On episode 6 of The Ultimate Fighter: Undefeated, two fighters stated their case to UFC president Dana White to get new life in the competition and the last pick on Team Cormier took out Team Miocic’s second choice.
After Mike Trizano defeated Thailand Clark in episode 5 giving Team Miocic their first team win, Coach Stipe Miocic called on his second pick Suman Mokhtarian to take on Team Cormier’s last choice Ricky Steele.
Fighters Plead Their Case to Return
Prior to the Mokhtarian and Steele bout, Team Miocic featherweight Jay Cucciniello asked to meet with White and laid out his case for replacing the injured Luis Pena.
“I came on this show for one reason and that’s to leave an impression and leave my name behind in this sport,” Cucciniello said to the UFC president. “I had my fight. It didn’t go my way. Luis Pena, the lightweight, he’s out. I’m a 145er, but I’ve come here ready to fight anyone… I want that opportunity to take that spot.”
After the fight, Team Miocic’s John Gunther approached White with his sales pitch to be the one to get a rebirth back in the competition.
“I know I had a terrible performance but I just wanted to let you know that if there’s any possible way that I could get back in there I’d love to,” he said. “I’d love to get back in there.”
“I’m going to sit down and I’m going to talk to the coaches and I’m going to make a decision,” stated White.
The Fight: Suman Mokhtarian vs. Ricky Steele
Steele, who comers from a karate background, wanted to keep the fight standing while Mokhtarian planned to gain respect standing. Both fighters predicted finishes heading into the fight
Steele employed a heavy kicking attack while Mokhtarian looked to counter strike. After absorbing several leg kicks in the early going to the opening frame, Mokhtarian decided to try and get the fight to the ground. Unable to secure a takedown, Mokhtarian found himself in the clinch with Steele where Steele delivered knees to body and legs. Mokhtarian applied a guillotine choke, but Steele escaped. The first round ended with Mokhtarian working hard for a takedown but was unable to get it.
The second round started with Steele returning to his kicking strategy. He landed kicks to Mokhtarian’s lead leg and also targeted the body. Steele began picking Mokhtarian apart with strikes as well as outworking him. Mokhtarian picked up the pace in the closing minute but was unable to do enough to sway the judges. All three judges scored the fight for Steele by unanimous decision.
“It was a great fight, Suman really tested me. He came out swinging, and caught me in the eye where I went temporary blind and started seeing three of him. It has happened to me before, so I knew that I could fight through it. Excited to get the win,” said Steele following the fight.
“I had a lot of fun tonight, but I let the win get away from me. I wanted to go out there to strike, and try to get the knockout, instead of sticking to the game plan that we set out, but it happens. I have to learn from it, which I will. I hope that I put on a show for Dana White tonight and hope I can get another chance to prove myself,” Mokhtarian said after the loss.
Next Fight Announcement
Coach Daniel Cormier announced the final lightweight bout of the opening round. Richie Smullen will face Team Moicic’s Allan Zuniga for the last spot in the semifinals.