Wednesday’s episode will decide who will meet Dhiego Lima in the TUF 25 Finale: either Jesse Taylor or James Krause. That is, if Krause is able to fight in tonight’s episode because of the eye injury that occurred in his quarterfinal win over Ramsey Nijem.
At Team Dillashaw’s training session, T.J. Dillashaw brings in TUF 24 winner Tim Elliott, who is Krause’s training partner in real-life. Naturally, Dillashaw and his fellow coaches are worried about Krause’s left eye. Nothing is stopping Krause whilst training, though, and as he says that as long he’s cleared to take on Taylor, nothing will stop him from winning this season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
Taylor is a beast in training as well as he says he believes that he and Krause are clearly the two best fighters in the entire house. Still, Taylor is convinced he will prevail if and when he meets Krause in the Octagon because not only of how they matchup but also because of how much he’s trained with him this season.
Krause is now at Dr. Gregory Hsu’s office to get his peeper looked at. The ophthalmologist is checking him out and Krause is struggling badly with the tests he’s undergoing. There’s a dramatic pause inside the office and Hsu says that he is healthy enough to fight, even though the vision in his left eye is blurry. “Your eye looks great” is what Hsu says and now the focus of the episode is Krause vs. Taylor.
At the TUF house at night, Elliott shows up with some food and it’s time to have a rockin’ good time. Krause is hanging out with some of the blue team and he says that Team Garbrandt is getting on his nerves because they are all being loud and obnoxious. Some of the red team fighters are in the hot tub, drunk, and begin launching verbal barbs at Elliott, but the TUF 24 champ is sending them back, saying that he is part of the winners’ circle. Out of nowhere, Julian Lane hurls an empty water bottle at the table and it nearly hits Krause. Needless to say, Krause is upset, but Lane claims he threw it at Elliott. The “winners’ circle” heads inside but Lane, Seth Baczynski and the others follow them in.
From there, Lane and “The Polish Pistola” are in Elliott’s face, talking smack, until Lane shoves Elliott in the chest. Elliott laughs at him, calls him a pussycat (without the cat); Lane shoves him twice more. Elliott continues to mock him, yelling, “Let me bang, bro!” Several of the fighters restrain Lane, but Justin Edwards jumps into the mix and shoves Elliott as well. Elliott won’t shut up, chiding the two for being terrible representatives of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the show. A minor fracas ensues but Elliott and his two buddies leave. Elliott is chuckling and says he was punched twice.
Baczynski, who is drunk, is angry as well because Elliott and Co. are Krause’s teammates and coaches out of the house. Seth is following Krause around, talking trash and being relentless. Krause keeps asking him what he wants to do and then Baczynski, wearing a blue bathrobe, kind of slap-pushes Krause in the face. Taylor jumps in to halt the tomfoolery, as do several others, and finally, the nonsense subsides.
After both men weigh in and the usual pre-fight prep footage, it’s time for the final fight of the show before the Finale. “Big” John McCarthy is the ref for the fight and Krause begins with a kick to the body and then a single-leg takedown. Taylor springs right back up to his feet, ties Krause up and then drags him down, landing on top in guard. Krause is going with a high guard early, looking for a plethora of submissions, which Taylor sees coming a mile away. Taylor lands a few punches while applying a ton of pressure and briefly moves to half guard. Krause quickly recovers back to full guard and then sweeps him, fully reversing positions. Krause is applying similar pressure as he tries to pass to his right. Taylor scrambles but Krause is all over him and briefly seizes his back. Jesse is wise to the maneuver and spins out, landing on top. Krause threatens with an armbar, but Taylor defends it perfectly. From on top with 90 seconds left, Taylor rains down a series of elbows to the head, though most are blocked. Krause scrambles to a better position and explodes to his feet, threatens with a guillotine but misses it. Taylor again drags him back down and lands on top, landing punches to the head and body. Krause rolls out, but Taylor pounces on his back with mere seconds left. 10-9 Taylor.
Round two begins with Taylor shooting in from too far out for a single, gets stuffed, but his second explosion lands the takedown. Krause scoots toward the fence to try and wall walk, but Taylor is relentless with his pressure. As he tries to pass to his left, Taylor plops a few punches onto Krause’s face, though they aren’t too powerful. As Krause pulls to guard, Taylor slams a left fist onto his foe’s cranium. Taylor eventually pass to his left to half guard and slams down a few elbows to the noggin. Krause is withering away underneath as Hurricane Jesse is on an unstoppable course toward victory. Out of nowhere, Krause explodes to his feet, Taylor misses a guillotine and then has to turtle up while blood from Krause’s nose pours onto his back. Krause fails at a kimura from on top and allows Taylor to pounce back on top. Krause is gassing out with just under two minutes remaining and Taylor continues to drive his weight onto his opponent and lands scattered punches and elbows to Krause’s melon. With a minute left, Krause needs a miracle if he’s to win this round; blood is streaming out of his nose. Taylor sees victory and is nonstop with short punches to the face while he mauls him like a bear. Krause can’t escape and time expires; it’s all Taylor. 10-9 Taylor.
The final round begins with both men huffing and puffing, but Taylor, as expected, shoots in and scores an easy takedown against the cage. Krause tries to sweep but Jesse’s pressure is phenomenal. Taylor rains down some elbows and punches from on top and even though he’s exhausted, he won’t stop throwing. Krause covers up, looking for a way to escape the bottom position. As the time ticks away, Taylor continues to separate himself from the competition and won’t allow his opponent any daylight whatsoever. Taylor powers his way to half guard, locks on a tight guillotine and as he tries to move to mount, he squeezes with everything in his power and puts Krause to sleep. For the second time in a decade, “J.T Money” dominates his way to the TUF Finale.