Ten years ago this week, “The Ultimate Fighter: The Comeback” episode four aired. Get in the mood for tonight’s season premier of “The Ultimate Fighter: Champions” with the following review originally published on MMATorch.com ten years ago with some familiar names.
UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter 4: The Comeback
Episode 3: “Passing Guard”
August 30, 2006
Aired on Spike TV (taped May/June 2006)
Report by Randy Rowles, MMATorch contributor
-The show starts with a recap of last week’s fight between Edwin DeWees and Gideon Ray. UFC President Dana White announces the judges have scored the deciding round 10-9 for the winner, Edwin DeWees. Some of the fighters comment on the fight. They note how both fighters exchanged strikes and kicks in the first round, with Mikey Burnett declaring that once Ray reversed the mount on the ground, he knew it was going to be a competitive fight.
Chris Lytle describes how DeWees had established control in the second round of the fight by taking Ray to the ground, but Ray managed to land an elbow to the top of DeWees’ forehead. Blood, literally, began to pour from the head of DeWees. DeWees was on top of Ray on the ground, and the two continued to grapple as DeWees splattered his own bloody Jackson Pollock painting across the octagon canvas. Matt Serra expresses how he was concerned that the doctor might stop the fight. Travis Lutter notes how DeWees was bleeding a lot, but because of how high up on DeWees’ forehead the cut was, it didn’t pose any danger to either fighter, so the doctor made the right decision in allowing the fight to continue. Jeremy Jackson recalls how blood was pouring into the mouth and eyes of Gideon Ray, in what Jackson called the bloodiest fight he had ever seen. Mikey Burnett says he believed that Ray had won the second round after Ray unleashed a barrage of strikes and kicks in the last 30 seconds of the round.
The judges ruled the fight a draw, so a third round would determine the winner. In the first 30 seconds of the third round, Gideon Ray attempted a spinning back kick, which missed its mark and resulted in Ray losing his balance and falling to the ground. DeWees controlled Ray on the ground for the remainder of the round. Chris Lytle declares there was no doubt in his mind that DeWees had won the third round and the fight. Lytle says he, DeWees and the rest of Team Mojo are excited to be 2-0 and looking forward to continuing to be victorious over Team No Love.
-We go to the house where The Shonie Carter Show is going strong. A montage of Carter’s antics is shown, as he causes trouble in various stages of dress and undress. Shonie seems particularly fond of wearing tiny underwear around the house, or more likely, he is fond of how uncomfortable his nakedness makes everyone else feel. Jorge Rivera, Rich Clementi and Mikey Burnett express their annoyance with Carter’s erratic behavior. Shonie has taken to spray painting and adding bling (gemstones) to anything and everything around the house. Needless to say, Mikey Burnett has no interest in getting any of his stuff pimped out with bling. Shonie declares that while the rest of the guys are moping around the house, counting the days until they get to leave, he is making the best of the situation and having some fun.
-We go to the Training Session for Team No Love. The team name says it all, as Team No Love has now lost two fights in a row. Jeremy Jackson thinks his team is suffering from mental exhaustion. He says they need to win a fight so they can control the fight match-ups. Dana White notes how unlike everyone else on the show, welterweight Jeremy Jackson got the call to come on the show late, and as a result, came into the show out of shape. White feels this may make Jackson a target for Team Mojo since the welterweights are up next to fight. Jackson says he is ready to fight, especially after the last fight between DeWees and Ray. Jackson says the size of his heart will make up for him being out of shape.
-Back at the house, Jeremy Jackson tells the cameras that he does not trust Dean Thomas because Thomas is always staring at him. Sitting around the table, Jackson tells the other fighters that he does not like punching people in the face. Thomas smiles and says, “Good, ’cause I’m picking you Friday.” Jackson laughed it off and welcomed the challenge. To the cameras, though, Jackson says he would rather fight Chris Lytle. Jackson and Thomas rib each other a bit about their potential upcoming fight. Thomas tells the cameras that if he were given the choice to pick a fight, he would pick Jackson, because he feels Jackson is the weakest link.
-At the house, Georges St. Pierre has stopped by to watch UFC 60 with the guys. Matt Serra was disappointed after Matt Hughes dominated Royce Gracie. Dana White notes how Serra had trained with the Gracie family and was one of the first black belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the United States. Serra says his opinion on fighting Matt Hughes has not changed. Serra says Hughes is human and he believes he can be beat. Serra says that the better Hughes looks to people now, the more of a reward it will be for him when he goes on to win the TUF 4 competition, and he personally defeats Matt Hughes, taking his title.
-We go to the Training Session for Team Mojo. Dana White notes how they decided to bring Marc Laimon back to TUF as one of this season’s trainers. He says Laimon is a jiu-jitsu instructor who works with some of the top fighters in the world. Matt Serra says he does not like Laimon but he would not discourage anyone from working out with Laimon. Serra describes the history he has with Laimon when they were in opposite corners in the Pete “Drago” Sell vs. Phil Baroni UFC 51 match. Video footage from the event shows Laimon advising Baroni to get the takedown on Drago, and Baroni would win the fight. Baroni successfully took Drago down, but Drago was able to lock in a choke on the ground to win the fight. Serra says that instead of accepting defeat and congratulating Drago on the victory, Laimon was complaining to the ref about how the ref had allowed the fighters to be on the ground too long. Serra says Laimon is a “cry-baby” and that he does not like that Laimon talks poorly about fighters, because Laimon is not a fighter.
-At the training facility, Marc Laimon is shown standing around with the guys, including Matt Serra. Laimon says Royce Gracie should not fight and that he should have retired in 1995 after he fought Ken Shamrock for the second time. Serra is shown holding his tongue, as Laimon goes on to say about Gracie, “It was a beat down. Total domination. It was great.” To the cameras, Serra says he is sickened by Laimon’s lack of honor. Laimon tells the cameras that Serra is entitled to his opinion. Laimon expresses that he is qualified to be where he is, and presumably act as he does, because he is a student of the science of fighting, having studied a lot of fight footage. Laimon claims to have watched more fight footage than most of the fighters in the competition, whatever that is supposed to mean.
-Back at the house, Shonie Carter has drawn a charcoal outline picture of himself. Since Shonie is not at the house, Rich Clementi decides they will get back at him for all his antics by replicating the drawing and then adding bling to the new drawing, so Carter will think they have ruined his drawing. Carter has a sad look on his face when his discovers his newly blinged-out drawing. Carter declares he is willing to move up in weight, if need be, to fight the person who has vandalized his drawing. Shonie seems legitimately angry. His anger is soon subdued, however, as the real drawing is revealed. Rich Clementi says the best part of the rib was that it gave them something to do for an hour and a half of the day. Will Clementi now join forces with Carter in his pursuit to bling everything?
-We are at the Training Session for Team No Love. Trainer Randy Couture talks about how he was not familiar with Jeremy Jackson before TUF, but that he is now very impressed with Jackson. Couture says that Jackson is a well-rounded fighter with a good attitude and a willingness to work. Dana White notes that Jeremy Jackson has only had one fight in the UFC, against Nick Diaz at UFC 44. They had fought each other twice before they came to the UFC, and had split victories. UFC 44 footage of the fight is shown. Jackson held his own against Diaz through two rounds. Early in the third round, Diaz caught Jackson with an armbar and Jackson tapped out. White says that after Jackson’s fight with Diaz, Jackson had personal problems, which took him out of the fight game. Jackson, himself, says he believes he has a one-percent chance of winning the TUF 4 competition, but that he believes that is all he needs to win.
-We go to the Welterweight Fight Announcement. Both teams are gathered at the training facility. Dana White congratulates Edwin DeWees on his victory. White notes that Team Mojo has control to pick the next fight. DeWees announces that the next fight will be Pete Spratt (No Love) vs. Chris Lytle (Mojo). Jeremy Jackson is surprised that he was not picked to fight Lytle. Jackson says he believed it was his fight. Spratt says he knew that it was going to be him, because he had been told so in a dream the night before. Lytle says that Spratt is going to be a tough opponent based on Spratt’s previous UFC fights.
-We are at the Training Session for Team Mojo. Dana White notes how Chris Lytle is the perfect contestant for this season of TUF. White says Lytle is a great fighter who has had an up-and-down career, as Lytle has a 2-4 record in the UFC. Lytle lives with his wife and four children in Indianapolis, where he also works as a firefighter.
Lytle’s first fight in the octagon was at UFC 28, where Ben Earwood dominated him, resulting in a loss for Lytle. After this fight, Lytle switched to professional boxing and didn’t fight again in the octagon until UFC 45, where he was matched up against Robbie Lawler. White notes that Lawler was destroying everyone in the welterweight division at the time. Lawler was considered to be one of the next great superstars. In what White describes as “an all-out war,” Lawler won the first round and Lytle won the second round. Both needed the third round and went for broke. UFC 44 Announcer Mike Goldberg repeatedly declares the fight is definitely going to end by knockout. Although Lytle was knocked down a few times, there was no knockout. The judges gave the decision to Robbie Lawler.
UFC officials were impressed and Lytle was given another fight at UFC 47 against Tiki Ghosn. Lytle choked out Ghosn in the second round. Lytle would go on to also choke out Ronald Jhun at UFC 49. White felt Lytle might now be championship material, so Lytle was matched up against another top prospect, Karo Parisyan, at UFC 51. Parisyan was dominant in all three rounds of the fight and won a unanimous decision. Dana White felt Lytle now needed to redeem himself, so he was matched up against former heavyweight Joe Riggs at UFC 55. White notes that Riggs dominated the first round easily. In the second round, Riggs hit Lytle with a nasty elbow to the head, which opened up a cut and the fight was stopped for a Riggs victory. Lytle tells the cameras that he feels it is his destiny to be where he is, with this opportunity, considering all the losses he has had to overcome.
-We are at the Training Session for Team No Love. Dana White notes how Pete Spratt is the oldest fighter in the competition. White says Spratt is an excellent striker with a limited ground game. Spratt grew up in Sherman, TX and was a three-sport varsity athlete. Spratt got a scholarship to play football at Southeastern Oklahoma State University where Spratt was a First-Team All-American and led the nation in receiving yards in 1995. Spratt says after an NFL career did not work out for him, he began training to fight with some friends and when he became better than they were, he decided to pursue a fighting career. Spratt has now been a professional fighter for 7 years. Spratt’s UFC record is 2-2.
Pete Spratt’s first fight in the UFC was at UFC 37.5 against an excellent wrestler, Zach Light. Spratt, to everyone’s surprise, caught Light in an armbar in the first round for the submission victory. Dana White notes how they immediately put Spratt to the test against veteran fighter Carlos Newton at UFC 40. Newton had just lost his belt to Matt Hughes. White says Spratt was not ready for Newton and lost by submission in the first round. Spratt was next matched up against Robbie Lawler at UFC 42. After being dominated early, Spratt came back with some fierce kicks and strikes, actually getting a takedown on Lawler to end the round. In the second round, Spratt realized Lawler could not defend against leg kicks, and Spratt continued to hit Lawler with kick after kick to the legs until Lawler verbally submitted.
Dana White says the UFC then offered Pete Spratt a title shot against Matt Hughes, but Spratt turned down the opportunity, saying he was not ready. Spratt would not fight in the UFC again until 2 years later at UFC Ultimate Fight Night 1, where he would face TUF 1 contestant Josh Koscheck. Early in the first round, Koscheck got Spratt’s back and applied a choke for the victory. White says Spratt is the only fighter in UFC history to have turned down a title shot and that TUF 4 is his chance for redemption.
-We go to the Official Weigh-In for the Welterweight Division (156-170). Both fighters weigh in at 170. Matt Serra feels that Chris Lytle is the clear favorite and that Spratt did not want to fight Lytle. Mikey Burnett feels Pete Spratt is being underestimated and it will be a competitive fight. Dana White notes how these two have fought before outside of the UFC, with Lytle winning by submission. White feels that Spratt will be more prepared this time and that Spratt will always have a puncher’s chance.
-Chris Lytle says he wants to finish the fight as quickly as he can, while Pete Spratt says he will be throwing hard strikes intent on damaging Lytle. Lytle says there is no better feeling than winning by knock out. Spratt says that even if his opponent wins, he wants his opponent to look like he has lost.
-We are at the Welterweight Elimination Fight.
CHRIS LYTLE VS. PETE SPRATT
ROUND ONE: The fighters touch gloves and we are underway. Lytle is the aggressor early, throwing a barrage of strikes and kicks. Lytle drives Spratt back towards the cage and the two are locked up. They grapple for position standing up, each throwing some strikes in close, before Lytle gets a leg sweep and takes Spratt down. Lytle is on top of Spratt in the half-guard position. Lytle hits a few light hammer strikes, trying to work his way out of the half-guard into the mount. Lytle manages to secure the mount position and quickly locks in a guillotine choke, arches his back and Spratt taps out.
FINISH: Chris Lytle Wins by Tap Out at 2:45 of Round One.
STAR RATING: (*) Not a whole lot to this fight at all, but a dominating performance by Chris Lytle. Lytle easily made the transition from standing to takedown to half-guard to mount to submission. Spratt got in basically no offense. Lytle’s immediate aggression threw Spratt off his game plan, which made him ripe for the picking.
RAMIFICATIONS: Chris Lytle joins Shonie Carter and Edwin DeWees in the TUF 4 Semi-Finals. Team No Love continues their losing streak. Lytle is happy the fight ended quickly, and he should be able to go into his next match as healthy as he was going into this one. Pete Spratt, on the other hand, is shown quite frustrated with his loss. He calls it the toughest loss of his career. The good thing for Pete Spratt is that the TUF 4 exposure alone should guarantee he gets another chance.
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