At the beginning of this episode we are reminded that Team Cormier are winning 3-0 against Team Miocic. Cormier addresses his team in the locker room and informs them that, due to commitments he made prior to the show in his hometown, he will be absent for a short while. In the meantime, he’ll be putting former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez in charge who has also previously been a coach on the Ultimate Fighter.
Footage is shown of featherweight Jay Cucciniello’s previous fights. He is now 8-0 and is the AFL Featherweight Champion in Spain. Prior to his fifth professional fight, Jay was informed that his older brother had died. Despite this, Jay finished the fight by submission. Given this, Jay seems like one of the more seasoned fighters on this season’s roster.
Whilst hanging out at the TUF house, Jay’s opponent Bryce Mitchell shows off his outdoor skills and makes a bow and arrow using wood from a tree. This leads nicely into some footage of Bryce’s home life where he hunts in his spare time.
Jay reveals whilst playing pool back at the TUF house that he served in Iraq and Afganisation for 6 years and tells stories of the men he lost in his regiment as well as being blown up twice by road side IEDs. Cucciniello is 31 years old and currently resides in Spain. Tragically, both his parents are also deceased along with his older brother.
Bryce Mitchell is currently 9-0 in his professional career. Watching the footage of Bryce’s previous bouts, it’s clear to see that he is a submission specialist. 8 of his 9 victories come by submission. Team Cormier are also confident in Bryce’s all round abilities.
Focus shifts to an upset Luis Pena whose teary eyed sitting beside the TUF gym’s cage. A doctor examined his foot and stated that it may be fractured. Luis has to now get an x-ray and shares his frustration with his team mates. The x-ray unfortunately shows a fracture and Pena can no longer continue in the competition. Luis goes on a video call with Daniel Cormier. Cormier consoles the young fighter and motivates him to carry on and help lead the team.
Luis does exactly that and gives his a team a speech pushing them to train as hard as they can.
Jay and Bryce comfortably make the featherweight limit. Going into the fight Bryce seems to have a clear advantage on the ground, whilst Jay has great striking and an extremely strong mental game given his past life experiences.
Round 1 begins with both men in the centre of the octagon exchanging strikes, keeping their hands low. As the round goes on Bryce finds more luck than Jay with his strikes. Bryce uses his strikes to take Cucciniello down and take his back with relative ease. The Englishman escapes each of Bryce’s submission attempts and gets back up to his feet, only to be taken back down again with Mitchell on top.
Round 1 clearly goes to Bryce given his dominance in the grappling game. Round 2 starts with an instant take down by Mitchell who speedily takes Cucciniello’s back again. Mitchell continues to swarm Jay with a series of strikes and rear naked choke attempts. Like a spider eating a fly, Bryce rides out the remainder of the round on Jay’s back.
Bryce Mitchell wins the fight by unanimous decision. Post fight Luis Pena has a one to one with Dana, who promises him that he’ll be in the final. In the Team Miocic locker room Jay is very disappointed but everyone is calm and thank Jay for giving it his best.
Clearly frustrated by being down 4-0, Dulani Perry loses his head and starts yelling at one of Team Cormier’s coaches. Dana and members of Team Miocic have to pull Dulani away back into the locker room. With morale down, Miocic tries to rally his team and restore motivation.
Stipe picks Mike Trizano to take on Team Cormier’s Thailand Clark in a lightweight bout.
Don’t forget to catch new episodes of the Ultimate Fighter series 27 every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) on Fox Sports 1 in America and every Thursday at 3am on BT Sport 2 in the UK.