The Ultimate Fighter 16 Episode 4 Recap: The Luck of the Straw

October 5, 2012

TUF 16 Logo - Ultimate Fighter FridaysTeam Nelson celebrated Joey Rivera’s win over Sam Alvey from last week’s episode and took an unorthodox approach to picking who would fight next.  Team Nelson decided to draw straws to decide who would step into this week’s match-up.

Each fighter picked a straw from Coach Nelson’s hand.  The one with the smallest straw would either decide to accept the challenge or pass the straw to a different teammate. Julian Lane chose the shortest straw and elected to fight.  He had three opponents in mind: Matt Secor, Mike Ricci and Bristol Marunde.  He ended up selecting Bristol Marunde.

The fighters got the rare opportunity to leave the house when UFC president Dana White announced that they would attend a viewing of “Here Comes the Boom,” a comedy about a school teacher played by Kevin James, who decides to become a mixed martial artist to save a financially strapped school’s music program.

When the match-up was officially announced, Marunde said to Lane, “Big mistake.”

Lane believed he had a more well-rounded game than Marunde.  Marunde felt like Lane only had a puncher’s chance to win.

Marunde had to cut a lot of weight prior to weigh-ins.  He was weighing 186 the day before he had to step on the scales to make 170 pounds.

Coach Nelson worked with Lane’s Octagon control and knowing where he is inside the cage.  They specifically worked on not putting his back against the fence and circling more.

At the weigh-ins, some of Team Nelson didn’t think Marunde made weight.  The commissioner said he did.  They both officially weighed in at 170 pounds.

Julian Lane vs. Bristol Marunde:

Despite the coaching from Nelson, Lane backed up to the cage and let Marunde dictate the action.  Marunde was more effective in the clinch position.  He was able to put Lane against the cage in the opening round and work an inside attack of knees and punches.  Outside of a combination that bloodied Marunde, Lane was unable to mount an offense in the first five minutes of action.

Marunde utilized leg kicks in the second stanza, landing them hard and often.  Lane swung for the fences early in the round but mostly came up with air.  Marunde moved forward and initiated the exchanges.  When it was all said and done, all three judges scored the fight 20-18 for Marunde.

Lane broke down in tears following the loss, his first as a professional fighter.  The unemployed father felt he let his family down, but is determined to come back better and stronger.

“This is my first loss as a pro and it’s highly disappointing,” said Lane.  “I feel like I let my daughter down, my unborn.  I let my whole family down, but I’ll come back a stronger fighter.  I ain’t going to lose again.  I know that for sure because I hate this feeling and I hope I never have to feel it again.”

After the fight, Coach Nelson complained to Dana White that Marunde didn’t actually make weight.  White was dumbfounded by the allegation.  “You can’t fix stupid,” commented White.  “If the commissioner said he made 170, then he made 170.”