Now that the fights to get in the house are over, the show moved onto the part of the competition where teams began to train with one another. The tournament is set to get interesting, as the four teams coached by Greg Jackson, Frank Shamrock, Randy Couture and Joe Warren are set to face off against one another in an attempt to win the tournament, the money prize and a spot in the season nine welterweight tournament.

Frank Shamrock still needs one fighter, as Andy Uhrich was not medically cleared after his win. This was further examined, as everyone moved into the house and there was one spot to fill. Shamrock decided to pick up Joe Williams, who fell to Cole Williams in the preliminary round.

The first training session saw all four team compete in the same facility, but in small gyms separated by walls. Greg Jackson told his team his camp is like a band of brothers and they work on grappling. Joe Warren explained his wrestling/jiu-jitsu hybrid style, while his team worked on various drills. Frank Shamrock explained that he is taking a mental approach with his team, which his fighters admitted is different what they were used to. Randy Couture told his team they need to check their egos at the door and make each other better.

It was explained that the fighters would get to choose their opponents in a seeding-based scale, with the highest-ranked guys choosing first. The coaches and Bjorn Rebney met and ranked the fighters one through sixteen. The first-ranked fighter is Joe Riggs, but things are chosen randomly. Cole Williams, the fifth-ranked fighter, was the first to choose his fight. Williams, of Team Couture, chose Mike DuBois of Team Shamrock for the first fight.

During a training session, Shamrock strategized with DuBois. Shamrock stated that he doubted DuBois had ever had a decent trainer in his life, which may be good because he could mold him. He stated a takedown with ground-and-pound will do it for DuBois. Williams worked on submissions with Team Couture and the coaching staff. Couture believed Williams is the better athlete, but felt this would be a ground battle.

Cole Williams vs. Mike DuBois

Williams started with a takedown of DuBois, who briefly looked for a guillotine. Williams got the back, as he practiced for in training. Williams eventually secured a rear-naked choke, which clinched the fight for the Team Couture member. The difference in the fight was experience and wrestling.

Cole Williams def. Mike DuBois by submission (rear-naked choke)

The next fight was between Chris Lozano of Team Shamrock and Bryan Travers of Team Jackson. It was Lozano who was allowed to pick the fight, saying he picked Travers because he wanted a challenge. Travers liked the match-up because he has the best cardio in the house and Lozano’s gas tank is questionable. So, Lozano worked hard on his cardio throughout his camp. Team Jackson assistant coach Joey Villasenor believed Travers’ wrestling will be the X-factor in this fight, as he didn’t show it in his first fight and it is a great skill of his.

Chris Lozano vs. Bryan Travers

The first round began with a couple of exchanges on the feet. Travers pushed Lozano against the cage and a scramble ensued. They continued to work against the cage, with Travers having the position advantage. They broke and had some striking exchanges that included a stuffed takedown by Lozano on Travers. Some more scrambles ensued, as Travers continued to look for the takedown. Travers continued to grind, with Lozano looking to create space. Lozano landed a beautiful flying knee and punching combination that barely fazed Travers. Lozano started to get tired, so his opponent turned up the heat. The round ended on the feet, with Lozano likely taking it on the scorecards.

The second round saw both men come out fresh. Lozano continually labeled Travers with power punches, but again Travers took them like a champion. Travers pushed Lozano against the cage like the first round. Again, after some exchanges, Travers shot a takedown and got top position. Travers took Lozano’s back, but Lozano rolled for a leglock, which allowed him to escape trouble. Lozano got back to his feet but Travers pressed him against the cage. Travers hit the biggest takedown of the fight, slamming Lozano hard. He maintained control against the cage until the end of the round. That split the rounds evenly.

As expected, a third round was needed (all scorecards were 19-19). In the third, unlike the first two rounds, the majority of the fight was on the feet, with both men connecting. Travers was the more fresh of the two as time wore on. Toward the end, Lozano used a whizzer to reverse a takedown and hold position. The last round could have gone either way, even though Travers looked more fresh and aggressive.

Jimmy Smith came out to read the scores. The verdict? A split decision, with Lozano taking the two of the three scorecards.

Chris Lozano def. Bryan Travers by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

It was very close and it could have gone either way. Lozano was stoked, while Travers was disappointed. The fight was very good and competitive.

Next week, Mike Bronzoulis of Team Couture will meet Team Warren’s Jason Norwood, while Team Warren’s Ismael Gonzalez meets Team Shamrock’s Joe Williams.

Photo: Fight Master Logo (Spike.com)

About The Author

Riley Kontek
Staff Writer

Riley Kontek is a Chicago-land native that has been an addict of mixed martial arts since the first Chuck Liddell-Tito Ortiz encounter. He has been writing on MMA for the last year and is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. In addition to that, he used to host a weekly radio show on MMA. Though he has no formal training in mixed martial arts, Riley is a master in the art of hockey fighting.