The first scene of this episode (in the kitchen) was just after we had got back to the house after the Roger Zapata-Ian Stephens fight. We had been in the gym for a few hours, so everyone went straight to the kitchen because we were starving. So, literally every fighter on the show was in the room, but nobody was talking. It was so tense and awkward! Chris Fields tried to relieve the tension with a joke, but that set Eddie Gordon off on a rant which then made it even more awkward

That tension stayed among the two teams for the next couple of days, and it really came to boiling point the next night when we were watching the UFC Brazil card. A few snide remarks, primarily from Matt Van Buren, were made and then a debate broke out about the judges’ scoring of the Zapata-Stephens fight. From that, a massive argument with a lot of shouting involved broke out between Chris and Eddie. Then a very frustrated Dan Spohn got involved. It escalated very quickly and, as you could see in my face, I really enjoyed it. With no access to television in the house, this was the closest thing I could get to some Jerry Springer!

Mark Coleman certainly enjoyed it, too. I remember looking over at him and he had a big smile on his face. He looked like he was close to getting a box of popcorn and sitting back for a night of entertainment.

Our team was very confident going into the fight between Anton Berzin and Pat Walsh. On paper, Pat was definitely the highest-caliber wrestler on the entire season. He was a Buckeye; he had received a full scholarship for wrestling from Ohio State. He was the only guy on the season that had wrestled at NCAA Division I level. However, Anton, in my opinion, was the most well-rounded guy of the entire season. Not only was he really good in all areas, he was dangerous in all areas. Anton was a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, had great Thai boxing and was really good.

We knew that the game plan for Pat would be to wrestle Anton, but Anton’s BJJ was so slick we knew it would be a bad situation for Pat to go to the ground. The fight started out with Anton taking the experienced wrestler down (proving what I was saying about Anton’s wrestling) and taking Pat’s back. He worked for the choke, but after a while Pat was able to escape. Anton was again able to get to the fight to the mat and take the back. Apart from a beautiful hip throw from Pat midway through the round, the entire first round was all Anton.

I was very confident going into the second round that Anton would be able to finish the fight. However, as I looked at him walking to the center of the Octagon as the round began, I could see he didn’t have the same look in his eye that he had at the beginning of the fight. And as I saw the beginning of the round unfold, I knew that that it was looking very bad for Anton and Team B.J. Penn.

Anton looked deflated and tired, and this became worse as the fight went on. Pat, on the other hand, being a born and bred wrestler, became stronger as the fight wore on (this is where wrestlers sometimes have the biggest advantage). He embraced the grind. Pat clearly won the second round, so the fight went to the third round to determine the winner. The third round was even more one-sided in the favor of Pat than the second, and Pat came away the victor with a unanimous judges’ decision.

I was gutted for Anton, as I knew skill set-wise he was the better fighter, but he just couldn’t perform after the first round. After speaking with him and him telling me he had never been out of the first round in a fight, I came to the conclusion that it was down to experience. With only four pro fights under his belt and having never been out of the first round, he had never had to dig deep before. And when that was asked of him for the first time in his career on The Ultimate Fighter, it broke him. He hadn’t done it before, so he didn’t believe he could do it. And it was most unfortunate that he came up against a collegiate wrestler, who are some of the best athletes at “digging deep” when the body starts to feel tired.

The match-up for the next fight sees the two physically biggest middleweights on this season, Mike King and Eddie Gordon, face off each other. These two guys make for an interesting fight.

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.