The Ultimate Fighter 27 Episode 2 Recap: The Nerd Can Fight

April 26, 2018

Episode 2 of The Ultimate Fighter: Undefeated featured the first featherweight bout resulting in the first major upset of the season. As the fighters settled into the fighter house and became familiar with their teammates, tensions arose during a Team Cormier training session.

With Team Cormier leading the team competition 1-0 after Joe Giannetti finished Team Miocic’s John Gunther in just 17 seconds in episode 1, Coach Miocic chose to put his top pick, Kyler Philips, against Team Cormier’s sixth pick, Brad Katona.

Philips appeared on Week 4 of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series in August 2017 defeating James Gray by TKO in 47 seconds but wasn’t awarded a UFC contract. Katona, a Canadian native, has had all six of his professional fights in Canada.  He’s put his career as an engineer on hold to chase his dream of becoming a UFC fighter.

“Don’t Talk To Me Like That”

During Team Cormier practice, lightweight Thailand Clark and Coach Cormier got into an argument about the way Clark was training. 

“In terms of my health and my well being, I try to avoid Thailand,” said Team Cormier’s first pick Tyler Diamond.  “The guy doesn’t have much control.  You don’t really know what he’s going to do.  Thailand just doesn’t train very smart.” 

Cormier asked Clark to slow down a little bit.  Clark said that he was just training and the two went back and forth with Cormier telling Clark not to talk to him like that.  Unable to get through to Clark, Cormier told him that he could just leave. 

“It’s your career not mine,” said Cormier.  “I’m trying to care, but if you don’t want me to care I don’t have to.” 

Cormier decided to he’d grapple with Clark and the two eventually worked out their differences. 

The Fight: Kyler Phillips vs. Brad Katona

After some early exchanges, Phillips secured a takedown but was unable to keep Katona grounded.  Once back on his feet, landed left hands and repeatedly delivered leg kicks to Phillips’ lead leg.  Katona scored a takedown late in the opening frame to take the round.

In the second frame, Katona continued to target Phillips’ lead leg with leg kicks.  Phillips landed two spinning back kicks to the body of Katona, but Katona continued to press forward.  The second round was closer than the first, but Katona did enough to take a majority decision win.

“It feels absolutely amazing to get the win and to come away from it healthy,” said Katona after the win.  “I feel fantastic.  I’m very happy with that performance and I’m ready to go on to the semifinals.”

“I don’t feel sorry for myself.  I took the L.  He wanted it more, so he got the win,” said Phillips following the loss.  “I was a lot more technical than him.  From the beginning I felt that way but I respected him a little too much.  I’ve just got to learn from this and get better.”

Next Fight Announcement

With two fights in the books, Team Cormier leads the team competition 2-0.  Coach Cormier gained matchmaking control and chose lightweight Luis Peña to take on Team Miocic’s Jose Martinez.  Both coaches were confident in the matchup and predicted victory.