The following is from TheUltimateFighter.tv:
Episode 7 – Drop To A Knee
Air date: 9/28/2006
The episode starts off with the recap of the Charles McCarthy vs. Pete Sell fight.
Although Charles fought hard and escaped Sell’s deep guillotine choke hold, all the fighters were in agreement with the decision going to Sell. After the fight Dana White sets the stage for the last welterweight match-up. It’s going to be Matt Serra vs. Pete Spratt. For Spratt, this will be his second chance to make it into the semi-finals after having already lost to Chris Lytle. Matt Serra thought he was going to be the first fight in the series, but now he’s the last and he’s more than ready to get it on in the Octagon. Back at the UFC training center, Team No Love trains as Rich Franklin stands by as guest trainer. Rich reveals that he was brought in to coach the fighters for both teams. Rich says that he doesn’t mind showing these guys some stuff, but he’s not going to show them all of his secrets because he’s eventually fighting one of these middleweights some day. Rich sits with trainer Mark DellaGrotte and asks about the training schedule and how things have been working this season. Rich then talks about the dilemma that he’s in being on the show and how it’s going to be hard for him to really train with the fighters due to the fact that his hand is still injured and that most of the guys are still suffering from Staph infection. As Rich and Mark watch Jorge Rivera train on the mats, Jorge reveals that having Rich Franklin at the gym has been a disappointment as far as he is concerned. Mainly because Rich hasn’t trained with them at all and really doesn’t offer any coaching whatsoever. Jorge feels the only reason Rich came onto the series was so he could scout out his future opponents.
Later that night, back at the Ultimate Fighter House, Pete “Drago” Sell starts his post fight celebration with some whisky and cokes. Matt Serra talks about how Drago likes to train hard, but he also likes to party hard. Throughout the rest of the evening, Drago drinks himself into oblivion and then stumbles into his bed while munching on a piece of toast. Scott Smith plays a trick on Drago, sprinkling water on him while he’s in bed and Drago objects spouting in drunken gibberish thinking someone sneezed on him. Matt then offers his perspective on Drago’s drunkenness saying that Drago will probably have one more night of drinking and then he’ll be back to training full time. The next morning, a bleary-eyed Drago sits at the breakfast table with Matt and tries to recall what he did during his binge the night before. Matt does a funny imitation of Drago being drunk and then says let’s go to the gym. At Team Mojo’s training session everyone seems to be moving in slow motion. Rich Franklin is there and makes a comment about the low energy level of all the fighters. Matt then comments that he’s a little annoyed about Rich’s attitude towards their training regime. He feels that Rich is acting a little too cocky and hasn’t been here long enough to see how hard they’ve been working. Dana then chimes in saying that these guys shouldn’t care if Rich is being cocky or judgmental about their training routines; instead they should be learning as much as they can from the world champion while he’s here.
At the Team Mojo training session, Matt Serra works with Patrick Cote in the Octagon when Rich Franklin approaches him with some advice. Matt listens with respect and curiosity as Rich tells him to try dropping to a knee after touching gloves at the start of a fight. Matt thinks dropping to a knee is odd advice coming from a world champion. He then tries to respectfully illustrate that point to Rich in the Octagon and even jokes around about it. Rich talks about how Matt was the only fighter who worked with him and pretty much all of the middleweights have avoided him. He is also very curious about what’s being said about him.
Back at the house, Matt shows some of the guys the “drop to a knee” move that Rich has taught him. They’re stunned and they can’t believe a world champion fighter like Rich would offer such bogus advice. As news of Rich’s “drop to a knee” move circulates through the house everyone offers their views. Some of the guys laugh, but some are just pissed off that he is wasting their time. Jorge Rivera and Patrick in particular feel that the only reason Rich is here is to scout the future competition.
The next morning, at Team No Love’s training session, Charles McCarthy asks Rich if its true that he told Matt to start off a fight on one knee. Rich says yes he did tell Matt to drop to knee, but the only reason he said that was because Matt indicated that he didn’t want to stand up against Pete Spratt. Rich goes on to say that it’s never been done in a fight before and he was just giving Matt some food for thought. Rich then says his goodbyes to Team No Love before leaving. Rich says that he thinks he was brought in as a coach just to stir up some drama between the middleweights. He also says that he doesn’t see any of the middleweights here being champ as long as he has the belt.
Back at the Ultimate Fighter House, Matt Serra confronts Charles McCarthy for asking Rich Franklin about the whole “drop to a knee” advice. Matt calls Charles a washwoman and chastises him for not being able to keep a secret. Matt says that Charles would never make it in the mob because he’d be sleeping with the fishes. Charles apologizes to Matt and confesses that he’s not a conniving person and doesn’t like to keep information from anyone. At the UFC Training Center, Pete Spratt works with Mikey Burnett on his take down defense. Pete reveals that he’s getting a little agitated because he knows that people are writing him off in his fight against Matt. Pete feels that if he imposes his game plan against Matt, and keep the fight standing, he’ll be able to win. Mikey offers his view saying that you can never count Pete out. He also says that he’s been working with Pete on his side-to-side movement and if Matt go for a takedown Pete will need to make him pay for it with a punch or knee to the head.
Back at the house, Patrick Cote and Team Mojo draw a cartoon of Charles McCarthy and label it “Captain Miserable.” Matt tells Patrick that they should put it up on the fridge to get back at him for ratting to Rich Franklin about the “drop to a knee” advice. Patrick then does an impression of the way Charles walks and hilarity ensues. Right in the middle of their laughing, Charles and Team No Love arrive back from training. The room gets very quiet as everyone watches Charles walk to the fridge. When Charles sees the “Captain Miserable” cartoon he noly reacts. He then takes some food out of the fridge and walks out to the back yard. As soon as he leaves all of the fighters have a good laugh.
The next day, at the UFC Training Center, Matt Serra asks Randy Couture what he thinks about dropping to a knee at the beginning of a fight. Randy responds with, “I’ve heard of that before, but I wouldn’t advise doing it.” Matt then tells Randy it was Rich Franklin who gave him that advice. Randy can’t believe it.
Matt then works out by himself in the Octagon and talks about how he first got into fighting. He recalls being picked on as kid and how he learned how to fight just to protect himself. Matt says that fighting became a calling and he was nicknamed “The Terror.” He then started training Jiu-Jitsu with Renzo Gracie right out of high school. After years of competing in Jiu-Jitsu tournaments he made it to the UFC. Dana then offers his view on Matt, saying that he’s one of the best Jiu-Jitsu guys in the world and that he had a great career in the UFC. Matt then reveals that his UFC record is 4 and 4. Matt’s first fight was at UFC 31 May 4, 2001 against Shonie Carter. Even though Serra dominated the entire fight, he ended up losing to Shonie in the final seconds by a hard spinning back-fist to the head. Matt’s next fight was at UFC 33, September 28, 2001 against Yves Edwards and after a close fight he won by decision. After that fight Matt moved from welterweight down to lightweight and took on the undefeated submission fighter, Kelly Dullanty at UFC 36, on March 22, 2002. Matt won that fight by triangle choke. Matt fought his way back into contention for the lightweight title.
At that time lightweight champion Jens Pulver left the UFC and the belt was up for grabs. The UFC decided to hold an elimination tournament for the title with the top four contenders. The first fight was Caol Uno vs. Din Thomas and the second was Matt Serra vs. BJ Penn at UFC 39 on September 27, 2002. Matt fought three hard rounds, but he lost the decision to Penn. Then on February 28, 2003, at UFC 41, Matt fought Din Thomas for three rounds and was announced the winner. Unfortunately for Matt they reversed the decision after the fight when they discovered an error in the scoring. After those back-to-back losses in the UFC Matt Serra’s career wasn’t looking too good, but Matt came back with two impressive victories. On January 31, 2004 at UFC 46, he beat Jeff Curran and then on June 19, 2004, at UFC 48, he took out Canadian Ivan Menjavar. Those two victories put Matt Serra back into contention for the welterweight title. Then at UFC53 on June 4, 2005, at what would be his last fight in the UFC, he fought the highly ranked Karo Parisyan. Right at the start of the fight Matt knocked Karo to the ground with a hard right hand to the chin and then he proceeded to pummel him with more punches. Unfortunately for Matt, Karo weathered the storm and came back to win the fight. As Matt works on his boxing with trainer Mark DellaGrotte, he talks about how every fighter likes to test himself and there’s no bigger test than a shot at the title — and he’d be more than psyched to have a chance at the belt.
At the official weigh-in, Mikey Burnett offers his perspective on the Serra/Spratt fight. He feels that their clashing styles will make for an exciting match-up. Din Thomas says, for Pete Spratt, fighting Matt Serra is probably the worst match-up that he could get. Rich Clementi feels that if Pete can keep moving and defend Matt’s takedowns, that Pete can win.
On fight day Matt walks around the Ultimate Fighter House, very relaxed saying that he’s not sweating anything and that he’s looking forward to this fight. As Spratt gets ready to leave for the gym, he says that he’s going to let it all hang out. He says didn’t get the opportunity in the Chris Lytle fight, but now he has another opportunity to show off his skills. In the van ride to the fight, Pete says he knows he’s the underdog, but that just means that there’s no pressure on him and he’s going to go out there and put it on him.
During Matt’s van ride to the gym, he talks about not looking past Pete because in MMA everyone is capable of losing. He goes on to say that the UFC Training Center is filled with pictures of champions and every one of them have losses. Pete warms up in his dressing room and talks about how his strategy will be to keep moving and defend the takedown. As Matt gets taped up in his dressing room he reveals that Pete is will probably go for the knockout. He, on the other hand, will be looking to take him down and submit him. Matt states that he feels mentally and physically that he’s a dangerous fighter at this point in time.
Pete enters the Octagon saying that he’s going to bring some surprises for Matt. Matt enter the Octagon saying that he respects Pete, and he wouldn’t mind having a beer with after the fight, but he’s going to take him out.
Round One, Elimination Fight: Welterweights. Matt Serra comes out like he always does, low and aggressive. Pete Spratt sticks to his game plan of moving side-to-side and staying out of takedown range. Matt quickly goes for Pete’s ankle, but Pete spins out of it and nails Matt with a shot. Matt continues to pursue Pete and throws an uncharacteristic roundhouse kick to Pete’s head. Pete absorbs the blow and goes back to his side-to- side movement. Matt then lunges for a takedown and Pete comes close to connecting with a knee, but gets taken down in the process. On the ground, Matt dominates Pete and eventually gets a full mount position. Pete rolls onto his stomach to avoid getting hit in the face, but Matt unloads a barrage of punches to the sides of Pete’s head. After about 20 seconds of pummeling, he taps out. In the fight recap, Pete says that at the beginning of the fight he stuck to his game plan by moving and he eventually caught Matt with a good shot. Matt talks about striking his way in to get the takedown and then imposing his Jiu-Jitsu on Pete. Pete says once they were on the ground that he was in Matt’s world and there was nowhere for him to go. After the official winner announcement, Pete says he feels good about his fight because he was able to catch Matt with a punch or two and Matt agrees that Pete fought his heart out. Matt celebrates with his teammates in his dressing room and says that he’s pumped to be in the semi-finals.