TUF 3 finale
Michael Bisping manages to utter a ‘to be honest’ within two seconds of the opening. Josh Haynes wants to go Boston tea party on Bisping because he hates him (well, he said he hates where he comes from, how he looks, and how he talks. I don’t think Haynes will be flying to England anytime soon). Ed and Kendall trash each other. I have no idea where all of this hatred came from. Maybe trash talking was part of the deal if they wanted to keep their free super luxurious amp’d mobile phones.
Oh, and there’s Ken Flo fighting in his third consecutive TUF finale. He must’ve been a fan favourite by this time. Now let’s get to the action inside the Hard Rock!
The camera zooms in on a woman with huge implants cheering in the audience. Oh right. This is on Spike. Joe and Goldie talk about the four finalists. Joe says they’re all tough (or TUF?) fighters.
First fight: The Dean of Mean Keith Jardine 10-3-1 vs. newcomer Wilson Gouveia 6-3
Jardine lost his only fight in TUF 2, lost to Bonnar, but still gets a primetime fight in the TUF 3 finale? He must be Dana White’s brother-in-law. That’s my only explanation.
Keith and Wilson dance around the ring for thirty seconds. Quick punch from both. More dancing. Leg kick by Wilson. Missed kick by Keith. Combo by Keith that partially lands. Keith is trying to rush in but misses. Wilson lands a good punch on Keith’s face. Now they’re working. Both are taking turns at firing combos. Leg kick by Wilson. Keith is wobbling. Wilson lands a hard punch that sheds Keith’s blood. Keith taps the top of Wilson’s head. Wilson takes Keith down but Keith is able to stand up. End of round one.
Wilson lands a leg kick. Keith fires leg kicks of his own. Heh, Joe just said that after I typed it. Keith lands a punch but Wilson counters. There is an advertisement for ‘BLADE the series’ in the octagon. I bet that went nowhere. Keith took Wilson down into his full guard but they both stand. Keith lands a head kick. Keith is bleeding bad below his left eye. Keith is landing leg kicks. A fake punch turns into another leg kick. Accidental groin strike by Keith. Keith misses a roundhouse. End of round two.
They’re both wobbling. Keith is landing a few more leg kicks. Wilson lands a head kick. Keith takes down Wilson and works in his full guard. Wilson is looking for a submission. Keith is landing strikes on his head. They opt to stand. Wilson drops Keith. Slip or knockdown? Wilson looks like a skeleton by this point. Another leg kick by Jardine.Wilson catches a higher kick by Jardine. Keith is pushing the pace. Kicks and combos. Keith goes for overhand punches. Doesn’t that leave him wide open for Wilson? Wilson’s mouthpiece falls out. One minute remains after a timeout. Keith is trying to send a flurry for the remaining forty seconds. Keith is crowding Wilson. Wilson is backing up the whole time. End of fight. That was pretty good.
– Keith wins 29-28 by unanimous decision. Glad all three rounds had a decisive victor.
– Tito and Ken hype up their fight. A guy named Sticky Jones is interviewed for his lead role as Blade in the new series. Over/under six episodes?
– Montage time for the middleweights. Ed is coaching Team Quest, eating salad as opposed to drinking alcohol, and a new girlfriend and her three-year-old that he takes care of. The camera zooms in on her breasts. Oh right. This is Spike.
Kendall is skip-roping. He trains with Tito and Joe Daddy Stevenson. A guy with Bob Marley hair is screaming at him in a football field to train harder. No idea who that guy is. Maybe it’s Master P the MuchMusic VJ from the 90s?
KENDALL “THE SPIDER GROVE 7-3 MAUI HAWAII (TEAM ORTIZ)
ED “SHORT FUSE” HERMAN 13-2 PORTLAND OREGON (TEAM SHAMROCK)
Here we go. Championship on the line. They touch gloves. Ed goes for a takedown but Kendall defends. Ed is against the cage. Then kendall. Then Ed. Then Kendall. Kendall goes down. Ed is in Kendall’s full guard. Kendall is trying to get an armbar on Ed. Kendall has a really good grip on Ed’s left arm. Ed gets out and we’re back at square one with Ed in Kendall’s full guard. Sadly, this is the worst of any championship fight in TUF history to date. Ed has side control and ushered down some strikes but Kendall peels away and they stand. Ed goes for a takedown and succeeds. Ed has locked down a 10-9 in round one. He reigns down a few elbows. Kendall does not look happy. No blood yet. Ed advances to half guard. He is really crowding in on Kendall. End of round one.
They dance around for ten seconds before Kendall lands a leg kick and Ed counters with yet another takedown. Heh, they just announced that Anderson Silva will debut in the next Fight Night. Kendall is locking on a wicked triangle. Ed is struggling. He gets out! Once again we’re back into full guard. Kendall attempts another triangle. Ed rolls out and gives up position to Kendall. We’re in the ol north-south position. Excellent fight. Ed tries to get out but Kendall flips to be in Ed’s full guard. Ed is attempting his own triangle. Holy crap Kendall has gone limp. Kendall tried to put his foot in Ed’s face but Ed uses it as leverage to get Kendall’s back. But Kendall flips around and is now vulnerable to Ed’s triangle. End of round two. These finales are amazing.
Kendall and Ed are exchanging punches. Kendall launches a flying knee that lands. Ed grapples and takes Kendall to the ground. Kendall is looking for submissions. Ed passes into side control and is holding. Ed is launching knees into Kendall’s side. Kendall turns it into a reversal but Ed gets on top. They stand up and Ed grapps Kendall against the fence. Kendall temporarily puts Ed on the ground but only for half a second. Ed takes down Kendall against the fence. Ed has Kendall’s back. Ed is trying to sneak in hooks. He succeeds. Ninety seconds left. Ed is trying to fire punches to force Kendall to get distracted. Ed has ahold of Kendall’s left arm. Kendall flips him and has hooks on Ed. He has an arm under Ed’s chin. This is really close to a choke. Thirteen seconds left. Soooo close. The bell. Holy crap. Five incredible TUF finale championship fights. I’d hate to judge this fight.
All three judges score the fight 29-28 for Kendall “The Spider” Grove. He is the middleweight champion! Tito Ortiz and Team Punishment celebrate.
Kendall and Ed both get a contract. Brad and Luke must be pissed neither of them got a consolation contract last season. Cupcake Imes just fought in WEC and Luke is MIA. Luke was robbed of a contract.
Induction ceremony for Couture. He joins Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, and Dan Severn in the UFC Hall of Fame. A reasonable induction. Heh, they’re playing the National Anthem in his montage.
An actress named Jill Wagner, the new co-star of Blade, who admits to having a gun collection, is interviewed.
Bisping time. They show a car on the wrong side of the road. An ancient castle where the wife and kids hang out. Bisping wears a UFC hoodie. He trains in a very white-painted gym. Take note of the British flags. We see him do push-ups with a log, running up a hill, and picking up big rocks.
Haynes time. Several kids and his wife and a larger dog are in the front yard. Focus on the kid who survived cancer. He manages a strip club where they show him standing silently watching the dancers. Funny they had to re-enact his job. Probably made it more promiscuous than it is. Oh, and he trains.
Joe says Bisping is a huge favourite. I agree.
Josh “Bring the Pain” Haynes 9-4 PORTLAND OREGON (TEAM ORTIZ)
MICHAEL “THE COUNT” BISPING 11-0 SOMEWHERE, ENGLAND (TEAM ORTIZ)
– Big John our referee. Tito is in the commentating booth. Fight starts. They dance for the first twenty seconds. Bisping takes Haynes down temporarily. Haynes throws wild punches that don’t land. Bisping times it right when he wants to hold Haynes against the fence. Bisping throws a hard right hand in this grapple. Bisping lands a brutal knee. He hits him with an illegal knee on the ground. Timeout. One point deduction. Michael is pissed. Good call by Big John. Bisping and Josh grapple and Bisping wins the grapple again. Haynes is trying to swivel around but Bisping has his back. He has hooks in. Josh is defending. Only a matter of time before Bisping gets it under his neck? Nope. Josh works his way back up. Josh has a bloody nose. Or as Bisping would say, a bloody bloody nose. Haynes would connect with Bisping when Bisping tried to peel away. Bisping gets Haynes’ back but Haynes spins around to get into Bisping’s full guard. End of round one.
Bisping launches a flying knee to start the round that Haynes eats. Haynes is touching his own eye; speculation that Bisping poked him. Haynes throws harsh punches at Bisping’s face. Bisping has good intuition and takes Haynes to the ground. Bisping has Haynes’ back where he has a strange kneeling komora. It looks like it’s over, but Haynes spins and forces Bisping to go for a full mount, then Bisping tries to catch Haynes’ arm again but Haynes spins yet again and is in Bisping’s full guard. Bisping gets out and drops Haynes with a punch. Bisping tries to swoop in like he did with Ross Pointin but Haynes is able to duck and get away. Bisping fires punches at Haynes in the process. Haynes is moving in slow motion. Bisping brings down Haynes and gets side control. An Americana but Bisping gives it up. He hits with a knee. He gets up and launches attacks as Haynes tries to get up. Bisping fires slow motion punches and knees while Haynes is standing. Bisping lands a couple slow motion punches until Big John notices Josh isn’t doing anything and stops the fight. Bisping is EXHAUSTED. He crashes onto the ground and is breathing very heavily. Wow. Put the potential for 100k in front of these fighters and break into the UFC and they’ll fight until a stoppage.
Bisping and Haynes get interviewed. They didn’t say anything particularly interesting. I don’t know. I wasn’t paying attention. We get to see Ken and Tito promoted for the fourth time in this episode.
Ken Flo and Sam Stout trash talk each other. Lightweight fight. Likely for the #1 contender.
SAM “HANDS OF STONE” STOUT 9-1-1 LONDON, ONTARIO
KENNY “KEN FLO” FLORIAN 6-2 BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTES
Stout throws some punches but Ken Flo comes in and takes him down. Half guard. Now Stout has full guard. Ken Flo works to get his back and slaps on a rear naked choke. End of fight. ‘Twas a quick finish.
MATT “THE HAMMER” HAMMILL 2-0 (TEAM ORTIZ)
JESSE “KID HERCULES” FORBES 2-1 (TEAM SHAMROCK)
Yves Lavigne our rare referee. Jesse launches excellent punches on Hammill. Matt tries to return but opts for a takedown after 45 seconds. He is in Jesse’s full guard. Jesse gets up. Jesse is getting the better of the striking. Matt holds Jesse’s head as he gets some inside punches. Matt is becoming more well-rounded. Jesse voluntarily falls to his back. Wow. You fall to your back to one of the greatest wrestlers ever? Matt is working on the ground. Jesse is getting smashed. We see this continue for over a minute. Yves stops the fight when Jesse doesn’t movie his arms or head to defend. His legs didn’t even go anywhere.
Worst to best fights:
14) Mike Stine vs. Kalib Starnes (Stine was an ugly fighter all around. After fifteen seconds you knew Kalib would win in the first round; it was only a question of how he would do it. Not a bad fight to start the season. In fact, this is the only fight to occur in the opening episode thanks to last season’s double quit opener and season one having its first two eliminations be from a coach’s elimination.)
13) Danny Abbadi vs. Ed Herman (The fight starts off well with them trading on their feet. Danny looks like he’ll pull an underdog victory. However, we quickly go to a clinch and it becomes a blatant one-sided fight from that point forward.)
12) Josh Haynes vs. Tait Fletcher (A split decision is always an ugly finish to a fight. But hey, it wasn’t THAT bad. It was an even fight with sloppy techniques, and sometimes those are the best fights. It’s nothing special, but it’s fine to see one fight go to decision every once in a while. I just wish they weren’t so fatigued. Don‘t forget some of their exchanges.)
11) Rory Singer vs. Ed Herman (A bit too much inactivity on the ground for my liking. However, they did exchange some good blows and Ed was willing to finish the fight in round two.)
10) Josh Haynes vs. Jesse Forbes (It was a fairly good ground fight. However, Jesse’s significant under-edit made it a foregone conclusion. Anyone with seven or eight confessionals over a period of twelve episodes has zero chance of making it to the live TUF finale. It’d be the worst hype job ever seen. If I didn’t know the outcome, I would think this was a decent fight. Jesse has control of Josh on the ground but it isn’t too one-sided, and isn’t as inactive compared to other ground fights. Jesse’s conditioning wears thin and Josh locks on the quickest guillotine submission ever.)
9) Kendall Grove vs. Ross Pointon (It started off punches vs. leg kicks. Quickly it became grappler vs. striker. Then it became Willpower vs. stamina and Ross loses this aspect by a landslide. A standing rear naked choke without hooks inserted is the most unique submission I have seen in the 1, 100+ MMA matches that I’ve watched.)
8) Michael Bisping vs. Kristian Rothaermel (Everyone knew Bisping would win from the onset but we all wondered how long it would take. Kristian puts up a good fight. It was neat to see some blood being drawn for once and someone appearing as if they had been truly knocked out. Ortiz’ team is at the peak of their cockiness now that they won three in a row at this time. That skull cut was nasty.
7) Michael Bisping vs. Ross Pointing (Ross’ return marks a much more exciting fight. Bisping looks mortal in this fight. I think Ross wins this fight half the time given the strikes that he landed. However, Bisping takes advantage of Ross’ fatigue and lands a couple good shots before he rushes in and lands asmanystrikesashebloodywellcan and the fight is stopped. Pretty good fight.
6) Matt Hammill vs. Mike Nickels (Ever seen two ground fighters opt to do a stand-up game knowing they both equally suck at it? Well that’s what happens in this fight. There’s a lot of action. If it went to a third round, I am certain we would have seen a finish. Both fighters, regardless of their atrocious kickboxing skills and turning their back to each other at rather stupid times, put on an exciting performance. Good fight.)
5) Noah Inhofer vs. Jesse Forbes (Tito really wanted Noah to underhook that left arm apparently. Jesse has control for the first ninety seconds and it looks like Noah was a bad fighter regardless of the sprained ankle. However, Noah listens to Tito’s advice and uses the sprained ankle to his advantage as he uses his upper body strength to pull off an armbar after doing nothing prior to that. I wonder how much of the success can be attributed to the basketball?)
4) Michael Bisping vs. Josh Haynes (Despite Bisping dominating the fight, both of them truly gave everything had offensively in every second of the fight. How was Josh standing after getting hit twenty times in a row? Super human strength.)
3) Rory Singer vs. Solomon Hutcherson (The first fight that goes to round two. Both were evenly matched but an amazing head kick by Rory makes for a spectacular finish and ends the Team Dagger storyline. Alliances never work. A good mix of stand-up and ground battling makes for an excellent fight.)
2) Kendall Grove vs. Kalib Starnes (Amazing fight for three rounds. One of the most versatile fights we see in TUF history. Both were looking to finish. An upset takes place as the favourite in Kalib Starnes bows out after he put up with a cracked rib for three rounds.)
1) Kendall Grove vs. Ed Herman (Can you seriously make an argument for it to not be #1?)
Michael Stine 9 / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / X / 0 / 0 / 0
Confessional ratio: 2.25
Kristian Roth 3 / 0 / 2 /11/ X / X / X / X / X / 1 / 0 / 0
Confessional ratio: 2.43
Solomon Hut 1 / 1 / 9 / 2 /13/ X / X / X / X / 1 / 0 / 1
Confessional ratio: 3.5
Noah Inhof 1 /12/ 0 / 0 / 1 / 4 / X / X / X / X / X / X
Confessional ratio: 3.00
Tait Fletch 2 / 6 / 4 / 4 / 1 / 8 / 8 / X / X / 1 / 1 / 0
Confessional ratio: 3.5
Danny Ab 0 / 1 / 0 / 1 / 1 / 5 / 1 /12/ X / 0 / 1 / 0
Confessional ratio: 2.0
Mike Nic 3 / 0 / 3 / 3 / 3 / 6 / 0 / 4 / 11/ 0 / 0 / 1
Confessional ratio: 2.83
Matt Ha 3 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9 / 0 / 4 / 9 / 0 / 1 / 0
Confessional ratio: 2.33
Kalib St 7 / 4 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 3 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 6 / 1 / 0
Confessional ratio: 2.08
Rory Si 2 / 3 / 1 / 1 / 8 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 1/ 16 / 0
Confessional ratio: 3.0
Jesse F 0 /10/ X / X /X/ X / 1 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 4
Confessional ratio: 2.13
Ross P 3/ 2 /18/ X /X/ X / X / X / X /2 / 0 / 9
Confessional ratio: 2.83
Josh H 0 / 2 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 5 / 9 / 1 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 7
Confessional ratio: 2.42
Ed He 10 /1/ 5 / 2 / 7 / 4 / 0 / 14/ 1 / 1 /14/ 4
Confessional ratio: 5.25
Ken Gr 4 / 1 /17/ 0 / 4 / 4 / 1 / 2 / 3 / 8 / 6 / 2
Confessional ratio: 4.33
Mike B 7 / 7 / 5 /15/ 5 /13/ 1 / 4 / 6 / 2 / 3 / 10
Confessional ratio: 6.5
In conclusion, this season trumped the first two. With the exception of Noah’s quit there was a minimum of one fight per episode. In fact Noah’s quit was an entertaining enough fight-less episode because his exit is one of the most ridiculous reasons someone has quit a competitive reality TV show. Na Onka’s quit doesn’t match up to Noah’s shoddy reasoning because Noah was one fight away from guaranteed cable stardom.
Tito and Ken’s rivalry was the most entertaining of any coach battles from the first two seasons, no alternates, and no challenges makes this season fun to watch. The only letdowns are Jesse’s obvious editing that made us believe he had a 0% chance to win any of the three fights we saw him in at the start, semis, and live finale of the season. Matt Hammill’s injury contributed to Bisping’s victory to be expected against Haynes. Although Haynes put up a good enough battle in Hammill’s stead.
Also recall how there were several fights from both seasons that weren’t exactly the greatest. This season there are only three fights I consider to either have a poor finish or an overall boring mess while all other fights excelled. Mix in Team Dagger, Brit subtitles, Rory rubbing a glove with his butt, Ken watching himself fight in a past UFC in the gym as opposed to training his fighters who fought bushes in the backyard, and you have a great season.