The Ultimate Fighter looked to finally provide some real drama between two teams. The Blackzilians have been on a roll and it’s clear their success was starting to bug the members of American Top Team.
In the second fight of the season, Luiz Firmino used his ground game to completely neutralize Uros Jurisic for another Blackzilians win. Firmino’s victory pushed the Blackzilians to 2-0 this season and pushed their points lead to 50 points.
American Top Team aimed to stop the momentum of the Blackzilians and picked arguably their best fighter on the show, Steve Carl, to compete in the next fight. Carl, a former World Series of Fighting champion, has also appeared under the Bellator banner. He carried a 21-4 record to the show.
Standing opposite Carl was Valdir Araujo who has one of the more unique nicknames in MMA, “Baby Monster.” Araujo has also competed in Bellator and entered the reality show at 14-5. He owns a black belt in judo and in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as well.
Things got heated at weigh-ins when Carl missed weight. He missed the mark by three-quarters of a pound, but things got interesting when Blackzilians coach and fighter Tyrone Spong, along with UFC top contender Michael Johnson, decided to not let Carl use the sauna at the Blackzilians gym. Carl ended up making weight and the fight was official.
As a reminder here’s how the two teams stack up.
Round one began with Araujo looking to land power punches but Carl did a good job of avoiding them. The experience of Carl was on full display as he remained calm with Araujo throwing heavy kicks and looking to land a takedown. Araujo did manage to secure a few takedowns but Carl quickly managed to get off the canvas. The ATT fighter even managed to turn Araujo’s back to the cage and implement his own dirty boxing. “Baby Monster” went for a judo toss but couldn’t hit it. Still, the Blackzilians fighter managed to corner Carl against the cage once more, but Carl was able to reverse position just as the round ended. The round was very close with not a lot of scoring between the two men, one could argue it was a 10-10 round. Ultimately Carl likely took the round for holding Arajuo against the cage for a longer period of time.
The second frame started with Arajuo landing some nice punches but he failed to follow up with anything significant. To his credit, Carl remained composed and didn’t panic after being on the receiving end of some good punches from his opponent. Carl managed to clinch and push Baby Monster up against the fence but it was more of the same from what we’ve seen the first two episodes. Carl failed to score any damage or secure a takedown before being pushed against the fence himself. The referee was very forgiving with both individuals as they failed to score any points while clinched against the fence. Carl finally was able to threaten Araujo with a takedown but it would be his undoing as the Blackzilians fighter slapped on a tight guillotine to secure a second-round submission victory. That’s three in a row for the Blackzilians and they now own a 75-point advantage.