By Thomas Gerbasi
CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – There are two spots left in The Ultimate Fighter: Team Liddell vs Team Ortiz quarterfinals, and one of them will go to either Seth Baczynski or Joseph Henle, who will fight it out in this week's final first round bout.
After his victory over Court McGee last week, Team Ortiz’ Nick Ring is nursing an injured knee, and he consults the doctor about it, leaving things up in there when it comes to his future participation in the competition, especially when it gives out on him during a subsequent training session.
“I don’t know what my next move is,” said Ring. “I just want to get fixed.”
There is still one more first round bout to be fought though, and it will pit Team Ortiz’ Baczynski (11-5) against Team Liddell’s Henle (3-0), who has only been in the sport since July of 2009.
Henle looks to make up for his inexperience with aggression, and the two go on to trade submission attempts on the mat. With 1:15 left, Baczynski gets into Henle’s guard and fires off with ground strikes, keeping his foe pinned until the bell sounds.
The fighters go back to the mat early in round two, with Baczynski working on his foe’s arm. Henle escapes and takes Baczynski’s back, but the Team Ortiz member is just as resilient, and he breaks free, continuing the momentum shifts. With a minute left, the two fighters stand, but only briefly, as the action shifts back to the mat, where Baczynski finishes strong with a rear naked choke attempt.
After two rounds, the judges have the fight deadlocked, sending it to a third and deciding round.
Not surprisingly, the fight hits the mat almost immediately in round three, with Henle working on an arm while Baczynski lands with strikes in order to break his opponent’s grip. After getting loose, Baczynski keeps his workrate high as he lands strikes from Henle’s guard. By this point, Baczynski is in total control, and when the final bell rings, there is no question who earned the unanimous decision victory.
Now all that remains in the first round is the Wild Card bout, and that bout will see Team Ortiz’ Kyacey Uscola return to take on his teammate Kris McCray.
The injury to Team Liddell’s Rich Attonito also opens up a spot, and that spot will be filled by his teammate Court McGee, who lost a controversial decision to Nick Ring on episode six.
Team Liddell’s lead in the competition is now 4-3 leading into next week’s Wild Card bout. Here’s how the teams look:
Nick Ring 1-0
Kyacey Uscola – Eliminated on episode four by Rich Attonito
Kris McCray – Eliminated on episode five by Josh Bryant
Jamie Yager 1-0
James Hammortree – Eliminated on episode three by Brad Tavares
Clayton McKinney – Eliminated on episode two by Kyle Noke
Chris Camozzi – Eliminated from competition due to injury
Seth Baczynski – brought back on episode three after injury to Camozzi – 1-0
Kyle Noke 1-0
Rich Attonito 1-0 – Eliminated due to injury
Charles Blanchard – Eliminated on episode four by Jamie Yager
Josh Bryant 1-0
Brad Tavares 1-0
Court McGee – Eliminated on episode six by Nick Ring; returning to replace Attonito
Joseph Henle – Eliminated on episode seven by Seth Baczynski
For weekly recaps of The Ultimate Fighter, as well as fighter profiles, stay tuned to UFC.com.