The first-ever active duty member of the United States Armed Forces claimed his first preliminary round win of the competition, as Staff Sgt. Colton Smith won a majority decision over Eddy Ellis on The Ultimate Fighter Fridays episode six – “One Mission” – that aired on FX on Friday evening.
The victory gets Team Nelson, coached by UFC® heavyweight Roy Nelson, back in the game, as they cut the gap down to one. Team Carwin, led by former UFC interim heavyweight champion Shane Carwin, continues to lead with a 3-2 advantage after five preliminary bouts.
Smith, 24, a Ranger-tabbed infantryman from Fort Hood, Tex., is also a Combatives Instructor who teaches hand-to-hand combat to soldiers being readied for deployment. The father of two, 3-1 in his professional mixed martial arts career, is also a former congressional escort who has been to over 25 different countries before landing in Las Vegas for the show.
“Eddy is a great mixed martial artist but I knew coming in I would prevail, especially faced with adversity like I did in round one. I felt very accomplished but realized I wasn’t on top of my game in the first round and made the fight a lot harder on myself. I know I need to be more awake in round one in the future and implement my game plan from bell to bell in order to be victorious. I am a big believer in being a team player and I realize winning for Team Nelson could change the tide of the entire season.”
A die-hard Ultimate Fighter fan, Ellis, 28, has been signing up for the show since season two. Upon finally getting his chance, the 17-15-1 MMA fighter and avid bull-riding rodeo fan wasn’t overly impressed with his performance.
“After the fight, I felt disappointed with my performance. It seemed like I couldn’t find my rhythm, even during the first round I got caught up in the excitement. In the second round, things were still chaotic in my mind. I wasn’t able to settle down and implement my fight. I would have collected myself after catching him, settled down, thought clearly, and finished an obviously hurt opponent.
“The mood on Team Carwin after my fight was surprisingly lifted not because I had lost but because I had really fought. The first few fights were rather lack-luster so after watching me go out hard and exciting, it made the other guys want to do the same.”
Tickets for The Ultimate Fighter®Finale on Dec. 15 at TheJoint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas are on sale and priced at $304, $254, $179, $154, $104 and $79. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit the Hard Rock Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations,www.ticketmaster.com,www.thejointlasvegas.com or charge-by-phone at 800.745.3000.
Results after episode six:
Team Carwin (3-2)
Sam Alvey (0-1, lost to Joey Rivera by decision in episode 3)
Bristol Marunde (1-0, defeatedJulian Lane by decision in episode 4)
Neil Magny (1-0, defeatedCameron Diffley by decision in episode 2)
Eddy Ellis (0-1, lost to Colton Smith by majority decision in epsiode 6)
Igor Araujo (1-0, defeated Nic Herron-Webb by majority decision in episode 5)
Team Nelson (2-3)
Cameron Diffley (0-1, lost to Neil Magny by decision in episode 2)
Colton Smith (1-0, defeatedEddy Ellis by majority decision in episode 6)
Nic Herron-Webb (0-1, lost to Igor Araujo by majority decision in episode 5
Joey Rivera (1-0, defeated Sam Alvey by decision in episode 3)
Julian Lane (0-1, lost to Bristol Marunde by decision in episode 4)
A full recap is available at ufc.com.
(via Press Release)