As I mentioned last week, with Team B.J. Penn going 2-0 after the first two fights, team morale was very high! The opposite could be said for Team Frankie Edgar, and it was evident in this week’s episode that there was frustration in their camp after losing the first two fights.

To start with, it was obvious Coach Edgar was not happy. With his ultra-competitive nature, and being the proud athlete that he is, losing doesn’t sit well with him. On top of that, the fighters themselves felt the frustration and the constant lack of control that came with not having fight pick. This all led to some bickering between the fighters on Team Edgar. We saw Pat Walsh and Todd Monaghan having a little bit of a dispute in the UFC gym.

Being on Team Penn, neither me nor any of my teammates saw this little argument, but we could feel the sense of unease from the Team Edgar guys back in the house. This grew our confidence even more.

Matt Van Buren was rubbing a lot of guys up the wrong way in the house. He has that type of personality where he doesn’t bite his tongue and doesn’t mind saying things that people might not like to hear. For that reason, most of the guys on Team Penn weren’t too fond of him. And Chris Fields was one of the people who wasn’t afraid to call him up on some of the stuff he was saying.

Chris and Matt were seen in the kitchen having a dispute, and both of them agreed that they would like to face each other in the competition and essentially be given the opportunity to make the other shut up.

At the weigh-ins, Team Penn continued with the “Ole Ole Ole” chants. It wasn’t actually myself or Chris instigating this. It was actually Roger Zapata, who had grown very fond of the chant and seemed to somewhat nominate himself as the honorary team cheerleader. The frustration of Team Edgar was further illustrated by them getting really irritated by the chanting.

Going into this fight, our coaches and the rest of the team were seriously confident in Tim Williams. He is one of the hardest working guys I have ever met—he doesn’t stop! He went running every day before practice. And after practice, he would usually do some extra work, and B.J. would often have to tell him to stop and call it a day.

Not only did Tim have this relentless work ethic, but he also had unbelievable skills in every facet of the game. On the mat, Tim is a slick Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt. Standing, he has excellent boxing. And he has really good wrestling and clinch game, too. We—Team Penn—felt that Tim was better than Dhiego Lima everywhere. We knew Dhiego was well-rounded, but so was Tim, and we knew he was better in each area.

The first round of the fight went exactly as we had expected. We knew Tim would beat Dhiego up, but figured Dhiego would be able to survive the first. We expected the second to be pretty much the same, and that Tim might be able to put Dhiego away.

Tim started the second like the first, securing a takedown and dominating everywhere. But slowly, Dhiego started getting back into the fight and Tim didn’t look as strong as he had. The fight ended with a clearly fatigued Tim going for a sloppy takedown and Dhiego going to his back and securing a rear-naked choke. It was a shock to everyone on our team. Tim had been completely dominating everywhere, just like we had expected, but he got tired, which was the last thing we were expecting. Tim could go all day in the gym!

Credit where credit is due. Dhiego held in there when things weren’t going his way and he came back into the fight in the second, showing why he was regarded as highly as he is. Also, finishing with the choke was beautiful. He secured the choke before he put his hooks in, something which is rarely done and something that definitely caught Tim by surprise.

That win was pivotal in the competition. Had Team Edgar suffered their third consecutive loss, they looked sure to crumble the way things were going. However, with the turnaround victory, their team morale was lifted and, more importantly, they received control of the fight picks.

Chris was convinced that Matt Van Buren would pick him for the next 205-pound fight. However, I figured Team Edgar would pick one of their wrestlers, Pat Walsh or Corey Anderson, against Josh Clark, who would have been seen to be weak in that area.

So the match-up was called, and Josh was in fact picked to face Corey. It was a fight in which we knew what the game plan would be, and so our coaches knew exactly how to prepare Josh for the fight.

At the end of the episode, you can see that Chris is clearly pissed that Van Buren hadn’t picked him to fight. The heat between these two guys continued…

About The Author

Cathal “The Punisher” Pendred is a 26-year-old martial artist hailing from Dublin, Ireland. He was born in Boston while his father was studying law overseas. Pendred moved to Ireland at age five and took part in judo and taekwondo, before finding rugby. At the age of 19, Pendred turned his attention to MMA. He holds wins over UFC veterans Che Mills, David Bielkheden and Nicholas Musoke and was the Cage Warriors welterweight champion prior to joining the cast of The Ultimate Fighter. Pendred trains alongside current UFC fighter Conor McGregor and fellow TUF 19 competitor Chris Fields at SBG Ireland.