Alright, alright, I admit it. Egg on my face, shame on me. I wrote in my TUF 11 episode 2 review that I was very hyped for this episode because the preview was making a big deal of the “shocking announcement” that would take place this episode, alongside official news that Rich Franklin has indeed replaced Tito Ortiz as Chuck Liddell’s opponent at UFC 115.
Rumors have been circulating for weeks now that Tito will, at one point, be “kicked off” the show for some reason and be replaced by Franklin. So, was the reveal shown this episode? In a word, no.
Needless to say, I was still a bit “shocked” by the announcement, but not nearly as much as I wanted to be, since it was something totally different from what I expected (or wanted).
The announcement was that Chris Camozzi of Tito Ortiz would be removed from the competition on account of a broken jaw he sustained during his preliminary fight. He was replaced by Seth Baczynski, who lost his preliminary fight, but impressed Tito Ortiz nonetheless with his performance. It’s always really sad to see fighters get taken out of the competition because of injuries and not actual losses in the cage. Sure, it’s part of the reality of it all, but it’s kind of awful for them to have to walk away from a literal chance of a lifetime without an actual loss.
Chuck, whose team won the last match and therefore regains control, then chose the matchup for this episode; it’s between Team Liddell’s Brad Tavares and Team Ortiz’s James Hammortree. The fight itself was pretty good, with both fighters doing their best and giving each other a run for their money. Both of them fail to finish, however, and the fight goes into a third round, called “sudden victory”, which proves how evenly matches these two are. I gave the first and third rounds to Tavares, and the second to Hammortree, which is pretty much what the judges called as well, since Brad Tavares wins the match by decision, making Team Liddell regain control. I also kind of understand where Tito’s coming from when he says he feels that his guy won the third round, but Tavares clearly had control for most of that round.
The antics in the house this episode weren’t all that interesting, so there’s nothing much to write about there. What I’m really interested about right is that the preview indicates that there will be two fights in the next episode! That’s great; more fights per episode is always a good thing. All in all, it was an okay episode. The shock at the end was indeed a genuine one, despite the fact that I initially made too much out of it because of my own UFC fanboyism, and the fight was genuinely good. It’s always great to see two evenly matched guys in the octagon prove their worth by laying it all out and giving it their best shot. Now bring on the next episode!
Check out my reviews of the other episodes of The Ultimate Fighter season 11 here!