The show opened with a recap of last week when Brad Scott of Team UK earned the first spot in the finale with his split decision win over Ben Alloway of Australia.
Not much training was shown this episode, but notably, Team UK had a special guest coach named Ollie who came in to help work conditioning with some fighters. Most of his time was seen spent with Colin Fletcher, who complimented the drills and work he was receiving from Ollie.
Then, the coaches’ challenge took place. This year, Ross Pearson and George Sotiropolous competed in a demolition derby with $10,000 on the line. After a very entertaining showing by both men, Pearson emerged victorious after finishing off Sotiropolous’ car.
The weigh-ins came without incident. Brendan Loughnane weighed in at 155.5 pounds, while his teammate and current foe, Norman Parke, weighed in at 156 pounds.
The first round saw Loughnane using his reach and jab to keep Parke at a distance for the first half of the round. Eventually, Parke go a hold of Loughnane and dragged him down. They were not down for a huge amount of time before Loughnane got up and fired strikes until the round was over. It was close, but I would have to give the round to Parke.
In the second, Parke shot early on Loughnane, clinching and eventually putting him on his back. Parke used some good ground-and-pound, including nasty elbows, to cut open Loughnane on his forehead. Eventually, Loughnane got up, but would again be taken down. Parke had a hard time holding him down, as Loughnane returned to his feet for the rest of the round, staying behind his jab. This is another 10-9 round for Parke.
In the final frame, Loughnane used his striking to push forward on Parke. They started slugging it out, with Parke occasionally looking to clinch or shoot for a takedown. The two slug it out for the rest of the round before the bell. It is extremely close, but I would give the final round to Parke as well.
With the win, Norman Parke joins Brad Scott in the finale representing Team UK. Both men are currently awaiting opponents in the finale. Next week, Robert Whittaker and Xavier Lucas of Team Australia square off for the right to fight Scott, while the final lightweight bout between Colin Fletcher of Team UK and Richie Vaculik of Team Australia will come the following week. The winner of Fletcher-Vaculik will meet Parke in the finale.
Photo: The TUF Smashes cast, including coaches Ross Pearson and George Sotiropoulos (UFC)