Team Carwin’s Marunde bullied Lane and his red Mohawk in close
quarters, drew him into a trench war and controlled the cage with
heavy leg kicks en route to a unanimous decision on Episode 4 of
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 16. All three cageside judges scored
the two-round welterweight bout for Marunde by matching 20-18
counts. He joins Joey Rivera
Magny in the quarterfinals.
International Fight League veteran, Marunde leaned on his
advantages in experience and size. He pushed around Lane in the
first round, attacking him with knees, short punches and shoulder
strikes at close range. Later, the 30-year-old upped his intensity,
trapped Lane in the Thai plum and ripped repeated knees into his
ribcage. Marunde did not escape unscathed, as he exited the first
five minutes with three facial cuts -- one over his right eye,
another across the bridge of his nose and a third under his left
eye. However, he kept his wits and maintained control of the
Lane did not offer much in the way of a response in the second
round, outside of a last-minute exchange in which he briefly
transitioned to his opponent’s back. Marunde dictated distance with
leg kicks, kept Lane at bay and coasted to a decision.
“It feels good to get a win,” said Marunde, who drew inspiration
and motivation from his girlfriend and young son. “I would’ve liked
to have finished him. I’m going to improve on this. Right now, I
feel the blood coming down my face. It just gets me fired up.
Nobody [in this house] can beat me.”
Nelson’s squad entered the episode with control of fight
selection. In a somewhat confounding twist, the former IFL
heavyweight champion allowed his team to draw straws to determine
who would compete next. Not all of Nelson’s recruits seemed to be
onboard with his plan. Lane, an unbeaten Bellator Fighting
Championships veteran, drew the shortest straw and was afforded the
opportunity to handpick his opponent. The 25-year-old Wreckroom
Athletics export selected Marunde.
“For me, there was a lot of stress in trying to pick somebody to
fight, so now we’re just putting it in their control,” Nelson said.
“And you get to pick who you want [to fight].”
The victory was not without controversy. Marunde cut 16 pounds in a
24-hour span to meet the 171-pound welterweight threshold, but
there seemed to be some confusion during the official weigh-in. A
few Team Nelson members, Lane among them, believed Marunde failed
to make weight. The Nevada Athletic Commission representative in
charge of proceedings had the final say. Marunde came in at 170,
and Team Nelson did not offer a verbal protest.
“That was a big obstacle,” said Marunde, who was shown during his
weight cut dumping copious amounts of sweat from his pant leg. “I
climbed that mountain.”
The weigh-in issue led to a bizarre and uncomfortable exchange
between Nelson and UFC President Dana White once the Marunde-Lane
fight was complete. At one point, Nelson asked White if he should
shoulder the responsibility of overseeing the Nevada Athletic
Commission and how it handles fighters on the scales. Puzzled and
visibly flustered, White indicated in no uncertain terms that
Nelson would be wise to choose an alternate path.