TUF 5 episodes 7 + 8 + 9

Episode seven

Previously on TUF: Andy didn’t follow Penn’s gameplan. Weems struggles on Pulver’s team. Marlon exaggerates his street fight stories. Pulver’s team has dominated but now they must face Penn’s number one and number two picks in Gray and Matt.

– Intro time.

– Fight recap. Lauzon’s fight is recapped first.
NOAH: Joe hit Geraghty. Hit Geraghty some more. And more. Then he choked him out.

– Corey’s fight recap. Penn’s

DANA: Pulver might sweep and Penn will be left with one fighter.

– Uh, do you know what a sweep is, Dana?

– Dana pulls Penn aside and wants him to be a f—ing general and lay the f—ing smackdown and show the f–ing team who is the f—ing boss.

– Penn’s team set up a hookah smokeout in the backyard. I faint in the presence and verbal lecturing of drugs so I hope this segment ends soon. I even did a documentary about my fear. They’ve got a keg too.

– Somebody rides into the gym on a scooter. BJ calls a meeting. One person is pissing him off. He kicks Wang off the team because he has not listened to Penn. Andy is alone in the hallway. He approaches BJ who is running on the treadmill. Andy claims he has given 100 and is tearing up saying he apologized to him after not listening to the instructions in the fight.

– Dana is called into the gym. He is flabbergasted that Penn kicked a guy off his team. Dana claims you can’t kick a guy off his team. He doesn’t know what to do because it hasn’t happened before.

– Dana calls in Jens. Pulver does a double take at the news of Andy being kicked off the team. Dana tells him to gather his team and see if they are okay with taking Andy. Everyone is in disbelief that the nicest guy in the house was kicked off the team. They are ecstatic to accept him.

– Dana, Jens, and Andy meet together. Andy refers to the incident raising his arm in the beginning. He said he committed to being on Penn’s team because him and BJ are both from Hawaii. Jens says who cares about the incident and go on his team. Andy has his head down and nearly crying. He claims it’s not because he does not want to be on Jens’ team–it’s because he wants to finish his commitment to BJ–the guy who just kicked him out!

– Dana has had enough and throws the yellow jersey onto his lap. Andy refuses to put it on. Dana says you cannot not have a team. Andy is tearing up.

DANA: I can see why BJ was pissed with him and wanted to kill him. Andy is disrespecting Pulver now. Even I want to kill Andy Wang.

DANA: There’s one f—ing contract. If somebody gets f—ing hurt you’re f—ing in. There’s sixteen days. Get to f—ing work. You’re wasting my f—ing time, Jens f—ing time and your f—ing time. Or you can go home and do f—ing pushups and cartwheels. You’re here to train.

– Everyone welcomes him in. Andy is now fine.

– Fight announcement. Everyone turns to the Burger King TUF Standings. We are told who has advanced and eliminated, and who has yet to fight.

– Weems is fighting Gray Maynard. Maynard is so winning this matchup. The other fight is Marlon and Matt Wiman. Wiman is so winning that too.

– Training session. Pulver believes Weems is upbeat and eager to learn but has zero agility. Wayne has learned a ton. He has only got into it professionally for two months. A long road is ahead for Wayne. Corey did an exercise with Wayne where he is tossed in the hallway. My god this guy is outmatched.

– We transition to Gray who likes bleeding, taking punches, and sweating. He has only trained in MMA for a year. We see him jogging outside in the Nevada heat in a full sweater and then working hard in the gym. Penn believes Gray will not underestimate Weems and will dominate him.

– Fight day. We assume they weighed in fine. For the first time Wayne is getting coached on his ground game in the locker room. Prediction: Maynard wins in 45 seconds.

GRAY MAYNARD LAS VEGAS, NEVADA / 27 years old / 3-0
WAYNE WEEMS MOLIN, ILLINOIS / 24 years old / 16-2

Weems’ record is better than I thought. Why did he come into the show billed as being terrible?

– Herb Dean is our referee.

– Gray lands a solid punch then takes Weems down in less than ten seconds. Side control. Wayne is trying to throw on a guard but only gets half guard for half a seconds. Gray pushes Wayne on the ground until they reach the fence. Wayne has an arm around Wayne’s neck but there is nothing on it. Wayne’s body is already REALLY red. Half guard. Gray has Wayne in a head lock in half guard. Wayne has his head out. Punches and elbows by Gray. Wayne is turtling as Gray takes his back. Wayne is doing NOTHING to defend.  This has gone on for forty seconds too long. Gray shifts to the ribs. More punches. Wayne is doing CRAP ALL. Herb has seen enough and waves off the fight. Wayne needs a full year of jiu jitsu if he wants a chance to go up the ladder in MMA.

–  Fight recap. Wayne has nasty gashes under his eye. Pulver said Wayne did a great job even though he had the worst performance ever in TUF history. Nate believes it is cool that Wayne had a ton of a heart as Wayne throws stuff in the locker room being angry. Wayne heads into the van and that is the last we will likely hear of Weems.

– Penn laughs at Wayne’s frustration. Gray was surprised how long it took for the referee to deem it a TKO. Dana wastes no time introducing the next fight.

– Marlon is in the sauna. If Marlon bleeds he will spit on the mat and work harder. He has fought on a motorcycle going 90 miles an hour. Everyone else mocks him as they smoke hookas. Matt is waiting to see if Marlon is as tough as he is. Marlon is getting the full on Benjamin Wade treatment.

– MATT: My name is Mildly Attractive Matt Wiman. It was Handsome before the show but I changed it so I’d be modest in the show. I’ll work my way up to hopefully Sexiest Man Alive by the end of the season.
– Penn believes Matt has a bigger frame so he can take down the Dragon Slayer with ease.

– Marlon’s training session. He has been fighting since he was five years old. Now he’s 33. He wishes to revive the idea of Muay Thai being back and that they are not going away in the UFC. Pulver is excited for the fight.

– Fight day. Marlon thinks it will be a quick fight because nobody knows he is the most lethal striker here. No time wasted on weigh ins. Marlon has never been in the octagon for more than ninety seconds in the cage. Matt says he was not here to promote his business or get on TV. Then he says the fight will be all business. You f—ing hypocrite.

– MATT WIMAN TULSA, OKLAHOMA / 23 years old / 6-3
MARLON SIMS MIAMI, FLORIDA / 33 years old / 3-1

What’s with all the Floridians this season? Anyways, Wiman is for sure winning this.

– The final preliminary fight! Big John is our referee.

– New sponsour! This fight is spnsoured by AutoZone.

– Wiman punches Marlon on the chin while Marlon barely misses his own punch then hops onto his back and flips him over. He struggles to get the hooks in. There’s blood. Marlon is flattened out. He puts his arm around Marlon’s neck. This continues until Big John realizes that Marlon is unconscious. Fight is done. Both uncorked at the same time so one must be the loser.

– Fight recap. Both coaches were amazed by the simultaneous opening punch. Matt is happy to defeat a guy with 300 street fights. Marlon says he never taps so he preferred to slip into unconsciousness. He was dreaming of being in a field on a sunny day with his girlfriend but woke up to Big John and a couple other guys.

– Marlon is bitter. He says Matt won but had a lucky punch. It won’t discourage Marlon though. He will train hard for the next fight.

Next time on TUF: Quarter-finals. Five Pulvers and three from Penn. The coaches disagree on the matches. Two eliminated fighters start a physical BRAWL at the house.

PENN

ALLEN BERUBE 0
GRAY  MAYNARD 6
JOE LAUZON  2
MATT WIMAN 10
ROB EMERSON 2
NOAH THOMAS 2

PULVER

ANDY WANG 4
BRANDON MELENDEZ 0
BRIAN  GERAGHTY 1
COLE MILLER 0
COREY HILL 1
NATE DIAZ 2
MANNY GAMBURYAN 2
MARLON SIMS 8
WAYNE WEEMS 7

Rank the Fights
—-

1) Joe Lauzon vs. Brian Geraghty (Lauzon is a monster. No wonder they put him as the first fight as opposed to the second fight where control of the following fight would be up for grabs. Brian was meant to be the sacrificial lamb.)

2) Rob Emerson vs. Nate Diaz (It sets the bar high for the remainder of the season. A perfect combo of striking, grappling, ground game, and submissions.)

3) Allen Berube vs. Cole Miller (The first fight of the season breaks the terrible chain of fights that were prevalent throughout the second half of TUF 4.)

4) Matt Wiman vs. Marlon Sims (Simultaneous punches and a submission that results in unconsciousness is one of the best sub-one minute fights ever.)

5) Rob Emerson vs. Corey Hill (It’s entertaining to see two people fight who have an eight inch height disparity. Stand-up wars are fun even if these two did not do an exceptional job of one. The first sudden victory fight of the season had a reasonable pace. Those legkicks on Corey make the fight memorable. They echoed on the tape.)

6) Andy Wang vs. Brandon Melendez (I for one think Andy should have taken Brandon down. A fun and unnecessary stand-up fight for ten minutes is always fun to see though. And hearing Penn quit giving advice in frustration is rare for a TUF coach.)

7) Noah Thomas vs. Manny Gamburyan (Seeing Manny advance his position more and more in a matter of 2 1/2 minutes is a thing of beauty. He puts on a clinic for all up and coming lightweights on how to play the lightweight game.)

8) Gray Maynard vs. Wayne Weems (The Nevada State Athletic Commission should have prevented this fight from happening. Herb Dean took way too long to stop it.)

Episode eight

Previously on TUF: All eight preliminary fights are in the books. The voiceover recaps the eight victories with Joe’s victory given particular praise by Dana. They are previewing BJ and Jens disagreeing on the match-ups. Please don’t preview the episode as it takes place. Only Cole, Joe, Gray, and Matt are mentioned as victors. They must be fighting this episode and the next.

– Terrible intro time.

– Quarterfinal meeting. Dana tells us what it’s going to be. They meet with each fighter individually. Dana tells BJ that they need to forget about teams. In reality there are no teams. BJ and Jens are unable to get past their teams because BJ wants to even out the teams.

– BJ and Dana wrote lists out and they match. Jens thinks it’s a conspiracy but they insist their lists were not consulted with one another. Dana is worried about a fight breaking out and says it has never taken this long to pick teams. They head to the gym where everyone is instructed to look at the almighty Burger King TUF Standings.

– Dramatic slow drums as Dana announces the fights. He wants the top four against the bottom four but to also keep it entertaining. Cole vs. Joe, Corey vs. Nate, Manny vs. Matt, Gray vs. Brandon. Heh. I was right about the first one based on the preview.

– Nate wanted to fight Lauzon but knew he’d fight Corey. He thinks the match-ups favour Penn.

– Marlon wanted to have a good time. Clear the air with Wiman. They drink. Marlon told Noah that he would fight him in the finale. Noah took it as being insulting. Noah is angry and claims this is from drinking. Marlon says they should fight because they are the only two to not tap.

MARLON: If you think I’ll tap, I won’t, and if you still think it then you can suck a d—.

– Marlon bullrushes Noah’s chair and lifts it up. They take off some of their clothes and square off right against a LOG FIRE. Somebody is mock pretending as Big John McCarthy. Noah pretends to punch but then shoots in for a takedown. They are in a clinch and Noah has an arm around Marlon’s neck. Marlon crashes Noah into the rocks and pavement. They are full on grappling. Marlon says that Noah started it and said it should be over. Noah does a headkick that didn’t quite land. Noah offers a hand but Marlon instead takes the hand and shoots. Noah goes for an armbar and Marlon counters by elevating him and taking him down to the concrete. They both end the fight and agree to finish it in the finals. Noah had a wicked but along the back of the head but ultimately is fine. Noah is informed from a producer that they might be kicked out. Noah was sober and Marlon had half a bottle of tequilla. Marlon says he is a lightweight. Well, I’m sure he means a lightweight in terms of alcohol. Double meaning.

– They wash off. They agree to settle it in the finals. The finals of what? They’re both out! The losers bracket final? Does TUF even do that? Everyone raves about the fight and  how it was the best fight ever. One of the guys takes a handful of nuts and pretends it is popcorn. Cole says it was the most technical street fight ever. Marlon is delusional and thought he really showcased his talents. Marlon refuses to believe that they will be kicked out of the house.

– The next morning. Everyone is cooking up breakfast and having a good time as if TUF’s first ever street fight ever occurred. Dana ominously enters the house.

DANA: Get everybody. Gather around.

The fifteen fighters are on the couches and sit below in front of them.

DANA: I just came from the gym where I watched the tape of last night. And I am disgusted. I’ve worked for six years trying to prove that this sport is not exactly what it was. Bleep. Bleep. Bleep. Bleep. You’re high school kids. Bleep. Bleep. Bleep. Noah’s gone, Marlon’s gone, and Lobster (Allen’s) gone.

NOAH: I’d love to stay here, but it’s not whether I agree or disagree with what Dana’s saying. I agree with what Dana’s saying, but it doesn’t really matter whether or not I agree or disagree with what he’s saying or not. I do agree with what he’s saying, but I broke the rules.

Uh. Is this Rick James? Did you put your feet on the couch and grind into it?

EVERYONE ELSE: What are we gonna do with all of this lobster?

We are shown of sad lobsters in a pan that are still alive.

– Marlon says he did not like being there because everyone was immature. He also does not condone street fighting but only if it is necessary. Good luck being invited back after that comment.

– Allen was kicked out because he egged on the fight more than anyone else and insisting nobody would be kicked out. Dana believes Allen’s judgment should have been better.

– Allen and Noah know they were stupid. Marlon is still stupid. The plane whisks all three of them away.

– Training sessions and weigh ins for Cole Miller and Joe Lauzon. Dana gives the edge to Cole even though Joe is an animal. Does nobody ever believe in Joe Lauzon?

– In the staredown Cole flares his nostrils. Joe admits to being unable to flare his nostrils so he counters by wiggling his ears.

– Lauzon thinks he looks like a ret— but has ret— strength.
JOE LAUZON EAST BRIDGEWATER, MASSACHUSETTS / 22 years old / 13-3
COLE  MILLER COCONUT CREEK, FLORIDA / 22 years old / 11-2

– Cole self-proclaims to be the underdog. Dana is pleased to inform you otherwise.

COLE: Joe– it sucks to be you.

Who the heck are you? A Prozac music video from the late 90s?

Right before it fades to commercial in the octagon there is a weak little voice that says “uh ohhhhhhhhhh”.

– Dana introduces it as the first quarterfinal fight.

– Mazzagatti’s mustache is our referee.

– Cole fires a legkick. Joe counters by catching it and attempting a takedown. They roll until Cole has his back and has hooks in ready to choke Joe. Joe gets out of it as Cole is in Joe’s guard. They spin more as Joe attempts a heel hook. Cole defends and gets out of it. He kicks Joe’s legs before joining him on the ground. Another heel hook attempt by Joe. Cole goes for a triangle. Joe stands up to kick Cole’s legs then joins him on the ground. They are striking on the ground. Joe is in Cole’s guard. Joe has enough strength to lift Cole up in the guard and lightly slam him. Cole maintains guard. Joe is striking Cole’s face. Joe is powering him towards the fence. Joe stands up and crashes in with an elbow. Still in guard. Cole attempts a guillotine then a guard. Joe is in a strange half side control where his face is trapped between Cole’s legs from the side. Joe manipulates it into a guard. He reigns down an elbow. They are in BJ’s corner. Punches into the ribs by Joe. Cole is turtling from Joe’s strikes. Cole is in a ball against the fence. Joe is punching and elbowing Cole’s head and spine. Joe stands up and Cole attempts vicious upkicks. Joe hops into guard. Elbows and punches by Joe. Half side control then full guard. Joe stands up and puts everything into a crashing punch as Cole upkicks. Joe is in Cole’s guard for a few seconds striking. End of round one. Wow. Manny advises Cole to do an uppercut.

– They touch gloves. Straight right from Cole. Straight left from Joe that lands with Cole’s face midair. They capture each other and Joe is in Cole’s guard. Cole kicked Joe’s face despite both of Joe’s knees being on the ground. Mazzagatti sucks and didn’t stop the fight for a minute. They continue as Joe maintains control. They transition into punching and elbowing. Joe threw a vicious elbow on the back of Cole’s head. Mazzagatti takes a point away from Joe. The doctor comes in to examine Cole. He is fine but wants to ensure that Cole wants to continue. He does. Fight resumes with Mazzagatti standing them up as a form of penalty to Joe. Joe rushes Cole and Cole crashes into Mazzagatti. Joe fires away punches until Cole crashes to the ground. Joe takes Cole’s back. Cole is turtling. Cole attempts to stand up but Joe throws him back down into a ball. This whole time Joe has reigned down strikes. Joe is kneeing the back of the legs and the booty. Steve warns Colethat he will stop the fight. Steve ends the fight. Joe is our winner. He instantly apologizes for the elbow to the back of the head.

– Fight recap. No new insight until the elbow to the back of the head. Dana says he knows when a guy is faking and he knows Cole wasn’t faking. Cole says his motor skills were off. He knew where he was and could hear fine but it took him a while to get his speech. Jens jumps in to say at those times you have zero depth perception, you don’t know near from far, and your whole depth perception is off. I just noticed Jens’ one eye was weird. Dana knew Cole was no longer the same fighter for the remainder of the fight. He knows everyone involved never wants a fight to be determined that way. He hates fights determined like that.

Next time on TUF: Gray and Brandon face off. Jens and Brandon faces off prior to the fight. Randy Couture is the first all-star coach to join Team Penn.

PENN

ALLEN BERUBE 3
GRAY  MAYNARD 2
JOE LAUZON 11
MATT WIMAN 0
ROB EMERSON 0
NOAH THOMAS 6

PULVER

ANDY WANG 1
BRANDON MELENDEZ 0
BRIAN  GERAGHTY 0
COLE MILLER 10
COREY HILL 0
NATE DIAZ 3
MANNY GAMBURYAN 1
MARLON SIMS 8
WAYNE WEEMS 1

Rank the Fights
—-

1) Joe Lauzon vs. Brian Geraghty (Lauzon is a monster. No wonder they put him as the first fight as opposed to the second fight where control of the following fight would be up for grabs. Brian was meant to be the sacrificial lamb.)

2) Rob Emerson vs. Nate Diaz (It sets the bar high for the remainder of the season. A perfect combo of striking, grappling, ground game, and submissions.)

3) Allen Berube vs. Cole Miller (The first fight of the season breaks the terrible chain of fights that were prevalent throughout the second half of TUF 4.)

4) Matt Wiman vs. Marlon Sims (Simultaneous punches and a submission that results in unconsciousness is one of the best sub-one minute fights ever.)

5) Joe Lauzon vs. Cole Miller (It was the fastest paced fight I had seen. But the illegal strike… the illegal strike. . . =( )

6) Rob Emerson vs. Corey Hill (It’s entertaining to see two people fight who have an eight inch height disparity. Stand-up wars are fun even if these two did not do an exceptional job of one. The first sudden victory fight of the season had a reasonable pace. Those legkicks on Corey make the fight memorable. They echoed on the tape.)

7) Andy Wang vs. Brandon Melendez (I for one think Andy should have taken Brandon down. A fun and unnecessary stand-up fight for ten minutes is always fun to see though. And hearing Penn quit giving advice in frustration is rare for a TUF coach.)

8) Noah Thomas vs. Manny Gamburyan (Seeing Manny advance his position more and more in a matter of 2 1/2 minutes is a thing of beauty. He puts on a clinic for all up and coming lightweights on how to play the lightweight game.)

9) Gray Maynard vs. Wayne Weems (The Nevada State Athletic Commission should have prevented this fight from happening. Herb Dean took way too long to stop it.)

Episode nine

Previously on TUF: Brandon messed up his foot a few rounds ago and the same clip where Jens teases him about it is re-shown. Why is this relevant now? Brandon proved Jens wrong by slugging Andy. Gray meanwhile TKO’d Wayne Weems. These two victors will battle. Can Brandon’s strikes trump Gray’s ground game? The answer of course is no.

– Intro time. I am surprised they show the kicked out fighters in the intro. Four out of sixteen fighters. That’s a record. Please note that the reason why two episodes will have two fights is because there is only one bracket. When there were two weight classes there was only twelve matches prior to the finale. When there is one weight class there are fourteen matches. Do the math and you see what I mean.

– Lauzon’s hand is raised. Time to recap this sea of controversy. Lauzon escaped, elbows landed, both legal and illegal. Andy deems him to be a tornado. Cole could have taken the easy way out but pressed onwards.

– Dana believes both showcased a lot of skill and a future in this sport.

– Nobody is gathered in the gym. We are thrust with the Burger King TUF Standings right in our faces. The picture has changed. It merely displays who is in the quarterfinal bracket. The other eight fighters are excluded. Pulver’s team are tossing medicine balls in a variety of ways. Jens thinks it will increase their stamina and continually adds exercises.

– Brandon’s hand is hurt and is trying to make weight again. He claims that Pulver’s exercises are too intense because he is running on empty. He is irritated with Pulver always saying “one more thing” in the exercises.

– Brandon confronts Pulver about the “one more thing” deceptions. He pulls the ol ‘I know my hand’ and ‘I know my body’. Pulver counters that he has broken his hand fourteen times. That is a Marlon level exaggeration. Brandon retreats to the aerodyne/the bike. Pulver asks how does Brandon want him to coach him. He is angry that Brandon doesn’t think he’s here to support him and that he’s here for him. Brandon goes into confessional to say ‘F— you, dude’. Pulver says “one more thing” so everyone keeps working at full power and not just wait until the last thirty seconds to work. Brandon is considering to switch teams.

– BJ talks about Gray as his number one pick. Gray has worked with BJ for a long time. He likes that Penn knows a bit of everything. Penn sparrs with him without a mouthpiece. Gray punches BJ’s mouth anyway. They had a good sparring session. “I thought it was a good time had by all”.

– Brandon wants to train with both coaches. He pulls Jens aside and wants to get a learning experience from both coaches and get as much training as possible. Jens says there is no trade. Nobody leaves the team. They start and finish as a team. He appreciates Brandon’s honesty but he has no choice and must stay. It’s all good.

– Training session with Penn. BJ gathers the troops to say there will be the first special guest coach. It’s Couture. He claims BJ gave him a call. This is Randy’s fourth TUF season appearance. Gray Maynard just happens to be from Couture’s camp. BJ had formerly trained in Couture’s camp for a bit so they go way back. Couture’s first commentating stint was with BJ and Jens.

– How short is the fight? We’re shown two minutes of highlight reel from the BJ-Jens fight. Coaches talk about that fight. BJ hopes that the first guy to defeat him will become the last guy to defeat Pulver before retirement.

– House time. Nate is slapping Cole in his bed with a pillow. Cole decides it is time to play a prank. His prank? Throw in pinatas into his room and spray it with silly string. There is a knife in a pinata. There is a note that says “If you continue punking me this is what will happen, b—!”.

– Nate and Cole spray each other with silly string, picking each other up by their underwear. Nate was hoping Cole would take it to the next level and fight him. The next step? Nate takes Cole’s bed and throws it into the pool. How does Cole counter? He takes Nate’s bed and tosses it into the pool. They call truce.

– At 3am Nate takes an ice cold bucket of water and ice and dumps it on Cole as he sleeps. Someone else pours baby powder on him. NOW they call a truce.

– Andy assists Brandon with training outside the sauna. Brandon is at 166 pounds and has to make weight. Andy has immersed himself in the sauna with Brandon to ensure the weight is cut. Brandon has not eaten or drank for over 24 hours. Andy said that when he himself cut weight that Gabe promised to help him out with it but Gabe fell asleep. Typical.

– At 1:40am they head to the gym. Brandon runs on the treadmill for over an hour. Brandon weighs in at 156. He owes making weight to him. Gray silently weighs in at 155. My guess is that Gray will be victorious.

– Fight day. We see planes, tankers, and Gray jogging on the streets. Brandon is shaving and claims that he has fought many wrestlers like Gray and defeated them.

– BJ thinks Gray is getting into the overtraining mode because of all the running and being on the aerodyne. He is concerned. Will Gray be fatigued for the fight? Gray is not afraid of Brandon’s punches.

GRAY MAYNARD LAS VEGAS, NEVADA / 27 years old / 3-0
BRANDON MELENDEZ BOUNTIFUL, UTAH / 23 years old / 11-5

– This is the second quarterfinal fight. Sweet. What’s not so sweet is that Mazzagatti is our referee.

– Touch gloves. Gray shoots and takes Brandon down. He spins to take Brandon’s back. Brandon stands up but Gray is still on his back. They are against the cage. Brandon falls to the ground hoping to toss Gray off but Gray is glued on. Gray is smothering Brandon’s face with his arm. Brandon is trying to resist. Gray is torquing his body. Brandon manages to move into Gray’s guard. Elbows and punches but Gray gets up and takes Brandon down. Half guard. Brandon is trying for guillotines and armbars but it does not look like it’ll happen. Brandon gives up both. Gray is looking to advance position. He is looking to smother Brandon but Brandon is defending well. They work onto their feet. A legkick and a superman punch fails by Brandon. Failed headkick by Brandon too. Gray lands solid shots of his own. The second Brandon goes for a kick is when Gray shoots in and takes Brandon down. Brandon attempts a guillotine but Gray is in full mount. Gray motions to take Brandon’s back. He has his arms around Brandon.  Brandon uses his strength to escape. A few seconds later Gray has shot in and has taken Brandon down. He has Brandon’s back as they sit against the cage like a La Maz class. Nobody is throwing strikes. With nine seconds left Brandon escapes with a burst of energy but Gray grabs him and slams him to the ground. End of round one. That round may have been 10-8.

– They circle each other. Flying knee by Brandon that somewhat connects. Gray is having a tough time shooting. Someone is shouting ‘a– out’. Brandon is chasing Gray around the octagon with strikes. Gray half-heartedly takes Brandon down but Brandon has an arm around Gray’s neck. Gray advances into half side-control. Brandon gets up. He is able to take Gray down and has control of his back and reigning punches, but Gray goes into a ball and gets out to take Brandon down. Side control. Gray works hard for a kimora but instead gets full mount. Brandon pushes him into half guard. Brandon’s left eye is bleeding bad. Hammer fists by Gray. Gray stands up and lets Brandon cower against the cage as he works to get more strikes. They stand up and trade. Gray shoots but Brandon gets an arm deep under Gray’s neck. Gray eventually works his head out. He shouts at his corner for how much time was left. They tell him elbows. Gray is still in Brandon’s guard. Brandon slaps on a triangle but Gray rolls out and works to lean back for a guillotine of his own. Brandon taps. End of match. Wow.

– Fight recap. Penn was impressed. Gray was surprised Brandon could take a punch. Brandon admits he was dazed after a punch. Dana and Jens thought the fight was up and down. Gray gave kudos to Brandon’s jiu jitsu skills because of how many close submissions there were.

– Gray cowers to lay down in the locker room. He was exhausted. Doctor comes over to check on him. Gray thought the fight was a lot tougher than he thought it would be.

– Brandon is disappointed but everyone around him thought it was a great fight and that there are no losers.

Next time on TUF: Two quarterfinal fights in one show. Corey and Nate are the first teammates to fight each other. Nate betrays the team and goes to Penn because of the awkwardness to train with an opponent. Wiman intends to crush Gamburyan. Karo Parisyan shows up to help his cousin Manny.

PENN

GRAY  MAYNARD 11
JOE LAUZON 0
MATT WIMAN 1
ROB EMERSON 1

PULVER

ANDY WANG 6
BRANDON MELENDEZ 22
BRIAN  GERAGHTY 2
COLE MILLER 6
COREY HILL 0
NATE DIAZ 3
MANNY GAMBURYAN 1
WAYNE WEEMS 1

Rank the Fights
—-

1) Gray Maynard vs. Brandon Melendez (The second round is perhaps TUF’s best if you exclude finale fights.)

2) Joe Lauzon vs. Brian Geraghty (Lauzon is a monster. No wonder they put him as the first fight as opposed to the second fight where control of the following fight would be up for grabs. Brian was meant to be the sacrificial lamb.)

3) Rob Emerson vs. Nate Diaz (It sets the bar high for the remainder of the season. A perfect combo of striking, grappling, ground game, and submissions.)

4) Allen Berube vs. Cole Miller (The first fight of the season breaks the terrible chain of fights that were prevalent throughout the second half of TUF 4.)

5) Matt Wiman vs. Marlon Sims (Simultaneous punches and a submission that results in unconsciousness is one of the best sub-one minute fights ever.)

6) Joe Lauzon vs. Cole Miller (It was the fastest paced fight I had seen. But the illegal strike… the illegal strike. . . =( )

7) Rob Emerson vs. Corey Hill (It’s entertaining to see two people fight who have an eight inch height disparity. Stand-up wars are fun even if these two did not do an exceptional job of one. The first sudden victory fight of the season had a reasonable pace. Those legkicks on Corey make the fight memorable. They echoed on the tape.)

8) Andy Wang vs. Brandon Melendez (I for one think Andy should have taken Brandon down. A fun and unnecessary stand-up fight for ten minutes is always fun to see though. And hearing Penn quit giving advice in frustration is rare for a TUF coach.)

9) Noah Thomas vs. Manny Gamburyan (Seeing Manny advance his position more and more in a matter of 2 1/2 minutes is a thing of beauty. He puts on a clinic for all up and coming lightweights on how to play the lightweight game.)

10) Gray Maynard vs. Wayne Weems (The Nevada State Athletic Commission should have prevented this fight from happening. Herb Dean took way too long to stop it.)

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