‘TUF 19’ Recap: Episode 5

By Mike Whitman May 13, 2014

Following Dhiego Lima’s stunning submission of Tim Williams, coach Frankie Edgar has gained his first victory of the season and control of the next fight. As a result, Team Edgar’s No. 1 pick, Corey Anderson, will now collide with Team Penn’s Josh Clark.

Clark has some pro boxing experience in addition to his MMA skills, but Anderson figures to be the better wrestler of the two, by far.

Following Williams’ defeat, coach B.J. Penn explains to his troops that they might be overworking themselves with their extracurricular training outside the gym. He asks them to dial it back and rest in order to conserve their energy for their fights.

Later, the men celebrate Halloween by making jack-o-lanterns and throwing on dresses. Mike King effortlessly transforms the clichéd and tired “sexy nurse” gimmick into a fresh, new look, while Clark struts around as an enormous, bearded Von Trapp sister.

Anton Berzin is a little freaked out by the costumes and slowly backs away from the kitchen. It’s your loss, Anton, because your teammates are styling and profiling with that bold, new hotness.

Suddenly, there is a knock at the door, and Team Edgar opens it to find Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raphael, Leonardo and Michelangelo demanding some candy; it seems Splinter gave Donatello the night off. It turns out to be Edgar and his two sons, Santino and Frankie Jr., who collect their sugary snacks and then depart. The next day, Team Edgar goes on a hike, and several members of the red team make fun of Team Penn taking it easy on their weekend.

Back in the gym, Penn confesses that he sees a lot of potential in Clark. However, he believes the light heavyweight has some confidence issues that he must overcome if he wants to perform at his best. The coaches put Clark through the wringer and drill his wrestling, encouraging him along the way.

That night, Roger Zapata and Anderson argue over wrestling. Zapata calls the techniques “simple,” and Anderson, a decorated collegiate wrestler, takes exception to the comment. Anderson then recounts how Ben Askren turned him to the vaunted Roufusport gym, and how he then fell in love with MMA in spite of his initial hesitance to fight.

Both men are cleared to compete at the pre-fight weigh-ins, and they make their final preparations before the light heavyweight showdown. Anderson admits that he is not sleeping as well as he would like, and teammate Todd Monaghan advises him to get some rest, even at the expense of attending practice. Meanwhile, Dan Spohn helps to relax Clark, telling him that it is now time to “have fun.”

Clark tries to put Anderson on his heels from the jump, taking center cage and firing off some loose one-twos. Edgar’s man responds by snatching a single-leg, and Clark leaps into the air and tries to spin out of it. He partially succeeds but finds himself caught in a front headlock off the ensuing scramble, and Anderson scoops an ankle pick that puts Clark on his backside. Edgar’s fighter allows Clark to stand, however, and Clark lands a nice right straight that backs him up. Anderson eats another right but then grabs a body lock, slamming Clark to the canvas with just over two minutes remaining. Anderson passes to half-guard, but Clark counters with a heel-hook attempt that creates enough space for him to scramble to his feet. However, Anderson soon catches a knee aimed at his body and drags Clark back to the mat, mashing him with elbows from half-guard to close out the frame.

Clark pivots away from a single-leg try and cracks his foe with a hard low kick to start round two. Anderson then absorbs a hard knee to the midsection but walks through it to score another takedown. Penn screams for his fighter to put his feet on Anderson’s hips and push him away, but Clark continues to work from the closed guard until the referee bails him out with a questionable standup. Clark takes advantage of the gift and wallops his opponent with a right. However, Anderson soon after checks a low kick, causing Clark to fall off-balance and give up his back. Clark rolls away from Anderson’s back control but then finds himself trapped in half-guard again. Anderson works with punches and elbows, squirting away from a desperation kneebar attempt to secure mount just before the horn sounds.

Anderson takes a majority decision, with one only one of the three cageside judge awarding Clark the first round. Team Edgar has now evened the score at 2-2, and “The Answer” retains control of the fight pick, selecting middleweight Ian Stephens to collide with Team Penn’s Roger Zapata next week.

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