The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs. Team Faber: Episode 7 Review‏‏

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In the most recent installment, Julian Erosa did an excellent job of frustrating his opponent, Mehdi Baghdad, with unorthodox striking and movement to earn an upset over the decorated striker.

Having reclaimed matchmaking control, Faber opted to pit Team USA’s Thanh Le (4-1) against Team Europe’s Martin Svensson (14-5).

The Vietnamese-American, Le, is a fifth degree black belt in Taekwondo. He demonstrated some flashy kicks and looked impressive in dispatching Andres Quintana to earn his place in the house in Episode 1. Le will no doubt look to keep the fight standing and out-strike his European opponent.

Svensson is a long fighter known primarily for his jiu-jitsu game. The Swede submitted Mohamed Grabinski (10-1) of Dusseldorf, Germany in a back-and-forth ground battle to earn his spot in the house. He will likely aim to drag the fight to the canvas where he should hold the advantage over the American.

Ahead of the fight, Dana White gives his thoughts on the matchup:

“Martin Svensson is a really big lightweight. He makes really good use of the skills that he has. He’s going to have to go in there and try to out-muscle Thanh Le and get this thing to the ground.

“Le is probably the best striker in this competition. He has unbelieveable, powerful kicks. This whole fight will be determined by whether he can catch him with a kick or whether Svensson can get him to the ground and submit him.”

Thanh Le (4-1) vs. Martin Svensson (14-5)
After a lengthy feeling-out process, Le finally throws the first significant strike 45 seconds into the round. It’s a head kick, and Svensson blocks it with his arms. Le is beginning to loosen up now. He throws a couple of hard right hands and another head kick. Svensson catches a kick to the body and is able to get Le to the mat, much to the delight of a cageside Conor McGregor. Svensson patiently and methodically works his way to side mount. Le scrambles for position, but the Swede remains in control on top of his opponent. With a little over a minute remaining, Le manages to make use of the fence and works his way back to his feet. They clinch against the cage, where Svensson tries to use his size to his advantage. Le manages to get his back off the fence and separates from his opponent. Svensson lunges in with an awkward-looking knee and gets cracked with a big right hand. Le smells blood and looks to finish a grounded Svensson in the final 30 seconds, but the Swede hangs on for the bell. A tough round to score.

As the second round opens, and on the advice of his corner, Le tries to use his speed to get in, strike, and get out. Svensson, meanwhile, is making use of his long legs to keep Le at bay. About a minute in, Svensson shoots for a takedown from halfway across the cage. It shouldn’t work, but the timing is good and he is quick enough to execute it. Svensson works his way to mount. The Swede then takes the American’s back and gets the body triangle. Svensson is dominating position, but the New Orleans native’s constant scrambling means his opponent isn’t afforded much opportunity to attack. Svensson remains patient, however, and when the opportunity finally presents itself he takes Le’s back and finishes by rear-naked choke with 1:11 remaining.

Le looks devastated and, in what could be considered another upset, Svensson earns his spot in the quarterfinals.

With matchmaking control now back in the hands of Team Europe, McGregor selects his Straight Blast Gym teammate Artem Lobov (11-10-1) to take on New Jersey native James Jenkins (8-1).

Check back in with SevereMMA.com next week to see who earns the next spot in the quarterfinals.