The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs. Team Faber: Episode 10 Review‏‏‏

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Last week, Abner Lloveras bested Jason Gonzalez on the scorecards and Chris Gruetzemacher was cut from the competition to set up the quarterfinals as follows:

QF1: Artem Lobov (11-10-1) vs. Martin Svensson (14-5)
QF2: Saul Rogers (10-1) vs. Ryan Hall (4-1)
QF3: Marcin Wrzosek (10-2) vs. David Teymur (3-1)
QF4: Abner Lloveras (19-7-1) vs. Julian Erosa (14-2)

The two fights set to take place this week were Lovov vs. Svensson and Rogers vs. Hall, but an early twist saw Svensson forced to retire from the competition with a broken elbow, allowing Gruetzemacher to return.

After a celebratory pool party compliments of Dana White it’s down to business.

Artem Lobov (11-10-1) vs. Chris Gruetzemacher (12-1)
There is no feeling-out period in this one. Both of these guys are scrappers. Gruetzemacher comes out pressing the action and Lobov is happy to oblige. Lobov looks the more relaxed of the two fighters in terms of striking. Gruetzemacher is pushing forward, while Lobov is opting to counter-strike. The Russian Hammer is landing the harder shots. Lobov also looks the stronger of the two fighters when they clinch. He seems able to control Gruetzemacher and separate at will. As they break against the cage, Lovov’s shoulder is covered in the blood that is now streaming from Gruetzemacher’s nose. The American has taken some heavy shots, but he is still pressing forward. In the final minute of the round, Lobov is beginning to look a bit tired and is getting hit more but still looks good for a 10-9 in Round 1.

Both guys pick up where they left off and come out swinging to start Round 2. Lobov is landing the harder shots and with more volume, but Gruetzemacher somehow continues to wade forward. Lobov really throws everything he’s got into each strike. Two minutes into the second frame and technique has taken a back seat, but both guys continue to swing. Midway through the round now and both guys are bleeding from the face. Lobov lands two hard left hands to the jaw of Gruetzemacher, the second of which sends the American to the canvas. Lobov tries to pounce and finish but the incredibly game Gruetzemacher gets back to his feet. Lovov offers the American no respite, however, and continues the assault on the feet. Lobov lands two more big left hands and, again, the second sends Gruetzemacher to the mat. Big John McCarthy comes to Gruetzemacher’s rescue at 3:15 of Round 2.

Gruetzemacher’s return to the competition is short-lived as Lobov advances to the semifinals in a contender for fight of the season. Up next, it’s Englishman Saul Rogers taking on leglock specialist Ryan Hall.

Saul Rogers (10-1) vs. Ryan Hall (4-1)
As the fight gets going it becomes apparent that this is going to be a far more timid affair that the previous fight. Both fighters are taking a cautious approach. Hall is throwing almost exclusively kicks, keeping his distance and waiting for an opportunity to dive on a leg. Rogers is trying to get inside and land big shots without giving too much away. In probably the most interesting exchange of the round, Hall grabs the plum clinch, but Rogers somehow shrugs under and gets the bodylock. Rogers tries to pick Hall up and slam him, but Hall makes clever use of his foot behind Rogers right knee to keep his balance and prevent the slam. Rogers gives up and backs away, opting to strike instead of grapple with the BJJ ace. With a minute to go in the round, Hall makes his first attempt at diving for a leg but it’s fairly wild and is easily snuffed out by Rogers. Rogers sees out the round as the aggressor on the feet.

Both fighters come out a little more aggressive in Round 2. There is no doubt that Rogers is the more powerful fighter and he is throwing the harder shots. Hall ducks under for a takedown and times it well but Rogers uses his strength and finishes on top. Rogers lands a few shots from on top and, as soon as Hall tries to mount an offence from his back, the Englishman takes the opportunity to stand back up. Hall tries to wave him back to the mat but Rogers is having none of it and Urijah Faber doesn’t look too impressed either. When they resume on their feet, Hall looks for another takedown which Rogers stuffs before dropping the American with a crushing right to the jaw. To Hall’s credit he jumps right back up from a punch that looked good enough to end the fight. Rogers is growing in confidence and is becoming more aggressive in the striking now. Hall makes a couple more attempts at taking the fight to the mat, but Rogers is well drilled in defending his leglock attempts and shuts them down every time.

One judge scores the fight 19-19, with the other two judges scoring it 20-19, giving Rogers the majority decision.

So, Lobov proved too much for a very game ‘Gritz’, and Rogers had the answer to Hall’s leglock game. Both advance. That leaves Marcin Wrzosek (10-2) vs. David Teymur (3-1) and Abner Lloveras (19-7-1) vs. Julian Erosa (14-2) in next weeks episode.

Check back in with SevereMMA.com next week to see who takes the remaining two semifinal spots.