Category Archives: Justin Edwards

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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Source: MMA Junkie