Category Archives: Jesse Taylor

As in 'Dumb and Dumber,' Jesse Taylor thinks he's 'totally redeemed' himself

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LAS VEGAS – As far as redemption stories go, Jesse Taylor’s will be one for the MMA storybooks.

To say Taylor (31-15 MMA, 1-1 UFC) had a good night is an understatement. Not only did he conquer “The Ultimate Fighter” crown over Dhiego Lima (12-6 MMA, 1-4 UFC) on Friday, he did so in decisive fashion – more precisely, with a second-round submission over the fellow “TUF 25” finalist. With that victory came a not-too-shabby $290,000 payday that no other season winner had earned.

Before reaching “TUF” glory at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, however, Taylor was the protagonist of one of its most remarkably low moments in series history. After making it all the way to the tournament final of Season 7 back in 2008, Taylor got himself kicked out of the house due to unruly drunken behavior during a night out in Las Vegas.

Taylor did get a UFC shot after the incident, but when a first-round Peruvian necktie by C.B. Dollaway put an end to that, it took Taylor some work – and 36 professional MMA bouts – to make his way back.

Yet, at 34, here he is.

“Maybe they’ll make a movie about it one day,” Taylor said after the FS1-televised co-headliner at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena on Friday. “It’s not about the money. Don’t get me wrong – it’s going to change my life and my kids’ life. But it wasn’t really about the money. It was about the story. About redemption. That’s what it was about. I just wanted to show my kids, to be a good role model.

“Like, ‘Hey, you mess up in life, but you fix it, and you keep going.’ A lot of people mess up in life. I think I relate with people in that sense. I’m a pretty regular guy. Nothing too special about me. I just keep going.”

Taylor is neither happy nor excited about the “foolish” behavior that led to the embarrassing end to his first “TUF” journey. In fact, not a day has gone by since in which he hasn’t thought about it. But he doesn’t regret it either. At the end of the day, it fueled him. It made him hungry. And it got him where he needed to be.

“Who knows? If I’d won back then, I might have been in and out and done with the UFC,” Taylor said. “And I just kept grinding, and kept plugging away, and fighting anyone, anywhere, anytime. And I think in the end, it got me a lot better. It made a better fighter and person.”

Taylor admitted there were moments in his career in which he got discouraged – particularly, when he went on long seven- or eight-fight winning streaks and saw people he’d beaten getting their own octagon calls. But even then, giving up was just not an option.

“I told myself, if it takes me until I’m 60, I’m going to get back in the UFC,” he said. “And once they told me about this show, through Tom – Tom Gallichio (fellow castmate) was actually the first to tell me. I was like, ‘Man, that’s about me.’ Like Jim Carrey said in ‘Dumb and Dumber,’ I totally redeemed myself.”

For full accuracy: It was actually Jeff Daniels’ character, Harry, who said that to Lloyd, played by Jim Carrey, in the 1994 movie. But in any case, Taylor made his point.

And the patience throughout the “crazy long journey” paid off big. But, riveting narrative aside, it was Taylor’s skill set that got the job done against Lima. From the start, the vet made it clear that he wasn’t about to take any unnecessary risks, using a pressure game to take him down and pretty much just keep him there.

The game plan helped Taylor breeze through a dominant Round 1. But, as soon as the bout restarted for Round 2, he saw himself on the unfortunate end of a left hook that sent him straight to the mat.

So, about that one dangerous minute there?

“Well, I did the strategy of taking a punch to the head,” Taylor said jokingly. “And he came on me, and I created a scramble. So I guess the punch in the head worked because he just jumped on me, and that’s kind of what I wanted. I knew I could out scramble him, from training with him on the show. And they say it’s an old trick, but I’m a rear-naked-choke artist.

“I think my jiu-jitsu is a little underestimated. I’ve been submitted a lot, but I think that’s life. I learned slowly but surely from my mistakes. I knew what it takes to win, and I trust in my jiu-jitsu.”

Taylor has certainly crashed the UFC’s 170-pound scene with a bang. But is it enough to make a quick rise through one of the promotion’s most stacked divisions, currently ruled by champ Tyron Woodley? On one hand, Taylor understands he’s surrounded by sharks. But, on the other, he said they might be lacking on star power.

Enter this vet with a really great backstory who has also happened to have fought “the best of the best” around the world throughout stints on Strikeforce, Dream, WSOF, ACB and Cage Warriors (to name a few).

“Then I come out of nowhere to take it all,” Taylor said. “I want to make a run for this. Maybe a fight or two, but I want to get contender status, and I want to go get that belt.”

Clearly, Taylor has had quite the learning curve in the nine years since he’s been trying to make his way back to the octagon. But some things may never change.

“That $250,000 was the icing on the ice cream – I don’t know if I’m saying that right,” Taylor said. “I think I messed that up on ‘TUF 7’ too, actually.”

To hear from Taylor on his remarkable journey – and the plans for his paycheck – check out the video above.

And for more on The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

TUF Finale 25 video highlights: Jesse Taylor vs. Dhiego Lima

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Jesse Taylor has the redemption he’s wanted for so long.

After being taken down and swarmed in the opening round, Dhiego Lima finally turned things around with a left hook that dropped Taylor at the start of the second.

Moments later, Taylor (31-15 MMA, 1-1 UFC) was back on top, taking Lima’s (12-6 MMA, 1-4 UFC) back and sinking in the rear-naked choke to force the submission just 43 seconds into Round 2, claiming “The Ultimate Fighter 25” tournament title worth nearly $300,000 in the end.

The welterweight bout co-headlined Friday’s UFC event, The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The “TUF 25” tournament final aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Check out the highlights above.

Also see:

For more on The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Twitter reacts to Jesse Taylor's submission of Dhiego Lima to win 'TUF 25' crown

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Jesse Taylor completed the greatest comeback story in the history of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series on Friday when he defeated Dhiego Lima in “The Ultimate Fighter 25” final.

Taylor (31-15 MMA, 1-1 UFC) completely overwhelmed Lima (12-6 MMA, 1-4 UFC) with a superior grappling arsenal and locked in the second-round submission to win a $250,000 prize in the co-headliner of the The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Check below for the top Twitter reactions to Taylor’s victory over Lima at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale

* * * *

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

TUF 25 Finale results: At long last, Jesse Taylor wins 'TUF' with submission of Dhiego Lima

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After being taken down and swarmed on the mat in the opening round, Dhiego Lima finally turned things around with a left hook that dropped Jesse Taylor at the start of the second.

Moments later, Taylor (31-15 MMA, 1-1 UFC) was back on top, taking Lima’s (12-6 MMA, 1-4 UFC) back and sinking in the rear-naked choke to force the submission just 43 seconds into Round 2, claiming a reality show tournament title worth nearly $300,000 in the end.

The welterweight bout co-headlined today’s UFC event, The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The “TUF 25” tournament final aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Any doubts as to Taylor’s game plan were put to rest in the first 10 seconds of the fight, as he immediately charged across the cage and shot for a takedown on Lima, who spent most of the next 90 seconds defending against it.

He was ultimately unsuccessful, and with Taylor on top the grind the began. From the guard to side control to the back and all over again, Taylor was relentless in his attacks, twice coming close to locking up rear-naked chokes before letting them go and settling for softening Lima up with ground-and-pound.

After surviving that round, Lima came out for the second frame looking for a change. He found one early, as Taylor pressed forward and Lima tagged him with a left hook above his ear that sat him down in the center of the cage. But just as Lima dove in with a right hand to the downed Taylor, hoping to capitalize on his good fortune, he inadvertently played right into Taylor’s hands.

Within seconds, Taylor had scrambled up, shucked Lima off his back, and taken Lima’s back in response, quickly locking up the rear-naked choke and putting on the squeeze. Lima tried everything he could to escape, but the choke was in and there was no escape, forcing him to tap less than a minute into a round that had started in such promising fashion.

The win gives Taylor the TUF 25 title, which brings with it a $250,000 cash prize, in addition to the money he earned for his previous victories on the show. Lima has now lost his last two pro bouts.

Up-to-the-minute TUF 25 Finale results include:

For more on The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Steven Marrocco contributed to this report on site in Las Vegas.)

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Source: MMA Junkie

TUF 25 Finale official weigh-in video, photos: New 'TUF' winner will be crowned

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LAS VEGAS – The first of back-to-back UFC shows for “International Fight Week” goes down Friday night with the TUF 25 Finale in Las Vegas.

This morning, the fighters on the card stepped on the scale to become official for the event, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena and airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, Michael Johnson (17-11 MMA, 9-7 UFC) and Justin Gaethje (17-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) meet in a lightweight bout. Gaethje is a former WSOF champion who is making his UFC debut. And in the co-feature, Dhiego Lima (12-5 MMA, 1-3 UFC) takes on Jesse Taylor (30-15 MMA, 0-1 UFC) to determine the Season 25 winner of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

Check out our exclusive video from the early and official weigh-ins of the four fighters at the top of the card above, as well as our complete photo gallery below.

And for more on The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Tom Gallicchio vs. James Krause joins Dhiego Lima vs. Jesse Taylor to complete TUF 25 Finale lineup

Semifinalists Tom Galicchio (19-9 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and James Krause (23-7 MMA, 4-3 UFC) will square off at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale.

UFC officials tonight announced the two “The Ultimate Fighter 25” cast members will square off at the season’s live finale shortly after the final taped episode of the season aired on FS1. Both welterweights came up short in their semifinal contests – Gallicchio losing a decision to Dhiego Lima, while Krause was submitted byJesse Taylor.

Lima (12-5 MMA, 1-3 UFC) and Taylor (30-15 MMA, 0-0 UFC) meet in “The Ultimate Fighter 25” tournament final, with the winner earning $250,000.

The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale takes place Friday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Galicchio was a cast member on “The Ultimate Fighter 22,” where he picked up a submission win over Mike Flach before suffering a decision loss to Marcin Wrzosek and openly questioning his future in the sport. Still, he came back to show for this season’s “Redemption” offer, downing UFC veterans Eddie Gordon and Justin Edwards before falling short against Lima.

Menawhile, Krause was an active member of the UFC roster but still elected to chase the sizable prize money offered on the show. He downed Johnny Nunez and Ramsey Nijem before losing to Taylor.

With the additions to the card, The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale lineup now includes:

MAIN CARD (FS1, 9 p.m. ET)

  • Michael Johnson vs. Justin Gaethje
  • Dhiego Lima vs. Jesse Taylor – “TUF 25” welterweight tournament final
  • Marc Diakiese vs. Drakkar Klose
  • Jared Cannonier vs. Nick Roehrick
  • Brad Tavares vs. Elias Theodorou
  • Marcel Fortuna vs. Jordan Johnson

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 7 p.m. ET)

  • Tom Galicchio vs. James Krause
  • Angela Hill vs. Ashley Yoder
  • C.B. Dollaway vs. Ed Herman
  • Jessica Eye vs. Aspen Ladd

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6 p.m. ET)

  • Teruto Ishihara vs. Gray Maynard
  • Juliana Lima vs. Tecia Torres

For more on The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Episode No. 12 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption'

Episode No. 12 of “The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption” opens with coach T.J. Dillashaw introducing the arrival of special guest coach Tim Elliott, who won Season 24 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series.

Elliott has trained in Colorado with Dillashaw and Duane Ludwig in the past and is also a good friend of Team Dillashaw’s James Krause, who is tentatively scheduled to fight Team Dillashaw’s Jesse Taylor later in the episode.

Both fighters begin preparation for the second semifinal, which will determine who fights Dhiego Lima on Friday at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale. There’s still uncertainty around Krause’s eye, though, as he has yet to be officially cleared for competition after suffering a cornea scratch in his quarterfinal win.

Several fighters are staying prepared in the event Krause cannot fight. Krause visits the doctor, and after some tests, he’s granted clearance for his bout with Taylor.

Krause is thrilled to “put the drama behind” and finally be able to place 100 percent of his focus on the upcoming fight.

Back at the “TUF” house, Elliott and Zak Cummings visit to spend some time with their friend, Krause, ahead of his fight. Many of the eliminated athletes begin to indulge in the free alcohol supply, and while outside some words are exchanged between Elliott and Team Garbrandt’s Seth Baczynski. That leads to Baczynski throwing a water bottle at Elliott just before the fighters return inside the house.

Baczynski and Julian Lane grow frustrated with Elliott’s talking, and they crowd the flyweight fighter. Lane repeatedly pushes Elliott, who begins laughing and mocks Lane’s infamous, “Let me bang, bro” moment. The situation essentially explodes with a lot of shoving and even some punch attempts. Eventually an extremely heated Lane and Justin Edwards force Elliott and Cummings to leave the house.

The frustration continues inside, though, with Baczynski confronting Krause over the fact his friends and training partners from outside the competition were at the house. There’s more physicality between them, with Baczynski pushing Krause in the face before being separated.

Taylor, who is scheduled to fight Krause later in the episode, is holding his upcoming opponent back and attempting to keep him calm. Krause eventually walks away from the situation and returns to his room where he can focus on his upcoming fight.

At the official weigh-ins, Krause and Taylor come in under the required 171-pound welterweight limit.

Fight day arrives, and after warmups take place in the locker rooms, both fighters enter the octagon for the final “TUF 25” semifinal bout.

Team Dillashaw’s James Krause (23-7) vs. Team Dillashaw’s Jesse Taylor (30-15)

Round 1 – Krause opens with a front kick to the body. Krause changes levels and scores with a single leg takedown. Taylor gets right back up and attacks with a takedown of his own. Krause attempts to scramble but Taylor keeps top position. Taylor lands a hard elbow and some short ground and pound while Krause begins primary submission attacks. Taylor’s top control is solid for the time being, but Krause catches him overly aggressive and sweeps into top position. Krause is now the one on top peppering his opponent with strikes before Taylor gives up his back. He turns over before Krause can do anything with it, and Taylor is on top. Taylor lands a flurry of hard blows, which forces Krause to work for an escape. He gets to his feet, but Taylor is glued to him and immediately secures another takedown. Taylor batters Krause from on top until the end of the round.

Round 2 – Krause opens with a body kick, but Taylor immediately goes for the takedown. After a brief struggle Taylor gets on top and moves Krause’s body toward the fence where he can work his strikes. Taylor advances to half guard and delivers a steady stream of offense, which prevents a stand-up and Krause is doing little to get off his back. There are several scramble, but each time Taylor finds a way to end up with top control. Krause is cut open on his forehead from Taylor’s strikes. Taylor puts in solid work for the remainder of the round to close out one of the most lopsided rounds of the season.

Round 3 – Krause throws a head kick to open the round, which falls just short. To no surprise, Taylor immediately closes the distance and makes good on a takedown near the fence. Krause is clearly more desperate to stay off his back, but Taylor’s strength and control is an utter nightmare. Taylor eventually advances to Krause’s back, then takes the mount. Taylor locks his arms under Krause’s neck for a guillotine choke and uses all his leverage until Krause goes unconscious, and the referee steps in to stop the fight.

Jesse Taylor def. James Krause via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 3

Taylor, who made the finals during Season 7 of “The Ultimate Fighter” but was pulled from the finale due to an outside-the-cage incident, is absolutely thrilled with his victory.

“I can’t believe this is happening again – incredible,” Taylor says after his victory. “I finally finished the job; it’s been nine years in the making. I feel exuberant. I couldn’t be more proud of myself. I couldn’t ask for more. It’s like a dream.”

Taylor joins Lima at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale on Friday’s FS1-televised card at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Early prelims stream on UFC Fight Pass.

Taylor and Lima have a staredown inside the octagon before the episode comes to a close.

Also see:

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Episode No. 11 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption'

Episode No. 11 of “The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption” opens with focus on the upcoming semifinal matchups, which pits two pairs of Team Dillashaw fighters against one another, with Dhiego Lima vs. Tom Gallicchio and James Krause vs. Jesse Taylor

There’s concern about the condition of Krause’s eye, though, because he suffered a scratched cornea in the quarterfinal round. UFC President Dana White informs coach Cody Garbrandt that if Krause is not ready to go he can bring back any member of his team to the competition.

Team Dillashaw is not pleased with White’s decision. Ramsey Nijem in particular thinks he should get another opportunity and is complaining about the situation, which irritates Gilbert Smith. The Team Dillashaw members get into somewhat of a heated argument, but the tension eventually fizzles.

Preparation for the first semifinal between Lima and Gallicchio begins. As has been the case for all the matchups between Team Dillashaw fighters, head coach T.J. Dillashaw gives both fighters maximum attention in the training room. However, he won’t appear in either corner during the fight to remain impartial.

During a break in training, the team Dillashaw fighters and coaching staff overtake the Team Garbrandt locker room. They paint the walls blue, which represents their team color and hang Team Dillashaw signs and photos on the walls.

Once Team Garbrandt arrives at the gym, they tear down all the photos and write, “Snake Free Zone” on the walls.

Back at the “TUF” house, Krause is beginning to grow frustrated with his surrounding fighters. He’s constantly being asked about the condition of his eye and whether he will be able to compete. It turns into an argument with Team Garbrandt’s Johnny Nunez, which goes on for several minutes.

During the next Team Garbrandt training session, coach Dillashaw sneaks into the locker room with a number of live snakes in his possession. He places them in the center of the locker room, which turns into a comical scene once Team Garbrandt returns from training.

At the official weigh-ins, Lima and Gallicchio come in under the required 171-pound welterweight limit. A friendly staredown follows, with both fighters smiling as they pose.

Fight day arrives, and after warmups take place in the locker rooms, both fighters enter the octagon for the first “TUF 25” semifinal bout.

Team Dillashaw’s Dhiego Lima (12-5) vs. Team Dillashaw’s Tom Gallicchio (19-9)

Round 1 – Gallicchio opens with leg kicks and is pumping his jab. Lima pops him with a straight shot up the middle and is moving around the octagon as Gallicchio is more flat-footed. Lima lands a hard body kick, but Gallicchio keeps pushing forward. Gallicchio is looking to close the distance, but Lima is keeping his range. Gallicchio shoots for his first takedown, but it’s easily stuffed. Gallicchio is throwing hooks while Lima connects with better straight punches. Lima nearly misses with a hard right hand; Gallicchio is responding with decent shots at every turn. The pace of the striking is picking up, and Lima shuts down another takedown attempt. Lima lands a nice overhand right. Gallicchio shoots again, but Lima sprawls. Lima is finding his range on the feet, which is beginning to pose issues for Gallicchio. Both sides pick their shots over the final minute of the round, but nothing decisive lands.

Round 2 – Gallicchio shoots for a takedown right away and gets in deep on it. Lima rejects him, though, and lands a powerful knee to the face of Gallicchio on the break. Gallicchio isn’t deterred and keeps moving forward. He’s taking combinations from Lima, which forces him into another takedown attempt. He nearly grounds Lima but can’t get control on the floor. They fight along the fence before Lima escapes. Lima snaps Gallicchio’s head back with a right cross, and he’s gaining confidence. Gallicchio looks to be slowing down and eats a partially blocked head kick as a result. Lima is landing dynamic striking combinations and working Gallicchio’s legs with kicks. Gallicchio changes levels for another takedown, but Lima isn’t having any of it. Lima grabs the fence to stop a takedown, which causes referee Herb Dean to stop the action. He takes one point away from Lima, changing the entire dynamic of the fight. Both fighters have a little more urgency, and Gallicchio shoots for a takedown. It’s not even close, and he absorbs more hard strikes. Lima is picking Gallicchio apart over the final minute until the horn sounds.

Round 3 – They hug to start the round and then Lima blasts off a body kick. Gallicchio’s takedown attempts continue to be denied by Lima, who is seeing everything coming in the striking and grappling departments. Gallicchio lands an overhand right, which is probably his best strike of the fight, but Lima is not rattled. Gallicchio has more of his takedown attempts stuffed and is visibly exhausted. Lima begins to batter him with punches, which causes referee Dean to warn him to fight back. Gallicchio’s takedown attempts have nothing on them at this point, which allows Lima to stock him around the octagon and land punches at will. Gallicchio gets deep on the legs as Lima gets overly aggressive and for the first time in the fight has solid top position. Lima attempts to kick his opponent off but Gallicchio has strong grappling and sticks to him. Lima is fighting hard to stand up, but Gallicchio takes side control. Lima finally scrambles up to his feet, and Gallicchio has almost nothing left in the tank. Gallicchio goes for one final takedown, but it’s thwarted. Lima shoots for his own takedown in the final seconds and finishes the fight on top, pounding Gallicchio with strikes.

Dhiego Lima def. Tom Gallicchio via unanimous decision

Lima becomes the first fighter to advance to the “TUF 25” tournament finals, and perhaps more impressively, becomes the first athlete in the history of the reality series to make it to the finals twice.

He lost to Eddie Gordon in the “TUF 19” finals, but Lima isn’t planning to have history repeat itself.

“I feel great; I’m back in the finals,” Lima says after his win. “This is what I came here for. Now it’s time to take it home.”

Lima received praise from coach Dillashaw for his accomplishment.

“Dhiego’s had a great attitude this entire season,” Dillashaw says. “So I’m happy for him. A good human being is moving on to the finals, and I’m happy for him.”

Lima will compete at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale on July 7, and his opponent will be decided on the next episode when Taylor fights either Krause or his yet-to-be-determined injury replacement.

Also see:

 

Catch new episodes of “The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption” every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) on FS1. MMAjunkie recaps each episode of the reality series.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Episode No. 10 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption'

Episode No. 10 of “The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption” opens with official weigh-ins for the upcoming quarterfinal bout between Team Dillashaw’s Jesse Taylor and Team Garbrandt’s Hayder Hassan.

Before things can get started, though, head coaches Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw begin a verbal back-and-forth stemming from Dillashaw’s new T-shirt design, which features a snake around the “Killashaw” slogan. Garbrandt criticizes the shirt, but Dillashaw doesn’t appear bothered.

“I told Cody he’s so obsessed with me he might as well hold on to my pocket and follow me around, make Cody my (expletive),” Dillashaw says. “He’s so into what I have going on in my life. I could care less what he’s doing.”

Team Garbrandt assistant coach Justin Buchholz joins the conversation, telling Dillashaw that he “left the team in (expletive) shambles” when he parted ways with Team Alpha Male and went to train with Duane Ludwig in Colorado.

“I love Team Alpha Male, I really do,” Garbrandt says. “It saved my life and I’ll defend that as many times as I can. It’s Team Alpha Male against everybody and T.J. and Duane are on the chopping blocks and I’m ready to cut the snake’s head off.”

Weigh-ins for the fight take place, and both Taylor and Hassan come in under the required 171-pound welterweight limit, making the third tournament quarterfinal official. The bickering between the coaches continues but cooler heads eventually prevail.

Fight day arrives. Both fighters finalize preparation with their coaches backstage at the “TUF” gym, and finally, the competition continues.

Team Dillashaw’s Jesse Taylor (30-15) vs. Team Garbrandt’s Hayder Hassan (6-3)

Round 1 – Hassan opens with a front kick which narrowly misses and Taylor fires back with a body kick. Taylor changes levels to attempt a takedown and chains several moves together before planting Hassan on the mat. Taylor quickly takes the back of his opponent and is working for a choke. Hassan spins out, but finds himself back within Taylor’s grip and is slammed to the canvas again. Taylor steps over into mount and is peppering Hassan with short punches. Taylor finally gets into an appropriate position to lock in the rear-naked choke and Hassan is doing everything he can to survive. Taylor finally secures it and Hassan is forced to tap out to the submission.

Jesse Taylor def. Hayder Hassan via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1

Taylor becomes the third fighter to advance to the semifinal round, joining Team Dillashaw teammates Tom Gallicchio and Dhiego Lima. All Team Garbrandt fighters have officially been eliminated from the competition, which is a joyous moment for coach Dillashaw.

“It was such a great feeling to know all of Team Garbrandt is gone,” Dillashaw says. “I did my job, I came here to do what I was supposed to do. I don’t want to be a jerk about it but it’s definitely a great feeling to shut Cody out and shut his mouth.”

Scenes immediately shift to weigh-ins for the fourth and final quarterfinal tournament bout, which will pit Team Dillashaw’s James Krause against Team Dillashaw’s Ramsey Nijem. Both fighters come in under the required 171-pound welterweight limit. A tense staredown follows.

Fight day arrives. Both fighters finalize preparation with their coaches backstage at the “TUF” gym, and the competition continues.

Team Dillashaw’s James Krause (23-7) vs. Team Dillashaw’s Ramsey Nijem (9-6)

Round 1 – Krause opens with a low kick but Nijem pressures forward with wild striking combinations. Krause times one of the punches and ducks under the complete an easy double leg takedown. Krause is swarming from on top and attempting to establish a dominant position. He’s landing short punches but Nijem does a good job keeping himself out of a danger from the bottom. Nijem attempts to kick his opponent off but ends up giving up his back. He scrambles and gets back up to his feet but eats a pair of clinch knees for his troubles. Nijem continues to push forward with his strikes and Krause is looking to counter. Both sides eat hard shots before Krause initiates the clinch again and drags his opponent down to the canvas. Krause can’t do much on the mat before Nijem finds his way back to the feet. Krause is standing on the outside throwing a lot of kicks while Nijem attacks with punches. Nijem completes a takedown new the end of the round but there’s not enough time to do anything with it.

Round 2 – The pace is slower to start the second round. Nijem is beginning to find his range with the punches while Krause attempts to counterstrike. Nijem goes for another takedown and lands a number of hard punches on Krause as he puts him down. Nijem gets too aggressive, though, and falls over the top of Krause into bottom position. Krause is riding out the position and attempting to take the back but Nijem stands back up. Nijem is connecting more and more with his punches then takes Krause down again. Nijem opens a cut on Krause’s forehead and inflicting some solid damage to the eye. Krause fights his way back up but drops down for a guillotine choke which is easily escaped by Nijem. He spends a solid amount of time on top before Krause returns to his feet. Nijem holds Krause against the fence until time expires.

Round 3 – Both men are exhausted but Krause does a nice job pumping the jab early. He lands an uppercut as well but Nijem explodes into a takedown. He can’t keep Krause down, though, and ends up in a headlock position. Krause reverses onto the back and is working to get his forearm under the neck for a choke. Nijem turns over and has Krause on top of him in the guard. Krause is riding out the position and battering Nijem with more solid strikes. Krause spends several minutes on top before Nijem finally gets to his feet with less than 60 seconds remaining. Nijem attacks aggressive and puts Krause on his back with another takedown. Nijem is unleashing everything he can in the waining seconds but time expires with Krause attempting a guillotine choke.

James Krause def. Ramsey Nijem via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Krause becomes the fourth and final fighter to advance to the semifinals. UFC President Dana White invites both coaches into his office to deliberate the semifinal matchups.

White reveals that Krause may not be able to compete in the next round because of damage sustained to his eye, which is swollen almost entirely shut. A replacement will be brought in if that’s the case, but Krause will get a few days to recover before a decision is made.

After some discussions, the matchups are decided: Dhiego Lima vs. Tom Gallicchio and James Krause vs. Jesse Taylor.

Also see:

Catch new episodes of “The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption” every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) on FS1. MMAjunkie recaps each episode of the reality series.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Episode No. 8 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption'

Episode No. 8 of “The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption” opens with fight preparation for Team Garbrandt’s Hayder Hassan, who meets Team Dillashaw’s Joe Stevenson in the special wild card fight later in the episode.

Hassan was eliminated by Dhiego Lima on Episode No. 4, while Stevenson was bounced by Justin Edwards on Episode No. 7. The season is labeled “Redemption” for a reason, though, and both fighters were brought back for another chance to advance in the tournament and earn the $250,000 prize.

Stevenson’s preparation with Team Dillashaw must be tailored with a particular amount of caution, though, because “Joe Daddy” is just six days removed from the bout with Edwards. He wasn’t badly beaten up in the decision loss, and as a longtime veteran of the sport, Stevenson feels he’s more capable than any other cast member to make a quick turnaround.

There has never been a two-time winner of “TUF,” but Stevenson wants to make history and be the first.

Weigh-ins for the fight take place, and both Hassan and Stevenson come in under the required 171-pound welterweight limit, making the eighth tournament fight official.

Fight day arrives, and the athletes are ready for the eighth and final opening-round tournament bout. Both fighters finalize preparation with their coaches backstage at the “TUF” gym, and finally the competition continues.

Team Dillashaw’s Joe Stevenson (33-16) vs. Team Garbrandt’s Hayder Hassan (6-3)

Round 1 – Hassan opens with a body kick that lands on the arms of his opponent. Stevenson changes levels for a takedown, but Hassan easily brushes him off and keeps his space. Stevenson is looking to close the distance and create a grappling or clinch scenario, but Hassan perfectly times his aggression and launches a right uppercut that blasts Stevenson on the chin. Stevenson immediately goes down and Hassan lands a pair of hammerfists to his fallen opponent before the referee dives in to halt the action just 18 second in.

Hayden Hassan def. Joe Stevenson via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:18

After the fight, coach Cody Garbrandt immediately rips opposing coach T.J. Dillashaw for allowing Stevenson to compete in another bout just six days after his previous contest.

“It was bittersweet,” Garbrandt says. “Hayder’s a knockout artist, I’m a big fan of Hayder, but it was bittersweet seeing Joe get knocked out. I told T.J. that was going to happen. He was in a fight six days before that that he was pretty hurt in. I don’t know if that contributed to that, but it definitely didn’t help him out.”

Nevertheless, Hassan wins the wildcard fight and becomes the second Team Garbrandt fighter to advance to the quarterfinals, joining Edwards. Team Dillashaw, meanwhile, has six fighters in the next round.

UFC President Dana White decides on the four quarterfinal matchups, which shape up as follows:

Fight preparation begins for the opening quarterfinal, which will see Team Dillashaw’s Gallicchio take on Team Garbrandt’s Edwards. It’s one of two matchups that will pit opposing team members against one another, and both fighters are thankful they don’t have to deal with a teammate vs. teammate situation – at least not yet.

With a break in training, it’s time for the annual “Coaches Challenge.” This season, head coaches Dillashaw and Garbrandt clash in a game of water tetherball. The winning coach receives $10,000 while each member of the their team gets a $1,500 prize.

Both fighters admit they have minimal experience playing tetherball and Dillashaw falls into the water before the game even begins. Garbrandt takes a dominant 8-4 lead in the game up to 10, but Dillashaw stages a huge rally to tie it at 8 apiece.

Dillashaw completes his comeback of six consecutive points and pulls off the victory. He wins the prize for himself and his team, and Dillashaw says of Garbrandt, “I watched him give up.”

Weigh-ins for the fight take place, and both Gallicchio and Edwards come in under the required 171-pound welterweight limit, making the first tournament quarterfinal official.

Fight day arrives, and the athletes are ready for the quarterfinals to begin. Both fighters finalize preparation with their coaches backstage at the “TUF” gym, and finally, the competition continues.

Team Dillashaw’s Tom Gallicchio (19-9) vs. Team Garbrandt’s Justin Edwards (9-5) – quarterfinal

Round 1 – Gallicchio opens with a right hand, but Edwards come back with a crisp combination. Gallicchio walks forward but is eating shots every time he moves in Edwards’ direction. Edwards tags Gallicchio with more clean punches before a right hand catches him hard on the chin and drops Gallicchio to the canvas. Gallicchio bounces up and immediately dives at the legs of Edwards, who sprawls. Edwards grabs the neck and drops for a guillotine choke, but he’s too high on the neck and Gallicchio manages to escape the position. A scramble ensues, and Gallicchio comes out on Edwards’ back. He locks in the body triangle before working the neck for a rear-naked choke. Gallicchio gets his hands in proper position and squeezes hard on the submission, forcing Edwards to tap out.

Tom Gallicchio def. Justin Edwards via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1

Gallicchio becomes the first fighter to advance to the semifinals and is pleased with how he’s performed in the competition thus far.

“It’s pretty amazing; I was broke, dead broke,” Gallicchio says. “I didn’t know where the next meal was coming from sometimes. It’s unreal (to win two finishing bonuses). I’m going to be smart, I’m going to invest it and buy some more candy machines, and get them out there.”

Also see:

Catch new episodes of “The Ultimate Fighter 25: Redemption” every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) on FS1. MMAjunkie recaps each episode of the reality series.

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