By Bryan Kern, MMATorch contributor
Welcome back folks. It’s time for another installment of TUF Recap.
This week we have the fourth tournament match which pits Adam Antolin (11-3) the Tachi Palace Fights Flyweight champion against Damacio Page (19-10) who is the Legacy FC Flyweight champ.
For those of you that don’t know, Damacio Page has been around the game for quite some time. He was a WEC regular where he fought and lost to Demetrious Johnson, after the merger he fought a few times in the UFC. He was Released after a loss to Alex “Bruce Leroy” Caceres back in 2012. Since then he has fought in some regional promotions. His experience and his current win streak makes him a favorite in this competition. Let’s see if he’ll be able to win this match and work his way back into the UFC.
-We get a recap of last weeks match showing Ogikubo getting his victory over Nkazimulo Zulu allowing Team Benavidez to pick up their first win.
– It starts with the fight announcement from last week. Dana gives us a little background on the fight. Apparently there is some bad blood between Damacio Page and Henry Cejudo. They were supposed to fight back in Legacy but it didn’t come together.
– Dana continues to recap Page’s story, showing his highlights and his low lights.
– We get some house footage of Damacio and a few others hanging out. He gets a lot of praise from the others in the house.
– We get some training camp footage of Adam Antolin. He explains how he got into fighting. He turned pro in 08′ and fights out of AKA.
– We get some fight footage from him in Tachi Palace fights. Dana calls hims the dark horse of the tournament. He is very aware of the threat that Damacio Page presents.
– He feels his strengths are in his wrestling and in his ground game, Cejudo thinks that his body shots will be able to be effective enough. They’re focusing on a heavy stick and move game plan.
– We get some home footage of Damacio. He hails from Albuquerque, NM. He breeds dogs at his home. He calls himself the “crazy dog dude”. He loves his dogs, they’re like his children. He says that the hardest part about traveling for fighting is being away from them.
– He trains out of Jackson/Wink.
– He manages properties that he invested in after being in the UFC. It seems as though he has made some smart investments which is always nice to see for a fighter.
– We get some footage of him and his family before he leaves for the house.
– We get training footage of him in the gym. Benavidez says that Page is the hardest hitter in the flyweight division. They believe that his experience and his power will be enough to get the win.
– While training he shares that he was picked on when he was little. He had some learning curves when he was in elementary school, he said that led him to being picked on which in turn, led him to be a fighter. He is aware that he is the veteran in the house and how important it is for his career that he wins this tournament.
– We come back to Adam Antolin and his home footage. He hails from San Jose, CA and fights out of AKA. He speaks of a relationship he was in for about 5 years. He still hangs out with the girls son and tries to be a positive role model in his life. We get some footage of his family. They are his support system. He wants to make them proud and succeed in the tourney.
– We are back to the teams waiting for the weigh ins and we get more of the Joey and Henry Show. These two are just painfully awkward. The arguments don’t seem genuine and in this particular segment they almost make up immediately. It’s really weird.
– Both fighters make weight by the way. I will be surprised if we have a weight issue this season. All these guys are champs and making weight shouldn’t be a problem.
– Dana Covers a few more things about the fighters. He seems to be pulling for Damacio in a way. Im excited to see how this turns out.
– On fight day we get to see a rather unique situation. Adam Antolin is cutting Damacio Page’s hair. They joke about it, but it was done with good intentions. Adam told his team he will cut their opponents hair before their fights, he said he didn’t want to treat Damacio any differently. Damacio gives us a little background about himself and misconceptions that people have about him, given his style and “look”. He also shares a story about his mom who passed away a few years back, of cancer. Despite the the two being cordial, they share some thoughts on one another and how their expect to win the fight,
– We get locker room footage, they share their thoughts and were off.
Tournament Match 4: (4) Demacio Page (19-10) v. (13) Adam Antolin (11-3)
Round 1: They take the center of the cage. Damacio opens up first, kick, slip, and a fall by Adam. They trade kicks again, Adam shoots but is stuffed, Adam is peppering in body shots as he enters and escapes. Damacio gets off some shots. Earlier in the show, one of Adam’s coaches said that Damacio cuts a lot of weight which should leave his body depleted, they’re going to take advantage of that with body work, Adam is following that to perfection. He connects again with a mean cross jab combo. Damacio comes back with a mean uppercut as Adam goes low. Both guys are landing hard powerful shots, I feel as though Adam has the advantage. He hits a spinning back kick to the body, Damacio rushes, Antolin shoots and gets stuffed then eats a knee backing out. Damacio rushes with some nasty hooks, Antolin jumps on his bike and runs momentarily, he’s hurt and isn’t getting shots off as easily as he was in the beginning of the round. Damacio landing some vicious shots and with 4 seconds left Antolin gets the hip toss. That may have secured him that round. Round 1: 10-9 Antolin.
– Both men were violent in that opening frame, each having an advantage. I thought it was fairly even up until the take down at the end, making it Adam’s round.
Round 2: We get some clinch work to start this round out. Adam connects with a left body kick, right cross, left hook combo, blasts another left body kick and Damacio goes down, a flurry from Antolin against the cage and the fight is stopped. I don’t know about that one, it looks as though Page was covering up well and was about to escape as the ref stepped in, he isn’t happy about it either, Dana agrees that the stoppage was bad.
– That was one of those on the line stoppages where it could have gone either way. In those cases you would always like it to go that extra second just to see what happens. Its unfortunate for Damacio Page but is what it is. The fight itself was fast paced and action packed. Its an excellent win for Antolin and even though he was fading at the end of the 1st, he was able to come out strong in the second and get the quick stoppage win over a veteran like Page. For page, its back to the drawing board. As he is one of the more aggressive fighters on the roster, and a fairly big name, he could very well see himself on the finale.
– Damacio said he wasnt hurt. His body is battered from the damage. No one on his team thinks the stop was justified. He thinks he might have broken his hand in the first round. If that’s the case a win wouldn’t have gotten him any further as he would have been pulled due to injury.
– Dana Recaps where we sit in the tournament, we now have Team Cejudo up 3-1 and we get the next fight announcement.
(2) Yoni Sherbatov(5-0-1) v. (15) Eric Shelton (10-2)
Well, there you have it, another one in the books for this week. If you care to discuss or share your thoughts on TUF or anything MMA related feel free to do so on my Twitter: @ofbryanofdeath