In an episode of The Ultimate Fighter that featured a coaches prank, a third round, an impressive win and a retirement, this episode had it all.
Dhiego Lima defeated Gilbert Smith by unanimous decision to advance to the semi-finals of TUF 25. It was a three-round fight between Lima and Smith, a season first. But before the match started, Cody Garbrandt continued his war with TJ Dillashaw.
At the start of the episode, Garbrandt and his team were getting ready to leave the TUF gym. Before doing so, Garbrandt and his coaches pulled a prank on Dillashaw by putting red tape on his face and other parts of his body on the posters inside the gym, including the giant-size poster in the center of the gym. They even used the tape to change his last name to “Dillasnake,” referring to their claim about how he left Team Alpha Male.
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When Dillashaw saw the prank, he laughed it off. In his confessional, Dillashaw said he would have to come up with a creative prank in return.
We mentioned before that due to the fight at UFC 213 being pulled off due to Garbrandt’s injury, it might result in the producers re-editing the episodes. We were wrong, and it appears we will see more of these two in their feud as the season goes on.
Outside of that, it was a fairly basic episode of TUF.
In addition to seeing a third round for the first time this season, this episode was also the first one to feature two fighters from the same team going up against each other.
Dillashaw spoke to Smith and Lima, letting them know that in all fairness, he will train both of them and discuss strengths and weaknesses of the opponent to both fighters. Smith suggested the idea that Dillashaw could exclude himself completely, but Dillashaw disagreed.
During the match, Dillashaw sat on the bench with the rest of his team while Dillashaw’s coaches, plus a couple of fighters from Dillashaw’s team this season, served as coaches for Smith and Lima in this match.
After a split fight after two rounds, Lima opened the third round with a quick takedown and locked in a triangle choke. Late in the fight, both fighters went for the knockout, swinging and connecting on shots. To UFC President Dana White’s pleasure, he liked the fight, calling it an “impressive” fight.
Smith was emotional after the fight. In the first episode before the coaches drafted their players, Smith admitted to Garbrandt that if he does not win the season, this would be it for his career.
Smith asked for all of the fighters and coaches to the octagon. He praised Dillashaw and Garbrandt, thanking them and telling them it was an honour to be on TUF with them this season along with the rest of the fighters. He congratulated Lima before he announced his retirement from MMA.