Episode 2 Quick Recap: Urijah Faber’s “Team America” took control of the season with the first victory of the season when grappling-ace Ryan Hall submitted Frantz Slioa with ease. Faber announced tonight’s fight by announcing Chris Gruetzemacher of Peoria, AZ would square off with Sascha Sharma of Stuttgart, Germany. Tensions rose in the house and nations showed pride when Conor McGregor’s “Team Europe” blamed their rival team of having boring fighting styles. (Full Recap)
Team Europe’s training session kicked off this week’s edition of “The Ultimate Fighter” with a break down Conor McGregor’s coaching style. The interim champion lets his assistants take care of morning sessions with light workouts while he attends the evening’s training sessions with a more hands on approach.
McGregor told Sharma he wants him to fight brawler Chris Gruetzemacher with strategy in their upcoming fight. Gruetzemacher has the style of a brawler, so Sharma was informed to take the fight to the mat when he feels he is in trouble. Otherwise, Sharma stated he planned to utilize his boxing skills and reach.
Urijah Faber had different plans for Gruetzemacher, however. Whereas McGregor put Sharma through light training, “The California Kid” aimed to simulate the grittiness of a real fight through Gruetzemacher’s training sessions. Faber’s strategy for Gruetzemacher was no surprise: Make it a scrappy brawl.
The Team Alpha Male crew made their way into the “Ultimate Fighter” house to watch TJ Dillashaw’s last defense against Renan Barao at “UFC on FOX. The entire house lost it when Dillashaw pinned Barao up against the fence while unloading with shot after shot until the referee was forced to step in and stop the action.
The weigh ins saw some controversy when Faber started bragging about Dillashaw’s victory. McGregor commented that Faber should “man-up” and fight Dillashaw. Faber simply responded, “We’ll see”. McGregor went on to mention how Duane “Bang” Ludwig waltzed in to Team Alpha Male and “stole” their champion when he started their own gym in Colorado.
The fight was made official when both Gruetzemacher and Sharma made weight.
The Fight: Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Sascha Sharma
Round 1: Sharma showed a great deal of patience in the opening minutes of the fight by picking his shots on Gruetzemacher. He landed a few knees while in the clinch but was taken down by Gruetzemacher. It almost looked like Gruetzemacher was trapped in a triangle choke attempt a minute and a half into the fight, but Sharma let him slip through. Gruetzemacher would repeatedly make it back to his feet only for Sharma to take him right back down. Once Gruetzemacher started to defend the takedown well, Sharma pulled guard and that’s where the tabled turned. Gruetzemacher eventually made it into half guard and controlled the ground game for the last minute of the fight. Nothing significant was landed by either party, but it was clearly Team Europe’s round.
Round 2: Tensions rose for Team Europe when McGregor blasted Sharma for choosing to take the fight to the ground after dominating on his feet. It was clear Gruetzemacher had the advantage on the ground and was utilizing his size to smother Sharma into a state of exhaustion. Three minutes into the round it looked as if Sharma finally gained top control, but Gruetzemacher used momentum to regain momentum. McGregor knew in his corner exactly when Sharma was going to lose control of an exchange; He seems to have a great understanding of his team. Faber wanted Gruetzemacher to get the finish, but the horn sounded signifying the end of the round. Dana White announced a “Sudden Victory” third round to break the tie.
Round 3: McGregor aggressively tells Sharma to stay on his feet, but he dives for a takedown almost immediately. Sharma had several opportunities to follow his coach’s instructions, but he remained on the ground looking for a submission. McGregor repeatedly lost it in the corner, asking Sharma not to “fight like a b***h” and get back to his “f*****g feet”. McGregor continued on his profanity laced tirade while Sharma got pummeled on the ground by Gruetzemacher. The round expired with Gruetzemacher on top while McGregor ranted to himself about how bad Sharma’s performance was.
Result: Chris Gruetzemacher def. Sascha Sharma by way of Unanimous Decision
Urijah Faber got a kick out of Conor McGregor’s tantrums in his corner. McGregor proved to be a very passionate coach who wanted his fighter to follow his instruction. When Sharma constantly ignored the interim champion’s instructions, McGregor would explode and Faber laughed at him.
Faber walked over to McGregor and told him that he should show up to the morning training sessions as it is the fighter’s opportunity to grow and shine.
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