Episode 11 of “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 19 centers on a light heavyweight showdown between Corey Anderson and Patrick Walsh.
Walsh is disappointed in the lack of training his team has scheduled leading up to the fight and asks a member of B.J. Penn’s squad, Mike King, to set-up an extra training session with the opposing team so he can prepare. Meanwhile, Frankie Edgar explains that he and the assistant coaches have decided to forego cornering either man in the bout, instead advising them to pick a teammate. This is par for the course on “The Ultimate Fighter,” as instructors usually refuse to coach against their own.
Walsh attends a Team Penn training session. He gets in some work on the mats with Ultimate Fighting Championship hall of famer Mark Coleman and spars with Cathal Pendred. Predictably, members of Team Edgar are thoroughly rubbed the wrong way by his decision and worry that Walsh is giving information to the opposing team. Anderson confronts Walsh about his choice to train with Team Penn, but Walsh seems to think there is nothing wrong with the decision. The Boston native claims it is strictly a choice made to better himself while he is on the show.
Edgar brings up the issue prior to a team practice, and everything comes to a head. After being confronted, Walsh gets emotional and storms out of the locker room. In the end, cooler heads prevail and Walsh decides against any further training with Team Penn. He then turns his attention to the fight.
Round one begins with both men throwing a fair share of punches from the outside in a feeling-out process. Anderson seems to be the stronger puncher of the two, rocking Walsh with some early shots. Walsh is on the run, trying to avoid further punishment, as Anderson scores the first takedown of the bout. After absorbing punches from the mount, Walsh manages to stand. Walsh comes up with a mouse under his right eye. Anderson is walking down his opponent and secures a second takedown. He throws a hammerfist and receives a verbal warning for a shot to the back of the head. Walsh stands again. The first frame concludes with Walsh scoring a last-second takedown.
The second round opens with Walsh getting inside of Anderson’s reach and landing some good combinations. Walsh is showing strong head movement, but he is breathing heavily from the mouth. A big knee lands for Anderson. UFC President Dana White is overheard calling for Anderson to throw a head kick. Walsh has his hands low, but he is landing the one-two combination at will. Anderson hits Walsh with another knee that seems to hurt the Bostonian. Anderson winds up on top briefly, but they return to their feet with a minute remaining. Walsh shoots for the single-leg, but his attempt is denied by a strong Anderson sprawl. The round ends, and Walsh looks exhausted.
The two touch gloves for the final round. Walsh is the aggressor, but Anderson picks his spots wisely. Anderson’s jab sets up his power shots. Walsh presses Anderson against the cage, pulls his legs out from underneath him and scores the takedown. Moments later, Anderson is upright again. Walsh throws wild punches. A stout kick to the body lands from Anderson. With one minute left in the fight, neither man seems to have much left in the tank. Walsh closes his effort with four consecutive overhand lefts, sending the match to the scorecards. All three judges see it the same: 30-27 for Anderson, who advances to the 205-pound final.
Season 19 will tie up its loose ends on July 2, as Dhiego Lima squares off against Roger Zapata in the last middleweight semifinal, while Dan Spohn meets Matt Van Buren in the final light heavyweight semifinal.