'TUF 19' Recap: Episode 8

By C.J. Tuttle Jun 4, 2014

Episode 8 begins with Mike King and Eddie Gordon discussing tonight’s impending middleweight match-up, with both men claiming the bout will end up being a one-sided affair. The two are quite keen on the scrap as the tensions in the household have been brewing as of late.

King -- who apparently is the cook for Team Penn -- is upset because of Team Edgar refusing to clean their dishes after eating. In order to resolve the issue, King writes a note asking for everyone to do their own dishes. Gordon takes offense and writes a response, antagonizing King even further.

Gordon speaks about how he got into mixed martial arts and credits Chris Weidman for getting him into the gym. Prior to fighting for a living, Gordon was a standout high school and college football player. He adds that he is aware King is undefeated and a tough opponent, but he considers this a chance to make a real statement.

Frankie Edgar says that Gordon’s game plan revolves around avoiding the clinch of King, and he wants Gordon to establish a jab and pivot off the clinch to be effective.

King says he fights to impress his girlfriend Elizabeth. He credits her with straightening out his life and giving him something to strive for. King began fighting in MMA because of a high school wrestling coach who knew he had what it took to be successful in the sport. King knows how strong Gordon is, adding that he plans on moving a lot and relying on his cardio to make the difference inside the cage.

Mark Coleman speaks with King and emphasizes that he should use his wrestling first before trying to strike with Gordon. B.J. Penn reiterates the same thing. The two coaches are really foreshadowing Gordon’s power. Regardless, Penn predicts a victory for his prospect.

Up next is this season’s coaches’ challenge. UFC President Dana White is on hand to describe the competition, which is an obstacle course via kayak. As usual, the prize is $10,000 and some funds for the winning coach’s team.

Both coaches begin in unison, but Edgar takes an early lead. Slow and steady wins the race, however, and at the halfway point Penn gains a substantial lead that Edgar cannot overcome.

Later, King and Gordon discuss how there is legitimate heat between them heading into the Octagon. They both feel that the more emotional fighter will be less successful when it’s time to get down to business.

In the first round, Gordon works the jab early during a feeling-out process for both fighters. King throws his first significant strike and lands a stiff leg kick. Gordon is circling well, picking his shots. King is visibly taller than Gordon but hasn’t had the better of the exchanges two minutes in. A flying knee attempt from King is blocked by Gordon. A nice combination from King comes out of nowhere, and he follows up with knees from inside the clinch. Gordon manages to circle out. King finally gets the fight where he wants it -- up against the cage -- and manages to keep it there for a minute. The last 60 seconds feature back-and-forth striking from both men.

Gordon comes out quickly again with the jab to open the second. He swings wildly and pays for it as King lands a big punch. King presses his man against the cage and throws a knee. It catches his opponent beneath the belt, but Gordon doesn’t need much time to recuperate. Gordon then focuses on attacking his foe’s body until King takes a finger to the eye and starts writhing in pain. There is blood flowing from the eye, and King claims he can’t see. Those in attendance encourage him to continue and he does so.

When the fight restarts it’s obvious that the eye is hindering King’s performance, but he manages to take the fight against the cage. Gordon is desperate to circle out with two minutes left. King is tentative but still throwing punches. King grabs hold of Gordon and succeeds in scoring a big throw for a takedown. Gordon is right back up to his feet. King again presses his opponent against the cage and starts working for a second takedown. He is successful just as the round ends.

Former NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer informs both men there will be a third round.

Referee Herb Dean warns both men to keep their fingers away from the eyes early in round three. King goes right back to his bread and butter of pressing Gordon against the cage. This doesn’t last long, as Gordon shows some urgency. Audio is played of Dana White imploring both men to “step up and do something to win this fight.” Neither seems eager to risk losing, as there is a lot of standing and staring at one other. Now it’s Gordon’s turn to get poked in the eye, and the fight is paused. When the fight resumes King shoots for a takedown but Gordon winds up scoring. Gordon gets another takedown late and lands an uppercut as King stands. The extra round ends, and it’s going to the judges.

After the fight White reiterates his displeasure in both fighters, saying neither man showed the desire to fight in the UFC. When the scores are tabulated, Eddie Gordon claims the victory. Next week’s bout will feature Chris Fields vs. Matt Van Buren in a light heavyweight tilt.


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