One fighter was forced out of the competition due to injury and two fighters advanced to the semifinals during the tenth episode of The Ultimate Fighter 22: Team McGregor vs. Team Faber.
Team Faber’s Chris Gruetzemacher was eliminated from the competition for having the least exciting fight among the winners in the preliminary round. Gruetzemacher was devastated when he got the news.
“It’s hard, especially when you feel like you’re as good as anybody else,” said an emotional Gruetzemacher.
UFC president Dana White explained that if any of the remaining contestants get injured that Gruetzemacher would replace them, and that’s exactly what happened.
Team McGregor’s Martin Svensson suffered a broken elbow in his submission win over Thanh Le. He was scheduled to face Artem Lobov. The Swede’s unfortunate injury became Gruetzmacher’s opportunity.
The Fight: Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Artem Lobov
Coach Conor McGregor predicted that his teammate Lobov would score a knockout over Gruetzemacher ‘inside of one round.” Coach Urijah Faber liked the matchup and Gruetzemacher’s chances.
Gruetzemacher kept Lobov on the outside with leg kicks and a high output of strikes in the opening round. He pressured the Irishman throughout the frame, but absorbed damage. Lobov landed power punches as he countered the American.
Gruetzemacher tried to keep a higher pace than Lobov, but fatigue eventually set in. As the American slowed, Lobov began landing power shots more frequently. Gruetzemacher could no longer keep his hands up, and Lobob seized the opening. He dropped the American with a left hand. Gruetzemacher got back to his feet but was fighting on shaky legs. Lobov continued to load up with left hooks. Two well-placed ones sent Gruetzemacher crashing to the canvas. The referee quickly stepped in to stop the fight.
It was the first time Gruetzemacher had been knocked out in his career.
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The Fight: Saul Rogers vs. Ryan Hall
Hall won his two previous fights by submission and believed that he’s the superior martial artist between the two. Rogers was out to prove that he’s a well-rounded fighter and can be successful no matter where the fight goes.
Hall landed leg kicks in the early going, but Rogers proved to be the more dynamic striker. He pushed forward with combinations and the American became hesitant with his counters. Rogers’ power was evident in the difference in the sound of his strikes landing compared to Hall’s. The opening round was competitive, but Rogers gained momentum in the round wore on.
Rogers came out aggressive in the second frame. He secured a takedown from the clinch but let Hall get back to his feet. Hall dove for legs from the outside in an attempt to get the Englishman to the ground, but Rogers successfully sprawled. He landed a right hand that knocked Hall down, but the American immediately bounced back to his feet. Hall desperately tried to get the fight to the ground, but Rogers shook off the attempts. Hall pulled guard with a minute remaining in the round. Rogers peppered him with punches and elbows for the remainder of the frame. After ten minutes of fighting, the judges scored the fight for Rogers by majority decision.