With the elimination round fights complete, the second episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Edgar vs. Team Penn featured the first team match-up between middleweights Cathal Pendred and Hector Urbina.
Since the introduction of contestants having to fight their way onto the show during the seventh season of the reality series, there hasn’t been a fighter that got into the fighter house without having to compete in the elimination round. That all changed in this season. Team Penn’s Pendred received a bye and automatically advanced to the next round.
Team Edgar won the coin toss and decided to pick the fight fighter, leaving Team Penn with the matchmaking control. Coach BJ Penn decided to pit Pendred, who hasn’t fought yet, against Team Edgar’s last pick, Urbina.
“I’m fighting a guy named Hector. I know I’m better than him everywhere,” said Pendred about the match-up. ”I think I’m the best guy here. I’m the complete package, and I want to show these guys that I’m the guy to be feared in this weight class in this house.”
“I feel like this guy thinks that like he’s going to walk through me or something,” said Urbina. ”Defeat is not an option to me. I feel like Cathal does not understand what he has coming.”
Things got heated during the weigh-ins. Pendred stepped on the scales with the Irish flag with him. Urbina tied the Mexcian flag around his head. As the fighters stood eye-to-eye in the customary face-off, Urbina shouted at Pendred in Spanish and the coaches had to separate the two.
“He’s always walking around with his little flag he’s got or whatever. I wrapped my flag around my forehead like Karate Kid status. Our noses were touching. I could feel his nose on my nose. I could feel his forehead on mine,” said Urbina.
“It didn’t bother me at all,” said Pendred. ”I just zoned out and stood there in front of him and let him get worked up and emotional. I don’t really care. He’s pretty emotional right now and he’s not going to have a clear mind when we’re fighting.”
The Fight: Cathal Pendred vs. Hector Urbina
Pendred landed an uppercut as Team Edgar’s Urbina closed the distance in the early going of the round. Urbina initiated the clinch and the two battled for position along the cage. As the two separated, Urbina landed a combination that sent Pendred stumbling to the canvas. He covered up as Urbina tried to finish the fight. The Irishman got to his feet only to be slammed back to the canvas. Pendred survived the onslaught, but Urbina clearly won the first round.
Pendred used his takedown ability to duck under punches and get the fight to the ground in the second frame. He was able to control Urbina from top position and fend off submission attempts. From the clinch, Pendred delivered knees to the body and head. When Urbina got back to his feet, Pendred would take him down again. They’d need a third round to settle it.
Urbina may have used too much energy looking for the finish in the first round. Pendred looked like the fresher fighter in the final round. He continued to draw on his takedown ability to dictate where the action took place. He peppered Urbina with shots from the north-south position. When it was all said and done, the judges scored the fight for Pendred by split decision. Team Penn took the early lead and retained matchmaking control.
“It feels amazing. I love representing my country. I love showing why the fighting Irish spirit is famous,” said Pendred following the win.
“The toughest part of this loss today is that people don’t see all the mental stuff that I had in my head. I feel like I had my whole family sitting there in the corner and I let them down,” said Urbina. ”The biggest thing for me is to put a smile on my face and just continue.”
The next fight will be in the light heavyweight division. Coach Penn decided to pit his third pick, Daniel Spohn, against Team Edgar’s last pick, Todd Monaghan.