by Ken Pishna
Luke Cummo and Sam Morgan (Photos courtesy of TheUltimateFighter.tv)
Last week’s show saw one of the heavyweight favorite’s, Mike Whitehead freeze while coach and friend Matt Hughes had a melt down. Rashad Evans walked away with a unanimous decision.
Back into their dressing room, Hughes’ team was quiet and he left the room with a half-hearted handshake and a “you know how I feel,” comment. After the rest of Mike’s teammates left the room, Dana came in to talk with him. Surprisingly, Mike said that, “I’m just not a fighter Dana… I might be done.”
Obviously, Mike took the loss very hard. Before he left, he commented on letting down his team, but he felt like it was a great experience and said that hopefully he could come back even stronger. So it looks like Mike’s comments about not being a fighter may have been a reflection of the emotion of the moment, which is easily understandable.
After going to the doctor to have his hand checked out, Rashad returned to the house pretending, quite convincingly, to have a broken hand and being unable to fight again. He had everyone going pretty good before he revealed the deception.
While rolling with Keith, Jason caught an elbow and received a nice little gash on his forehead and proceeded to freak out. He actually appeared on the verge of hyperventilating at one point. It was a bad cut, but not in a bad place, right in the middle of his forehead. After calming down, he went off to get stitched up and will be able to continue to fight.
With the show coming down to the semi-finals, the teams were uneven (Hughes with 1 heavyweight and 3 welterweights; Franklin with 3 heavyweights and 1 welterweight). With such a scenario, there can be no teammate vs. teammate as there was on season one. Instead, each fighter will state their case to Dana, Matt and Rich as to who they want to fight and why and then a decision will be made and the fights announced.
The welterweights came through with a variety of answers on who and why they wanted to fight. But the heavyweights… all of the heavyweights on Team Franklin said they preferred to fight Brad from Hughes’ team. Brad on the other hand wanted to fight Eli, who removed himself from the show the first episode.
Dana, Matt and Rich took into consideration everyone’s comments and actually admitted that it swayed their thinking, then announced the fights:
The Welterweight Semi-Finals:
Luke Cummo vs. Sam Morgan
Jason Von Flue vs. Joe Stevenson
The Heavyweight Semi-Finals:
Keith Jardine vs. Rashad Evans
Brad Imes vs. Seth Petruzelli
With worries about the possibility that the doctor may not allow Jason to fight, Dana announced an alternate to be brought in, just in case. The alternate to walk into the room, kilt and all, was Marcus Davis.
Tonight’s show kicked off the first of the semi-final battles featuring Luke vs. Sam. Both fighters came in on weight and ready to go.
Luke and Sam battled through the most exciting fight of this season. Throughout the first round, from the start, they were after each other. The two traded takedowns, blows and arm bar attempts. Near the end of the round, Sam was close to locking on an arm bar, but Luke defended well, holding on until time ran out.
The second round was even better than the first. Both Luke and Sam seemed to take Dana’s pep talks to heart. Trading blows immediately after the bell, Sam dropped Luke with a big right cross, but Luke battled back up and the two continued to throw down. After rocking Luke again, Sam then got caught and dropped to a knee before bouncing back up and continuing. The two were clinched up against the cage, started to trade knees, and Luke caught Sam flush on the jaw with a perfectly timed knee that left Sam out cold.
Last of all the fighters to be chosen, Luke is the first fighter to move on to the finals on November 5th.
Coming Up on Week 11:
Sam deals with being knocked out. Rashad struggles with Matt as his cornerman. Keith and Rashad slug it out in a classic battle.