Category Archives: T.J. Dillashaw

Ex-UFC champ T.J. Dillashaw talks about why drama always seems to find him

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Filed under: Featured, News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw isn’t quite sure why drama seems to follow him everywhere.

From his public fallout and feud with Team Alpha Male, to his failed attempt to get a flyweight title shot, to would-be contenders taking verbal jabs, there’s always something to talk about.

“I don’t know – maybe it’s just me getting out there and being around everyone,” Dillashaw told MMAjunkie Radio. “Jimmie Rivera’s talking about sparring footage we had back in the day, and the past with me and Alpha Male, there’s going to be stuff there.

“It almost sounds like jealousy, really. It’s gotten kind of childish and really embarrassing with how obsessed Alpha Male has gotten with my career.”

Things are unlikely to settle down now that Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) is officially rebooked to fight champ Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) at UFC 217, a do-over after Garbrandt withdrew from their highly anticipated grudge match at UFC 213.

Garbrandt and Dillashaw served as opposing coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter 25” and repeatedly clashed on the set, with Garbrandt once physically assaulting his ex-training partner.

When Dillashaw met with a few ex-teammates after the show to hash things out, Garbrandt wasn’t in attendance.

“I think it’s just all circumstances and the position I’m in,” Dillashaw said. “I’m on top, and I’m looking to get my belt back. People, I think, are just a little bit jealous of the lifestyle and what I’m trying to accomplish.”

UFC 217 takes place Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The event’s main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Dillashaw lost the title at the start of 2016 with a split-decision loss to Dominick Cruz. He’s since beaten top contenders Raphael Assuncao and John Lineker to put himself back in title contention. It’s been a rocky road to get a second shot at the belt. Garbrandt’s injury prompted him to volunteer for a fight with flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson, only to be rebuffed when Johnson declined the offer.

If Dillashaw is able to take the title from Garbrandt, it would be the validation of nearly two years of work toward a comeback. Then he could look forward to the real drama of keeping the belt.

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of MMAjunkie.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Filed under: Featured, News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2511 with Paulie Malignaggi, T.J. Dillashaw, Jhenny Andrade, Ana Julaton, Angelo Reyes

Stream or download Monday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Paulie Malignaggi, T.J. Dillashaw, Jhenny Andrade, Ana Julaton and Angelo Reyes.

Malignaggi addressed the leaked videos of him sparring Conor McGregor. Dillashaw discussed impending fatherhood and the likelihood he will fight UFC champ Cody Garbrandt at UFC 217. Andrade spoke about her 2016 World MMA Awards Ring Card Girl of the Year award. Julaton discussed her tryout for The Ultimate Fighter 26 and contract talks with Bellator.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

T.J. Dillashaw: 'Fingers crossed nothing happens' to stop UFC 217 title fight vs. Cody Garbrandt

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt made headlines last week when he tweeted he would be fighting T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 217.

For his part, Dillashaw today told MMAjunkie there still is no bout agreement but is hopeful “that’s what’s going to be going down” Nov. 4 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

“Fingers crossed nothing happens,” Dillashaw said. “I’m ready tomorrow, man. I’ve been staying in the gym. That’s what I love to do. I feel lazy when I’m not in the gym. So, yeah, I’m ready to go at 217. And just the fact to be able to fight in Madison Square Garden seems like a huge event.”

It’s shaping up that way with the scheduled return of Georges St-Pierre, who will come out of retirement to fight Michael Bisping for the middleweight championship. A bout between Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) and Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) would add a second title fight to the card.

Garbrandt and Dillashaw have a tenuous history after being teammates for several years at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, Calif. Dillashaw unceremoniously left the gym to train with striking coach Duane Ludwig in Colorado, and the disdain with former teammates has grown thicker ever since.

The feud grew deeper when the pair served as opposing coaches on Season 25 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series earlier this year, won by Team Dillashaw’s Jesse Taylor.

Garbrandt was forced to withdraw from their planned UFC 213 bout in July due to a back injury. That caused Dillashaw to seek a shot at Demetrious Johnson’s flyweight title as a backup plan, a fight that UFC President Dana White was on board with booking.

Johnson, who will be going for a record 11th straight UFC title defense, hated the idea, citing the fact that Dillshaw never has competed at 125 pounds. Instead, Johnson will face Ray Borg at next month’s UFC 215.

How things unfolded is just as well with Dillashaw. He’s wanted a shot at Garbrandt all along.

“This is the fight I ultimately wanted,” Dillashaw said. “That was kind of like going for a consolation prize. If I couldn’t get my belt at (135), I want a belt. And I felt like it was a big, hyped-up fight I could’ve pushed with Demetrious. Unfortunately he did not want that. Unfortunately he’s too cerebral of a fighter.

“He knows that’s not a good fight for him and wouldn’t accept it. He’s real worried about this record he needs to break. Go ahead and let him do that, I guess.”

To hear more from Dillashaw, check out the video above.

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with T.J. Dillashaw, Jorge Masvidal, Jhenny Andrade, Ana Julaton, Angelo Reyes

Filed under: News, UFC

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests T.J. Dillashaw, Jorge Masvidal, Jhenny Andrade, Ana Julaton and Angelo Reyes.

Ex-champ Dillashaw is expected to fight current bantamweight titleholder Cody Garbrandt later this year. Masvidal wants to meet Stephen Thompson at UFC 217. Andrade is a ring UFC octagon girl, and she’s in studio with ONE Championship vet Ana Julaton and boxing coach Angelo Reyes.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Are UFC fighters employees or contractors? Why the distinction matters – and could mean millions

Bellator President Scott Coker heard the complaints from his new signees.

Fighters who came over as free agents after their UFC contracts expired had very similar gripes, many of them about the UFC’s “athlete outfitting policy” under an exclusive apparel deal with Reebok. What Coker couldn’t understand was how it was even legal.

“Listen, they’re independent contractors,” Coker said in June. “How they’re forced to wear a uniform, to this day, still baffles me. It should be against the labor laws or something.”

It’s not just the mandatory Reebok fight kits, either. UFC fighters are also forced to participate in an anti-doping program administered by USADA, which requires them to disclose their whereabouts at all times and make themselves available for surprise drug tests.

That’s what rankled former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw, who discussed the matter on a Team Alpha Male podcast last year. With so many restrictions and requirements, Dillashaw wondered, how could fighters still be classified as independent contractors?

“They treat us like employees, but they don’t give us benefits like employees,” Dillashaw said. “It’s kind of crazy when you think about it. We have to tell them where we’re at at all times so USADA can show up and drug test us, but we don’t get health benefits. It’s kind of crazy that we are controlled. Any time you have to tell work where you’re at and what you’re doing, that’s considered an employee, not a contractor.”

It often seems like an ancillary issue, and one many UFC fighters ignore completely. The state of fighter pay, or the effects that the Reebok deal has had on the sponsor market for individual fighters, these seem to rate higher on the fighters’ lists of grievances.

But as the UFC has placed more restrictions on its fighters, the case for keeping them classified as independent contractors has weakened, according to some observers both in and outside the MMA industry. And if the employment classification of UFC fighters was ever successfully challenged, it could mean major change for the industry leader.

“One consequence for the UFC is if they’re misclassifying employees as independent contractors, then they owe the IRS a lot of money,” said Justin Swartz, an attorney with the firm Outten & Golden, one of the nation’s largest law firms to focus solely on employment law.

Swartz has worked on similar cases involving the misclassification of exotic dancers in New York, where some clubs were eventually forced to pay millions of dollars in settlements after years of misclassifying employees as independent contractors.

“Dancers at strip clubs, they have schedules, they have rules to follow, and they have no business at all without the club,” Swartz said. “In some ways it’s the same with fighters. The fighters rely on the UFC in order to do their business, and they have a dress code, they have a lot of rules. But if they’re getting paid as independent contractors, then they’re paying their own employment tax, and they may be entitled to a refund.”

It’s not just a question of taxes, either. As independent contractors, fighters enjoy fewer protections than they would as employees. Their right to form a union isn’t protected. If they’re fired, they can’t seek unemployment benefits. An injury on the job doesn’t entitle them to workers’ compensation.

By keeping fighters as independent contractors while heaping more and more restrictions on them, the UFC has managed to have the best of both worlds, according to Gary Ibarra, a manager who has represented fighters such as Cung Le and Ben Rothwell. (UFC representatives declined to comment for this story.)

“(The UFC wants) the benefits of having employees, stuff like forcing the guys to wear uniforms, basically, which is an earmark of an employee,” Ibarra said. “But also when certain things happen that would be negatives, then, no, the UFC can say, ‘Hey, they’re independent contractors.’ That’s because, since the UFC has kind of gone unchecked, no one has forced them to adhere to one side or another.”

Which is not to say that a legal challenge couldn’t be forthcoming.

Recent years have seen several such challenges from workers who were long classified as independent contractors. NFL cheerleaders have successfully sued over their employment classification, and states like California have even enacted new laws to categorize them as employees. FedEx drivers have also brought successful cases, and drivers for ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft have also challenged their employment classification.

Such a challenge for UFC fighters could come in several forms, according to Swartz, who said his firm has used different avenues to contest employment status.

“Hiring a lawyer to help you seek overtime pay is one way to go about it,” Swartz said. “Another is to file a complaint with the Department of Labor, or with the IRS over employment taxes.”

Fighters could also seek unemployment benefits after being cut from the UFC, or file a worker’s compensation claim, or seek protections to form a union. Attempts to take actions that their status as independent contractors forbids could be enough to force a decision, Swartz said, but the result and the process could vary depending on which body is asked to issue a ruling.

“The National Labor Relations Board, their test is a little different from the IRS test, which is a little bit different than the Department of Labor test,” Swartz said. “But most of these tests, what they come down to is control and freedom. The way to look at it is, how much does the organization control these folks, and how much freedom do they have to run their own business? You need to look at the totality of the circumstances. Ask yourself, is this person in business for themselves, or do they rely on someone else whose rules they have to follow?”

Ask UFC fighters, and they’ll tell you that they have no shortage of rules to follow outside the cage – and a variety of penalties waiting if they run afoul of those rules. Whether that makes them more than just independent contractors remains to be seen, but if that designation is ever successfully challenged it could have a domino effect that’s felt throughout the MMA world.

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

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Champ Cody Garbrandt says he's fighting T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

After one of the biggest fights of the summer between UFC bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt and former champ T.J. Dillashaw fell apart due to injury, the grudge match apparently is back on for the fall.

Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) today announced he will put his title on the line against Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) at UFC 217, which is scheduled for Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass (via Twitter):

UFC officials have not formally announced the contest.

Garbrandt and Dillashaw have a tenuous history after being teammates for several years at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, Calif. Dillashaw unceremoniously left the gym to train with striking coach Duane Ludwig in Colorado, and the disdain with former teammates such as Garbrandt and Urijah Faber has grown thicker ever since.

The feud grew deeper when the pair served as opposing coaches on Season 25 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series. Dillashaw handled Garbrandt in the coaching partner, seeing a greater number of his fighters advance through the tournament with Jesse Taylor ultimately winning the tournament crown.

Garbrandt was forced to withdraw from their planned UFC 213 bout in July due to a back injury that required treatment. He’s been rehabbing since and is apparently ready to go for UFC 217.

With the addition of the 135-pound title fight, the latest UFC 217 lineup now includes.

  • Champ Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre – for middleweight title
  • Champ Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw – for bantamweight title
  • Paulo Borrachinha vs. Johny Hendricks

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

T.J. Dillashaw refocused on Cody Garbrandt, stunned Demetrious Johnson chose Ray Borg

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Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – Former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw has abandoned plans to fight flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson and is refocused on getting his title back at 135 pounds.

The question Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) is facing now is how long he’ll have to wait for bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC), who was forced out of their grudge match at UFC 213 with a back injury.

“I’m willing to wait for him,” Dillashaw said. “I can’t wait forever. I’ve got to sit down and have a more serious conversation. I just heard in an interview that Cody wouldn’t fight until November or December, and I was hoping October.”

Dillashaw most recently dispatched John Lineker at UFC 207 this past December, bringing his current win streak to two after the loss of his belt to Dominick Cruz, who was subsequently beaten by Garbrandt.

Dillashaw said the UFC offered Johnson more money “than he’s ever seen” to fight him instead of Ray Borg, but Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC), citing a lack of respect and willingness to meet additional financial demands, refused to accept.

Asked whether he could understand Johnson’s hesitancy given that he was once passed over for a title shot in favor of Garbrandt, Dillashaw said his empathy only goes so far.

“The fact is, he’s fighting Ray Borg,” Dillashaw said. “Me getting leaped over is a way bigger leap-over than me leaping over Ray Borg to fight Demetrious Johnson. Cody was ranked No. 8, and I was beating No. 1 contenders. Ray Borg has missed weight half his UFC career and has beaten, what, two guys – are they in the top 10? I don’t know what his credentials are to get that title fight. I feel like mine were a lot higher.

“Even though I haven’t fought in the weight class, I feel like it was a perfect time for me to jump in the weight class. It wasn’t like I was cutting the line. Demetrious has ran through everyone.”

Dillashaw doesn’t rule out the possibility of dropping weight to vie for the flyweight belt if he’s successful against Garbrandt. But right now, he’s more concerned about getting Garbrandt to sign on the dotted line.

A conversation with UFC President Dana White is something the ex-champ hopes will clear the air.

Watch the interview above to get Dillashaw’s thoughts on his ill-fated drop to flyweight, a new dialogue with his estranged teammate from Team Alpha Male following “The Ultimate Fighter 25,” and more.

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

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Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos
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.

Filed under: News, UFC
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.

Filed under: News, UFC
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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