The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs. Team Faber: Episode 2 Review

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The second episode opens with McGregor gathering Team Europe and reading aloud some notes he has made throughout the opening day of fights. The general message is to make the most of the opportunity. McGregor reminds his fighters that, although they are technically a team, they are here for themselves as individuals.

“You’re here for you”, said McGregor. “They will be next door, touching gloves and pretending to be friends, and not one of them will truly give a fuck about the other.”

Inside the house, Team Faber members Tom Gallicchio and Ryan Hall exchange thoughts on how the two teams match up. Hall singles out Mehdi Baghdad as a competitor he feels could cause problems for the Americans, while also giving mention to David Teymur. Gallicchio, too, is impressed with Team McGregor:

“There’s a lot of studs on Team Europe and they’re definitely bringing it.”

Team McGregor, by contrast, does not appear concerned by what the Americans have to offer. Frantz Slioa in particular has some harsh words:

“To be honest, I don’t see anything special with the Americans. Every one of them was shit. They can’t even take a punch, and they don’t know how to throw a punch. I can’t see one of them being a UFC fighter.”

As the episode develops, Dana White appears at the gym to make an announcement. He explains that each coach has the opportunity to bring back one fighter who lost in the opening day of fights. Predictably enough, McGregor opts for his SBG teammate Artem Lobov, while Urijah brings back Johnny Nunez. White goes on to explain that, because there are now nine fighters on each team and only eight places in the quarter-finals, one winner will not advance. The winner who does not advance will be selected based on performance. In other words, the fighter who wins in the least entertaining fashion will not advance to the quarter-finals.

“It’s an incentive for these people to go and fight hungry”, said McGregor.

Having won the coin toss in last week’s episode, Team USA has the privilege of choosing the first preliminary matchup. Faber selects Team USA’s Ryan Hall to take on Team Europe’s Frantz Slioa.

McGregor is critical of the selection:

“It was a wrong decision for them, I think. All he’s going to try and do is try and roll into that [50/50] position… I think there were better matchups for Ryan; safer matchups than this one.”

Both fighters make the 155-pound limit and the fight is on.

Ryan Hall vs. Frantz Slioa
The bout opens with a bit of a feeling out process for both fighters. There is no secret about what Ryan Hall wants to do – take his opponent to the mat – and Slioa is using his length and staying on the outside to avoid the shot of the leg-lock specialist. Despite the Swede’s best efforts, however, Hall shoots for a leg after about a minute and manages to drag Slioa to the mat. Hall appears to have the heel hook locked in on a couple of occasions only to have his opponent escape. The grappling ace persists, however, and gets the finish by heel hook inside two minutes.

The European is understandably upset.

“I feel like shit, I’ve never lost before… I really hope I get a second chance”.

With the win, Team Faber retains control. For the next matchup they select Arizona native Chris Gruetzemacher (12-1) to take on Germany’s Sascha Sharma (8-2). Faber feels that Sharma may be a little scared and that the experienced Gruetzemacher will have what it takes to notch up a second win for Team USA.

First blood to Team Faber. Tune in to SevereMMA.com next week to see if Sharma can claw one back for Team McGregor.