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By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch contributor
We start with Team Mayhem fighters in the van. Dustin Pague gives a homeless man a package of things. That's a really cool thing to do. Big credit to him and the others that participated. Dustin is shown training because he fights T.J. Dillashaw on tonight's episode. Jason "Mayhem" Miller says Dustin is a sponge that takes a lesson and immediately uses it in his gameplan.
Screeching tires can only mean that Mayhem is at the house. They're having a cookout. Everyone wants Dustin to eat a cockroach. They find a roly-poly looking beetle or something. Dustin eats the thing. They all act like that's the nastiest thing ever. It's probably not that bad. Mayhem gives him $60 for that. Holy crap. I'd eat one of those for way less than that.
The Coaches Challenge this year is air hockey. Should be interesting. Dana White shows off the fat wad of cash for the winner and his team. Mayhem wins the toss and gets possession first. They do it as would be expected, they both kind of sucked. Michael Bisping gets the first goal. Mayhem is sucking it up bigtime. Bisping loses his mallet and Mayhem scores. However, Bisping quickly wins the first game. Bisping scores on himself, the only points Mayhem can get. Bisping wins another game. Bisping is talking trash. Mayhem starts rallying back and takes the next game. It's 2-1 now. Bisping wins the next game and wins the Challenge. Bisping is on the table celebrating. When he jumps off he slips and smashes hard on the ground. Man, that was great. Bisping seems uninjured, maybe just a bit sore.
Team Bisping is training now, and the coaches are working with T.J. on his stand-up. T.J. plans on using his wrestling to take the fight to the ground, then get the TKO or submission there. Bisping says T.J. has a bright future ahead of him.
The weigh-in goes uneventfully, as per usual. Both coaches think their guy will win, as do other team members. Dana White thinks that Dustin can win if he keeps the fight standing. T.J. feels the pressure, but he's not going to let it get to him. Dustin says he gets focused in the cage. T.J. sounds pretty cocky.
FIGHT- Dustin Pague vs. T.J. Dillashaw
Dustin is 3 inches taller and has a 7.5 inch reach advantage. Josh Rosenthal is the referee.
ROUND 1- Dustin is using his huge reach advantage to keep T.J. at bay. T.J. gets the takedown. Dustin almost gets a submission. T.J. starts using his ground-and-pound. Dustin is trying to stop T.J. but it's not quite working. T.J. with a few big shots. T.J. with a big elbow. T.J. postures up and looks to finish things, but Dustin is holding on. Dustin with an upkick. T.J. just keeps dropping the occasional elbow. This is obviously his round, as Dustin can't get the fight back to the feet. Finally, Dustin stands up T.J. goes for a takedown, but Dustin sprawls. The round ends with an exchange.
ROUND 2- T.J. gets a takedown pretty quickly. This seems like it'll be a repeat if the 1st round, with T.J. using his lay-and-pray, mixed in with a little offense. T.J. jumps into side control. T.J. drops a few shots. Mayhem is imploring Dustin to get up. T.J. with some knees to the body. Dustin gets T.J. back into his guard. T.J. is throwing a few shots, but it's not like he's crushing Dustin. This is clearly T.J.'s fight, he's won both rounds. T.J. is cut from a Dustin elbow. T.J. explodes in the final 12 seconds. I think he's got Dustin's face all bruised up.
ROUND 3- Dustin has to get the finish here, he's lost both rounds so far. They start off on their feet. T.J. has Dustin bloodied up good. T.J. gets a takedown. T.J. is landing some power shots, Dustin has no answers. Both guys are bleeding. This looks like a replay from the first 2 rounds, Dustin can't do anything. T.J. is starting to use his ground-and-pound more. T.J. is in half-guard, then he moves into side control. T.J. is peppering Dustin now. This seems a formality now. T.J. keeps dropping shots and looks about to finish. Dustin is taking shot after shot, Rosenthal is close to stopping it.
WINNER- T.J. Dillashaw by Decision
Not the most exciting of fights, but an effective performance by T.J. where he showed some power and a good chin. T.J. showed some promise, but he also showed that he has a ways to go to round out his game. He seems like he has good potential, though. Mayhem consoles Dustin.
NEXT WEEK- 2 fights highlight the show
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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