The first-ever TUF in Australia kicked off this week, The Ultimate Fighter: Australia vs. U.K. The Smashes. Eight Aussies and eight Brits, half lightweights and half welterweights from each team, will face off in a single elimination tournament to become ‘The Ultimate Fighter’, one lightweight and one welterweight winner.
TUF Smashes House
The show then moves to the TUF Smashes house and we see Team Aussie enter the house first. It’s a pretty swank pad with UFC action pics throughout the house. The bedrooms have bunk beds and are divided into one area for the Aussies and a separate area for the Brits. Team U.K. enters, in a bit more loud and brash way, and then we start getting bios on each of the fighters. Comments are made on both sides about how they are going to beat the other. Also, some comments on how the Team U.K. fighters look physically bigger than Team Aussie’s.
Team Aussie pulls the first prank of the season, hiding Team U.K.’s gym bags. No retaliation though.
The teams make their way to the gym and where they first meet with Dana White. He gives his usual “I want guys who want to be world champions” speech. They then meet coaches George Sotiropoulos and Ross Pearson.
It’s announced by Dana White that Submission, KO, and Fight of the Season winners will get $25,000/each. Also, every “finish” will get the finisher $5,000. Finally, a 6-figure contract with the UFC awaits the lightweight and welterweight winners.
Dana then tosses a coin to determine who gets the ‘first fight’ or ‘first weight class’ choice. Team Aussie wins and picks ‘first fight’.
Team Aussie first practice session: Sotiropoulos introduces us to his coaches. He likes his team and has a pretty light first training session
Team U.K. first practice session: Pearson introduces us to his coaches. He also likes his team but the first training session he pushes the guys hard, which comes into play later.
Back to the house and they catch the fighters talking about how the house is totally segregated by country, which is natural. Dana White shows up and sits the guys down and gives them another “This is your shot” speech.
The foreshadowing of how the coaches held their first training sessions comes to bear as Team U.K.’s Michael Pastou injures his bicep during training and is off to the hospital for examination.
Fight announcements are made with Team U.K. picking the first fight to be a welterweight fight. George Sotiropoulos thinks it’s because of the size advantage. He then picks Team U.K. welterweight Valentino Petrescu to face Team Aussie’s Benny Alloway. Petruscu used to work in a Circus, and Alloway was an alcoholic night club manager. Both found salvation with MMA. Pearson thought it was a mistake pick. Sotiropoulos picked Benny because of his experience.
Bad news from the Doctor for Michael Pastou as he was informed that he has a ruptured bicep. He talks to Pearson and they are hoping he has time to heal before being picked to fight.
On to the fight preparation and weigh-ins. One of the UK coaches has trained with Benny Alloway before so knows all about him. Valentino has the size and reach advantage. At the weigh-in, there’s some contact as Petruscu waves away Alloway’s raised arm.
The fighter comparison:
Round 1: The fight commences and the first round starts out with Valentino more aggressively and accurately striking. With about two minutes left though, Alloway gets the take down and remains on top for the rest of the round. Valentino threatened with an armbar from the bottom but never locked it in. Alloway with a slight edge over Petrescu in round one.
Round 2: The second started much like the first with both fighters getting in some shots, and then 35 seconds into the round, Alloway lunges forward with a left and it connects sending Petruscu to the canvas. He followed up with a barrage of punches and the ref stopped it.
Alloway goes through to the semi-finals beating their most experienced guy.
Next week: House troubles, heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos pays a visit, Michael Pastou’s fate is revealed, and the first two lightweights go at it.
CageWall TUF Smashes Page: http://www.cagewall.com/event/the-ultimate-fighter-australia-vs-u-k-the-smashes-debut/
CageWall Blog Category: TUF
CageWall Tag: TUF: Australia vs U.K. The Smashes
Twitter HashTag: #TUFSmashes
FX Australia: http://fxtv.com.au/the-smashes