This week's episode brings you two battles back to back.
In the first showdown of the night, we see another upset from Eric Shelton as he won by decision against Ronaldo Candido. Watching the episode was actually the first time I got to see this fight and I was really impressed. Eric fights with veteran patience and is incredibly savvy. Even though he was facing a world class jiu-jitsu black belt, he kept his composure and fought a smart fight.
The next fight, as we know, was between me and Tim Elliot.
Before I get too into this, I want to thank everyone for the support I’ve received after this episode and for all of the support you have always given me. Please understand this loss truly hurt. I’m disappointed, but I’m still very motivated. I continue to work hard everyday growing myself as a person and an athlete — this is far from over for me.
I appreciate every single word of encouragement and I’ll to continue chasing this thing for myself, my loved ones, and my fans.
Early in the competition I had marked Tim Elliot as the guy to beat.
From my standpoint, the second round couldn’t have been a better time for the matchup. I hadn’t taken much damage in the first round and my weight cut and fight preparation went well. I felt fresh, and I felt strong — I knew I was capable of winning. I knew a win against Tim would give me the momentum to carry me through the finals.
But Tim Elliot, man, his technique is unpredictable and difficult to time. He definitely had me guessing, which ultimately led to me accidentally kicking him in the nuts as hard as any man has ever been kicked in their nuts.
Initially, it felt like Tim was gonna strike. After the incidental groin shot the tempo of the fight changed. Tim wanted to close the distance and grapple. Being opportunistic creates finishes; it’s what separates a good fighter from a great fighter.
I saw my own openings to win and I took them, but I wasn’t able capitalize. In the end, my opponent made the most of his opportunities.
I'm out of the competition, while Tim moves on in the final spot for round three.
I knew fighting in a tournament style competition would be incredibly difficult, but I accepted that challenge when I came to “The Ultimate Fighter” house. I’m proud to train and fight with and against these guys.
I didn’t go into this tournament with mindset to lose, none of us did, but everyone knew there would only be one man standing when it was all over. Knowing there is always a loser doesn’t make it any easier when you get hit with an ‘L’. I’ve learned from every loss, and I know I cannot dwell on any one fight individually.
Whether you win or lose, because past performances do not dictate future results. Everything you get in this sport, you earn.
I like what Eddie Alvarez said recently about moving on and improving after a loss. He said, “I have never defined myself off one win and I'll never define myself off one loss, I simply had a bad night.” Rest assured, I am not finished. I will continue to compete and excel in this sport that I love. I believe that I am ready for big fights. I look forward to the future.
Next up, we bring in round three of the tournament of champions with two huge match ups. In the first fight of the night, Alexandre Pantoja will face off against Hiro Ogikubo followed by Tim Elliot taking on Eric Shelton. Y’all tune in now.