Welcome to the recap of the final regular episode of season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter. We open at the training camp of Team GSP where we fine St. Pierre talking about his feelings surrounding the teams at this point. He figures that they pretty much don’t exist so he will not be favoring anybody in the fight between Kyle Watson and Jonathan Brookins, makes sense to me. Team GSP coach Mark Danaher speaks of his disappointment of Watson and Brookins being booked against each other in the semis because, in his mind, they should have been fighting in the finals. . . really? Watson basically pleads for audience support as he reveals that he left behind his dogs, girl and career to pursue this dream.
Back at the ranch we have some comic relief as Marc Stevens does a fairly good impression of Koscheck, calling him out for obsessively texting and overusing the phrase “Hard work pays off.” Of course, right on cue, Koscheck walks in on the drunken party but such is reality in the land of reality TV.
There is a short scene wherein Brookins talks about how he feels different from everybody else because he’s not into the cell phones and the computers. I felt a kinship to him however because he was drinking out of a UFC coffee mug that I happen to own.
Stevens loses any good will I may have had for him by shit talking Nam Phan for, well, trying to win. I guess it’s bad to try and figure out a fighting strategy according to the guy who got choked out twice in one season by the exact same hold.
Kyle Watson: 155 pounds
Jonathan Brookins: 156 pounds
Jonathan Brookins vs. Kyle Watson
Round 1- Watson gets a nasty knee to Brookins kisser early in the fight but slows down considerably after that. Brookins works his strategy perfectly, pushing Watson up against the cage and grinding him to a halt. They eventually break and a half assed slugfest breaks out. Style points go to Watson though for attempting a Superman punch. Brookins though easily wins the round using wrist control and huge punches that defined the round. He was flirting with a more lopsided score but we are going to go with Brookins 10-9 in the opening frame.
Round 2- Brookins gains control early and works the fight to the ground. Once there Watson takes on the look of a beaten man. He just sits on the mat, I guess trying to prevent Brookins from choking him out. If that was his goal mission accomplished though he certainly didn’t do anything else. Near the end of the round he actually tries to land a few up kicks but has no luck as his offense was utterly useless in this round. Another easy win for Brookins, 10-9.
Round 3- Watson obviously needs a stoppage because thus far he looks like a man begging Dana White to march into the cage and release him mid-round. Sadly he’s sucking some massive wind between rounds. As the last round opens the two exchange knees. Watson throws a few more bombs that land though that only serves to tick Brookins off who takes Watson down. Again Watson can do nothing from the bottom. Brookins keeps killing him with punches, almost at will, and Watson does nothing significant. Knowing that he has the fight in the bag Brookins maybe takes it a little easy for the past few minutes, and why not. He coasts to another 10-9 round.
Jonathan Brookins def. Kyle Watson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
And much to my chagrin at this point we, the viewer, are forced back to the house where team Koscheck has ganged up to pull the most totally original prank ever on their teammate Nam Phan. They are going to, are you ready for this, break in on his masturbating in the shower. Oh the hilarity. So they do and claim that they saw him and then laugh like little girls. Thank God for the alcohol in the house eh? Most interesting to me that apparently according to US censors the jerk off motion (don’t pretend you don’t know) is to be blurred out.
We then move to a few throwaway scenes of St. Pierre helping Michael Johnson prepare for the second semi-final match up. Nam Phan meanwhile is having less luck with his team as he has to plead his case to the Neanderthals to please ease up on the shower jokes while he prepares for his fight with Johnson. He also has an interview where he compares himself to a Honda Civic. I like the analogy and I like him.
Michael Johnson: 156
Nam Phan: 155
Dana White then cuts an interview and the headline here is not the fact that he is picking Nam Phan to win the fight but rather the massive pit stains he is rocking on his T-shirt. Johnson proves himself to be less than mature by dropping the “I can’t lose to a guy who beats off in the shower.” line. I guess he plans to go undefeated from here on out.
Michael Johnson vs. Nam Phan
Round 1- Johnson comes out ready to play and takes Phan down with a little too much ease. Then he does it again but both times Phan gets out of the hold. Johnson is impressive tonight, his offense is the best we have seen from him. Phan keeps relying on head kicks that are undoubtedly becoming predictable. Near the end of the round Phan eats a knee with his face and it opens up a runny gash under his eye which proceeds to bleed a lot. He keeps after it though and refuses to slow down. It’s not enough to take the round however and we have it 10-9 for Michael Johnson.
Round 2- Before the round starts Johnson looks death with exhaustion in the corner. Nam’s still got it however and comes out banging. The fight has become very exciting very fast and it doing wonders to cleanse my pallet after the Brookins/Watson tilt. Johnson goes for a takedown that backfires and Phan ends up in full mounts and rains down punches. Johnson looks close to going out but maintains consciousness. The fight stabilizes, more or less, for the last 90 seconds, Johnson even gets some offense in but it is far too little too late and Phan takes the round 10-9 to bring our scorecard to a tie.
Round 3- It’s really quite sad watching St. Pierre telling Johnson that Phan is twice as tired as he is. Oooook. Johnson comes out strong though and scores a takedown. From there however he does nothing with it other than turn his head into a big ole’ bullseye for Phan’s elbows. He eventually releases the hold and gets Phan pinned up against the cage. Much of the round saw Johnson controlling the Octagon but Phan being much more aggressive and landing more strikes. Johnson gets another takedown which is important for scoring purposes. Phan is much busier from the bottom but that matters much less to the judges. The entire gym seems electrified as this fight is turning into something special. Let’s get both of these guys contracts. . .what do you say UFC? The round ends and we have it 10-9 for Johnson but that last and deciding round was by far the closest.
Michael Johnson def. Nam Phan via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
And so ends the season setting up an awesome showdown for the finals. Seriously, how much more intrigue does this fight have compared to Court McGee vs. the sluggish and boring Kris McCray. Also, after the show aired the UFC went ahead and released a few more matches for The Ultimate Finale 12 this Saturday. Anybody want to bet on anything other than Garcia/Phan taking Fight of the Night honors?
Jonathan Brookins vs. Michael Johnson (for title of TUF 12)
Stephan Bonnar vs. Igor Pokrajac
Kendall Grove vs. Demian Maia
Rick Story vs. Johny Hendricks
Nam Phan vs. Leonard Garcia
Cody McKenzie vs. Aaron Wilkinson
Ian Loveland vs. Tyler Toner
Will Campuzano vs. Nick Pace
Pablo Garza vs. Fredson Paixao
Rich Attonito vs. Dave Branch
Tags: Dana White, Georges St. Pierre, Jonathan Brookins, Josh Koscheck, Kyle Watson, Michael Johnson, Mixed Martial Arts, Nam Phan, The Ultimate Fighter 12, TUF 12