The Ultimate Fighter
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Sixteen men from across the Americas travel to Las Vegas with one dream, one goal – to become The Ultimate Fighter.

Determination. Discipline. Excellence.

Recaps by Joe Van Ginkel, GSNN


Willa Ford
Coaches: Randy "The Natural" Couture and Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell
Packager: Zuffa, LLC; Spike TV
Airs: Mondays at 11:05pm ET on Spike TV

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Episode 4 - February 7

"Game Show Man" Joe Van Ginkel here, once again coming at you with this week's recap of the UFC contest show, The Ultimate Fighter.

The episode opens with the aftermath of last week's light heavyweight elimination bout with Team Couture fighter Lodune Sincaid knocked out by Team Liddell fighter Bobby Southworth.  Confessionals of various other contestants (including Team Liddell middleweight Josh Koscheck, who with his coach, Chuck Liddell) indicate that many of the others believed that Southworth, who had to cut 20 pounds the night before in order to fight by sitting in the gym's sauna, would not be able to win, but Southworth won, and he is still in the contest.  The confessionals are inter cut with footage of the fight from last week.  Team Couture is demoralized after Sincaid's loss, but Sincaid's teammate and fellow light heavyweight Stephan Bonnar is particularly down about it.

After the losses of the three previous weeks, Team Couture is down three fighters: two light heavyweights and one middleweight.  UFC president Dana Clark takes coaches Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell into his office and advises them that Liddell must send one of his light heavyweights over to Team Couture.  He is given several hours to mull over who he's going to send over. 

In the meantime, the fighters return to the house to "decompress" after the fight.  The two teams congregate separately, with Team Couture in one area of the house and Team Liddell in the other.  Southworth is cocky after winning his fight, but Team Couture fumes that Sincaid lost to someone who was usually 20 pounds heavier (Team Couture middleweight Nate Quarry: "We just can't respect someone like that.") 

That evening, the fighters assemble to find out who is going from Team Liddell to Team Couture.  Liddell is not happy about it, since he had to give some one up even though his team is winning…but he gives up Alex Schoenauer. Schoenauer says his goodbyes to his old team, and accepts the green jersey of Team Couture, who welcomes him aboard. 

The next day, training resumes in earnest.  Schoenauer is happy that he has gotten to work out with both Liddell and Schoenauer.  He is excited that he will be able to add some groundfighting skills to his arsenal.  Team Couture is happy that Schoenauer is on their team; they feel that he never fit in on Team Liddell and do their best to welcome him on the team. 

Meanwhile, the middleweights are up for elimination this week.  They all believe that whoever comes in last will have control of who fights.  Team Couture middleweight Chris Leben goes so far to say that he will throw the team challenge in order to challenge Koscheck.

Team Challenge
Host Willa Ford meets the teams in the desert for the Medicine Ball Run.  The middleweights will have to manipulate a series of medicine balls through a variety of areas, such as throwing them at targets, throwing them over targets, and rolling them across the finish line.  Then Ford drops the bomb: the WINNING team gets control of the fight. 

(Chris Leben: "Those rat-bastards.  They changed up the rules on me.")

Each team has to pick two middleweights to play the challenge.  Team Liddell picks Koscheck and Diego Sanchez, while Team Couture picks Quarry and Alex Karalexis.

The race starts, and Team Liddell gets off to an early lead.  Koscheck gets way out in front and manages to reach the finish line first.  Quarry follows him and reaches the finish line second.  Sanchez manages to finally knock down all the targets and, with Karalexis hot on his tail, reaches the finish line, winning the challenge for Team Liddell.  Once again, the Iceman's team has control of the elimination bout. 

Team Liddell meets in the gym to discuss who will fight.  Koscheck and Sanchez are the top two candidates to fight; Sanchez says that if Koscheck doesn't want to fight Leben, who's been wanting to fight Koscheck all along, he will fight Karalexis.  Koscheck reminds them that if they win, they may have to give up another fighter.  (Liddell: "I'd rather give up fighter because we're winning.") 

Once again, the fighters assemble at the house for the announcement, with Dana White presiding.  Chuck Liddell announces that Sanchez will be fighting Karalexis.  The trash talking begins in earnest (not only between Sanchez and Karalexis, but also between Koscheck and Leben) as preparations begin for the fight. 

Team Liddell is shown in training.  Sanchez works on his defense to be ready for Karalexis's striking abilities.  He talks about a hip injury that limits his motion, but says that will not stand between him and his destiny.  Later, Sanchez goes to the doctor who discusses options for his hip. 

Team Couture trains next.  Couture works with Karalexis to be ready for Sanchez's ground game.  He does well in training, working on stopping an opponent's takedowns.  He also works on his grappling skills to be able to prevent a submission. 

At the weigh-in, Sanchez and Karalexis step on the scale.  Karalexis, weighs in first.  He weighs in at 185.  Sanchez gets on next, and weighs in 183. White advises them that the fight is the next day.

As last week, the two men pack up their belongings if they should be eliminated.  They go to the gym and being their final preparations for the fight, warming up, wrapping their hands, gloving up and getting Vaseline applied.  They walk to the ring, and after White reminds them of the rules, legendary UFC referee "Big John" McCarthy asks them if they're ready, and when they say they are, he says those legendary words…"LET'S GET IT ON!" 

Elimination Bout 2: Middleweights - Diego "The Nightmare" Sanchez vs. Alex "The Assassin" Karalexis

The fight doesn't last long however…Karalexis tries to land a big punch, and Sanchez leaps on him, taking him down, punching from the top and eventually applying a rear naked choke, forcing Karalexis to tap out at 1:47 into the first round. 

Team Liddell has won another fight.  Can they keep their streak alive next week when the light heavyweights go it?  Find out in my next recap.  For GSNN, this is the "Game Show Man" Joe Van Ginkel, saying Godspeed, and spread the love.

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