We get the always fun recap and theme song and then move directly into the house. Teammates are out back with Sako trying to pump him up for his encounter with Jonathan Brookins. We then visit each training camp as they prepare of the first quarterfinal matchup. At Camp GSP St. Pierre works out with Brookins inside the cage while Brookins, via interview, discusses the concern he has that his previous victory over another member of Team Koscheck might have Sako extra pumped up and thus especially dangerous heading into their fight. At Team Koscheck there we watch as the coach warns Sako to not allow Brookins to take his back no matter what.
Later that evening Brookins and Nam Phan are out back philosophizing. Brookins discusses how far he has come and how important it is to him to keep in touch with the version of himself who was just struggling to survive. He even takes a pot shots at members of the house who aren’t dedicated and who are merely coasting by on the fact that they made it into the house.
Jonathan Brookins vs. Sako Chivitchian
Sako mangages to gain control early and has Brookins pressed against the cage. They remained tied up there for a few minutes but then, it feels like out of nowhere, Brookins nails a belly to belly suplex and segues directly into a move that allows him to take Sako’s back. They quickly fall to the mat and Brookins starts working his BJJ, slowly but surely figuring out a way to slap on the rear naked choke. Sako keeps alive for a minute or so but is in too deep. Brookins finds his opening, gets the hold and wins the fight.
Jonathan Brookins def. Sako Chivitchian via submission (Round 1)
After a recap of the fight we go into Team Koscheck’s dressing room where Koscheck is encouraging Sako to keep his head up. Sako is too busy kicking himself for losing track of the game plan and making fatal mistakes. Brookins in an absolue gentleman in expressing pure excitement just for making it to the semi-finals.
The next fight on the docket is Nam Phan vs. Cody McKenzie. We first focus on Cody as he tries to train as though he weren’t a one-dimensional fighter dependant on one hold. He talks about his trickery and the fact that everybody in the house pretty much gets his game by this point so he’s just going to have to prepare to beat Phan in more conventional manner. At the Team Koscheck’s training they spend a day solely on keeping Phan’s head out of a guillotine choke. Where was that bright idea before Marc Steven’s first bout?
Cody McKenzie= 155 pounds
Nam Phan= 155.5 pounds
There is a quickie of a scene where Nam and Cody shoot the breeze in the kitchen. Cody speaks to the camera about how convinced he is that Nam was just squeezing him for info. Sounds a little paranoid to me.
Cody McKenzie vs. Nam Phan
McKenzie goes right for the take down and spends the first minute plus working that angle trying to score it. Once he has it he goes to work from inside Phan’s guard. He gets in a little ground and pound action in before Phan gets back to his feet. Phan seems terrified of shooting in and who’s to blame him? I’d be terrified too. McKenzie works the fight back to the fence and Koscheck implores Phan to stay away from there. McKenzie works his position to his advantage and force feeds Phan some shots to the mouth. Nam gets a few of them back. Then with about a minute left he finds his range and starts hitting some big blows. The round ends but it wasn’t enough to save it for himself. 10-9 McKenzie.
Phan opens with a high head kick that somewhat lands. Koscheck is screaming from the sidelines that McKenzie is gassed and by accounts he truly is. McKenzie goes for a kick himself which doesn’t land, Phan returns the favor. A cat and mouse game ensues as McKenzie, obviously exhausted, is left with little choice than to just run around the cage dodging shots. Nam finally gets him right where he wants him and begins to work him over pretty violently. He then connects with a sickening body blows that drops McKenzie. Phan seizes the opportunity and moves in with some nasty shots to the head. McKenzie shows next to no interest in defending himself, covers up and loses the fight.
Nam Phan def. Cody McKenzie via TKO (Round 2).
They go over the fight, Dana White makes the good point that McKenzie’s string of crazy quick submission victories has cut into his ring time and has left him vulnerable to early gassing. Next week the final two quarterfinals fights will occur and they will announce the semi-final matchups.
Tags: Cody McKenzie, Georges St. Pierre, Jonathan Brookins, Josh Koscheck, Mixed Martial Arts, Nam Phan