This is looking like it will be a fun competitive season of TUF. There is a lot of talent and personality in the house. The coaches are focused on coaching and there should be some entertaining fights this season.
The first one up was Hector Urbina in the red representing Team Edgar and Cathal Pendred sporting the blue of Team Penn. It was also Mexico versus Ireland as each fighter wore their country’s flag to the weigh-in. It resulted it one of the best stare downs in TUF.
The incredible stare down lead to a competitive fight between Cathal and Hector.
At only twenty-five years old each they are on the younger side for TUF but they are also two of the most seasoned fighters this season.
Hector comes in at 16-8 and has been fighting since he was eighteen years old. There was not much to learn from his entry fight except that he has strong wrestling and a nasty guillotine choke.
We learn this week that he wrestled in high school and played football. He was born in Mexico wand moved here as a child.
Cathal is the first fighter to gain entry into the house without fighting. Every fighter they lined up for him got injured and so they decided to put him in. He entered the house at 13-2 and was the Cage Warrior FC welterweight champion.
There was some chatter on-line between Twitter and Facebook stating that Cathal was overrated based on this performance in this fight.
That is partially due to Cathal’s training partner back home, Conor McGregor. Many fans are expecting the dynamic style like McGregor filled with exciting highlight reel KOs.
Cathal is his own fighter and has a very different style than McGregor’s. If you were going to compare his style to another fighter it would be more like the evolution of Randy Couture. Cathal is an active grinder of a fighter. He likes to strike from the clinch, get the fight to the ground and pound out his opponent.
The one area that Cathal is most like McGregor is in the mental aspect. He stayed calm during the stare down while Hector got a little heated. Which was exactly what Cathal wanted. Most fighters will make mistakes when they fight emotional.
Hector made one in this fight and it seemed like it came from his emotions.
Early about one minute and a half into the fight he caught Cathal with a combination and rocked him. It looked like the fight was going to be over quickly and Hector was going to get the big upset.
Up to that point it had been a back and forth minute with Cathal getting slightly the better of it. Hector had him in a lot of trouble.
Cathal had him against the fence and had landed a left and then a beat later a right hand. Hector responded with right hook that caught Cathal. With the opening that he created Hector quickly landed a right uppercut, left hook, and right uppercut that all landed cleanly.
Cathal went down reeling to the ground. Hector pounced and started pounding away trying to finish the fight.Cathal weathered the punishment and got to his feet. Hector maintained a body lock and slammed him back down to the ground.
After working some ground and pound Hector locked in a guillotine during a scramble. It was tight and again Cathal looked like he was in trouble. He was able to defend it and got back to his feet with a little less than two minutes left in the round.
Hector seemed a little gassed and was slower while Cathal was able to get back a lot of the round. It was still Hector’s round but Cathal seemed like he was the stronger fighter at the end of the round.
In the second and third rounds Cathal was able to take control and grind out the win. Much of the rounds were spent with Hector stuck in a headlock while Cathal did some damage and flirted with some illegal knees to the head. A couple of them were borderline but none of them were very hard.
There was one scary moment in the second round where Hector again got a guillotine that was deep but Cathal fought it off and went back to work to grind out the round.
The third round was almost all Cathal.
Afterwards both Penn felt like Hector burned himself out a little in the first round. Edgar thought that Hector was looking for the finish instead of trying to set it up.
It was a hard-fought battle between two very tough fighters. Cathal showed a lot of heart coming back from getting hurt early in the fight. He will be a tough opponent in the next round.
We get the first light heavyweight fight and it will be Daniel Spohn from Team Penn taking on Todd Monaghan representing Team Edgar. I will preview that fight next week.
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