THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER REPORT 9/21 – Benavidez vs. Cejudo, episode 4: Sherbatov (#2) vs. Shelton (#15) plus some Demetrious bashing

By Brian Kern, MMATorch contributor

Welcome back to yet another edition of TUF Recap. We are headed in to Episode 4. Last week saw number 13 seed and Tachi Palace Flyweight champ Adam Antolin (11-3) defeat veteran flyweight and former UFC competitor, Legacy FC Flyweight champ Dimacio Page (19-10).

– This week we see (2) Yoni Sherbatov (5-0-1) of team Cejudo vs. (15) Eric Shelton (10-2) of team Benavidez. Team Cejudo is up in the tourney 3-1 and is looking to extend their streak with the number 2 Sherbatov.

– As always, we get a recap of last week’s episode. I highly recommend watching the past fights of this season. So far, they have been rather entertaining and I feel they’ll continue throughout the season.


– We immediately get to some training footage from team Cejudo. Yoni is speaking to why he feels he is the best. He gives us some background into his younger years in the martial arts. He also expressed that he feels some pressure since he was seeded number 2 in the house.

– We get footage of Dana Sharing Yoni’s story. He is the Xcesive Force Fighting Championship Flyweight Champion. He captured the belt with a nasty :34 knockout. He is originally from Russia, now resides in The Great White North (Canada). Despite being only 5-0 in his pro career, he is very highly touted in this tournament.

– We get footage of Cejudo working with Yoni to simulate the fight. Cejudo believes his wrestling and movement will play a factor in the fight. Yoni himself is very confident, his team is behind him, and the coaches think hes the best in the house.

– We get footage of Eric Shelton in the house talking about himself. He is a father of four at the age of 25. He talks about having a rough start to adult hood. He is confident and has faith that his hard work and dedication will get him to the end of the tournament.

– We get footage of his home life. He is from Galesburg, Ill. He talks about growing up in church and being close to the people in his small hometown.

– He got into fighting as a way to stay out of trouble. He found early success and decided to dedicate his life to the sport. He is dedicated to being the best he can for himself and his family. His family came to see him off to the house which was cool to see. He has a lot of people pulling for him back home.

– We get house footage of Sherbatov. He says he has a lot of family watching him and they expect him to win.

– We get some hometown footage of him. He and his brothers own an MMA Gym in Canada. He met his wife out of his gym where she was taking one of his classes. They have 2 kids together and are expecting a 3rd. He says he’s a tough guy and generally doesn’t show emotion yet admits to being nearly in tears when he had to leave his family behind for the house.

– Shelton is shown back in the gym, he doesn’t have a whole lot of experience fighting southpaws. Benavidez seems to have a pretty good handle on southpaws and is giving Shelton some drills and techniques to practice. He covers the rankings and feels Shelton being ranked 15 isn’t correct but ultimately it doesn’t matter.

– We get Dana sharing Shelton’s story. His nickname is “Showtime.” He is the Flyweight champ from the Iowa promotion, Caged Aggression. He is on a four fight win streak and seems to have great technique and vicious strikes. He feels he has the advantage in the fight. He feels he’s faster, stronger, and more explosive. He feels his Cardio is his strongest asset

– We get team Benavidez sitting through a Demetrious Johnson tutorial. They all have the opportunity to watch the two matches where he defeated Joseph Benavidez as Benavidez himself is commentating and providing feedback on the fight itself. He is clearly not happy about having to do this. He calls DJ a jerk and says the worst day of his life was when he was knocked out by the champ at UFC on FOX 9 back in 2014. Tim Elliot is voicing his opinion on Demetrious Johnson. We get some smack talk from him and our first look into him on the show.

– Next we get Team Cejudo doing the same thing. His match was earlier this year at UFC 197 in April and he was stopped in the first round via TKO. His portions tends to be a little more motivational. He gives the team a pep talk about how one of them is destined to be the man to defeat Mighty Mouse.

– Next we get an uneventful weigh-in. Both men are on point and are ready to square off. This is the number 2 vs. number 15 seed. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

– It’s fight day, Sherbatov seems relaxed and ready, Eric Shelton gets a little emotional thinking about his family. He says no one will take this from him.

-We get some extra warm up footage from the back, this fight is expected to end decisively both are confident they can finish on the feet. Shelton seems almost too nervous. However, he says he is ready to go in and take what is his.

Match 5: (2) Yoni Sherbatov (5-0-1) v. (15) Eric Shelton (10-2)

– Round 1: Bot men come out to the center of the cage, they test their range, Yoni opens up with a kick. Shelton throws a kick, Yoni with another one. First punch is form Yoni. These guys are really confident in their kicks. 2 minutes in and we don’t have too much action. Both men are being rather conservative, no flurry is more than 1 or 2 shots. The speed is there and both know the other possesses knockout power. Yoni gets a take down, he controls on top for a bit, Shelton is able to reverse and get top position, although it is in Yoni’s guard he is controlling the pace. They are back to their feet, then back to the ground as Yoni lands another take down. This one, however, is less effective and Shelton is able to escape with ease and get back to his feet. Yoni has hit both take down attempts, but other than that the take downs themselves he isn’t doing much. Yoni shoots for a 3rd takedown and is stuffed. He better adjust his game plan a bit or hes going to have a hard time controlling the fight. We get the ten second warning and the round is done. 10-9 Sherbatov. I’m almost reluctant to give that to him. He wins the round cause of the take downs but the fact he did nothing with either of them is disappointing.

– In between rounds, Shelton’s coaches stress the take down defense. He seemed to have caught on to that late in the first and was able to defend Yoni’s last attempt. Yoni’s coaches want more take downs and feel he won that round.

– Round 2: Back to the center of the cage, Yoni is looking to set up shots, goes for a take down and Eric stuffs it. Yoni is trying to close the distance and initiate a clinch, Sheltons hands are crisp and fast but he isn’t throwing combos, if he was to open up a bit he may find more success. Yoni shoots for a double, ends up with a single and has Shelton against the cage, after a struggle Yoni gets the take down but again does nothing with it. Shelton is throwing strikes and defending, he attempts to get up but Yoni is smothering him. NevermindÖ Shelton almost effortlessly reverses the position and has Yoni on the defensive. After making Yoni carry his weight a little he’s able to take his back and sink in a RNC, it doesn’t look all the way in but Yoni is tired. Yoni is asleep and the fight is stopped. Wow, great defense and urgency from Shelton to go for that finish. – Winner Eric Shelton by Submission.

– Yoni has no idea what happened. The number 15 seed just beat the number 2 seed, that’s what happened. He’s disappointed but is trying to stay positive.

– The competition now sits at 3-2 with team Cejudo in the lead. We get the stare down for next weeks fight which is (7) Ronaldo Candido (6-0) v. (10) Jamie Alvarez (6-1)

– Alvarez fights out of American Top Team and Candido is Interim Featherweight champ Jose Aldo’s Jiu Jitsu coach.

That’s it for this week folks. Thanks again for tuning in, we’ll be back here next week. As always, follow me on Twitter @ofbryanofdeath and let me know what your thoughts in the show are.

CATCH UP ON LAST WEEK’S EPISODE REPORT HERE: THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER REPORT 9/14 – Benavidez vs. Cejudo, episode 3: Adam Antonlin vs. Damacio Page

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