The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 Episode 7: Henderson the Tennis Pro? Pearson Puts a Pounding on Witson

I thought last week that we were going to get two fights this episode, but instead we got one fight and a tennis match?  This week featured the battle of the coaches in a tennis match, while Ross Pearson faced off against Richie Whitson.

The show started off with team UK celebrating their most recent victory, and a clip of Bisping telling the viewers how happy he is that Team UK is in the lead.  The show then jumps right into informing us that Richie Whitson has some kind of bacterial infection by his mouth.  Some cast members give him crap about it being herpes, but Richie insists its not herpes.  Richies recent infection causes Jason Pierce to go around the entire house and disinfect it. 

The show moves forward by reminding us that David Faulkner and Jason Pierce (who are now friends) will have to fight each other.  They are the last two fighters in the welterweight division that have to fight.  Pierce expresses his displeasure with the idea of having to fight a friend, while his coaches try telling him that he has a negative attitude and that he needs to train himself mentally as well as physically.  Pierce responds to this advice in turn by walking out and leaving the gym.  Also, at one point Jason Dent informs Pierce that his USA Teammates are talking trash behind his back, further dividing an already incohesive Team USA.

The show shifted gears then and showed us some training techniques used by Team UK.  One of the techniques was to hit a giant tire using a sledge hammer (it builds core strength).  However after Dean Amasinger finds a way to hit himself with the hammer, and Faulkner shows he can’t hit the broad side of a tractor tire with a hammer, Bisping decided to revert back to more traditional methods of training by lifting weights.

Now the show moves into one of the most entertaining parts of the season, the battle of the coaches.  Every season so far, Dana White (president of the UFC) shows up and has the coaches compete head to head in some kind of random game or sport.  This season we got tennis.  Bisping stated he has never played tennis and it showed, he had trouble hitting the ball with the wide side of the racket.  Henderson however seemed to be a little more coordinated and seemed to pick up the sport a little quicker.  Henderson jumped out to a big lead initially, but at one point Bisping came back (a little).  The whole time the coaches played the US fighters were jawing with and taunting Bisping much to his displeasure.  In the end Henderson won 6 matches to 2, giving each one of his fighters a $1500 prize from Dana White.

After the delights of the coaches dual came the fight announcement.  Bisping picked Ross Pearson to fight Richie Whitson.  Pearson is regarded by the cast members as a fierce competitor and a pitbull in the ring.  Although Whitson in his own right is referred to as scrappy and tough.  Dana White even said he wasn’t going to give a prediction on the fight because it could go either way.  Both fighters consider themselves strikers, and both plan to stand and strike during the fight.  Pearsons plan was to strike and move, while Richies plan was to stay in tight and bang.

Fight time arrives, and Richies bacterial infection is all but gone, and he is cleared to fight.  The two fighters came out in round one and exchanged some punches initially, and then clinched by the cage.  Pearson took Richie down a couple of times, but Richie kept getting back up.  However, at one point Pearson kneed Richie in the head while Richie still had a knee on the mat, which is a violation of the rules, and Pearson was deducted one point for the infraction.  Richie took his time to regroup, but he didn’t really need to.  Pearson came out after the break, took Richie down, and got his back.  Richie fought off an initial attempt for a choke, but ended up sacrificing an arm to an armbar.  Richie was forced to tap, before the first round was able to come to a close.

With Pearsons victory, this moves Team UK ahead by two fights, making it Team UK 4 to Team USA 2.  We still have four fighters left to fight: Jason Dent and Jeff Lawson in the lightweight division and David Faulkner and Jason Pierce in the welterweight division.  I will see all of you TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) fans next week.

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