“I am as concerned with Dulani Perry as I am with the one fly that I’ve seen in the six weeks living in this 10,000 square-foot mansion.”
Those were the words of Team Cormier’s number one featherweight pick Tyler Diamond ahead of his fight with Dulani Perry on episode 8 of The Ultimate Fighter 27 and they proved to be prophetic as he cruised to a submission victory and a spot in this season’s semifinals.
While it was Perry who scored first with a pair of stiff body kicks, he was quickly taken down by Diamond and controlled for the entirety the opening round. After five minutes of ground-and-pound, Perry was a bloody mess.
At the start of round two, Diamond immediately floored Perry with a straight left. He followed him down to the mat and went right back to work, achieving a variety of dominant positions from which he could rain down punches and elbows. Perry scrambled to escape, only to be caught in a fight-ending guillotine choke.
The good news for Perry is that he, like all the other contestants on TUF 27, is still technically undefeated due to TUF bouts being classified as exhibitions. The theme of this season is that each fighter entering the house owned a perfect professional record.
Diamond’s win gave Daniel Cormier six victories out of eight fights in the show’s quarterfinals, though two members of his roster, Luis Pena and Ricky Steele were forced out of the competition due to injuries.
In other story lines, Team Miocic’s Richie Smullen discovers that the reason he was unable to compete on last week’s episode is that the muscles in his leg broke down, possibly due to over-exhaustion.
The semifinal lineup was also revealed this week as UFC president Dana White sat down with Cormier and Miocic to discuss who would replace Pena and Steele. Prior to this segment, Suman Mokhtarian received the bad news that he had a torn ACL, ruling him out of the competition and possibly sidelining him for a much longer period of time.
White said he had no interest in bringing back Team Cormier fighters Thai Clark and Smullen (likely unable to compete anyway), leaving Miocic to choose which of his guys will get a second shot in the tournament. He selects Jay Cucciniello to take the featherweight spot, and Strong Style teammate John Gunther for the lightweight spot.
Below are the semifinal matchups:
Mike Trizano vs. John Gunther
Joe Giannetti vs. Allan Zuniga
Brad Katona vs. Bryce Mitchell
Tyler Diamond vs. Jay Cucciniello
Here are results from the first round:
Joe Giannetti def. John Gunther via technical submission (guillotine choke) in Round 1
Brad Katona def. Kyler Phillips via majority decision
Luis Pena def. Jose Martinez via unanimous decision
Bryce Mitchell def. Jay Cucciniello via unanimous decision
Mike Trizano def. Thai Clark via TKO (ground and pound) in Round 2
Ricky Steele def. Suman Mokhtarian via unanimous decision
Allan Zuniga def. Richie Smullen via disqualification (injury)
Tyler Diamond def. Dulani Perry via submission (guillotine choke) in Round 2
On next week’s episode, Team Miocic fighters Mike Trizano and John Gunther face off for a spot in the lightweight final.
Season 27 of The Ultimate Fighter is being coached by UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic. Cormier challenges Miocic for the heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 226 on July 7 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The finalists of the TUF 27 lightweight and featherweight tournaments will compete for a six-figure UFC contract on July 6, also in Las Vegas.
Here is the TUF 27 roster divided by team:
Advancing to Round 2: Giannetti, Katona, Pena (forced to withdraw due to injury), Mitchell, Trizano, Steele (forced to withdraw due to concussion symptoms), Zuniga, Diamond
Eliminated: Gunther (later selected to replace an injured Pena), Phillips, Martinez, Cucciniello (later selected to replace an injured Steele), Clark, Mokhtarian, Smullen, Perry