‘TUF 24’ Recap: Episode 7

By Mike Sloan Oct 12, 2016
The episode kicks off at night at the “TUF” house with the fighters all circled around the hot tub outside, drinking and talking trash, but at first it seems like everybody’s just having a good time. Matt Rizzo appears to be the most inebriated of the fellas and by the time they get into the house, Rizzo is telling Matt Schnell, whom he lost to last week, that he thinks he out-struck him.

It doesn’t take long before Jamie Alvarez and Rizzo began mouthing off at each other and saying unfriendly words. Before long, the flyweights are face to face and a few shoves happen, but in the end, nothing unravels as cooler heads prevail.

Once the tomfoolery subsides, it’s time for the world get to know Tim Elliott a little more. Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White talks about how he brought Elliott to come into the UFC and highlights of his terrific war with John Dodson are shown. Elliott won two straight in the Octagon but then lost three in a row before being cut. However, he went over to Titan Fighting Championships where he won their title and is ready to come back to the biggest stage in mixed martial arts. Needless to say, White is pumped to have him on the show and during his training session, coaches Joseph Benavidez and Robert Follis are digging Elliott’s work ethic and awkward fighting style.

From there, it’s back to the house where Charlie Alaniz is finally seen on the show. After being a ghost for six episodes, we realize that he has a face and a voice. His home video shows him back home in Torrance, Calif. However, after about one minute, the scene shifts back to Elliott and his home video of him and his baby daughter. Elliott is then seen training at Glory MMA & Fitness, which is owned by UFC fighter James Krause.

Alaniz, who actually trains out of Australia, is the Hex Fight Series champ at 125 pounds and his highlights show him to be an animal inside the cage. The kid is no joke with his grinding style and heavy hands. Henry Cejudo loves him and what he brings to the table. Training partner Kai Kara-France is upset during sparring, though, because Alaniz apparently told him that he was going to knock him out, too. At the end of practice, Kara-France brings it up and right away, Alaniz immediately flips out and explains how real he is and how he will knock everybody out but he eventually cools off.

Finally, it’s time for the Coaches’ Challenge and both teams are brought to Top Golf, just off the Strip in Las Vegas. Neither Cejudo nor Benavidez know anything about golf and they are freaking out about the challenge, which is that each coach gets 20 golf balls to hit into randomly scattered targets for various amounts of points at stake. Whichever coach scores the most points after hitting 20 balls will win $10 thousand and his team with get an additional $1500.

Cejudo is up first and he sucks. Badly. He swings and misses the ball again and again and again before finally making some lousy contact. As expected, everybody is mocking him. Benavidez takes his turn and clips the ball on his first try and nabs three points. From there, they take turns hitting the balls – barely – as balls are bouncing and rolling everywhere. It’s safe to say that these guys are better fighters than golfers, but after 14 rounds, Cejudo is far worse and trails 100-8. When it’s mercifully over, a small rally by Cejudo falls short and Benavidez wins 144-28.

After the weigh-ins and usual pre-fight video clips, it’s time to fight. Alaniz storms out of his corner and swings for the fences, connecting with a few glancing punches. Elliott is unfazed, though, and stays relaxed. Elliott pops off a series of jabs to the face before being taken down, but Elliott pulls guard. It’s not long before the two are back on their feet and swinging away. Just as the stand-up war is heating up, however, Elliott scores a takedown. immediately latches on a textbook bulldog choke and Alaniz is in deep trouble. He tries everything he has to get out but he can’t and has to tap out less than two minutes in, ending the fight and continuing the finish streak of the first round.

With the opening round of the TUF 24 tournament over, it’s 4-4 overall and White brings the teams into the gym to announce next week’s fight, which will open round two. Alexandre Pantoja will lock horns with Kara-France, who are both a part of team Cejudo. The next fight will be Adam Antolin against Hiromasa Ogikubo, followed by Ronaldo Candido opposing Eric Shelton and then finally Schnell versus Elliott.

Next week, the fighters are treated to a house party where Cejudo apparently gets drunk and acts like a buffoon while Duane Ludwig is invited to the gym to help the cast members with their training.

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