It’s a whole new season and Conor McGregor is the reason, as he and Urijah Faber go toe to toe as coaching foes on The Ultimate Fighter. They won’t duke it out after the season is done, but there’s still pride on the line, not to mention Conor’s reputation as the newest badass on the block.
Join us each episode for “The Notorious Quote of the Week” as Conor puts his mouth where UFC’s money is! We’ll also spice things up with some predictions for week two about who could go all the way this season – two “Fighters to Watch” for each recap.
The Notorious Quote of the Week: “You either have it or you don’t. If you don’t well then I don’t give a f— about you. That’s it.”
Last week the U.S. racked up another win as Chris Gruetzemacher was able to ground out a three round decision over Sascha Sharma, one which saw McGregor lose his cool about Sharma’s repeated decision to pull guard and/or not block takedowns.
McGregor: “He p—ied out. He’s not a bad fighter but he just doesn’t have that fire in him. You don’t want to see kids t’row it away like that y’knahmean?”
Faber was not shy about saying it was McGregor’s own fault. “You do need to show up for morning practice though. You didn’t help him out showing up for half of the practices.”
McGregor: “You can’t teach (heart). You either have it or you don’t. If you don’t well then I don’t give a f— about you. That’s it. He gave your boy the fight.”
Back at the house Team Faber celebrates by shaking up a bunch of energy drinks and hosing down Gruetzemacher. He takes it with a “Just wait ’til I get to do it to you” grin. Meanwhile Team McGregor tries to figure out how to regroup for Tom Gallicchio vs. Marcin Wrzosek and see the latter get their first win.
Gallicchio says he thought he’d be in the UFC at 21… or 25… and now he’s 28 and still not there. He’s in The Ultimate Fighter though, so that’s a start. WSOF Featherweight champion Lance ‘The Party’ Palmer says their strategy for the fight is to pressure pressure pressure Wrzosek and break him down. Faber: “Feel good, look good, do good.”
Wrzosek is all smiles and friendly sitting across the table from Gallicchio for breakfast. He talks about how he got the nickname ‘The Polish Zombie’ after a fight where he busted his opponent’s face open and got covered in blood. He said martial arts turned him from a chubby little kid into a big strong man – physically and mentally.
McGregor quietly admits he overdid it with yelling at Sharma after last week’s fight, and does his best to help Team Europe by showing sparring techniques, ground reversals and takedown defense. “Even if he tries to sweep, scoot your hips back and wind up on top.”
Wrzosek: “I’m as ready as I could be.”
Back at the house, Johnny Nunez is staying with Tom Gallicchio to help him cut weight. Faber is not thrilled given that’s the very guy he brought back to get a second chance. You see Nunez and Gallicchio goofing around at the house skinny-dipping in the pool.
Despite that I consider Johnny Boy a “Fighter to Watch” based on performances I’ve seen from him OUTSIDE of The Ultimate Fighter. He DOES have heart despite the editing hatchet job done on him this week. The same “Fighter to Watch” also goes to Lance Palmer. I know he’s not fighting on this show or in UFC, but he didn’t become a champ in WSOF by accident. He’s arguably as good as Dillashaw or Mendes.
Faber: “Missing a team practice doesn’t send the best message to myself or the coaches when you’re deciding who you want to focus on.”
Gallicchio is 155.5. Wrzosek is 156 even.
Dana White: “With three straight losses, we could have a HUGE Team Europe meltdown.” Gallicchio vows to be “a tank” and not to let Wrzosek take his dream away.
Lightweight: Tom Gallicchio (USA) vs. Marcin Wrzosek (Europe)
Gallicchio is in the blue trunks and Wrzosek the gray. Gallicchio jumps on Wrzosek’s back standing 1:05 into the first round and tries to get the body lock with his legs, but Wrzosek is trying really hard to shake him loose and also has wrist control of one arm as he’s riding way too high, holding it and punching Gallicchio with rights to the face. Gallicchio’s kind of stuck because it’s a bad mount, but if he abandons it he’s giving Wrzosek a dominant position on the ground, so he can’t let go. The ref tells them both to improve at 3:25 and they end up back on the feet 13 seconds later. Wrzosek tries to stuff the takedown attempts but Gallicchio is like a dog with a bone and is on top for a while, getting all the way to full mount although Wrzosek sweeps to top in the last 10 seconds.
There are 12 minutes of TV time left as R2 gets underway, so we’re not going to a sudden death round this week. Gallicchio gets a takedown 30 seconds in and quickly moves to half guard, then side control at 48 seconds, then full mount 7 seconds later. Wrzosek seems vulnerable to a submission at any time, but surprises me by rolling through it and winding up on top in full guard. Faber calls for Gallicchio to use the cage to get up and he does at 2:10. Wrzosek knocks him down and ends up in guard again dropping heavy right hands. He lets Gallicchio stand at 2:45. Gallicchio shoots at3:09 but can’t get it. He’s stuffed again at 3:42. Wrzosek is peppering him standing and Gallicchio is visibly slowing down. McGregor: “Again! 3’s and 5’s! Jab right uppercut!” Wrzosek’s actually bouncing around on his feet in the last minute and gets a takedown with 15 seconds left.
All three judges score it 20-18 for Marcin Wrzosek – giving Team Europe their first win. Wrzosek calls out “Gritz” after the fight, which he says is really strange given there’s a whole season of the show left to go. McGregor announces Saul Rogers (Europe) vs. Billy Quarantillo (U.S.) as his pick. Join us next week!