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TUF Recap: Absinthe Sees Team USA Spill Over, Team Europe Regains Parity

Artem Lobov told the Team USA men that Absinthe was "dangerous". They should have listened.
November 5, 2015, 5:26pm

Ahead of his meeting with Team USA's flashy striker Thanh Le, towering European submission specialist Martin Svensson was adamant that none of the American charges had really fought yet, despite going ahead 3-2 in the victory ranks as Julian Erosa won a decision over Mehdi Baghdad in the last episode.

"I'm sick and tired of these Americans," said Svensson. "All their wins are pussy wins. In the first fight, he just went for leg locks, in the second fight he just tried to dry hump the guy and in the third fight, he was just dancing around. This isn't fighting, none of these guys have been fighting.

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"They have been doing something else like clowning, or something. I don't know what to call it. I hate this stuff. It's not MMA, it's not fighting, it's something different. If I get a fight like this it's my worst nightmare. Especially when it's two rounds, you have to bring it, you have to fight."

After Team USA celebrated Erosa's win, the episode continued with the Team Europe training session where coach Conor McGregor claimed that striking coach Owen Roddy had put together a plan for Svensson. The Swede revealed that his plan was to keep his distance using his long legs before clinching against the fence and taking the action the ground where he could use his superior grappling experience.

Urijah Faber went through some groundwork with Le in their session, a man that he pointed to as having a massive weakness in the grappling stakes when he secured his spot in the TUF House. Faber outlined that Le's best bet was to keep the fight standing and land "big kicks and big punches to put (Svensson) unconscious". Le outlined that he would look to pick Svensson apart, rather than get involved in a brawl.

Despite warnings from Team Europe's Artem Lobov on how "dangerous" green Absinthe can be, Team USA cracked open a bottle after some games of pool. After Tom Gallicchio, Chris Gruetzemacher and Julian Erosa took a shot, Erosa and Gruetzemacher started to bet shots, with the loser of each game of pool having to take another plunge into the green abyss. After they finished playing pool, the duo continued to drink copious amounts before Gallicchio suggested taking the party outside.

In the garden area, Erosa asked Gallicchio and Jason Gonzalez who they believe has had the worst fight so far. When they don't reply, Erosa suggested that Gruetzemacher had the worst fight, and just as he is saying it Gruetzemacher arrived back on the scene to see his three teammates giggling. Erosa then told Gruetzemacher that he believed he would be cut based on the performance, and Gruetzemacher replied by telling him that "no one can beat me here". In true TUF fashion, it didn't take long before all hell broke loose.

When Erosa asked Gruetzemacher to "do something about" him thinking that he would win if the two fought, 'Gritz' threw some of his bottled water over him on multiple occasions. The bottled water was then substituted for beer and then something that looked like hot sauce before Team Europe arrived to watch the shenanigans. Lobov got in between the two Team USA men and after some drunken words were exchanged, no physical altercation happened. The next morning there were no hard feelings between the two, so Team USA headed off to get some "Conor-esque" suits to wear at the fight.

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Thanh Le vs Martin Svensson

Le kept the distance well over the first minute of action and landed powerfully as he closed the distance. Svensson absorbed a right hand and then a body kick before he threw a low kick that swept his opponent to the ground. Following Le to the ground, the Swede controlled position well on top from half guard and at one stage he looked like he was quite close to setting up a head and arm choke.

The pair scrambled to the fence and as Svensson tried to get his hooks in to take Le's back, the Team USA man managed get back to his feet. Svensson managed to get a hold of him and clinched him against the fence where he landed solid knees to his stomach. Once freed from Svensson's grip, Le established his distance again before he landed an impeccable punch that sent the Team Europe fighter down. Le landed punishing grounded shots before the bell sounded to close out the first round.

After an uneventful opening minute to open the second round, Svensson dived in for a single leg and after staving off a low-percentage straight armbar from Le, he took the Team USA man's back and eventually worked to mount. Le continued to try and get his guard back and after giving up his back again, he retained his guard.

Svensson never let him back to his feet, and it wasn't long before he was trying to pass his counterpart's guard. Eventually freeing his leg to take side control, Svensson worked to the back where he locked up a rear naked choke to regain parity between the two teams.

With the ball back in Team Europe's court, McGregor selects his SBG teammate Artem Lobov to square off against James Jenkins in next week's episode.