I was looking through my archives and forgot to post this back in January. My apologies.
Episode five confessional counts
Rory Singer 8
Kendall Grove 4
Matt Hammill 0
Michael Bisping 5
Noah Inhofer 1
Josh Haynes 0
Ed Herman 7
Solomon Hutcherson 13
Kalib Starnes 1
Mike Nickels 3
Tait Fletcher 1
– Previously on TUF: Ken and Tito called a truce (so naturally it must break this episode), Solomon dreams about bashing Rory’s head in, and Tito’s team increases their lead.
What we can gather from this: Ken and Tito fight, Solomon doesn’t bash in Rory’s head, and Tito’s team loses this round. Let’s see how this turns out.
– We review Kristian’s terrible performance. Ken’s training regiment makes him believe two rounds shouldn’t be a problem. Apparently the golfing range, backyard training, and watching UFC helps your conditioning.
– Solomon thinks he will be fighting Rory this round. He proceeds to talk trash and says he will get Rory to ask what his name is as if he’s Snoop Doggy (what?) Doggy Dogg.
– Ortiz’s team has a shirtless circle pep talk.
– Shamrock decides maybe they should train. What results is Kalib and Ed suffering injuries. Maybe they’d handle training if they were already well-conditioned.
– Dana arranges a viewing of UFC 57 and a “surprise”. A box is left outside the door. I have an icky feeling it’s a box of pr000000n for a bunch of sexually deprived super masculine fighters.
Oh. Amp’d mobile is the surprise. Everyone gets a phone to watch undercard fights and watch behind-the-scenes on their phone. Then a big screen is rolled in to watch UFC 57.
– TUF 3 shows Randy Couture’s retirement announcement. Ed and Josh were coached by him and are pissed that Randy is retiring.
Spoiler: He doesn’t actually retire. Herman’s tears are futile along with Josh’s silence. Ed gets at least two minutes to himself.
– Fight announcement already? Wow. Tito picks Rory and Solomon to fight. He specifically mentions egging on Herman. Herman even says “You’re killing me” as if he’s a character from The Sandlot.
– Ken called Tito a “b—- monkey” and to “keep talking monkey”. Tito smiles as he tries to coax Ken into throwing a punch. The half-breed of Tito’s coach and PRIDE fighter Dean Lister intervenes.
– Bisping and Solomon get into a verbal fight after Solomon says he will show Bisping something and Bisping responds by tapping his head and slowly walking away.
– Rory is alone training in the gym. It looks like he will be going home. All he could say is that he’s 30, he cleans fat women tushes, and MMA isn’t barbaric. In other words, it’s all of his confessionals that he likely said prior to entering the house. Producers must’ve not been too impressed by his ability to potentially crack into the semi-finals.
– Bisping holds court for Solomon and Rory to smack talk. Solomon is clearly the better one as he pulls out Dave-Chappelle-as-a-white-man-voice. He’s the better smack talker. Note his continued use of ‘dagger’.
– Team Ortiz and Kendall get in a random skirmish because he was late to get into the van to go home. There was absolutely no lead-up to it.
– Kendall gives tips to Solomon on Kendall’s technique. They say Team Dagger will be in the semi-finals. C’mon. Daggers, please.
– The rock music and hype begins. Solomon says he will smash him. Rory says Solomon will be wrong.
– As Solomon enters the ring he keeps talking about daggers.
RORY (ORTIZ) VS. SOLOMON (SHAMROCK)
RORY SINGER BROOKLYN, NEW YORK 9-5
SOLOMON “Dagger” HUTCHERSON RACINE, WISCONSIN 10-2
Solomon will knock him out.
– Herb Dean is our referee.
– They work for position in the clinch. Rory is against the fence. Solomon looks away but uses it as a trick to land Rory on the ground. Rory works himself into a corner. He’s scrunched against the cage. Full guard. Rory is the only one throwing strikes. Solomon seems unsure what to do. Rory captures an arm. Action slows down for the next two minutes. Neither does anything unless their corner yells out what to do. Solomon stands up to kick Rory’s legs. Rory throws in a good upkick. Solomon waits before he comes into a full guard. He misses out on a really good triangle attempt. Herb Dean orders a clean break. Less than one minute left.
Solomon throws a body punch which Rory counters with a body kick. They get in a clinch and do nothing. End of round one.
– Our first round two of the season! They circle with an occasional strike. Rory lands a good punch on Solomon’s face which makes Solomon back up. Rory follows it up with a nasty head kick that drops Solomon. Rory sweeps in and throws several punches until Rory is out cold and Herb Dean stops the fight.
– Solomon asks who won when he woke up. Well, the unconscious don’t typically win a MMA match.
– After the match Solomon states in a confessional that he would’ve done better with cardiovascular training. Uh oh. He’s pointing a nasty finger at Shamrock.
– Kendall and Solomon hug it out. They desire to train with each other in romantic Hawaii (at least I think it’s romantic. Is that the adjective Phil uses when he gives away a Hawaii vacation in TAR?)
– Solomon talks of Team Dagger rising from the ashes as we speak. Although a ride in an ambulance indicates otherwise.
NOTE: I was thinking this last episode, but I have a feeling Shamrock truly is out of his element with training up-and-coming MMA fighters in this era. In fact, I am under the impression Shamrock doesn’t care except to look good on TV. Lion’s Den has a reputation for extreme training measures. But what does Ken do? He sits and watches past MMA fights. It’s like he wants to re-live his glory days. Everyone frowns and doesn’t seem happy at all with being on his team. Tito’s team meanwhile has much more life and seems to invite in Shamrock’s fighters to have a good time. In other words, I think Shamrock is getting an editing facelift to make himself look much better than he was as a coach. Franklin, Hughes, Ortiz, Couture, and Liddell all look much more involved as coaches. Ken is seen standing off to the side half the time and mumbles how much of a b—- monkey Tito is. I could see him mumbling about Tito into his retirement home.
Worst to best fights:
5) 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.)
4) 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.)
3) 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.
2) 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?)
1) 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.)