This week’s episode opens with Matt Van Buren explaining why he was unable to finish Chris Fields in his fight last week. He says it was part of his game plan to take Fields down and take as little damage as possible. Daniel Spohn looks forward to their matchup in the near future.
Back at the house, Hector Urbina gets quite intoxicated and a verbal argument starts about the style in which he lost. Tim Williams also gets drunk and the show spotlights the fact that he wound up naked. Yes, you read this correctly.
As is the tradition on “TUF,” Frankie Edgar says that he will not be training any of his fighters for teammate-versus-teammate matchups. This makes for some interesting moments during practice sessions, as guys who will soon fight one another in the cage meet in sparring.
Eddie Gordon revels in the fact that opponent Cathal Pendred has a ton of hype surrounding him. Gordon says it spurs him to fight to the best of his abilities. B.J. Penn lets Pendred in on the fact that Gordon wants to keep the fight in the center of the Octagon. He implores the Irishman to take the fight up against the cage and close the distance.
UFC President Dana White hosts the contestants at MGM Grand Garden Arena prior to UFC 167 in the hopes that it will light a fire under their butts to perform. After one of White’s epic pep talks, the guys speak about the positive effect he has on their performance. Let’s see if it correlates to exciting semifinals.
Pendred has a college degree in the sciences and explains that instead of pursuing a career in education, he chose the “harder” route of fighting in MMA. Gordon, on the other hand, told his kids not to attend his fight to get into the house and promised he would fly them out to the “TUF” finale if he wins.
The bout starts with Pendred shooting in twice, as he said he would. Gordon stuffs both attempts and winds up taking Pendred’s back against the cage. Gordon stays in half guard and drops an elbow before Pendred stands.
Pendred throws a wild spinning back kick that misses. He tries to press the action against the cage, but Gordon circles out. Pendred shoots again and is finally successful with a takedown, landing in Gordon’s guard. Gordon is slowly getting to his feet, leaving one knee on the ground to avoid strikes to the head. Pendred has a body lock and takes him back down to the ground.
Again, they stand. Pendred is pressing against the cage, implementing his game plan, but this definitely is not going to make White happy. Mark Coleman is audibly thrilled with Pendred thus far in the fight. Round one is a dud, but it’s all Pendred.
The second round opens with Pendred throwing a couple punches and then transitioning to a takedown attempt. Gordon uses a choke as his defense and is able to avoid being taken to the mat. They stand in the center of the cage, not throwing much of anything. Both men look gassed. A big uppercut lands flush on the chin of Gordon, and his counter haymaker narrowly misses.
Gordon gets a takedown out of nowhere and seems content to lie on top, not mounting much offense. Gordon lands some elbows within the final 60 seconds that seem to do a wee bit of damage. This wakes up Pendred, who stands to press Gordon against the cage at the end of the round.
Edgar is not happy with Gordon in the corner between rounds. The former UFC lightweight champ begs his fighter not to wait for Pendred to strike first.
Pendred and Gordon trade strikes to open the final frame, but the two are exhausted. Gordon desperately shoots for a takedown but fails. Pendred smells blood but is too tired to capitalize right away. All he can muster is using his leverage to wedge Gordon against the steel mesh.
Penn begins an “ole, ole, ole” chant to fire up Pendred. With one minute left, the men circle each other in the center, sporadically throwing punches. This one is over, and the judges have a difficult task at hand. Both fighters raise their hands over their head in the hopes of influencing the Nevada officials.
White informs the fighters that there is a split decision, and Gordon is moving on to the finale. Next week, Corey Anderson and Patrick Walsh will square off in the heavyweight division.