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August 17, 2017

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Episode 5: If it breathes, it bleeds

Episode starts with Jamie Yager and a few of the other fighters talking about which of the losing fighters are in the best position to take a wild card spot. Hammortree believes the spot should belong to him since he fought a close decision that didn’t go his way.

Dana White comes on saying Tito seems to be pretty happy about winning his first fight with Yager on the last episode and getting control of the matchups. Tito picks Kris McCray to take on Josh Bryant.

Initial thoughts by fighters interviewed says not a ton of confidence in Bryant pulling out a win for Team Liddell. He seems unassuming and doesn’t really have the personality of a fighter. Guess we’ll see.

Bryant shares a little bit of his background. His parents were divorced early and his real dad died when he was six. Says fighting made him calm down in life and made him grow up quick. Chuck comes on and says even he has noticed that it seems like Bryant doesn’t have a mean bone in his body and was even jolly through the weight cutting process.

McCray comes on for Team Ortiz. Says he has an interesting ethnic buildup — Austrian, black and Mexican is how he puts it. Ortiz practice looks like a military base and the veteran fighter Kyacey Uscola says he’s a little concerned about the strategy. Says a fighter can’t compete if he’s constantly breaking his body down in practice.

Back at the house, McKinney’s left shoulder is real messed up. Long story short, it really doesn’t look like he’ll be competing with anyone for a wild card spot.

Weigh in time. White gives credit to Bryant. Says he’s got different ways to win a fight. Consensus is Bryant doesn’t stand much of a chance. Ha, now Chuck reveals he won’t even be at the fight because he had already made prior arrangements. Just another thing going against our buddy Josh.

Tito comes over to McKinney in practice and apologizes to him for accusing him of dogging it in practice when he had a shoulder that, in reality, was seriously injured. McKinney says he appreciates it but then flips off Ortiz when he’s not looking.

Fight about to start. McCray with a great line. He says he’s never really been scared of anything in his life because he lives by the motto, ‘If it breathes, it bleeds.’ Has that been used before or is that original? Either way it’s a great line.

Fight time…I’m predicting the upset. Josh Bryant wins this one. I don’t know why. It’s clear all the fighters are leaning towards McCray but I don’t like the idea of going against a guy just because he doesn’t have a ‘fighter’s personality.’

Bryant goes for an early takedown and he takes some knees for doing it. Good uppercut lands for McCray. McCray moves in and actually looks for the takedown but Bryant defends it and they’re tied up against the fence. MCCray keeps working and now he gets the takedown. Takes the back immediately and starts looking for the choke but he’s too high on Bryant’s back. He tries to roll into an armbar but Bryant breaks away from him. More standup won by McCray and then another takedown where McCray wrestles Bryant down but can’t keep him there. It looks like they’re both winded and it’s turned into a wrestling match basically. First round comes to an end. McCray won it but neither fighter scored many clear points.

Bryant tags McCray with a left jab right off the bat. Now a good left hook, right hook combination for Bryant. McCray shows a good chin though and comes forward and lands a few punches of his own. Good left hook for Bryant off the break. Another big left hook for Bryant. Good knee lands for McCray but Bryant pushes through him and takes him down. After wrestling around a bit they get to their feet and Bryant tags him with another combination. Second round ends with more wrestling. I have it one round for each fighter. So do the judges, on to round three.

Both guys look pretty spent here. Bryant goes for a single leg takedown for entire first minute of the round with McCray up against the fence. Zero action happening here. They’re tied up in the clinch, looking to get leverage on one another but too exhausted to land a takedown. Referee ends up breaking them apart with 1:15 to go. They both let their hands go. McCray, exhausted, goes for a takedown that Bryant easily stuffs and reverses. That’s going to decide the fight. Bryant ends up getting on his back. He doesn’t submit him from there, but he pulls off the upset, decision win.

Ortiz says he doesn’t understand why McCray was gassed after the first round. Maybe…maybe…it’s because of what Uscola said. Maybe he’s overworking these guys.

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