The primary struggle of the season is within the books as The Final Fighter: Heavy Hitters acquired off to a befitting begin within the debut episode.

The newest installment of the lengthy operating sequence options heavyweights and girls’s featherweights for the primary time in historical past, with middleweight champion Robert Whittaker and top-ranked contender Kelvin Gastelum on board as coaches.

Like many seasons of the previous, Whittaker and Gastelum wasted no time after being launched to the fighters to separate the teams and start their very own private evaluations.

Every fighter had their very own strategies to suss out the expertise, with Whittaker protecting every little thing mild with out a lot contact whereas Gastelum put the athletes by a sequence of drills that included placing, wrestling and submissions.

It was an opportunity for everyone to impress the coaches forward of the group choices, when UFC President Dana White made his first look of the season. Following a coin toss that Gastelum received, the season 17 winner opted to choose the primary struggle, which meant Whittaker was capable of choose the primary fighter.

Here is how the group choices broke down this season:

TEAM WHITTAKER — Anderson da Silva, Julija Stoliarenko, Juan Francisco Espino Diepa, Leah Letson, Michel Batista, Larissa Pacheco, Przemyslaw Mysiala, Katharina Lehner

TEAM GASTELUM — Ben Sosoli, Macy Chiasson, Maurice Greene, Pannie Kianzad, Josh Parisian, Bea Malecki, Justin Frazier, Marciea Allen(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

With the fighters separated into groups, Gastelum picked the primary struggle of the season as he matched up Maurice Greene towards the athlete with the toughest title to pronounce in the whole competitors — Przemyslaw Mysiala, who is best recognized by his nickname “PM.’”

As soon as the struggle was made and the athletes checked out the home for the primary time, it was time for coaching to start.

Gastelum undoubtedly led a tough observe whereas combining the women and men to work collectively throughout their coaching classes. The best way Gastelum noticed it, he did not need the fighters to really feel separated from one another, which may then result in cliques forming all through the home. As an alternative, Gastelum had the ladies’s featherweights sparring with the heavyweights with advantages being paid for each.

As for Whittaker, he had a a lot completely different method as he advised his group on the very first day that he isn’t seeking to train them a lot or attempt to reinvent them as fighters. As an alternative, Whittaker says he is taking a look at this season as one lengthy struggle week the place the athletes are simply staying wholesome and prepared for competitors. His objective is to maintain them prepared somewhat than making an attempt to show them a slew of recent strategies over the following six weeks.

The primary order of enterprise was getting PM prepared for his throwdown with Greene whereas coping with a large dimension drawback. Whereas PM is not any slouch relating to the heavyweights within the competitors, Greene is a large fighter with an extended attain and a ton of weight behind every little thing he throws.

That dimension distinction pressured Whittaker and his teaching employees to do every little thing doable to get PM prepared to shut the gap with out taking an excessive amount of harm.

On the flipside, Gastelum was making ready Greene to do virtually the precise reverse by profiting from his dimension and energy to overwhelm PM throughout this struggle. Greene knew his placing was on level however he additionally understood that his wrestling wasn’t all that sturdy, so he wished to avoid the bottom sport towards an skilled grappler like PM.

When it got here to expertise, PM undoubtedly had the sting there, however Greene had simply been ready for a chance to lastly pursue his preventing profession full-time after working a day job after which elevating a household in current months. Now along with his solely deal with preventing, Greene looks like this chance would be the good time for him to shine.

All of it led to the struggle, the place Greene took on PM within the first heavyweight matchup of the season.


Maurice Greene knees Przemyslaw Mysiala during their bout on the first episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Heavy Hitters (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)Greene is fast to take the middle of the Octagon as he begins pressuring ahead. Greene finally punches his means right into a clinch with Mysiala towards the cage as they alternate strikes. Mysiala is finally capable of break freed from the clinch and work his means out of the place towards the cage. As soon as they reset within the middle, Greene continues to make use of his lengthy jab to arrange his energy punches and he’s actually in a position to make use of his dimension to bully Mysiala across the Octagon. Greene catches Mysiala coming in throughout an alternate and he wobbles the Polish heavyweight. Greene is fast to pounce on him with a leaping knee and a flurry of strikes as they fall to the bottom off a failed takedown try. Mysiala is ready to survive and scramble his means again to the ft. Greene remains to be touchdown with far more energy and accuracy on the ft. Greene lands a nasty entrance kick proper within the mush as Mysiala is pressured to reset but once more as he tries to outlive the onslaught of punishment he is receiving. Greene blasts Mysiala with an enormous knee strike from the clinch once more that rocks him and places him down. Greene tries to get the end from there as he hammers away at Mysiala, however the referee is giving him each probability to recuperate. Mysiala lastly works his means again up and Greene unleashes a hellacious proper uppercut that flattens his opponent to get the knockout.

Official end result: Maurice Greene def. Przemyslaw Mysiala by knockout, Spherical 1

“My plan for this struggle was to remain on the surface. He’s quite a bit shorter than me and he has some good grappling and wrestling, so I simply wished to make use of my vary and my attain,” Greene defined following the win. “Irrespective of who my opponent is subsequent I do know we may have sport plan, however each struggle on this home is a troublesome struggle.”

With Crew Gastelum getting the primary win of the season, it was time for the ladies’s featherweights to get into the Octagon.

For the second struggle of the season, Gastelum chosen Pannie Kianzad to face off with Katharina Lehner subsequent week.

Who will get the win when the ladies’s featherweights conflict for the primary time? Tune in to The Final Fighter: Heavy Hitters subsequent Wednesday night time at 10 pm ET on FS1 to seek out out.
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