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TUF 24 – Episode 6 thoughts

Going into Episode 6, Team Cejudo leads 3-2 over Team Benavidez.

This week,  No. 6 Matt Schnell from Team Cejudo takes on No. 11 Matt Rizzo from Team Benavidez.

Dana White breaks down Matt Schnell. A well-rounded fighter who was supposed to fight for Damacio Page but due to a Page injury won the interim belt instead.

Schnell says he got into fighting to stay in shape after high school.  Nicnamed “Danger,” he’s a two-time Golden Gloves champ and a purple belt in BJJ. Cejudo adds Schnell is a “tough” person.

Schnell prefers a striker rather than a grappler in Rizzo. The coaches want him to use his strengths, but to be aware for the Rizzo takedowns. He’s confident his all-around skills will see him through.

Benavidez gives his team the afternoon off to go paddle boarding.

TUF 24
Courtesy Zuffa LLC.

Rizzo is not only confident in his BJJ and wrestling, but his striking, which he claims is just as good as Schnell’s. He still plans to take him down, but warns not to underestimate his strikes.

The backstories of Schnell and Rizzo are provided. Schnell and his longtime girlfriend plan to to settle down. Rizzo himself has a fiancee, along with a full-time job.

Both are determined to win.

Both fighters made the limit of 126 pounds.



Schnell takes the centre. They both trade, but Rizzo gets a grab and tries to pull Schnell down. Reg Herb Dean warns Schnell on the strikes. Schnell goes for a guillotine, but Rizzo defends. Dean warns both fighters on the fingers. Schnell gets another guillotine, but Rizzo toughs it out. Rizzo is in Schnell’s guard near the cage.  Rizzo grabs the back, but loses it and Schnell is now in Rizzo’s guard.

Both fighters get up.  Rizzo shoots again and grabs a leg, then clinches against the cage. Schnell defends. Rizzo lands some nice combos on the feet with a knee and then clinches. 1 minute left. Rizzo shoots again for a left, Schnell tries a guillotine that misses and  Rizzo works from Schnells’ guard. Schnell works a triangle and the horn goes.

Close round, but I give it to Rizzo.


Schnell takes the centre again. They trade, with Rizzo getting the best of it. Schnell stuffs a takedown and works in Rizzo’s guard. Schnell makes Rizzo carry his weight, but Rizzo reverses. Rizzo is active, but Schnell works a triangle again and gets the tap.


Team Cejudo now leads 4-2.

Schnell moves on to the second round. He is happy to get the win, but felt he could have performed better. Rizzo gave Schnell credit for the win, but was obviously disappointed in making some mistakes defending the triangle.

No.3 Tim Elliott takes on No. 14 Charlie Alainiz in the final fight of Round One next week.


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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