‘TUF’ Recap: Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones Get Dirty
It’s down to the last preliminary fight on this season of TUF, Zak Cummings vs. Dylan Andrews. Cummings had the most impressive performance in the elimination matches in episode one, needing just :07 to finish Nik Fekete and earn his spot in the house. So the fastest winner of the season is the last to enter the Octagon in the preliminary round.
Dylan Andrews described how he got into martial arts when he moved to Australia. He was looking for some UFC DVDs at a video store when the ceiling started raining some dust on him. He heard some pounding, left the video store and saw that ‘The Lion’s Den Academy’. He quickly made that place his home and stayed there for six years. That’s a cool twist of fate.
But even more interesting is that Andrews said that he grew up in a hydroponic room. “So that means, around my bed, I was surrounded by marijuana plants.” Andrews also said that he tries not think about fighting even while at the TUF house because he hates the experience. Which is a bit odd seeing as he just said in the previous scene that when he first walked in ‘The Lion’s Den Academy’ that he thought it was the greatest place in the world. He does probably get hit in the head a lot though, so we’ll let it slide. “I feel like I can’t be successful without fighting, which is why I can’t walk away from it,” Andrews said. “Could be the death of me, man,” Andrews tells Uriah Hall. “As much as I hate it I have to do it.”
Cummings explains how he thought he would pursue a job in engineering or something similar as he was always good at math. He says growing up he was sort of the “anti-fighter”. “I don’t think I’ve ever been in a street fight in my entire life. I’ve got along with everybody,” Cummings said. Apparently the seventh time is the charm, at least for Cummings. His coach on the show, Chael Sonnen, said that this season was the seventh time Cummings has tried out for TUF, and he finally made it.
This episode of TUF brings us the vaunted coaches’ challenge, Dana White’s favorite part of the season. Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones will compete against each other in three different competitions while driving excavators. The winning coach receives $10,000 while the fighters on his team each receive $1,500. Game on!
The three challenges consist of filling a 14-yard dumpster with dirt, building a pyramid with huge tires, and finally, scooping up a basketball from a large cone and then placing in the hole of the big tire. I’d have personally rather seen Jones and Sonnen compete in a ‘Wipeout’-like obstacle course, but this will have to do. Maybe next season, Dana?
Jones got off to a quick start in the dumpster filling competition, which coincidentally could be the next new show on Spike, but it was Sonnen that filled his dumpster first. Finally, Sonnen starts to talk some trash to Jones, and we can’t believe it took this many episodes for him to finally crack wise. “You can start the competition anytime,” Sonnen tells Jones. Not his best work, but it’s a start. But Jones took the lead when he beat Sonnen in stacking the tires.
Jones made his way over to the cones and scooped up the basketball, but he missed when trying to put it in the tire. Sonnen capitalized, putting it dead center to win the money for himself and his team. “Chael won the bowling tournament, he has won the coaches’ challenge, but we’re here to win fights,” Jones said.
“One more for the bad guys!” Sonnen yells to his team.
Both fighters make weight and it’s on to the fight. Cummings tries to score a single-leg takedown, but Andrews stuffs it with some solid defense. Cummings lands the first hard shot of the fight, a left cross that staggers Andrews. Andrews tries to shoot on Cummings, but he sprawls, and immediately circles toward Andrews’ back and throws on a D’Arce choke. It’s not tight though and Andrews is able to get out of it. But Cummings then lands some nice ground and pound.
Andrews is finally able to sweep Cummings and ends up in his guard on top with about 2:20 left in the round. But Andrews is also bleeding from the right side of his head, courtesy of the elbows Cummings landed. Andrews is starting to land some elbows of his own and we’ve got a good fight brewing here. Sonnen yells for Cummings to open his guard and get up, but he either can’t or won’t do it. Meanwhile, Andrews’ blood is leaking all over him making it harder for him to cinch up his guard and hold on to Andrews’ arms.
The round ends and Jon Jones tells Andrews he stole that round. That’s when we get our first clean look at the gash on Andrews’ head and it’s a big one. Cummings face shows the disappointment in ending up on his back for the last half of the round.
Round two begins and Cummings tries to land a spinning heel kick. It slightly connects to Andrews’ face and both fighters smile about it and touch gloves. Cummings then tries for a flying knee but Andrews bounces off the cage and takes Cummings to the ground. Andrews is not landing as many big shots as he did in round one, but he is scoring and also keeping Cummings on his back for a long time. Cummings can never get off his back as the round comes to an end. Andrews takes it by majority decision.
On to the wild cards, which White lets the coaches select. Sonnen is quick to select Kevin Casey as a wild card from his team, but Jones needs some time to think about whether he should pick Bubba McDaniel or Clint Hester. Jones tells those fighters he wants to flip a coin, but they don’t want it chosen that way. They ask for Jones to let Sonnen pick, but he says he can’t do that. In the end, Jones picks McDaniel. So McDaniel gets the fight he wanted all along — a match against Casey.
Who do you like in this fight, McDaniel or Casey? Let us know in the comments and we’ll see you here next week for another TUF Recap!