TUF 19 recap, episode 3: Daniel Spohn vs. Todd Monaghan

photo credit: UFC.com

photo credit: UFC.com

In this week’s episode, Frankie Edgar’s team is on the hunt for their first win when light heavyweight Todd Monaghan meets B.J. Penn’s Daniel Spohn. Spohn scored a violent KO to get into the house. Monaghan made his way in submitting his opponent with an armbar.

To open up we revisit Hector Urbina’s loss to Team Penn’s Cathal Pendred. Urbina and Pendred share words in the kitchen. Urbina tells his teammates he might “shank him later”.

Team Edgar’s training session kicks off with a visit from Renzo Gracie, one of Frankie Edgar’s primary coaches back home. A 6th degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Renzo participates in the session and claims that most of the team is very well-versed.

Todd Monaghan is in awe of getting the opportunity to learn from Renzo, who has been one of his idols. Gracie tells the fighters to be aggressive and not settle for less.

Meanwhile, Team Penn’s Roger Zapata and Chris Fields are impressed with their own coaching staff, which includes UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman, and how much they are learning. Penn is working his fighters in all areas, but doesn’t want Spohn to go into overdrive ahead of his fight.

Monaghan is a devout Christian and preaches at various churches. His church holds Christian MMA camps. He’s decided to hold a church session and sermon in the TUF house and invites the others.

During “church”, Todd explains he was adopted by a white family in Iowa. Because of his African-American descent, he was teased a lot by kids for his features growing up and got into his share of tussles. Prior to his adulthood, he admits he went down the wrong path. Religion helped him find a new path, which apparently includes God blessing him with a Tahoe and speed boat among his long list of excessive, heavenly luxury items.

Soon as Team Penn heads out to train, Cathal Pendred says Monaghan is there for TV time. He doesn’t like that Monaghan boasted about his possessions since he’s supposed to be a man of God. None of Team Penn seems to like his double standard of fighting and being a man of God. They agree Chael Sonnen said it best, keep religion out of the cage.

In training, Penn states that Spohn is one of their most talented. He picked him to fight Todd because he thinks Spohn can score another knockout. By the sound of it, Penn is picking Spohn to win it all.

Spohn describes himself as well-rounded and plans to finish everyone he battles on the show. Mark Coleman deploys a game plan for Spohn, which is take Monaghan down and ground and pound him.

In training with Team Edgar, Frankie admits he sees holes in Monaghan’s game. He’s doing all he can to help him correct them. Monaghan admits he was a striker first and is learning grappling aspects.

Back at the house, Spohn and Pendred have brought some mats home to do some more working out while there.

Spohn works construction and knows how to balance a crazy schedule from long work days to spending time with family to training. He has a background in Kachido Aikijitsu, which involves standup and ground game. The art also stems from a Gung Fu base. Spohn, who is a sensei of the art, holds an isometric training session with his team.

Outside, Team Edgar’s Eddie Gordon is talking to Monaghan trying to make him look at his upcoming bout from all angles. Monaghan doesn’t seem receptive to the conversation.

Fight recap: Daniel Spohn vs. Todd Monaghan


Spohn lands a leg kick first. Spohn then lands a stiff left and another, and takes Monaghan to the canvas. Spohn works to full mount from Monaghan’s guard and starts to secure an arm-triangle. Todd escapes, but is taken down again. Spohn has side control, but Todd has his left arm trapped. Spohn lands elbows to the body with his free arm. Spohn takes Monaghan’s back and is shook off nearly landing on his head. Spohn is going for a rear-naked choke, but Monaghan is pushing his head into a wall. Spohn transitions from the choke to a triangle to an armbar, but can’t secure a submission. Monaghan breaks free and lands some punches and is taken down again. Spohn is controlling from half guard, landing strikes. He transitions from side control to full mount as the round ends.


Monaghan superman punches and backs Spohn into the cage. Spohn takes him down. Monaghan gets to his feet and Spohn scrambles up to push him into the fence. Monaghan sprawls to avoid another takedown. Spohn gets the single leg. Monaghan goes for a guillotine and kimura, but can’t secure anything. From Monaghan’s half guard, Spohn starts punching. Spohn gets full mount, but isn’t doing a lot of damage. Cut to UFC president Dana White, who isn’t pleased with the lay and pray performance from Spohn. In the final 30 seconds, a scramble ensues where Spohn slaps on a rear-naked choke to finish the fight. But time expires and we go to the scorecards.

Result: Spohn def. Monaghan via unanimous decision (20-18 on all scorecards)

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS (Blue for Penn, Red for Edgar)

Anton Berzin
Daniel Spohn def. Monaghan via decision, ep. 3
Todd Monaghan lost to Spohn via decision, ep. 3
Chris Fields
Josh Clark
Patrick Walsh
Corey Anderson
Matt Van Buren

Hector Urbina: lost to Pendred via decision, ep. 2
Cathal Pendred: def. Urbina via decision, ep. 2
Ian Stephens
Tim Williams
Eddie Gordon
Dhiego Lima
Mike King
Roger Zapata

The next fight features middleweights Tim Williams of Team Penn and Dhiego Lima of Team Edgar. FOX Sports 1 will air the next episode of TUF 19, Wednesday at 10:00 pm ET. Stay tuned into MMA Fight Corner on FOX Sports every Thursday to hear an interview with the winners of each bout.

Follow me on Twitter @HeidiFang Follow the show on Twitter @fightcorner

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