Ultimate Fighter: Surprising Elimination, Big Injury

Brian Cantor

While the “reality show” aspect of “The Ultimate Fighter” has never been described as dull, the show embraced its roots Monday with a fight that went the distance. In what has to be viewed as a surprising outcome, Josh Burkman (representing Team Hughes) defeated Melvin Guillard (representing Team Franklin), eliminating the latter from the competition.

After just one episode, Guillard’s arrogance earned him the distinction of being called this season’s Chris Leben. Between Guillard’s trash-talking, his impressive record and Dana White’s criticism of Burkman for choosing such a tough opponent, one would not have thought Burkman had a chance. One would be wrong.

While Guillard got in a number of impressive strikes – including some that injured his opponent – he was never aggressive enough to score a knockout. He also appeared lost on the ground, spending much of the fight unable to escape Burkman’s holds. He ultimately lost a unanimous decision and was forced to say goodbye to his dreams of a UFC contract.

What many are calling the highlight of the night, however, did not occur inside The Octagon. Just prior to his fight, Melvin Guillard “punked” Dana White by implying that he intended to quit the competition. Guillard’s prank mocked the two contestants who quit on last week’s show.

In other show-related tidbits, Dan Christison joined the competition as an alternate in the heavyweight division; next week’s show features “good news and bad news” related to Burkman’s hand injury and the first heavyweight fight.

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