Previously on TUF: Rich Franklin was brought in hoping to bring up declining ratings for the show. McCarthy’s miserable attitude couldn’t overcome Pete Drago Sell. Today the final preliminary welterweight occurs as Serra fights Pete Spratt who lost earlier to Chris Lytle. The question is how much can Serra narrate his own victory this episode? And who will coach Serra’s corner after Serra coached six consecutive fights?
– Recap previous fight. Serra says Drago was dominating. DeWees thought McCarthy was merely covering up. McCarthy lets out a scream when he thought his knee popped. They comment on the deep guillotine that Charles miraculously escaped.
– Dana pops in to say the final prelim fight is Serra against Spratt who already lost.
– Franklin says he doesn’t want to train any of the guys directly because he will be fighting one of them and is afraid to contract their staph infection.
– Alcohol time in the house. I am surprised they are given alcohol this season. Who will earn the award for drinking too much?
– After saying motherf—er and calling himself a f—er, the award is given to Drago. He is struggling to find the door t close it. That’s slurring to the max. He isn’t getting Scott Hall drunk at least though.
– The next morning Serra tells Drago that they splashed him with water in his bed. Drago was too drunk to remember. Oh the stuff you can get away with inside the house. Wonder if there’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?
– Today was supposed to be a Cardio Day. Franklin sees everyone laying around at the gym and not impressed whatsoever. Serra is annoyed that Franklin is making remarks. Why is Rich in the gym? He cannot give advice because
– Franklin gives Serra advice. Matt burns him on his own advice of going to one knee at the start of the fight. Din thinks that was terrible advice.
– Everyone swoops in to say Rich is only there to see who is the competition for the title bout. Lots of “F— Rich Franklins” that are reminiscent of Snoop Dogg’s “F— Bill O’ Reilley” statement.
– Charles goes to the gym to ask Franklin about the advice he gave Serra. It turns out Franklin meant his advice. Charles is giggling and chuckling away on the bench. Rich isn’t impressed and understands people think it was funny and dumb advice rather than how he intended it. He immediately leaves for good following the conversation. Rich states no one has a chance to get his belt and does not envision any of them to be a middleweight champion.
– Serra yells and jokes around with Charles for tattling on him to Rich Franklin. Instead of playing into the game Charles decides to be miserable and saunters away. Serra says McCarthy is getting way too unhappy in the house.
– Pete Spratt, who is billed to fight this episode, is shown to the cameras for the first time. GSP is training him along with Mikey Burnett. The key to defeating one of the prime jiu jitsu experts is to keep distance from Matt.
– Din drew Captain Miserable with a picture of a superhero who says “According to my calculations, life sucks”. Someone imitates him by slowly walking until they go into the fetal position on the ground.
DIN: I hated drawing that, but Charles, stop being a miserable f—!
Someone alludes to it being his period.
– Matt tells Randy about the one knee strategy. Randy says it’s the equivalent to the booty scoot.
– We’re “introduced” to Matt Serra. He was bullied in grade seven and let people beat him around. He promised himself that it continued until grade eight that he’d make an example of the first person who messed with him. Since then he was been instilling the Terra inside the classroom and out. Dana says Matt has had a great career until he stopped fighting and started training other fighters. His record in UFC is 4-4.
– UFC 31: Matt fights Shonie Carter. Yes, the fight that has been referred to about a dozen times this season. Dana says despite Serra’s jiu jitsu clinic that the only thing people remember is Shonie’s spinning backfist knockout.
– UFC 33: Serra fought my beloved Yves Edwards. He used leglocks but Yves escaped. Yves lands an uppercut. Serra tried to choke on Yves’ back and dominated from other positions. Won by decision.
– UFC 36: Matt moved down to lightweight to fight undefeated Dellanty. Serra mounted him several times and had a few locks until he sealed it with a triangle. One-sided affair. Dana said that is when Jens Pulver left the UFC and the 4-person lightweight tournament would decide who gets the title.
– UFC 39: Serra fought BJ Penn. Matt was rated as the underdog. Well it is BJ Penn that he is fighting. They traded on their feet and seems fairly even. On the Internet people thought Serra won two rounds to one. Judges thought otherwise.
– UFC 41: Serra fought the loser of the other elimination bout: Din Thomas. Matt jokes that it was three rounds of him chasing Din. His hand was raised as the victor. When he arrived at backstage the decision was changed and Din was the winner. Matt said he had never heard of that before. As we know two episodes earlier that Din claims the circumstances were different.
– UFC 46: Serra fought Curran. He demolished Jeff Curran.
– UFC 48: Serra beats up Canadian Prodigy Ivan Menjivar. I believe he is still in existence.
– UFC 53: Serra fights Karo Parisyan. We are shown several highlights of Serra bringing down numerous punches on Karo. Serra ran out of energy and Parisyan had him on the ground launching elbows into Serra’s skull. Parisyan won the decision.
– Weigh-in times. Serra weighs in 170.5. Spratt is 169.5. Nobody thinks Spratt has a chance but excited to see the fight.
– Serra and Spratt are in their respective vans talking about how the other will fight. Matt believes Spratt will distance himself or go for a hail Mary. He is spot on.
– Spratt is shaky in his confessional. He is going to keep his distance and pick his punches. In other words, he is trying to survive rather than go for the win.
PETE SPRATT SHERMAN, TEXAS 15-8-0
MATT SERRA EAST MEADOW, NEW YORK 13-4-0
– Big John is our referee.
– They circle. Both quick on their feet. Serra has charged twice and thrown a high kick but Spratt defends. Seconds later Serra takes him down. He is in Spratt’s guard and working to smother him. Spratt is holding on for dear life. Serra slowly works him until he moves into full mount. Then Spratt gives his back ever so slightly and Serra capitalizes. Serra punches Spratt’s head until he completely flattens out and Spratt taps out.
– They recap the fight. Serra’s mood is very upbeat while Spratt is solemn thinking about the fight. Serra and Spratt end on very good terms.
– International is wearing a red buttoned up shirt with a red fedora.
– Next time on TUF: Chuck Liddell appears as a guest coach. Mr. International trains with the opposing team much to everyone’s dismay. This Canadian guy named Patrick Cote is mentioned. Hmmm.
1) Edwin DeWees vs. Gideon Ray (As Dexter said in the hotel room during season one: “So much blood. . .so much blood”. I have seen some blood baths in the UFC but that fight should be PVR’d by John McCain. Anybody who is advocating against the UFC needs to show this fight to those on the fence and they will agree to ban UFC once and for all. The fight makes history for being the first to go to sudden victory which means five fewer minutes of showing promotional crap leading up to the fight or redundant s— in the house. It helps that both fighters are even and seeing DeWees overcome bleeding out a quarter of his body was impressive.
2) Chris Lytle vs. Pete Spratt (The short and sweet fights need to be sprinkled in any season of TUF. Lytle picks up the first submission as he uses a rare armpit choke to gain the victory. How many armpit chokes can you claim to witnessing? Go ahead. I’ll be here waiting.
3) Din Thomas vs. Mikey Burnett (Mikey “Nothing Bothers Me-But What Bothers Me” Burnett’s return to the octagon. Seven years! It was neat to see old school fight competitively against new school. It turned out to be old school’s striking vs. new school’s ground game. Din was getting hit but Mikey was made a fool on the ground. Both wished to bring the game into their realm and Din succeeded. A slick triangle choke gives him the win and earns himself a decent slot in this fight ranking.)
4) Mr. International vs. Rich Clementi (Season premiere fights are typically a dud, or in the case of Kenny from TUF 2, they don’t happen at all. This one is the first to break the disappointment streak. These two were even and had some good exchanges during the fight. This battle neither excelled nor failed, and is a great way for viewers to orient themselves and look forward to seeing what the season has in store. Also, International nearly tops Leben’s urination and drunkenness for most outrageous season premiere. Nearly. Urine trumps cubic zirconia when it comes to TUF. Sorry Shonie, but I don’t make the rules.)
5) Scott Smith vs. Travis Lutter (It’s not a bad fight. A textbook rear naked choke in a little over a minute won’t go down as being too memorable. If this were season two I believe this fight would be near the top for pre-finale fights. However, this season has put up excellent match-ups that this fight had too much of an expectation for it to avoid the bottom. Good on Lutter for faking that punch. Great technique.)
6) Matt Serra vs. Pete Spratt (This fight was one-sided. Luckily it ended after four minutes because Spratt was not doing crap. It would be higher if Serra advanced position faster.)
7) Pete Sell vs. Charles McCarthy (These guys were not the most conditioned of fighters. They were moving progressively slower as the fight went on and were too willing to take it to the ground and stall. There were some close submissions. A sudden victory round is great but not too great when the fighters have nothing more than thirty seconds worth of fight in them. This is one of the best seasons for fights if this is the worst fight as of episode six. Gotta love McCarthy’s farewell that was essentially cut short for time. It reminds me of a Survivor contestant’s cut-off final words.)
CHRIS LYTLE 1
MATT SERRA 43
DIN THOMAS 3
PATRICK COTE 1
EDWIN DeWEES 2
PETE SELL 2
SCOTT SMITH 1
PETE SPRATT 10
MIKEY BURNETT 2
RICH CLEMENTI 2
CHARLES MCCARTHY 3
GIDEON RAY 0
JORGE RIVERA 3
TRAVIS LUTTER 0
NOTE: Yes, Matt Serra has 43 confessionals this episode. Towards the end of the episode I didn’t count confessionals that were more in the 4-6 second range after he finished his last confessional. That if how often he speaks. I wonder if I was too lenient with giving him a confessional considering the previous single episode record is held by Chris Leben with 21. Therefore 43 seems extreme. I promise you I will re-watch this episode and be tougher to handing them out. However, 43 does not seem like a stretch considering the structure of the episode:
a) Matt recaps the previous fight.
b) Matt is excited about fighting this round.
c) Matt has an exclusive scene with Rich Franklin.
d) Matt has an exclusive scene with Couture.
e) Matt is the sole narrator for Charles being miserable.
f) Matt and Cote fight with Charles and dissing Franklin.
g) Matt’s eight fights are recapped with Dana White.
h) Matt introduces himself
I) Matt promos his fight with Spratt
j) Matt recaps his won fight at the end of the episode.
k) The fight is around twelve to thirteen minutes less than the previous fight, thus leaving much more time for confessionals.
l) Matt is congratulated and celebrates the win.
See? Matt is in every single scene. Keep in mind that the other fighters had much quicker soundbytes that would cut back to Matt doing his own confessional. The only confessional rule I have is that there must be a 5-second space between a player having a new confessional if no one else has a confessional in between.
Theoretically it could be one second from Person A as a confessional, one second from Person B immediately thereafter, and repeat to rack up thirty confessionals in a minute for each person.
So am I convinced I screwed up with counting as high as 43? Not entirely. But I do not see it being any lower than 35. This episode was definitely the Matt Serra Show.