Written by Penny Buffington
The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 kicked off its first episode Sept. 15th on Spike TV with the first 2 fights being that of the 2 Jefferson County men that made it on the show. The first round of fights determines if the contestant gets to continue. This would allow them to move into the house, become the final cast mates and get the chance to become The Ultimate Fighter. Pretty simple 2 – 5 min rounds in the octagon: You win: you’re in. You lose: you go home.
Winning the Ultimate Fighter could be huge for one of these upstate NY boys, potentially thrusting them into the explosively popular world of the UFC. The winner of the show gets a contract guaranteeing them a stipulated amount of fights with the UFC. If one of them wins the show, the fights wherever held, will not be in their hometown state. Mixed martial arts competitions are still illegal in the state of New York. It is legal in all other states except 6 of them.
The first fight was between Marc Stevens and TJ O’Brien. Marc resides in Lorraine NY. He owns Jiu Jitsu Nation located in Watertown. He says he has over 300 students. He has a mixed martial arts record of 12 wins 5 losses.
The coaches on the show are current UFC welterweight title holder Georges St-Pierre and season 1 contestant Josh Koscheck. After the shows finale these 2 will fight for that title on Dec 11th. Stevens says, “I actually wrestled for Josh Koscheck at the University of Buffalo. I don’t have an ongoing relationship with him but he does know me a little bit.”
Just before the fight began Josh told UFC President Dana White, “He is an ok wrestler but, we’ll see.”
What we saw was a striker! While referee Steve Mazzagatti watched over in just 13 seconds Marc defeated his opponent with strikes to the face; TKO victory. Happy with his win Marc yells to Josh, “Remember me now?” To which Josh laughs with Dana White and replies, “Yes we do.” He also said, “I think probably a record for the Ultimate Fighter. I don’t think I have ever seen one that quick.”
St Pierre added, “Marc Stevens has got a lot of power. He is a very, very dangerous guy.”
The next match up featured Watertown resident and manager of CNY MMA Gym located in Watertown as well: Spencer Paige and Steve Magedaleno . Spencer has a mixed martial arts record of 7 wins 2 losses.
After an exciting match lasting both rounds the fight ended by unanimous decision Paige being the victor.
Now it’s official both New Yorkers are in contention to be THE Ultimate Fighter. The show airs Wed nights at 10 pm eastern time.
Spencer Paige at CNY MMA
Photo taken by Eddie Buffington