The Contender 3 Episode 5

We start with a recap of Wayne Johnsen’s win over Miguel Hernandez. Sugar Ray said their fight was the greatest display of heart and determination so far this season. Wayne is happy with the win but not with his point total. He won by 11 points, putting him one point behind Sam Soliman in the power rankings. The top four advance but with two fights still remaining, Wayne’s third place standing doesn’t guarantee him a spot in the semi-finals.

At the House

Banks walks around with a towel on and nothing else. Buddy suggests a shirt out of respect for the woman cutting Sam’s hair. Banks thinks otherwise and relates his body to a work of art, a “Picassio” in his words. Paul hates Banks’ lack of art history knowledge. That’s not how he puts it but I bet that’s truly what’s eating at him. Either that or Banks’ cocky attitude. This is the best and only rivalry going on in the house.

Banks’ response to all this shirtless hoopla is, “I work out six days a week for this body. Why cover it up?” Paul Smith retorts, “I’d rather look like Butterbean and punch like Tyson.” Paul Smith becomes my second favorite fighter on the show by name dropping Butterbean.

Power to Choose

Blue Team gets to pick the next fight. Paul wants to call out Banks. Sakio enters the ring and calls out Donny McCrary. By default, Paul Smith will fight David Banks. It is for the best that Banks and Smith go last in the first round. Smith has been talking about knocking out Banks since the first episode and that is likely what he will need to advance in the tournament. Oh the drama.

Training

Sam has fought Sakio before and won a twelve round decision so he is helping Donny prepare for Bika. Sam is becoming the Matt Serra of TUF 4: The Comeback with his leadership despite his role as a competitor. Sakio will be tough to beat as he’s one of the most experienced fighters on the show. Sugar Ray hypes Donny as having a puncher’s chance. McCrary is best known for knocking Allan Green down and almost out last year. Green went on to knock McCrary out later in the fight.

Cheesy Family Time

Donny’s daughter is glad to see Daddy and knows he’s going to win. He needs it to buy a new house. Sakio is joined in the locker room by his wife and son and feels they will inspire him to a win. Sakio is a heavy favorite in this fight but I think Donny has a better mindset going into this fight than the other underdogs did in the previous episodes. Donny also aptly notes that Sakio Bika looks to have muscles in his eyebrows.

The Fight: Sakio Bika vs. Donny McCrary

These guys are throwing wild shots early and often. This pace would be tough to continue. Bika catches Donny leaning in and lands an uppercut. Sergio Mora predicts this fight will definitely end in a knockout. Bika needs to jab more and outbox Donny.

The second round starts similarly to the first. Pepe is yelling for Sakio to jab. This fight is edited but I’m not seeing many jabs. It looks like they are just trading power combos. Regardless, it looks like both guys are trying to end the fight on one punch. Buddy thinks Donny is giving the rounds away so I’m guessing that Sakio is ahead.

Donny is the aggressor to start the third as he backs Sakio up. Sakio fires off some hard counters that change all that around. Sakio is getting the crowd on his side as he builds momentum. Donny is cut over his left eye and the ref rules it is due to a punch. Sakio lands another big uppercut but Donny keeps coming forward. McCrary is showing he can take a punch.

Donny is most likely losing this fight but Sakio cannot coast given the makeup of the tournament. Donny lands a huge overhand right that wobbles Sakio and puts him on the run. Sakio tries to clinch but Donny is putting the pressure on. Sakio regains his bearings and lands a good one-two combo. Both guys look tired. Sakio lands a clubbing right and follows with an uppercut. Donny goes for a retaliatory shot but it only opens him up for more assault from Sakio.

Buddy gives Donny his best motivational speech as we head into the fifth and final round. The crowd is setting up a nice stage for the final round. Donny doesn’t seem to have much left in the tank but he knows he needs a knockout to win. It’s too hard to tell how many points Bika is up by. The ref is hollering for Donny to show him something, meaning he’s close to stopping it. Donny flails punches while Bika swarms him. It could be stopped, no matter what the inspirational music in the background would lead you to believe. The fight ends without a knockout, although if given one more round I think Bika would have put Donny away. Sugar Ray hits the ring and raises both guys hands.

The scores come in as 49-46, 50-45, 50-45 all for Sakio Bika. That puts Bika into 2nd place and makes Wayne more nervous. Donny gets the Rocky treatment from the crowd and even gets hoisted up on Sam’s shoulders while the crowd gives up the love. Donny cries but I think it’s more due to being touched by the crowd and team reaction to his show of heart. He felt like he let some people down but Sugar Ray lets him know that he won the hearts of the fans.

Next Week

It’s finally fight time for Paul Smith and David Banks as the battle in the last fight of the first round. Jaidon, Sakio, and Sam are in and the final spot will go to either Wayne Johnsen or the winner of Smith/Banks.

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