by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Now that both the welterweights and middleweights have faced one elimination a piece, the second round of fights started on the Ultimate Fighter this week and Team Mojo was still firmly in control of who would be facing off in the Octagon. Last week, Team Mojo member Edwin Dewees went to war with Gideon Ray in what ended up being a 3 round slugfest that saw Dewees cut and pour more blood in the cage than just about anybody ever has, but still walk out with a victory.
With 2 wins in 2 fights on their side, Team Mojo’s confidence seemed to grow while Team No Love started to search for answers. Both teams continued to train in preparation for this weeks bout, while back at the house, Shonie Carter continues to be the best source of entertainment the show has provided thus far. The stylish Mr. Carter added more flare to the house with his spray painting of just about anything that looked plain and his “bling” kit of jewels covered everything from hats to wall decorations. He even managed to take the time to sketch out a charcoal rendition of himself.
The practical jokes seem to always happen on this show…but not always with the best results. From Chris Leben’s “spritzing” of Jason Thacker’s bed, to the water hosing of Leben himself at the hands of Bobby Southworth and Josh Koscheck., the show has seen its ups and downs for jokes and luckily the prank played on Shonie Carter was much more well thought out. Instead of destroying the original picture that Shonie drew, the housemates took a lot of time copying the drawing onto a second piece of paper to which they added much bling and decoration. Shonie even admitted after the ruse was revealed that it was a good joke but no doors were kicked in, nor were any windows punched through, so it all came down to a good laugh.
As fight announcement drew near, the show focused on Jeremy Jackson’s appearance on the Ultimate Fighter, revealing him as a last minute addition to the show, thus making it seem like he may be the least prepared fighter coming in. The highlights included his one fight in the UFC, a submission loss to Nick Diaz, and Dana White mentioned how Jeremy has virtually been out of the sport since then but is looking forward to this opportunity to return.
Marc Laimon, who has trained or is currently training many UFC fighters, was brought back for a second time on the Ultimate Fighter as a jiu-jitsu coach, much to the dismay of Team Mojo member, Matt Serra. While at no point did Serra seem disrespectful towards Laimon, he did tell the story about UFC 51 in which Serra was cornering his teammate, Pete Sell versus Phil Baroni, who had Laimon in the corner. Between the 2nd and 3rd rounds, Laimon told Baroni to take the fight to the ground and he was guaranteed to win but in the process of doing that very thing, he got caught in a choke and was submitted by Sell. After the fight, Serra says that Laimon never congratulated Sell on a good win but instead complained to the referee for not standing the fighters up when the went to the ground, the very place he told Baroni to go. Laimon also proceeded to slam Royce Gracie after his fight with Matt Hughes, which of course didn’t sit well with Serra who is a Gracie jiu-jitsu black belt under Renzo Gracie.
All of the fighters were anxious to hear the announcement about the fight, so without further ado, Team Mojo put Chris Lytle in against Team No Love member, Pete Spratt. These two had actually faced each other previously in 2004, with Lytle coming out the winner by rear naked choke early in the first round of their fight. Spratt didn’t sound the least bit surprised that he was picked.
Its become standard with this season of “The Comeback” to showcase the fighter’s previous experiences in the UFC and with Pete Spratt, they of course gave highlights of both his wins and losses but also revealed that after he defeated Robbie Lawler in his third trip to the Octagon, he was offered a title shot against Matt Hughes to which he promptly declined. Fighters will very rarely ever turn down a championship match, regardless to how they get it, but Spratt did just that and then mysteriously disappeared from UFC action until his recent return in which he lost to Josh Koscheck at Ultimate Fight Night in August 2005.
Chris Lytle, who is one of the most experienced fighters coming onto the show, was also showcased prior to the fight. They played parts of all 6 of his previous UFC bouts in which Lytle has gone 2-4, but has always put his heart and soul into every fight, which is reason enough for the company to keep bringing him back. Chris Lytle has always seemed to be just one step away from being a title contender and this show may very well be the stepping stone he needs.
After the weigh-ins, the fighters stepped into the cage for the 2nd welterweight elimination bout. As soon as the fight began, Lytle charged forward with strikes and then clinched his opponent, pushing Spratt against the cage looking for control. Neither fighter gained much of an upper hand at that point but eventually Lytle forced the takedown and landed in Spratt’s half guard.
Working from inside the guard, Lytle landed some light punches while trying to reposition himself to get into a better spot to go for strikes or a submission. Within seconds he did just that and quickly sunk in a guillotine choke from the top. Lytle arched his back and sunk the maneuver in deeper and Spratt was forced to tap out. Lytle and Team Mojo celebrated their 3rd victory, which also keeps them in control of the fight selection, while Pete Spratt expressed his frustration at another loss, this time landing him out of the competition.
With 3 fighters eliminated, next week the middleweights are up again and Team Mojo still has control, but who will be the next fighter chosen? Only time (that would be next Thursday) will tell.