‘TUF 22’ Recap: Episode 10

By Mike Sloan Nov 25, 2015
The episode starts in Faber’s locker room following the shocking announcement last week that Chris Gruetzemacher has been booted from competition due to his win being deemed too lousy for him to continue. As expected, the water show begins and a devastated “Gritz” tells the camera his feelings, and that it’s very difficult for him to take it all in.

But behind the curtains, memories of when UFC president Dana White informed him to stay ready because if a fighter winds up being injured and unable to fight, he will be the one who replaces him.

Perfectly on time, Swedish brawler Martin Svensson is talking into the camera and reveals that when he woke one morning following his win over Thanh Le, he explains that he couldn’t move his arm. He details that when he was on Le’s back, he felt his whole arm cracking. With the sensations of pain and the inability to move his limb, he says that he panicked and visits the doctor.

The next scene is a special announcement at the gym where White gathers the troops. As expected, he informs the fighters and coaches that the Swede does in fact have a broken wing so Svensson has been removed from the show. It’s almost visible on screen, the gloomy sad-faced gray clouds fleeing from above “Gritz” as White welcomes him back into the fold. His reward? Having to fight the Russian-Irishman Artem Lobov.

But before the lightweights get to slug it out, the entire cast gets to slam down plenty of booze. When they return to the TUF house, the boys walk into a pleasant surprise: the joint is infested with hot chicks and they are coming out of every nook and cranny. Obviously, the party is on but the editing team doesn’t keep the cameras rolling too long so most of the suspected shenanigans is not able to be seen.

Five days after the party, it’s time get serious. Both combatants prep for the duel and they are confident of victory.

“Chris, you better be ready to die in that cage… because I am,” Lobov stated into the camera with a stone-faced seriousness. Gruetzemacher’s pre-fight jive is nowhere near as dramatic, which likely was a harbinger of things to come.

As soon as the fight starts, Team Faber’s “Gritz” comes out with plenty of kicks to the legs and body. A couple of decent punches to the face by Artem follow suit, but neither man is able to seize control early. For the first few minutes of the contest, it’s a battle between the American’s kicks and the European’s powerful punches. Though Artem is extremely stiff with his hands either wide apart or down, his striking is effective and it begins taking its toll on “Gritz.” By the end of the frame, Gruetzemacher has a broken nose and blood is pouring from it. However, Lobov suffers a cut above his left eye from a pair of elbows and he was appearing to be gassing out.

Lobov doesn’t allow his foe to dictate the pace early in the second as he begins landing some hard punches and kicks to the body. “Gritz” starts gasping for air and his striking, which isn’t exactly Floyd Mayweather-like to begin with, deteriorates dramatically. Lobov begins hammering away with lefts and rights to the head, ignoring the cut on the bridge of his nose. He knows his rival is breaking down physically and mentally so he increases the power behind his punches.

Finally, a pair of straight lefts drop “Gritz” but the American springs back to his feet. It doesn’t take long for Lobov to finish him off, though, as an exhausted and woozy Chris is clipped by another left, a punch that buckles his knees. Lobov, sensing the kill, rushes in and floors him with another left, ending the fight; referee John McCarthy steps in before the Russian can do any further damage. This is the first time ever that Gruetzemacher has ever been knocked out.

The next scrap on the episode is power vs. finesse as England’s Saul Rogers is ready to lock horns with American jiu jitsu wizard Ryan Hall. To the surprise of many, Hall decides to strike with his more powerful foe for the entirety of the opening round. Hall does well with slapping leg kicks and sporadic, flashy kicks to the body and head. Rogers stays compact, catching his opponent from time to time with counter punches to the face, but overall, the first round is rather pedestrian. It’s a close one and it appears as though Hall may have gotten it but it can go either way.

The second frame is much different as Hall quickly goes to his bread and butter. After Rogers throws Hall onto his back, the American immediately pulls guard. Saul is too wise to stay there so he eventually pulls out and re-stands. For the next few minutes, Hall does everything he can to take the fight to the ground and keep it there, but the Brit is an intelligent bloke and stands up whenever he can.

After Ryan is taken down when Rogers scoops his right leg, Hall instantly goes for a kimura and then an armbar, but the Englishman is sweaty, easily sliding free of the submission. After Rogers drops him with a flash right to the jaw, Hall shoots a few more times and rolls his counterpart into a heel hook attempt into another on the other leg, Again, Rogers escapes and is eventually pulled back down, only to fend off everything the grappling savant is throwing at him. With precious seconds remaining in the fight, Ryan misses a triangle from his back, pops up to his feet and eats a right fist for good measure.

Rogers wins the contest via majority decision with tallies of 19-19 and 20-18 (twice) to advance to the quarterfinals.

The coming attractions for next week are terse, as only a few seconds of the two fights and training are shown. Also, White will announce the semifinals matches at the end of next Wednesday’s episode.

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