Episode 6 of “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 17 opens with a quick reminder that Josh Samman will square off with Tor Troeng in tonight’s matchup.
Samman has shown a tendency to be demanding in regard to whom he faces and when. Coach Jon Jones has become irked by Samman’s controlling personality, and Uriah Hall, king of the face-kickers, is hoping to meet Samman in the next round due to an embarrassing verbal exchange in front of their housemates a few weeks back.
Robert McDaniel is heartbroken after his upset defeat to Chael Sonnen’s Kelvin Gastelum. Sonnen consoles Jones’ fighter in the hallway in a genuine show of sportsmanship, and “Bones” reminds his fighter that a wildcard berth is still on the table.
Team Sonnen constructs Troeng a tiny model hammer in a bit of locker room fun. Jimmy Quinlan then takes the gag to a new level upon reaching the fighter house and builds Troeng a Mjolnir truly worthy of the Norse god of thunder.
During a Team Sonnen practice, Hall pops Luke Barnatt with a jab a little too stiff for the Brit’s liking. Barnatt says that Hall’s ego doesn’t allow him to be a good training partner. Hall has no idea what all the fuss is about.
Troeng recounts his martial arts history, explaining that growing up in the Swedish countryside afforded him ample opportunities for physical activity. The 30-year-old began his martial arts training at age nine and picked up MMA at 16. Troeng is currently employed part-time at a university, where he sits in front of a computer screen between training sessions.
Back at the fighter house, Dylan Andrews sarcastically explains how Samman has assumed the role of “Coach Josh,” while Samman takes a portion of his team through an evening’s workout in the backyard. Cella echoes the New Zealander’s appraisal of Samman, stating that he now simply refers to Samman as “Dad.”
Samman reveals that he underwent surgery to drain a large blood clot in his quadriceps shortly before joining the “TUF” cast and could have easily lost his leg. Coach Frank Mir appears less than impressed. Samman goes on to say that he was raised by a single mother in a household in which violence was taboo.
Around the dinner table, Gilbert Smith begins egging on his housemates about future matchups. He targets Hall, who says he would like to fight Barnatt next. The Brit obviously takes issue with his response, though Hall claims he was only spitballing and later admits he probably should not have called out his teammate.
Hall is becoming less likeable by the second as he sits around the firepit with members of Team Jones. After the others suggest that he should switch sides and join their squad, Hall insults Adam Cella and his non-present girlfriend after taking offense at something Cella says. In case you had forgotten, Cella was the poor soul who had his head knocked off by Hall’s spinning heel kick in week three. Hall reminds the house that he had been bullied as a kid, which apparently excuses the fact that he is currently acting like a massive jerk.
Later, the boys roll down to the Red Rock bowling alley, and Sonnen challenges Jones to a three-frame bowl-off. No matter who wins, the fighters will benefit, as the loser will coach a session with the winner’s team. Needing a strike to win in the third frame, Jones comes up with a split, meaning he will coach Team Darkside on a later date.
Both Troeng and Samman make weight, and suddenly it’s time to scrap. Herb Dean starts the action, and Samman lands a nice leg kick and a hard left hand as he bulls the Swede against the fence. The men jockey for position against the cage, and both competitors land some nice knees before Samman falters on a trip and winds up on bottom. Troeng fires down some sharp ground-and-pound, but Jones’ man retaliates with a half-guard sweep and lands a hard series of rights as Troeng holds himself up against the chain-link. Sonnen’s man escapes the position and retreats to the center of the cage. Samman pursues with a body kick and follows up with a violent one-two that instantly turns out Troeng’s lights.
After having his hand raised, Samman comes into the Team Sonnen locker room and shakes Troeng’s hand. After he leaves, Hall states that he hopes he is next matched up with Samman. The episode closes with Jones revealing the next fight pairing. Episode 7 will feature Jones’ No. 1 pick, Clint Hester, squaring off with Team Sonnen’s Jimmy Quinlan.
Next week will also see Samman visit the emergency room and the rest of the fellows visit a local Hooters for a few drinks and a rousing game of “Who Can Take Off Their Shirt First?”