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TUF Recap: Two Big Knockouts, Plus Special Guests Ronda Rousey and Mike Tyson

TUF Gastelum vs. Hart

It’s on to the quarterfinals of ‘The Ultimate Fighter 17′ and we’re getting closer to the finale and a new TUF champ.

Last week Bubba McDaniel was thrilled with his wild card matchup against Kevin Casey, and he should have been. Casey didn’t answer the bell for round 3 and McDaniel got the win and advanced to the quarterfinals. But this week McDaniel is lamenting his matchup against Uriah Hall, who put TUF back on the map with his ‘Knockout of the Year’ performance against Adam Cella.

McDaniel admits the Cella KO is playing in his head, and he wishes that he would be fighting anyone other than Hall. Coach Jon Jones tries to pump McDaniel up early in the show, but McDaniel isn’t buying it and seems pretty stressed about it.

First up though, is the Kelvin Gastelum vs. Collin Hart fight. Hart tells Jones that he wants to let his hands go against Gastelum, even though he is a superb technician on the ground.

“My last fight with King (Kevin Casey), it was kind of boring, I kind of just held him down. I think I really need to redeem my hands this fight, show myself that I’m not just a boring fighter holding people down,” Hart says. More than ever the UFC is looking to put on exciting fights and they have soured on the ‘lay and pray’ style. So Hart will do well to take his own advice if he wants to get into the UFC and stay there.

After Gastelum won his preliminary bout, he was promised a training session with Ronda Rousey. That day has come.

“She taught me some judo. It was pretty awesome getting handled by her,” Gastelum says.

Ronda proceeds to throw around all of Team Sonnen, and Chael gets a big kick out of it. He’s laughing while she takes all of his fighters down to the ground. But after the session, Chael invites Ronda to give the team some guidance. She tells them that her mom used to tell her before all of her fights that no one has the right to beat her. She continues with that theme and ends to a round of applause.

Both Hart and Gastelum make weight and it’s on to the first quarterfinal matchup. Both fighters come out striking, but Gastelum has more speed and accuracy in his punches. He drops Hart into a faceplant with a combination and then follows that up with some devastating hammer fists. Hart is out and thankfully Gastelum backs off from throwing any more shots. A very classy move. Gastelum moves on in the tourney.

“It was a brutal, vicious knockout,” Dana White says. Hart says he just got caught and that he hopes Kelvin wins the whole thing.

Next up it’s Dylan Andrews, who was the last pick by Jon Jones, against Luke Barnatt, who was Sonnen’s top pick. But first, it’s another special guest. Former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson pays a visit to the fighters. Andrews is particularly stoked about Tyson being there.

“I remember when I was a little kid, the only time my mom would let me stay up late was to watch a Mike Tyson fight. And now he’s going to be cageside for my fight? Unbelievable.”

TUF Barnatt vs. Andrews

Barnatt and Andrews waste no time and get to some hard shots right away. Andrews takes Barnatt down, but doesn’t do anything with it and Barnatt is able to get back to his feet. Andrews is able to get Barnatt back to the ground, but he’s having trouble passing Barnatt’s guard. Andrews has two takedowns, but Barnatt is actually scoring more from the bottom.

Andrews tries for a standing guillotine but Barnatt is able to roll out of it. But in doing so he gives up his back and Andrews takes it. Barnatt escapes again, gets back to his feet and starts to let his hands go. He scores with knees, kicks and punches before Andrews secures another takedown. Still, Barnatt is active and hunting for subs. The bell sounds and the round ends. It’s a tough one to score, but I think Barnatt won the round even though Andrews kept him on his back.

Round two begins and Andrews starts to land some power shots on Barnatt, who proves he has an amazing chin. Barnatt lands a trip and mounts Andrews. Andrews escapes and reverses to top position. This round is much more exciting, a back and forth affair both on the feet and on the ground. The fight will go to a third round, which seems to surprise Jon Jones.

Round three begins and Andrews connects with some loud shots. He starts to stalk Barnatt around the cage and the look in his eye has changed. He smells blood. But Barnatt keeps eating his best strikes and keeps on coming forward. Andrews lands a combination of shots that stun Barnatt and finally sends him to the ground. He lands one hammer fist before Herb Dean steps in to call the fight. Andrews scores the TKO win. His team is going nuts.

Next week it’s Josh Samman vs. Jimmy Quinlan and Uriah Hall vs. Bubba McDaniel. Who do you like in these fights? Let us know in the comments and we’ll see you here for another TUF recap next week.

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