When semifinals matches were announced a few weeks ago, Patrick Walsh and Corey Anderson knew they weren’t teammates anymore; just enemies wearing the same colors. The two discuss their upcoming light heavyweight fight, unaware of the implications they put on Team Edgar.
Coach Frankie Edgar and his staff are adamant about being impartial. Instead of picking sides, Edgar lets Walsh and Anderson pick two teammates each to spar with. Anderson doesn’t have a problem with the arrangement, stating that Walsh is mentally weak.
Walsh grows irritated with Team Edgar’s training schedule. Their one-a-days aren’t enough. He says Anderson looks incredible in practice, and training with Team Penn will give him the extra push he needs. “I’m trying to be the best fighter possible,” Walsh said. “If I could workout with the blue team, if I could workout with B.J. Penn and pick his brain, that’s just something that I would aspire to do. It would be something that would be amazing,”
He asks the coaches about training with Team Penn, which both agree to. His teammates aren’t as accepting.
Anderson and Dhiego Lima snicker at the idea of Walsh training win Team Penn. “If he’s going to be getting two workouts a day, going with us and then going with them, that ain’t fair,” Anderson said. He later added “You’ve got teammates that are fighting the blue team. How do we know you’re not telling those guys what we do?” Anderson confronts Walsh about his allegiance to Team Edgar and suggests he leave.
Edgar makes a similar ultimatum, telling Walsh to choose a side. A distraught Walsh says, “I should be focusing on my fight. I shouldn’t have 10 people giving me [expletive] about it.” He decides on staying with Team Edgar.
Corey Anderson vs. Patrick Walsh – light heavyweight bout
Round 1 – Anderson counters Walsh’s jab with a right hook. Walsh-in a southpaw stance- flails at Anderson with a combo that completely misses. Anderson answers with a big right hand that leaves Walsh dazed. Anderson moves in, landing a knee to the body before completing a takedown. Walsh narrowly escapes the mount and gets to his feet. A gash has formed under Walsh’s eye. His wildly-timed combinations miss and Anderson takes advantage, scoring a double leg takedown. Walsh is back on his feet and reaches for a guillotine choke as time expires.
Round 2 – Walsh comes out swinging. He connects with to big hooks and pressures Anderson to the fence. The two trade blows throughout the round, trading strikes like boxers would. Anderson forces a clinch and lands a knee to Walsh’s face. Walsh scrambles to his feet and times his next takedown. Unfortunately for Walsh, Anderson blocks his multiple last-minute attempts.
Round 3 – An exhausted Walsh misses shoots for a takedown. Hands near their waists, the fighters’ strikes become less potent and their combos few and far between. Anderson shoots with seconds left in the round but is denied. Walsh capitalized with a takedown as the round comes to an end.
Anderson defeats Walsh via unanimous decision
Anderson becomes the first fighter advancing to the tournament’s finale next month. He battles the winner of next week’s bout between Matt Van Buren and Daniel Spohn. Also on tap next week, a middleweight tilt between Lima and Roger Zapata with the winner facing Eddie Gordon.
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