all you need to know about the outcome of the fight with King. It was a competitive fight with each having their moments. They both landed heavy shots and forced a third round. Taleb landed a straight right hand that knocked King down in the early going of the final round. King recovered and nearly secured a knee bar. Taleb battled to get the fight to the ground, but King gained top position. King delivered punches to the body and head for the remaining moments, earning a decision win.
The middleweights that fought their way into the fighter house included: Mike King, Dheigo Lima, Hector Urbina, Roger Zapata, Ian Stephens, Eddie Gordon and Tim Williams.
The light heavyweights that advanced in the competition included: Daniel Spohn, Todd Monaghan, Chris Fields, Anton Berzin, Matt Van Buren, Josh Clark, Patrick Walsh and Corey Anderson.
Cathal Pendred (13-2), a welterweight from Dublin, Ireland, received a bye into the fighter house.
“Every opponent we had for this guy kept getting hurt, didn’t make weight. All kinds of (expletive), so he got a bye,” said UFC president Dana White. “He gets to sit back, relax and basically evaluate all the fighters just like the coaches are. It’s never happened in Ultimate Fighter history.”
UFC president Dana White conducted the coin toss that would decide which coach got to pick first. The coach then has to decide whether or not he wants to pick the first fighter or reserve the right to make the first match-up.
The coin landed and showed Team Edgar. Coach Edgar opted to choose the first fighter. His first pick was light heavyweight Corey Anderson. Coach Penn decided on Anton Berzin as his first selection. Edgar read off Patrick Walsh’s name for his second team member while Penn called on Josh Clark. For his third pick, Edgar chose Mark Van Buren. Penn picked the first fighter to advance in the competition, Daniel Spohn. Todd Monaghan was Edgar’s last light heavyweight choice, and Chris Fields rounded out the Team Penn 205-pounders.
Before Edgar could pick his first middleweight, Penn suggested they just split the remaining fighters according to the color they represented in the elimination round. Four wore Penn blue and four fought in Edgar red. Edgar decided he’d rather pick the fighters himself.
Edgar’s first 185-pound fighter chosen was Ian Stephens. Penn took Mike King as his first choice. Edgar chose Dhiego Lima as his second pick while Penn opted for Tim Williams. Penn picked Eddie Gordon who trains out of the same gym as middleweight champion Chris Weidman as his third middleweight fighter. Penn chose the man that didn’t have to fight his way into the house, Cathal Pendred. Hector Urbina was Edgar’s final pick leaving Roger Zapata as the last man standing.
“I’ve never been picked last in anything I ever did, and to be picked last in MMA, something that I’m really good at, especially after coming out with a nice TKO victory. Yeah, I was in shock,” said Zapata.
With Edgar deciding to pick the first fighter after winning the coin toss, Penn got to decide the first match-up. The former two-division UFC champion called on Cathal Pendred represent Team Penn in the first fight.
“Cathal, you never fought this week. You’re fighting next week. You’re up first boss. I’ve got faith in you,” said Penn. Pendred will take on Team Edgar’s last pick, Hector Urbina.