TUF

TUF 25 Episode Recap: Two fights, coaches challenge and lots of drama

Hayder Hassan dominated in the wild-card match while Tom Gallicchio won the first fight of the second round. TJ Dillashaw also won the TUF coach’s challenge

There was nothing out of the ordinary between Cody Gardbrandt and TJ Dillashaw the latest TUF episode.

Garbrandt confronted Dillashaw for bad-mouthing him on social media while his team had to hold him back from Dillashaw. In Dillashaw’s confessional, he said he is getting in Garbrandt’s head and does not know what to do.

Hayder Hassan and Joe Stephenson weighed in before their match. But there was a special moment after the staredown. Stephenson wanted to get both teams together for a prayer after the match.

He wanted to prove to viewers, most likely non-MMA fans, that despite the violence in the sport, the fighters are still true to themselves and are no different than the average person. He also said that he felt like there was support from both teams during the weigh-ins.

But that ended up being the end of Stephenson’s light. Hassan quickly knocked down Stephenson with a left jab and uppercut combination to open up the match, following up with hammer fists. Hassan won in 18 seconds.

At the end of the last episode, Garbrandt tried to convince Stephenson to back out because he would be fighting on a six-day turnaround from his first-round loss to his wild-card fight. Garbrandt even brought up concussion issues for fighters who fight on short turnarounds. It was unclear if this was Garbrandt offering legitimate advice or if it was a tactic to scare Stephenson.

As we saw at the end of the last episode, Garbrandt was irate that Stephenson was a wild-card selection by UFC President Dana White over one of his own fighters, insinuating that Eddie Gordon deserved another shot.

After the quick win by Hassan, Garbrandt shouted “I told you, TJ!” multiple times. While the coaches and fighters shook hands afterwards in the octagon, Garbrandt flipped off Dillashaw.

After the match, Stevenson lived up to his promise in wanting to do a prayer. He mentioned that he is a practising Christian while Hassan is a practising Muslim. But the great thing about the United States is that people have the freedom to come together and pray.

The matchups for the second round were announced. Tom Gallicchio vs. Justin Edwards, Dhiego Lima vs. Gilbert Smith, Jesse Taylor vs. Hayder Hassan and James Krause vs. Ramsey Nijem.

Dillashaw defeated Garbrandt in a game of tetherball above a swimming pool outdoor in cold weather for the coach’s challenge. During the game, Nijem said, “Uncle Urijah can’t do s–t now, he’s on the sideline.” The comment made Garbrandt visibly upset.

It was worth noting that Nijem was holding a beer while trash talking. Nijem gave a friendly hug to Garbrandt after the challenge. Garbrandt’s team pushed Nijem into the swimming pool.

Gallicchio and Edwards kicked off the second round of fights. Edwards registered a knockdown in the first minute and put Gallicchio in a guillotine choke. Gallicchio managed to escape the submission and quickly turned the table with a rear-naked choke attempt on Edwards. After having to re-adjust the choke hold, Gallicchio scored with a submission win to advance.

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