‘TUF 23’ Recap: Episode 10

By: Mike Sloan
Jun 22, 2016
After highlights from last week and a few snippets of Team Claudia training, Episode 10 essentially starts with Cory Hendricks still working hard in the gym through his neck and shoulder keep him in everlasting agony. He’s training basically with one arm but he’s determined to stick it out, though the local fighter admits that pulling out of the competition has crossed his mind when the pain becomes too severe.

Claudia Gadelha is very concerned about his well-being and wants him to not fight. She’s trying to convince him to pull out of the show and that the Ultimate Fighting Championship will likely sign him down the road anyway because of well he’s looked and how tough he is, but Hendricks is a stubborn goat who is having none of it.

Dana White comes onto the show and gives the entire cast another night out on the town because he says that he likes everybody on the show. The cast is taken to the Brooklyn Bowl in the Linq and they are eating some great food and having a festive time. Gadelha is turned off by how her arch nemesis Joanna Jedrzejczyk is apparently trying to be the star of the night and she believes the Pole is trying to take credit for the cast members having the night out.

In the meantime, Hendricks is still suffering with his injury and can’t enjoy himself. It’s at this point where he tells the camera that he is leaning towards taking himself off the show. During the next Team Claudia training session, he finally tells his coach that he is not going to fight and the Brazilian is relieved about his decision, though she is sad. With that said, White needs to pick a replacement out of the previous losers of the quarterfinals.

Naturally, there is speculation throughout the house as to who Hendricks’ replacement will be and every possible scenario is running rampant between both teams. Both coaches go to the gym and meet in the lounge room where White is Skyping with the two to reveal that he is bringing back Khalil Rountree over everybody else. And with that said, the matchups will remain as is and Gadelha tells the UFC president that it’s a wise pick since Rountree is the one who lost to Hendricks. To liven the mood a bit, White reveals that he will bring Hendricks back to fight on the TUF 23 Finale July 8, provided he’s able to heal up in time, which brings an overwhelming sense of joy to Gadelha.

At Team Joanna’s next training session, the UFC women’s strawweight champion reveals that Rountree is coming back but Josh Stansbury is bummed out that he has to fight his own teammate rather than one of the dudes on the blue squad. Rountree, however, is deeply saddened that he has to fight a good friend and teammate for the second time.

A few moments later, Gadelha admits that she can’t sleep at night because this is the first time this season where two of her fighters are about to knuckle up. Both Eric Spicely and Andrew Sanchez are gearing up but it’s Spicely who has a minor mental breakdown while sparring because he and Sanchez have gotten so close.

Finally, it’s time for the coaches’ challenge and to say that White is excited would be an understatement. Nobody knows what to expect when they pull up to a vacant dirt lot and sitting on the ground are two large clear containers filled with water with cranes perched above them. It’s definitely some sort of massive dunk tank. Dana claims it’s the craziest coaches’ challenge they’ve ever done and the guy can barely contain himself.

The challenge is that the coaches have to stand up on the top of the platforms with an air rifle that shoots tennis ball-sized paintballs American Gladiator-style at a black-and-white target on the ground at a sizeable distance. If a coach hits the 20-point bullseye, it’s an automatic dunk against her rival. The first woman to reach 100 points in the competition wins and each coach is allowed to be dunked five times. And to make matters more intense, excavators have dumped over 50 pounds of ice into each tank. The winning coach will nab $10,000 and each of her students will receive $1,500.

Gadelha wins the coin toss and opts to shoot first. Jedrzejczyk is imploring her not to kill herself because they have to fight soon and before she knows it, the competition is under way. Gadelha’s first shot nabs her 10 points while Jedrzejczyk’s misses the target completely. Gadelha then drills the bullseye, dunking the champ into the frigid water. Jedrzejczyk climbs out and is nearly frozen to the core but she’s able to compose herself and return the favor by nailing the bullseye on her next shot. From there, it’s a slaughter in favor of the Brazilian as she hits the bullseye thrice more and wins 100-55.

After Jedrzejczyk begins a trash talking tirade, White offers himself up to see if the winner and her fighters can earn some more money. She has three shots to dunk Dana and if she’s successful, she’ll grab another $5,000 and her fighters will each pockets another $500. As expected, Gadelha pegs the bullseye on her first shot, dunking White -- who is absolutely terrified of heights -- into the frozen water below.

With time running out on the episode, it’s time to fight after both Spicely and Sanchez easily make weight. When the battle begins, the two light heavyweight circle each other until Sanchez cracks his teammate with a booming overhand right. Spicely never recovers and as he backs away to clear his head, he’s hit with another right to the noggin. They clinch against the cage, but Sanchez eliminates that threat by slamming his right knee into Spicely’s gut. The jiu-jitsu player backs away and covers up, but Sanchez swarms him with lefts and rights to the head, forcing Spicely to drop and turtle up until the referee had no choice but to intervene. The entire fight lasts less than a minute.

In next week’s episode, we’ll see Amanda Cooper and Lanchana Green prepping for their showdown but apparently Cooper has tremendous difficulty making weight.

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