TUF 5 finale

TUF Finale

– Manny respects Diaz and they are friends, but when they enter the octagon Manny is looking to kill him. Jens wishes to be the first person to knock out BJ Penn. All other banter is fairly cliche.

– Joe believes Jens is in his best condition ever and the most motivated since he last fought BJ Penn. Rogan crowns Diaz as “Crazy Nate Diaz”. He loves the finals match-up.

Roger Huerta vs. Doug Evans

Is Roger given a weak opponent for the sole purpose of the owners trying to get people to follow Huerta and buy PPVs? I’d say Huerta knocks Doug Evans out quickly.

– Mazzagatti is our referee. And apparently Huerta was on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

– Legkick by Evans. Huerta counters with his hands. Evans misses a legkick and falls. They clinch. vans has Huerta’s back but Huerta somersaults out of it. They clinch again. Evans is against the fence. Now it is Huerta. Huerta is searching to trip Evans. Roger punches and strikes Doug to force him to run away from the clinch. Kicks by Huerta. They drift to the centre of the ring where they are trading strikes. Overhands miss by both but are connecting with uppercuts. Kick by Huerta. Huerta feints then shoots. Doug is defending against the cage. Huerta is squat on the ground using pure lower body strength hoping for a takedown. Huerta transitions into a borderline fireman carry. Doug suddenly has Huerta’s back on the ground. Body triangle. Huerta is running out of air. He does not seem phased. Doug has full mount but Huerta gets out and they stand to clinch. Doug had a guillotine in mid-air but lets go and they remain clinched against the fence. Huerta looks exhausted. Doug comes out with a flurry of strikes that some what land. Roger looks at the clock. Doug takes Huerta down and is in his guard. Both lightly strike as the buzzer sounds for round one. Round one Huerta?

– They trade immediately. Roger is forcing the action. Huerta lands a huge right hand. Body kick for Huerta. And another. Doug’s punches are very weak. Inside legkick by Huerta. If Doug is not playing possum then this fight will soon be over. Evans takes down Huerta. He is in Roger’s guard. Huerta nearly slaps on a triangle but Doug senses the danger and gets out. They are against the fence. Doug hip tosses Roger to the ground. Half guard. Huerta is turning into Doug. He is up to his knees. Doug is holding onto Roger. Huerta has Evans in side control. Doug’s feet are on the fence. Half guard Huerta. Side control again. Roger has Doug’s back. Reigns down strikes. Evans turns into full mount then turns again and is close to flattening out. Roger is bringing down some bombs. Doug is doing nothing to defend himself other than Doug covering his face. Doug has not moved an inch. Fight is over. Huerta wins yet again. Impressive fighter.

– We are shown the cast of SPIKE’s new comedy (as of 2007) American Body Shop. Mike Goldberg says people have called it the Rampage Jackson of comedy. I typed it into Google and no critic said such a thing. I researched further and saw the show was canceled after one season.

– Rogan interviews Huerta. Nothing that sticks out. Thanked god, talked about Evans being a tough competitor, etc.

Thales Leites vs. Floyd Sword

– Floyd just dropped to 185. Leites has won some and lost some. He had an impressive win over TUF 4 alumni Pete Sell. Is any win over Pete Sell impressive? Oh. Floyd Sword trained with Craig Jackson. Prepare for a snoozer.

– Yves Lavigne is our referee.

– They circle. Legkick from Leites. Clock sponsoured by Transformers. Sword throws some punches and rushes Leites but does little damage. Flying knee by Leites but caught by Sword. Leites has Sword in a headlock but lets it go and is now against the cage. Action pauses. Knee by Sword. Leites moves to hip toss Sword to the ground. Leites moves into half guard. Jiu jitsu says this fight should be over soon. Sword moves into full guard. Floyd motions to the fence and leans against it to stand up. They are in a clinch against the cage. Floyd is positioning a foot to trip Leites. Thales counters and tosses Sword to the ground into side control. Floyd forces Leites into half guard. Floyd is moving around quite a bit. Leites stands up and cautiously watches the upkicks. Thales kicks the legs from the standing position. Leites moves in with a few strikes and is in Floyd’s full guard. Floyd does a backward roll which lets Thales take Floyd’s back. Leites converts it into an arm triangle. Leites moves into side control. This will be over soon. Floyd’s face is ready to burst and opts to tap.

Gray Maynard vs. Rob Emerson

– Ooooooh. Two alumni from this season. Gray will ground and pound within the first minute? I would say so. Losing Penn mates are ready to go at it.

– A freshly shaved Mazzagatti is our referee.

– Gray rushes in with huge punches but Rob is countering. Gray lands more punches. Huge knee by Emerson and takes Gray down against the cage. Gray flips him over and lets Rob attempt an armbar but Gray escapes. Upkick by Rob. A couple more upkicks. Gray is holding Rob’s leg. Maynard goes into Rob’s full guard. Smothering by Gray. He stands to hold Rob’s leg. Gray rushes in with a punch or two. Gray passes into side control but Rob stands up to deliver a left hook. Gray gets him in a headlock and flips him into the ground and is in Rob’s half guard. Emerson is turning into Gray. Not much changes except moving a few inches along the octagon. Rob has feet against the cage. Emerson attempts a heel hook but Gray stands up to rotate and lands body shot. Gray has a hold of Rob’s feet. Gray wraps Rob against the cage and brings in some serious strikes. End of round one.

– They touch gloves. Rob tries to get a Muay Thai clinch but misses. Gray lands a strike. Both feint. Gray lands an echoing uppercut then clinches Rob and slams him really hard to the ground. Rob taps out. Gray is hurt on the ground and apparently had knocked himself out. What is this? Matt Hughes versus Carlos Newton? Gray is given the win despite being unconscious when Rob tapped. Now we just have to wait for the verdict.

– Bruce Buffer says NEITHER fighter could continue and it is declared a no contest. A no contest?????? The last time I can recall a no contest was from an illegal strike in WEC and the victim could not continue. Gray is pissed. Joe steps into the octagon and insists for Gray to watch the replay. The whole time Gray says he was conscious regardless if his eyes were rolling back. He said he slumped like that because he was tired and his arm was trapped under Rob’s back. Joe agrees Gray should have won because Rob tapped but says that everyone believes he was unconscious. Crazy, crazy, crazy finish.

– Audience boos Rob when he said that he came into this fight with a serious injury. That body punch from the first round broke a couple ribs. Rob said he had a rib injury prior to the fight. He approves of it being a no contest and apologizes to the fans. What is there to apologize for?  The fight was nuts. Anyways Rob wants a re-match after he heals up from the rib injury. I am sure virtually the whole audience wants one too. TUF finales have had some insane finishes.

– Shannon Lee interview. She is surprised by the number of Bruce Lee T-shirts given out. She is hosting Bruce Lee Day on SPIKE TV. Specifically the movie Enter the Dragon. Oh, she is the daughter of Bruce Lee. That makes sense now.

Joe Lauzon vs. Brandon Melendez

– I’ll just assume Lauzon will win by submission. Bloodhound Gang shall reign supreme in the octagon. Team Penn vs. Team Pulver continues.

– Melendez did not make weight (luckily he avoided doing this on the show where Dana would have launched into a ten minute rant and banned him). He has been fined for being 157 pounds and Lauzon had the option of going through with the fight. Lauzon accepted the match-up. What a class act.

– Herb Dean is our referee.

– They touch gloves. Melendez lands a combo but Lauzon has his arms up. Lauzon shoots and takes Melendez to the ground. Melendez looks for a headlock but Lauzon has side control. Now he is in Brandon’s half guard. Now full guard. Neither are throwing strikes. Lauzon grabs a wrist and slams Brandon down. Full mount. He lets Brandon lean upwards before Lauzon takes Brandon’s back and has the hooks in. He switches to the full mount then to the back. Lauzon strikes from the back. Melendez escapes the back door. Joe scrambles for the cage before re-entering the scramble. Brandon takes Joe down and pushes him against the cage. Brandon is outside the guard then stands up. Lauzon swings wildly but a right hand by Brandon connects. Uppercut misses by Brandon. Melendez throws a kick but Joe catches it and takes him down. Half guard. Joe passes it and has Brandon’s back on the ground. They are pressed against the cage. Brandon escapes. Joe finds a heel and pulls to get a nasty heel hook. Brandon uses the fence to escape and turn it around. End of round one.

– Touch gloves. Brandon closes the distance to have Joe back into the fence. Melendez is getting the better of the punching. Joe ducks under Brandon and takes him down. Half guard. Elbows by Lauzon. He transitions into full mount. He gets Brandon’s back and is close to flattening him out. They are against the cage once again. They remain in this position. Brandon carefully spins out with a burst of energy and is in Joe’s full guard against the cage. Joe latches on an extremely tight triangle and chokes out Brandon Melendez. He taps. Joe wins.

Nate Diaz vs. Manny Gamburyan

– Do not underestimate Manny. Many people thought Nate would do well because of Nick Diaz’s performances.

– Meet Manny. Him, his cousins, and the rest of his Armenian family have lived in North Hollywood for sixteen years. Manny runs uphills and walks on his feet. He boxes. It is his mom’s birthday.

– Meet Nate. He went home after TUF and shut off his cell phone and hung out in his house for days. That guy is not terribly friendly. Then he started running constantly.

– Manny imitates the Tito Ortiz jumps as Bruce recaps his record in the ring. Meanwhile Nate Diaz hops for a few seconds.

– Herb Dean is our referee. Nate Diaz by KO?

– Gamburyan instantly shoots in for a takedown. Nate defends as they roll about on the ground. Manny has a headlock on Nate. The arm is deep. Manny flips Nate over and opts for half guard. He is moved into Nate’s full guard. Nate is striking from the bottom however Manny is striking from the top. Dang Manny is a big 155. Nate is turtling as Manny reigns down strikes. Nate is standing up against the cage but Manny has his back. He is kicking Nate’s face from behind. Foot stomps. Knees to the booty. Nate is punching Manny’s noggin. Knees from Manny. Manny has failed a suplex a couple times. He ultimately takes Nate down and is in Nate’s full guard. Half guard. Nate is turtling on his back again. They are crouched against the fence but Manny has pushed Nate to the ground. Nate is searching for a submission from the bottom. Full guard. Nate is slapping Manny’s head. Gamburyan is visibly thinking. Right hands up top from Manny. Nate was close to trapping an arm. Manny switches to have Nate’s back but Nate has Manny’s right arm. He is flipping around funkily. Manny will have none of it and is back in Nate’s full guard. Diaz strikes from the bottom. Manny advances into half guard. Headlock from Manny as Nate is on his knees. Nate stands up. Knee to the head from Manny that drops Nate to his knees. Nate stands up. End of round one.

– Nate is searching with his right arm. They trade punches. Headkick by Manny. He is in a prime position to win this fight. Manny shoots in and Nate is nearly taken down. Nate is defending. Nate deals a punch and. . . .MANNY IS TAPPING?! What? Manny has dislocated his shoulder. You can see the bone popping out. Giant disappointment. Manny did not put it particularly at risk. Just a freak finish. Nate remains super calm and has not celebrated.

– The verdict is announced. There is a mixture of boos and cheers. Pretty solemn mood in the ring. Dana gives him the six-figure contract, a trophy, a watch, and that’s it. Nate acknowledges Dana White, Jake Shields, Gilbert Melendez, and is pissed a certain commission would not allow his brother on the premises because of the banning for testing positive for weed. He gives kudos to Manny or winning round one.

– Manny interview. He broke his shoulder and his neck simultaneously. The interview is cut relatively short. I s’pose the Penn-Pulver match-up is more important.

BJ Penn vs. Jens Pulver

– Penn believes Pulver lived off his victory to him. He lives off of Penn indirectly.

Oh wait. That’s not the next fight.

Cole Miller vs. Andy Wang

– Pulver vs. Semi-Pulver.  Cole is seven inches taller and has an eight inch reach advantage. Impressive. Cole is signalling to touch gloves. Yves Lavigne is our referee.

– They touch gloves. They circle around each other. Cole lands a combo after a few feints. Missed legkick by Andy. Cole rushes Andy with some strikes to the head. Legkicks. Andy is shooting in but misses. Knees from Cole. Punch by Cole that misses. Andy is clinching with Cole. Headkick with the foot that lands square on Andy’s face. Andy falls to the ground. Cole swarms with punch after punch after punch until Yves stops the fight. Andy is protesting the stoppage. Whoa. Micah Miller is in the ring. I did not put it together that those two are brothers. Yves did indeed stop the fight perhaps one clean punch too soon. Maybe after two losses Andy will learn to take to the fight to the ground when you HAVE A EFFIN BLACK BELT!

– Cole gives a shout out to his grandfather and to his area code. Cause he’s got pros. In different area codes.

BJ Penn vs. Jens Pulver

– BJ rolls on the road as he runs to train. Taffic is low in Hilo. He trains in a former cracker factory. BJ improves his conditioning. We see him punch a punching bag for a while.

– Jens eats on a Madagascar plate. Corey Hill/DMX lives with Jens in a house in Iowa. He trains intensely with a bunch of Miletich guys.

– BJ comes out to the octagon in strange wailing music. It’s his first time fighting at lightweight since 2003. Then Jens Pulver enters the ring. Nothing noteworthy to speak of. Except Pulver is going to lose by a considerable margin. I mean he was knocked out by Lauzon in his last freakin’ fight.

– Pulver weighed in at a measly 152 pounds. He may be fighting at 145 pretty soon. For some reason Pulver looks drained to me. Mazzagatti is our referee. They hooked up gloves in the showdown.

– BJ lands a big right. Pulver is rocked. BJ lands more punches before clinching Jens and taking him down. Penn is in Pulver’s half guard. He is trapping one of Jens’ legs. BJ shows off the dexterity in legs. Jens is trapped against the fence. Pulver tries to stand up but Penn picks him up and slams him down again. Half guard yet again for Penn. BJ has passed Jens’ guard and is in full mount. He has taken an arm and flipped over ready to yank it. Somehow BJ lets it go and Jens spins into BJ’s full guard. Mazzagatti warns about grabbing the gloves. BJ slaps on a triangle and has the left arm trapped. Jens gets out. BJ is against the cage. Typical full guard. Pulver flies to advance but Penn protects. No strikes. Elbow by Pulver. They stand up. BJ lands a punch. They clinch but break it. BJ dodges a couple of Jens’ punches. BJ lands some of his own. They clinch. Knees and punches by both. They break the clinch. Headkick by Jens. BJ lands a punch. End of round one.

– They exchange punches. BJ lands a right hand. Pulver lands a left. BJ takes Pulver to the ground. Left hands by Penn. Half guard but in a prime position to pass. BJ works it into full mount. Jens is trying to buck but has failed so far. Penn is landing right hands. Pulver gives his back and is awfully close to flattening out. An elbow cuts him. Pulver flips back to be mounted. Then flips over to have his back taken. Jens is close to an escape. Penn is landing more right hands. Jens is dragged to be flattened on the mat. BJ has trapped Jens’ left and goes for the choke. Jens taps. BJ holds onto the choke for an extra few seconds. They congratulate each other after the fight. Both are exhausted after only a round and a half. The rivalry comes to an end.

– Jens does indeed announce that he will go down to 145. In addition him and BJ Penn have agreed to train together. That’s a first for TUF coaches. Then the show drags on to the credits. The end of TUF 5.

Rank the Fights
—-

1) Gray Maynard vs. Nate Diaz (Awesome awesome fight. You have to love the victories that come from nowhere. Gray Maynard pretty much blew that fight.)

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

3) 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.)

4) 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.)

5) 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.)

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

7) Matt Wiman vs. Manny Gamburyan (Everybody thought Wiman would win. However the underdog rises and robs Matt of a victory thanks to superior, grappling, striking, and ground game. The bonus points were for Matt acting like a sore loser after the fact.)

8) Joe Lauzon vs. Manny Gamburyan (Everybody thought Wiman would win. However the underdog rises and robs Matt of a victory thanks to superior, grappling, striking, and ground game. The bonus points were for Joe being extremely close to submitting Gamburyan in the final round.)

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

10) 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.)

11) 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.)

12) 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.)

13) 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.)

14) Nate Diaz vs. Manny Gamburyan (Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.)

FINAL CONFESSIONAL COUNTS
—-
GABE RUEDIGER 10 / 9 / 6 / 5 / 13 / X / X / X / X / X / X / X
Confessional count: 43
Confessional average: 8.6

ALLEN BERUBE 8 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / X / X / X / X
Confessional count: 12
Confessional average: 1.5

NOAH THOMAS 0 / 11 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 2 / 6 / X / X / X / X
Confessional count: 21
Confessional average: 2.63

MARLON SIMS 0 / 0 / 2 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 8 / 8 / X / X / X / X
Confessional count: 19
Confessional average: 2.38

ANDY WANG 1 / 1 / 1 / 11 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 1 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 4
Confessional count: 29
Confessional average: 2.42

BRIAN GERAGHTY 2 / 1 / 0 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 1 / 0 / 2 / 1 / 1 / 8
Confessional count: 28
Confessional average: 2.33

ROB EMERSON 1 / 9 / 11 / 2 / 4 / 7 / 2 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 1 / 1
Confessional count: 39
Confessional average: 3.25

WAYNE WEEMS 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 7 / 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 1
Confessional count: 12
Confessional average: 1.00

COLE MILLER 12 / 1 / 2 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 10 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 4
Confessional count: 36
Confessional average: 3

BRANDON MELENDEZ 0 / 5 / 0 / 11 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 22 / 0 / 3 / 3
Confessional count: 44
Confessional average: 3.67

COREY HILL 5 / 2 / 6 / 0 / 11 / 7 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 11 / 0 / 2
Confessional count: 45
Confessional average: 3.75

MATT WIMAN 0 / 10 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 10 / 0 / 1 / 8 / 0 / 3
Confessional count: 34
Confessional average: 2.83

JOE LAUZON 1 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 5 / 7 / 2 / 11 / 0 / 1 / 10 / 1
Confessional count: 41
Confessional average: 3.42

GRAY MAYNARD 1 / 3 / 1 / 0 / 14 / 0 / 6 / 2 / 11 / 0 / 1 / 7
Confessional count: 46
Confessional average: 3.83

MANNY GAMBURYAN 0 / 15 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 0 / 2 / 1 / 1 / 9 / 7 / 2
Confessional count: 40
Confessional average: 3.33

NATE DIAZ 3 / 2 / 16 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 3 / 3 / 12 / 5 / 10
Confessional count: 57
Confessional average: 4.75

In conclusion, TUF 5 was a refreshing change of pace from TUF 4. Coaches and essentially teams returned. Pulver and Penn are the two wildest coaches to date. The fact they fight each other in the finale and complete their storyline as training partners is something nobody saw coming.

The fights in the house were all extremely entertaining. This was not TUF 4 where fights drifted in the second half, or TUF 3 where there are some mediocre fights, or TUF 2 where decision after decision after decision after decision. TUF 1 had some especially lopsided affairs or ugly striking. These lightweights left nothing to be desired with the exception of the finale.

In terms of affairs at the house I would say this season crushed all others (with the exception of Mikey Burnett who literally crushed a wall last season). Corey kicked off the season by barking at the other team, Ruediger failed to make weight, and an epic street fight. Plus a horse falling and injuring itself in front of the house during a booty call is one of the strangest occurrences I have seen in reality TV. Oh, and we also had the Diaz-Parisyan fight. The nicest guy in the whole house is mercilessly kicked off Penn’s team. This season had more outside of the ring moments than perhaps the first four seasons combined. There was never a moment that this season dragged.

I guess I should say a word about the confessional counts. Contrast this season’s with the other four. Especially TUF 4. Huge difference. All sixteen fighters have a clear story. Ruediger dominated airtime until a surprise early dismissal in week five. The biggest jokes in the house, Marlon Coach Wade, Lobster, and Noah “I Agree But May or May Not Agree With What You Are Saying” Thomas all get ejected in the funniest way possible and have some build-up to their ejections. That may have been the least rational ten minutes on TV I have seen three people act in my life. I am ecstatic that the Matt Serra Show did not repeat itself this season. Although I must apologize to Matt Serra for not thinking he stood a chance to win the welterweight title following TUF 4. I s’pose he earned it to be the Matt Serra Show.

The only unique format change to this season is one weight class instead of two. And boy oh boy did that prove to be much smoother than two weight classes of eight people each. The idea that any eight people on one team could take on any eight people from the other team allows for much more dramatic television and overall intrigue as a viewer. Rivalries could be built. There was never “Oh, they’re in different weight classes so they can’t fight. What a shame”.

So this season was pretty awesome. The only way I can think to penalize it is because of the stupid Burger King TUF Standings and a finale fight that was more of a letdown than TUF 4 fights.

P.S. Yes, Wayne Weems has the lowest confessional ratio ever.

The Ultimate Fighter 5 – 8.99/10
The Ultimate Fighter 3 – 8.5/10
The Ultimate Fighter (1) –  8/10
The Ultimate Fighter 4 – 6.5/10
The Ultimate Fighter 2 – 6.4/10

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