TUF 6 episode 6 recap
Not looking for a minute-by-minute account of each episode? Just want the basic facts so that you're all caught up for the next week? Well, you've come to the right place. Let's go straight to my quickcap of episode six of The Ultimate Fighter 6.
The Dan Barrera Show: Early on in the show we find out that Dan Barrera (Team Hughes) will be fighting Ben Saunders (Team Serra) for the sixth fight of the season. And from that point on we are treated to the non-stop energizer bunny antics of the very entertaining Barrera.
This guy wakes up at 4:15 every morning without aid of an alarm clock, runs 4-5 miles a day, exercises some more in the pool, paints, and probably shadow boxes in his sleep. He is so wired and so amped that Coach Matt Hughes has to teach him a lesson in practice to get him to take it easy on his teammates.
Interestingly enough, Barrera complements this high-octane lifestyle with an ability to keep life in perspective. First, he suffers tissue damage to his right hand with a possible infection the day before his fight. Then, he finds out that his wife is apparently suffering from some sort of illness. Neither appears to faze Barrera -- at least on the outside.
In a way, Barrera's reaction to life's less than ideal moments (including losing his firefighter job back home for joining the TUF cast) is refreshing, especially when compared to the way Joe Scarola faced up to his own challenges on the show.
And for the record, Barrera also has two horses and a dog back home.
Ben Saunders: On any other episode, Saunders probably would have gotten plenty of face time. He appears to be a very quirky individual and flashes a Joker-like smile at various points throughout the show. It takes the even bigger personality of Barrera to push Saunders into a bit role in this episode.
The fight: The battle between Barrera and Saunders has to be one of the best fights in TUF history. It is an all out stand-up war. Barrera tags Saunders early in the first round and knocks him down. However, Saunders is able to recover and pick at Barrera for the remainder of the round. Both fighters are bleeding quite a bit by the end of the first round.
In the second round, Saunders absolutely dominates with knees, kicks, and punches. Barrera does very little in this round. It's a testament to Barrera's will power that he doesn't go down after the heavy damage that is exacted on him. Saunders gets the majority decision.
The result is controversial in the minds of White, Hughes, and Serra. All three feel the fight should have been a draw after two rounds and should have gone to a third sudden-victory round. Either way, both fighters are given $5,000 bonuses for their performances.
Interestingly enough, I think the correct fighter won here. While Barrera scored the knockdown in the first round, I think Saunders landed enough quality strikes in that round to make it very close. You all know what I think about the 10-point must system. We can blame the judges all we want, but they are handicapped by having to score MMA fights with a system that is not adequate.
John Philapavage of mmaopinion.com has proposed an interesting variation on the current scoring system that he calls flex scoring. You can read about his system here. Using his system, I could see giving Barrera the first round 10-9 and giving Saunders the second round 10-8. Overall, Saunders wins 19-18, which I think is the proper score for the fight.
The score: Team Serra now leads Team Hughes 5-1. Team Hughes picks the next fight. Matt Serra will pick the quarterfinal matchups.
Next week's teaser: Hughes stresses out because his team is not performing up to his standards.