The Ultimate Fighter Season 3 Recap: Team Ortiz vs. Team Shamrock

Brief Synopsis:

The Ultimate Fighter 3 was the third season of the mixed martial arts reality television series The Ultimate Fighter. It premiered on April 6, 2006, immediately after the conclusion of Ultimate Fight Night 4. The season featured sixteen fighters (eight Light Heavyweights and eight Middleweights) with still-feuding former champion Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock as coaches. The finale aired on June 24, 2006 and tied the UFC’s all-time record with a 2.0 overall rating.

There were several rule changes from the previous Ultimate Fighter seasons. There were to be no team challenges. All fighters would have to win a preliminary match before advancing to the semi-finals—which in practice started the single-elimination tournament at the beginning of the series instead of near the end. The first preliminary match was set by the team who won a coin toss. All subsequent first-round match-ups were set by the team that won the previous match. Each fight was set for two rounds instead of the normal three. If there was a draw after two rounds, the match would go to a final, five-minute tiebreaker round. In such a case, the judges’ final decision on the match would be based solely on the third round (unless the fight was stopped by the referee before the end of the round). Coaches were allowed to bring two other assistant coaches to assist with training, whereas in previous seasons, assistant trainers hired by the UFC worked for both camps.

This series of The Ultimate Fighter was also the first in which fighters who reside outside of North America had participated (Michael Bisping – Clitheroe, England, Ross Pointon – Stoke-on-Trent, England).

As a part of their agreement to work as coaches for The Ultimate Fighter 3, Shamrock and Ortiz had a rematch of their UFC 40 fight at UFC 61, which Ortiz won.

A 5 disc DVD set of the entire season, full finale, and auditions was released in stores entitled The Ultimate Fighter 3: The Ultimate Grudge.

Coaches and Trainers:

-> Team Ortiz (Punishment)
Tito Ortiz, Head coach
Dean Lister, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach
Saul Soliz, Kickboxing coach

-> Team Shamrock
Ken Shamrock, Head coach
Roman Pollock, Boxing coach
Dan Freeman, Nutrition and strength coach

Fighters (as originally assigned):

A. Team Ortiz: Mike Stine, Kendall Grove, Rory Singer, Danny Abbadi
B. Team Shamrock: Kalib Starnes, Solomon Hutcherson, Ed Herman, Ross Pointon

Light Heavyweights
A. Team Ortiz: Michael Bisping, Noah Inhofer, Josh Haynes, Matt Hamill
B. Team Shamrock: Jesse Forbes, Kristian Rothaermel, Tait Fletcher, Mike Nickels


Dana White (Host)


Episode 1: Fresh Meat (Original Air Date: April 6, 2006)

  • Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz are introduced as the coaches.
  • Team Shamrock wins the coin-toss to gain control of the first match-up.
  • Kalib Starnes of Team Shamrock defeats Mike Stine at 2:36 of round 1 via TKO (Punches)

Episode 2: The Basketball (Original Air Date: April 13, 2006)

  • Noah Inhofer of Team Ortiz defeats Jesse Forbes at 2:35 of Round 1 by Submission (Armbar).
  • Team Ortiz gains control of the match-ups.

Episode 3: Team Dagger (Original Air Date: April 20, 2006)

  • Kendall Grove of Team Ortiz defeats Ross Pointon at 3:45 of Round 1 via Submission (Rear Naked Choke).
  • Team Ortiz retains control of the match-ups.

Episode 4: Hitting it Hard (Original Air Date: April 27, 2006)

  • Michael Bisping of Team Ortiz defeats Kristian Rothaermel at 3:51 of Round 1 via TKO (Punches).
  • Team Ortiz retains control of the match-ups.

Episode 5: The Truce Is Over (Original Air Date: May 4, 2006)

  • Rory Singer of Team Ortiz defeats Solomon Hutcherson after 0:21 of Round 2 by KO (Head Kick and Punches).
  • Team Ortiz retains control of the match-ups.

Episode 6: The Letter (Original Air Date: May 11, 2006)

  • There is no fight in the episode, although Team Ortiz selects Josh Haynes to fight Tait Fletcher.
  • Noah Inhofer decides to quit the show] and return to Yankton, South Dakota after receiving a letter informing him that his girlfriend back home believes he has cheated on her. It was never explained how it was possible for him to receive a letter when a strict policy denying all external communication was in place.
  • A previously eliminated fighter returns to take Inhofer’s place, but it is not disclosed during the episode who this fighter is.

Episode 7: Mohawk (Original Air Date: May 18, 2006)

  • Jesse Forbes returns to Team Shamrock and takes Noah Inhofer’s spot in the semi-finals.
  • Josh Haynes of Team Ortiz defeats Tait Fletcher via split decision after 2 rounds.
  • Officially, Team Ortiz retains control of the match-ups. However, as only two Middleweights who have not yet fought remain, the next match will be Danny Abbadi (Team Ortiz) vs. Ed Herman (Team Shamrock).

Episode 8: The Fuse is Lit (Original Air Date: May 25, 2006)

  • Ed Herman of Team Shamrock defeats Danny Abbadi at 4:14 of Round 1 via Submission (Armbar).
  • Officially, Team Shamrock gains control of the match-ups. However, as only two Light Heavyweights who have not yet fought remain, the final first-round match will be Matt Hamill (Team Ortiz) vs. Mike Nickels (Team Shamrock).

Episode 9: The Golden Boy (Original Air Date: June 1, 2006)

  • Matt Hamill of Team Ortiz defeats Mike Nickels via unanimous decision after 2 rounds.
  • Matt Hamill is sent to the hospital after his victory.
  • The way match-ups are determined appears to be changing, although it is not revealed exactly how.

Episode 10: Full House (Original Air Date: June 8, 2006)

  • Most of the first-round losers are brought back to live in the house and help train the semi-finalists.
  • Dana White proposes coaches Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock play eight ball billiards (best 2 out of 3 games) for a $10,000 prize. Shamrock wins 2 games to 0.
  • Despite winning the last match, Matt Hamill is declared out of the competition due to injury. Due to a broken nose sustained in the same fight, Mike Nickels is not an option to replace Hamill.
  • To the surprise of Dana White and both coaches, both Tait Fletcher and Kristian Rothaermel turn down offers to replace Hamill in the semi-finals.
  • Ross Pointon agrees to replace Hamill and fight in the higher 205-pound Light Heavyweight class despite originally entering the competition as a Middleweight.
  • The semi-final match-ups are decided by Dana White and the two coaches. Fighters on the same team are now eligible to face one another.
  • The Middleweight semi-final match-ups are Kendall Grove vs. Kalib Starnes and Ed Herman vs. Rory Singer.
  • The Light Heavyweight semi-final match-ups are Jesse Forbes vs. Josh Haynes and Michael Bisping vs. Ross Pointon.
  • All semi-final matches will be three 5-minute rounds.
  • Kendall Grove defeats Kalib Starnes at 0:30 of Round 3 by Verbal Submission (rib injury). Grove advances to the Middleweight Finals.
  • The next semi-final match will be Ed Herman vs. Rory Singer.

Episode 11: The Jungle (Original Air Date: June 15, 2006)

  • Kalib Starnes returns from the hospital and reveals his ribs were dislocated during the previous fight.
  • Rory Singer finds his property defaced and blames Ed Herman and Jesse Forbes. Singer defaces their boxing gloves and lockers and rubs Herman’s gloves against his naked buttocks. In retaliation, Herman hides Singer’s boxing gloves and leg guards around the gym and urinates on his headgear. Singer finds his gear missing and goes outside to confront Herman. They get into an argument and Herman and Forbes reveal that it was Kendall Grove who had been defacing Singer’s gear.
  • Matt Hamill returns and is surprised to find out that he is out of the competition due to medical suspension.
  • Ed Herman defeats Rory Singer at 2:31 of Round 2 via Submission (Rear Naked Choke). Herman advances to the Middleweight Finals.

Episode 12: Bangin’ (Original Air Date: June 15, 2006)

  • Josh Haynes defeats Jesse Forbes at 0:18 of Round 2 via Guillotine Choke]. Haynes advances to the Light Heavyweight Finals.
  • The fighters (excluding Bisping and Pointon) party wildly before the last semi-final fight and the UFC house is trashed.
  • Michael Bisping defeats Ross Pointon at 2:13 of Round 1 by Submission (Strikes). Bisping advances to the Light Heavyweight Finals.

Episode 13: The Ultimate Fighter 3 Finale (Original Air Date: June 24, 2006)

  • Middleweight bout: Kendall Grove vs. Ed Herman. Grove wins by unanimous decision with all three judges scored the fight 29-28. Grove wins the TUF championship in the Middleweight division. Dana White grants both fighters the six-figure contract.
  • Light Heavyweight bout: Michael Bisping vs. Josh Haynes. Bisping wins by TKO (strikes) at 4:14 of the second round. Bisping wins the TUF championship in the Light Heavyweight division and the six-figure contract.

Disclaimer: All season recaps of The Ultimate Fighter are re-formatted copies of content from Wikipedia.

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