'The Ultimate Fighter 31: McGregor vs. Chandler,' Episode 12 recap: 'That f*cking slip just cost me that fight'

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'The Ultimate Fighter 31: McGregor vs. Chandler,' Episode 12 recap: 'That f*cking slip just cost me that fight'

"The Ultimate Fighter 31" returns as the final in-house bout ends in a fashion that has one fighter kicking himself.

"The Ultimate Fighter 31" returns as the final in-house bout ends in a fashion that has one fighter kicking himself.

“The Ultimate Fighter 31: Team McGregor vs. Team Chandler” returned Tuesday for Episode 12 as the final fight of the season transpires.

On Episode 12, Team McGregor’s Rico DiSciullo fights Team Chandler’s Cody Gibson to see who will be the final fighter to fill a slot in the finals and face Brad Katona. Also, Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler competed against one another – in the coaches’ challenge: an ice plunge trivia game – with thousands of dollars on the line.

The season concluded Tuesday with the live finale set for Saturday at UFC 292. The promotion also intends for coaches McGregor and Chandler to square off in the months that follow the conclusion of the season.

Scroll below for a recap of Episode 12 and make sure to check out an exclusive insider look from Kurt Holobaugh, who will peel back the curtain on MMA Junkie the morning after each episode airs.

A solo practice with Conor McGregor

The only “prospect” to advance to the semifinal, DiSciullo gets an additional level of interest from his coach, McGregor, who brings the up-and-comer through a 1-on-1 training session.

“I’m pretty much the last of the Mohicans,” DiSciullo said in a cut-scene. “I’m the last man left. I got pretty much a solo practice with Conor McGregor in. His style, man, suits me so well.”

Crawfish boil

With three “TUF 31” fighters from either Mississippi or Louisiana, a crawfish boil is hosted at the house. Chandler visits the house to assist with the preparation as Holobaugh takes the lead.

“Everybody just got to unwind and kind of let loose a little bit,” Jason Knight said. “It was almost like you weren’t in this house for a while, coming together as a unit, instead of team vs. team.”

Team McGregor dinner

McGregor takes his team to dinner at Hank’s Fine Steaks & Martinis at Lorenzo Fertitta’s Green Valley Ranch casino in Las Vegas – and balls out.

Carlos Vera gives a toast on behalf of the team, where he thanks the coaching staff for their efforts during the season.

“We all talk about this daily, how grateful to have you guys here,” Vera said, before glasses were raised. “Then we have Conor. My friend, you have taught us from Day 1, what a humble person, which we all are, has done in the journey of martial arts. That’s incredible. You’ve shown us perseverance, you’ve shown us an iron will, you’ve shown us a little bit of f*ck you that everybody needs to hear. No, but it’s the truth. We’re fighters. We’re fighters. So cheers to you. Thank you for this.”

McGregor reciprocates and thanks the fighters before steaks arrive. McGregor dishes out $1,000 of casino chips to each fighter, the split prize from the coaches’ challenge.

Gibson's knee injury

Gibson, who injured his knee earlier in the season, discusses in a cut scene interview how his ailment has significantly effected his training regiment in preparation for his bout vs. DiSciullo.

“The situation with my knee has limited what I can do,” Gibson said. “I’m not going to be doing a lot of the grappling or hard sparring or kicking. Everybody knows I’m compromised to some degree.”

A confrontation in the house

Drama occurs in the kitchen of the house, someone leaves a note that says “F*ck you Brad,” and Katona sees it. Katona says something to Gibson, who airs greivances about Katona.

Katona: “I don’t know why you dislike me so much, Cody.”

Gibson: “Bro, you’re the most self-centered person I’ve ever met in 35 years of life.”

Katona: “You’ve complained this entire time. You’ve complained this entire time (about) everything I’ve done that hasn’t really effected you.”

Gibson: “There’s a reason there are 16 guys in this house and 15 don’t like you.”

Katona: “I think some people like me.”

Gibson: “Nah-uh. Newsflash. Newsflash. Nobody does.”

Katona: “It’s OK, though, because I don’t really care what you think, Cody. … You’re trying to pick on me. You’re trying to be a good example for your students? I thought you were a teacher.”

Gibson: “I am being a good example to my students. When someone’s a punk, they need to get called out. … I’m going to hurt you in the finals. Because all you’re going to do is hug my leg because that’s all you do. You’re afraid to fight, Brad. Let’s face the facts here. You’re absolutely scared sh*tless.”

The argument continued a little longer before the fighters went in opposite directions.

Video calls from home

As the other six semifinalists did, DiSciullo and Gibson get a 10-minute video call with their loved ones back home.

Gibson chats with his wife and two children. DiSciullo gets a call from his wife, two children, and mother.

The fight: Rico DiSciullo vs. Cody Gibson

Round 1 – DiSciullo comes out with hard lead leg kicks on the injured knee of Gibson, but then gets overzealous on a combination while switching stances and wipes out. DiSciullo gets up but Gibson grabs the clinch and drags him down. Gibson hops on his back immediately and gets the body triangle locked. A hand-fighting battle ensures as Gibson seeks the rear-naked choke. DiSciullo rolls over and is met with hard Gibson ground-and-pound. DiSciullo rolls again but Gibson is still on his back. The body triangle is tight. DiSciullo faces up and Gibson is in mount. DiSciullo pushes Gibson into half guard. Gibson gets his back again. DiSciullo faces up again and Gibson pounds him from mount. DiSciullo rolls belly-down again and Gibson lands more ground-and-pound. DiSciullo continues to shift around. Eventually, DiSciullo sneaks out the back door. Gibson grabs DiSciullo’s foot as the two rise up. In doing so, DiSciullo ends up on the mat again. Gibson hops on top and immediately jumps into an arm-triangle choke attempt. He hops over DiSciullo and gets the tapped.

Weight: Bantamweight

Round: Semifinal (three rounds)

Team McGregor fighter: Kurt Holobaugh (19-7)

Team Chandler fighter: Cody Gibson (19-8)

Result: Cody Gibson def. Rico DiSciullo via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1

'I f*cking slipped'

An irate DiSciullo immediately voices his frustrations in himself for the early slip with some loud expletives.

“I f*cking slipped,” DiSciullo yelled. “G*ddamn. That f*cking slip just cost me that fight. F*ck. Damn, bro.”

Lightweight final faceoff

Team Chandler lightweights Kurt Holobaugh and Austin Hubbard will square off Saturday at UFC 292 in Boston in the divisional final.

Bantamweight final faceoff

Bantamweight rivals Brad Katona, a Team McGregor import, and Cody Gibson, of Team Chandler, settle their beef Saturday at UFC 292 in Boston in the divisional final.

Coaches face off

Following the faceoffs of the contestants, coaches Chandler and McGregor came face-to-face one more time. Unlike last time, there was no violence – but instead, a handshake.

Previous episode recaps

  • Episode 1: One of the fastest KOs in TUF history
  • Episode 2: A cold sore postponement and a flying KO
  • Episode 3: Action fight keeps momentum on one side
  • Episode 4: Drawn-out negotiating, fight finally scheduled
  • Episode 5: A ‘diva’ and ‘unfinished fights’ spark frustration
  • Episode 6: Crushed Conor McGregor gets violent
  • Episode 7: Two injury exams and another quick finish
  • Episode 8: Did Conor McGregor avoid clean sweep?
  • Episode 9: First semifinal leaves Dana White unimpressed
  • Episode 10: Blood pours everywhere at the UFC Apex
  • Episode 11: Dana White awed by ‘Fight of the Season’

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