On the brink of elimination, American Top Team survived to live another day thanks to a gritty performance from Nathan Coy. The Blackzilians looked to eliminate the opposition by securing another victory with only two fights left in The Ultimate Fighter.
In an effort to close out the season, the Blackzilians chose Jason Jackson for this week’s fight. It was a seemingly smart choice as Jackson had not only won his first fight this season, but also did so in ATT’s gym. Jackson told the audience he was not focused on anything except winning this tournament.
The choice of who to throw in for ATT wasn’t as easy of a decision. The coaches talked about picking Cristiano “Soldado” Souza for this week’s bout but also about giving Michael Graves another chance. Grave was the ultimate question mark for ATT as he experienced a downward spiral since losing the opening fight of the season. The fact Graves and his coaches were so concerned about Graves making weight didn’t seem like a great start to this week’s preparation.
Prior to the fight, the gym owner’s finally had the chance to compete against one another, albeit in a track competition. The teams picked a few guys to run a relay race with the two owners bringing up the final part. It was about as awkward and unathletic as you’d think, but Dan Lambert ended up pulling away for the victory.
Prior to the fight, Graves suffered what he described as a “stinger” during his training session.
As a reminder, here’s how the two teams stack up.
Round one began interestingly enough with Jackson moving forward, a complete 180 from Jackson’s strategy in his first fight. After an inadvertent kick to the groin of Graves that the referee missed, Jackson was able to pounce on his opponent. The Blackzilians’ fighter landed a number of knees to the body and punches to the head of Graves. Somehow Graves managed to survive the onslaught from Jackson and secured the back of Jackson. Graves wasted little time in securing the rear-naked choke to force a decisive final fight to close out the season.