THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER 11
So here we are. After a three or four month hiatus, we resume doing my least in-depth blog on this site–The Ultimate Fighter. I have been working through the MMA timeline since May 30, 2011. Starting with UFC 1 and working through the timeline as Strikeforce, Pride, and WEC events occur.
Well, I’ve made my way to April 2010 which means it is time to watch The Ultimate Fighter 11. We left off with a season that drew huge ratings, but that was only the case because of Kimbo Slice and production repeatedly teasing that Kimbo would somehow replace an injured fighter later on in the tournament only to find out he is injured himself. Lousy arthritis.
In addition, Dana White was not fond of the lonely and arrogantly-perceived winner known as Roy Big Country Nelson. In fact, Roy Nelson is the least shown winner of all-time after ten seasons of TUF.
Plus Rampage and Rashad filled up airtime with plenty of faux-fights and pranks to occupy the boring fights that plagued most of the season. Remember Big Baby Jones? Zac Jensen being bullied and physically beaten in the house by McSweeney? Matt Mitrione known as the most dramatic and biggest complainer in the house?
Now we head onto a season with two legends that should have retired by 2010–Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell.
Tito Ortiz. It’s 2010 and his last two victories were a pair of wins over Ken Shamrock following the TUF 3 finale where Tito Ortiz succeeded as a coach much moreso than Shamrock. Since then Ortiz has lost every fight including a loss to then-champion Chuck Liddell. In fact he hadn’t won by something other than split decision since 2004. His career was nosediving fast.
Now Chuck Liddell. Much like Tito Ortiz, he dominated his season of TUF as a coach. Instead he had the pleasure of slaughtering Randy Couture during the season. Tito did it over Shamrock in TUF 3 while Chuck Liddell did it in the original instalment of the series.
In fact, if you exclude Rashad Evans, this was essentially a Tournament of Champions. The two greatest coaches in the series would face off to see who was the best coach ever in TUF. Their fighting careers may be sunk, but their coaching ability on the show had never been truly tested against a worthy coach yelling from the opposite corner.
Chuck Liddell’s success in the octagon was a bit more recent but not by much. He scored a unanimous decision win over Wanderlei Silva in 2007 after suffering a pair of losses. He would only fight once per year. This would be marked by a loss to Rashad Evans in 2008 and a loss to Shogun in 2009.
This season definitely featured fighters that normally would be cut by the UFC considering their record over the past six or seven fights, but because they helped the UFC franchise and were superstars (and still are to this day), they were allowed one last hurrah where the loser in the fight following the finale was doomed to retirement.
They better take advantage of this opportunity because whoever comes out the better coach and the better fighter may squeeze a bit more time out of their UFC career. The loser goes home for good.
As for the format, after TUF 10 hand-picked 16 people to ensure Kimbo would make it onto the show, we return to the dreadful 32-person format which throws away two of the twelve episodes.
TUF 11 starts the tragic trend of fighters on the show making zero progress in the UFC. Fighters from each of the first ten seasons would either have a title shot, become champion, or be a top ten fighter at one time or another in their weight class.
Starting with TUF 11, everybody from winners to first boots would have a tough enough time being recognized as a top twenty fighter. No idea why fighters from the next eight seasons could not gain a foothold into the UFC except for maybe the fact that two seasons per year reduces the talent pool fast. Remember that the UFC had only five weight classes at the time, and the first four seasons had only four weight classes due to the lightweights not being brought back into the promotion yet.
So roughly 215 fighters in ten seasons? And only 32 lightweights and 36 heavyweights? That leaves about 150 fighters between three divisions. This is a TON of talent to saturate the weight classes that bring up newcomers through alternate means outside of the reality show and to also keep established veterans as well.
In conclusion, enjoy these next several seasons for what it is–a tournament of amateurs that only exist within the framework of TUF. Unfortunately they could not find a stepping stone once they entered the UFC.
– We recap two legends who have been in the UFC for over a decade. Dana says he does not have one bad feeling towards Tito (for the time being). They supposedly have bad blood towards each other.
Twenty-eight middleweights must fight their way to become a member of Team Liddell or Team Ortiz.
– The Burger King octagon!
– The twenty-eight person crew enters the gym. Tons of bleeping already.
– Jon Henle (3-0) comments on the revamped gym. His hair is as long as mine used to be. Weird dude.
– Woody Weatherby (7-3), the most British sounding name I have heard in my life, describes it as a “dope facility”.
I should note they show their record in confessionals rather than where they are from for the time being.
– Dana White enters with the coaches. They clap as Dana tells them to line up on the mat. Kris wants them to shoot him in a canon. The Ultimate circus Freak may be a show for him.
– Dana comments on the renovations. He introduces the coaches as two of the best and two of the most famous. Tito’s head is shaved.
– Dana says there is a wildcard for the first time ever (cue Charlie Day from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). Fourteen will get into the show. Once seven make it into the quarterfinals, Dana and the coaches will pick two fighters to fight it out for the eighth and final spot after the preliminaries are done.
DANA: Do not f—ing blow it. Don’t leave it in the hands of the f—ing judges. Don’t do it. You’ll be in the van riding to the airport wondering what did I do.
Sadly Fitch rarely had this experience. Tito has left it with the judges numerous times. So has Chuck. And they haven’t had to suffer for it.
– Dana managed to squeeze a record six F-bombs within thirty seconds of edited television. Impressive.
– There is a sign above the locker rooms that says “NEVER LEAVE IT IN THE HANDS OF THE JUDGES”. Wow. Dana really wants exciting fights this year.
– Qualifying fights commence!
– He wants his fist to meet the other guy’s face, whose face meets the floor. Chuck thinks Jamie looks cocky
COCONUT CREEK, FLORIDA (Blackzillian)
BEN: I bet nobody here is a Jew let alone orthodox.
Aren’t most fighters orthodox?
– Ben said he used to have curls and threads. Huh.
– Two rounds. Five minutes each. Herby is our ref.
– They touch gloves. Jamie tries a headkick then bodykick. Then frontkick. Then a superman. Another headkick. Ben isn’t doing a good job of blocking. No Muay Thai. Then another. Ben drops. No fists met Ben’s face but hits the floor regardless. Takes a couple seconds to even stand. Herby has already called the fight.
– Dana is impressed by Jamie backing up every ounce of his cockiness. Tito thinks it is confidence versus cocky. Jamie mugs for the camera and hopes he put fear into all other fighters.
Teaches 7th grade Science. Okay, Rich Franklin. He says he is a crazy person trying to act normal. He wants to rip people’s heads off in a grocery store. Wow. And he’s a teacher?
– He says Hawaii is laid back but they all grew up fighting. He said it was a big part of school where they all had to contemplate fighting one another. Brad finds it fun. Rosenthal is our ref.
– They touch gloves. Tavares kicks. Jordan fires off a combo. Brad catches his leg and uses it to punch. They grapple. Jordan is against the fence. Looks exhausting. Brad gets a hold of Jordan’s head and knees him to the head. Follow it with a punch and Jordan is OUT COLD. The end. They are impressed. Brad is excited.
– Cleburn says his kids never missed a meal, but things got tight to where his car got re-possessed and house evictions (not Big Brother). The Poor-Man-Needs-Money edit.
– We are shown Mr. McCray yet again. He says he is a savage coming for us. Roar. He thinks he is the most ferocious but not the most technically savvy. Ah. One of those.
“Tame but off the chain”.
Please let him go early.
– Herby is our referee. Touch gloves. Leg kicks. Cleburn tries to clinch but Kris completely tosses him over his shoulder and onto the mat. Side control. Cleburn taps before he can do anything. Kris runs up the cage and does a backflip. Wow.
Apparently Cleburn injured or dislocated his right shoulder while being hip tossed by Kris.
– Kris brags about being a savage and ferocious yet again.
COCONUT CREEK, FLORIDA (Blackzillians)
What the heck? I guess that means no-contest?
– He was raised in France and that unlike Glass Joe, that French fighters aren’t an easy victory.
– His nickname is indeed the Sledge’. He is a firefighter. That guy is a big 185. Herby is our referee.
– Norman punches then shoots for the takedown. He puts James into the cage. Apparently they have coaches. Back to their feet. They exchange punches. Norman looks tired. Norman willingly sits on his butt. James stands over him and punches. He puts James onto Norman’s back. Half mount as he reigns down punches. Norman tries to get back up but James continues with punches. He pushes Norman down and has full mount. Back to half mount. Norman may have the worst cardio for a middleweight ever. Norman spins and gets back to his feet. James pushes him down quickly. Full mount. He reigns down punch after punch for the last seven seconds. Herby warns about the back of the head. End of round. Yeah. It was an abbreviated round. Dana thinks Norman is in pain.
NORMAN: I quit.
CORNERMAN: What the hell are you talking about?
(CORNERMAN lifts him up but NORMAN snags his hand away like a child.)
NORMAN: I can’t. I don’t feel my own legs. I don’t feel my own body.
John Hackleman and Howard Davis, the coaches, are PISSED.
– Herby confirms Norman is quitting.
– Chuck is flabbergasted. If somebody did that at his gym, he would instruct them to never return. I have never seen a fighter quit so quickly.
I guess French fighters are an easy fight after all.
– Tito must know James because he makes fun of his easy victory.
TITO: There’s no quitting in the game of MMA!
Only in French MMA.
CHUCK: It is equivalent to tapping out to strikes. Wait, didn’t Tito do that once?
He repeats it but on the bench next to Dana and Tito.
– Norman promises it won’t happen again. Whatever. Career over.
DANA: Norman’s big thing is that he was going to come onto the Ultimate Fighter and prove that the French aren’t a bunch of pussies. . .(chuckles). I’m not calling anybody a pussy but he should get another job.
Yeah. I caught onto it before you, Dana. Point Wacky.
– Now we get fight highlights.
NICK “THE PROMISE” RING
– It’d be surprising to see Woody go after having a confessional at the start of the episode, but since I know Nick Ring, I have a feeling Nick triggers an upset.
– We see them grappling. Tito thinks Nick picked Weatherby apart and views him as a potential winner. Nick has Woody’s back until Woody taps. Nick looks forward to training.
– KYLE NOKE
– Chuck claims it was a one-sided fight. They clinch. Noke took down Warren and dropped down elbows.
– Second round. Noke drops Thompson. Big elbows. Major cut. That is A LOT of blood. Massacre. Kyle says it got really slippery from the blood. End of round two.
Kyle wins by unanimous decision 20-18. That is a nasty pool of blood.
– Mazzagatti is tragically our referee.
– They punch and kick for the fences. Huge takedown. McGee has the beard. Baczynski not so much. Court takes a brutal punch at the end of the first round and is dropped. He is defending however.
– Second round. More takedowns and knees. Court gets upkicked. Both fighters look tired. Both threw a ton of punches.
– Judges have declared it a draw. We’re off to an extraordinarily rare case of sudden victory in the qualifying fight.
– Both throw punches. Court gets the takedown. Both are exhausted. Court dominates Seth on the ground to earn the victory. Court says he fought his guts out to pull it out.
Sadly Seth says nothing following a great fight.
– No more fight highlights for the time being. A full fight coming our way.
VICTOR “THE WINNER” O’ DONNELL
VICTOR: This is the s—. This is the s—.
He looks like Bobby Mason from Survivor: Exile Island.
– Camozzi is goin’ for the KO. He has wicked tattoos.
– Rosenthal is our ref. We go to commercial. Suddenly we return backwards in time to Camozzi in the locker room. Weird.
– We go back to the octagon. No gloves touch. They grapple. Camozzi knees Victor’s head. Victor picks him up and slams him. Camozzi slams to be on top. Victor spins and back on their feet. Both trade punches. Nice knee from Camozzi. Both exchange brutal punches. Another big knee from Camozzi. Camozzi is taken down by Victor. Chris is on top and gets in a couple punches. Victor’s eye is swollen shut. End of round.
– Both exchange wicked strikes. Zero defense. More wicked knees, kicks, and punches. Chris gets hit in the chin a few times. Chris takes Victor down. Victor compliments the takedown. Back on their feet. Victor strikes Chris’ chin a couple times. Chris takes Victor down. Chris attempts a triangle but end of round. Both are in rough shape.
– Another sudden victory round. Both receive Vaseline.
– Kicks, punches, and knees continue. Victor takes Chris down. Chris stands over Victor suddenly. Chris hip tosses Victor but Victor winds up on top. Now Chris is on top. Victor has Chris’ back. Both are back on their feet. Victor fails a takedown at the last second. Chris has a ton of blood on his forehead. Both fighters are congratulated. Dana likes both of them.
– Chris wins the sudden victory round. He claims his face is sore but is ready to go. Victor’s oval socket was broke n in the first round so he could only see out of one eye. Poor thing. He goes home on a stretcher.
– Off to the next one.
– Kyacey views himself as a dark horse and can smash any of these cats. According to his bio he says his record is inaccurate because he took a ton of fights that he shouldn’t have taken. Approximately fifteen of them.
What an unnecessary way to spell Casey.
Cali on Cali matchup. Lovely.
Brent has heard Kyacey is a stand-up fighter. He says he likes to stand up and punch people to the face as well.
Should be a quick one. Herby is our ref.
– Touch gloves. Kyacey throws a bodykick. They dance around. Brent throws a punch. Another combo from Brent. Brent gets inside of one of Kyacey’s kicks. However Kyacey lands a punch right on the chin with a left hook. Brent drops. He punches Brent a couple times after he tried to recover but ends up face down on the mat. Out cold.
– Kyacey brags about his twenty second knockout. Dana attributed it to killer instinct and an insistence for Kyacey to show he should be in the house.
– We head off to another fight recap.
– Mazzagatti is our ref. Only the first two fights have been showed in real time. Philippou is shown striking, bashing, grappling, and crushing him on the ground. However, Henle uses his jiu jitsu in the second round to submit him with an armbar. Wow. That was against what I was expecting. Philppou is a well-known name in 2013. Henle not so much.
– Rich apparently is a wrestler with Top Team. Two rounds is shown in five seconds flat. Wins by decision. Rich is happy to get the monkey off his back.
– Josh is supposedly a better wrestler while Greg can dish out shots. Josh takes the shots well because, according to Tito, he has a “wrestler’s head”.
– Josh wins by majority decision. He admits it wasn’t one of his best fights to date.
– Blanchard is a wrestler. Flynn has a jiu jitsu background. Blanchard passes and dropped hammer fists. Nice elbows. Flynn can’t see. Blanchard is the shortest guy in the house.
– Charley claims him and Clayton are buddies but intends to knock his “f—ing teeth out”. Good friend. Charley says if he wants to be knocked out then he wants to be “knocked the f— out”.
CHARLEY: If you make me bleed, I want to make you bleed.
He really likes to put on a show.
CLAYTON “GREEN AND BLACK HAIR” MCKINNEY
– Clayton thanks the judges for the opportunity as he enters the octagon. He hopes to put a stop to Charley’s dreams “for the time being”.
– Our first ring girl booty shot of the season. Gotta love the sexism.
– Mazzagatti is our referee. They trade a few weak kicks and punches before Clayton scores the double takedown and drives Charley into the cage. Charley is sitting on his backside and has an arm around Clayton’s body.
– Clayton manages to get Charley on his side. He knees Chaley in the face as he stands up. Back on their feet. Charley misses a spinning backfist. Clayton counters one of Charley’s punches by ducking and getting a hold of him and eventually hip tossing him to the mat. Charley is back on his feet quickly. They break away from the grapple. Charley misses with a couple punches. Clayton connects with his punch after punch after punch and lands a knee to the face before they grapple again. They grapple. Charley has Clayton on the ground. Charley strikes from the top. Clayton attempts an armbar from the bottom but is nowhere close.
– Charley stands over Clayton. He lands a few strikes before Clayton willingly stands up. They trade some strikes. Clayton successfully lands another knee. Charley lands a good jab to the face for once. They grapple. Charley looks exhausted. He has a ton of blood on his nose. Charley lazily walks around as he grabs his own nose. Coaches speculate it is broken. How is Clayton not taking advantage of this?
– Charley swings for the fences but misses. Clayton comes in with a couple strikes before commenting on his nose. They wonder around for a bit. Clayton lands a wicked hook on Charley’s nose. Charley drops. Clayton swarms in until Mazzagatti stops it.
DANA: That is a broken f—ing nose.
As opposed to a broken nose.
I agree though, that nose is NASTYYYY.
– We get our Marines Fight Replay. Dana found the fight entertaining because Lynch was so tough. He comments that it is the most horrendous nose job he has seen all season.
– LIDDELL: I looked at a picture to see what his nose looked like before it went from being a normal one to uh–yeah, it was a good break.
– Charley and Clayton hug it out. Mazzagatti tells them that it was a good fight.
– Clayton’s arm is in multiple slings as he gives a confessional. It appears he didn’t get away unscathed either. He said that Charley’s nose looked worse than Rich Franklin’s. He ain’t kidding around either. That thing looks nasty.
CLAYTON: He has bowls of steel.
I think his accent meant to say ‘balls’ but okay.
– Clayton’s hand is raised and declares a money shot. He hopes it brings fear into the other fighters as a “gnarly dude”.
– And those are our fourteen contests. Dana White rounds up the fourteen qualifiers.
DANA: I said don’t be the guy to leave it in the hands of the judges and go home riding on the bus. Very f—ing impressive.
Except for the five or six fighters who won by leaving it in the hands of the judges?
– Nick thinks it will be a rough season with no easy fights.
– Dana claims he has never been so positive at the start of the season. Kyle’s confessional is completely in subtitles. That’s just mean. He talks about how the best fighter will win.
– Dana praises their fights. Kyacey is impressed with the talent and competition, but think she will still win.
– Dana is convinced that there will be good fights, and the coaches will want to win their matches really badly.
– Applause from the fighters. Aaaand scene.
Next Time on TUF: We see a bunch of clips for the season as the narrator says nothing.
– Wow. Did they really cram fourteen fights into one episode? Due to splitting them up in ten second fragments for some of them, yes they did.
BEN STARK 1 X
BRAD TAVARES 2
BRENT COOPER 1 X
CHARLES BLANCHARD 1
CHARLEY LYNCH 1 X
CHRIS CAMOZZI 3
CLAYTON MCKINNEY 4
CLEBURN WALKER 1 X
CONSTANTINOS PHILIPPOU 0 X
COURT MCGEE 1
GREG REBELLO 0 X
JACEN FLYNN 1 X
JAMES HAMMORTREE 1
JAMIE YAGER 2
JOE HENLE 2
JOSH BRYANT 1
JORDAN SMITH 1 X
KRIS MCCRAY 4
KYACEY USCOLA 4
KYLE NOKE 2
LYLE STEFFENS 0 X
NICK RING 2
NORMAN PARISY 2 X
RICH ATTONIO 1
SETH BACZYNSKI 0 X
VICTOR O’ DONNELL 2 X
WARREN THOMPSON 0 X
WOODY WEATHERBY 1 X
Rank the Fights
Cleburn Walker vs. Kris McCray (Kris landed beautiful hip tosses.)
Jamie Yager vs. Ben Stark (It’s easy to be cocky in a fight when your opponent has an inability to defend against head kicks.)
Brad Tavares vs. Jordan Smitch (Classic quick knockout by Tavares.)
Norman Parisy vs. James Hammertree (Glass Joe has more heart as a Frenchman than Norman Parisy.)
Previously on TUF: 28 middleweights showed up at the new and improved UFC training centre. Two UFC legends returned as coaches to do battle once again. After a day of brutal and bloody elimination fights, fourteen fighters survived.
It is the fewest number of people to enter the house.
“The war is on. Who will survive to become the Ultimate Fighter?”
– Yep. No intro yet again. You’ll have to wait another week, Limp Bizkit.
– We see shots of Vegas. The SUVs pull up. Everybody runs into the house and claims beds as if it is the Big Brother house. Clayton is first and describes the anxiety. Court still feels injured from his previous fight. Others discuss that simply making it into the house isn’t enough.
– There is a new wall of photos in the TUF house. It shows every contestant who has ever been apart of The Ultimate Fighter. One of Camozzi’s teeth is broken and infected. Clayton blew out his shoulder and requires steroid shots.
– There is a quote shown on the wall.
“DO YOU WANT TO BE A F—ING FIGHTER?” — DANA WHITE
Wow. Even when Dana tries to be inspirational, he can’t help but use a F-bomb.
– Chris wants to be coached by Tito because he helped him a lot during the fight. Uh oh. Sounds like somebody is going to get Ed Herman’d.
– It’s the UFC Gym the next day. Time to pick teams.
Liddell and his entourage enter along with Team Punishment’s entourage. Then Dana. Then the fourteen fighters.
– Dana brings out the new coin for the season. One side is red. The other is blue. Whoever’s side is facing up earns first pick. Punishment wins. Dana throws in his usual twist.
DANA: First pick or first fight. Whoever wins the fight keeps control for the next fight.
Ain’t no TUF 5 bullcrap.
– Tito wants first pick.
PUNISHMENT: Nick Ring.
– We see Nick’s fight highlights from opening day.
ICE MAN: Kyle.
– Cue Kyle’s highlights. His composure is highlighted.
– Ortiz said the rest of the pick ’em went exactly as he wanted. Liddell picked the guys he didn’t want while Ortiz got exactly the ones he wanted.
LIDDELL: Rich Attonito.
– Brief highlights persist for the whole pick em.
– His backflip reshown.
LIDDELL: Court McGee.
LIDDELL: Joe Henle.
And alas, Joe receives the distinction of being picked last.
– Ortiz thinks his team all has strength and finds Liddell’s picks questionable because they are smaller 185-pounders.
– Weigh-ins are Thursday and fight is on Friday. Like that matters to ninety percent of the viewers watching.
JAMES: Team Liddell looks like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. You got one tall one and then they’re all five-foot-nothin’.
Watch Team Liddell dominate.
– Dana talks to Tito about how Chuck’s picks were ridiculous.
DANA: Chuck is a strategy guy. . .but not today. You got everybody that won in the first round yesterday. Congratulations.
– Dana pulls Chuck aside about his surprising picks. Chuck thinks he got what he wanted because he has the tougher ones. Dana wonders who the first fight matchup will be. Tito clarifies how the fight assignments work out with control because they didn’t have a consistent rule base in TUF 1.
– Let’s just say Dana is less than optimistic about Chuck’s ability to win fights and keep control.
– Team Liddell training session. He takes their skills and make it a little better. We are introduced to the kickboxing coach, John Hackleman. He behaves like Ice-T. They have been together for 17 years.
– Striking coach is Olympic gold medalist somethin-Davis-Junior.
– Rich feels they are improving. Chuck seems very hands on.
CHUCK: Do what gotcha here.
So much for making yourself a well-rounded fighter.
– Ortiz screams encouragement at his players. He pulls a guy off the top of a punching bag. Saul Soliz, an assistant coach, say him and Tito are both perfectionists. Tito has a jiu jitsu coach. They do several three-minute drills.
– Clayton was nearly the last pick because of his injury. Tito tries to push him harder because he thinks Clayton has never been tested. He hops on Clayton’s back and yells that it is easy to quit.
TITO: The guys who say they know their limit are the type who are looking for excuses to get out.
Did you see his fight yesterday?!
– Clayton says there are certain things he can’t do because the doctor told him that he has a torn rotator cuff.
– Supposedly him or Chris will be picked for the first fight. Chris is the most banged up because he just had a three-round war. Chris is certain it will be him, but is ready to fight. He says it is all in the mind when it comes to pain.
– Fight Announcement time. Everyone is all smiles until Dana’s grumpy face enters. Chris intentionally sits in the front row so he can square off right away.
– Chuck calls upon Kyle Noke, his #1 pick, to take on Clayton McKinney. Psych! Chris doesn’t think that Clayton has much of a poker face and is clearly nervous. Clayton looks completely withdrawn alone in the gym.
– Yager, McCray, and Tavares hang out together because they find the same things funny and are the three brown people in the house. Wow. They like to openly segregate people more than the Big Brother 15 house.
– The three of them wake up everybody except the camera operators with air horns. Cursing ensues. Clayton shakes his head as he sits at a chess board at three o’ clock in the morning. They keep blowing the horns. Clayton finds it annoying. James has a good laugh because he thought he was at the fire station and jumped up immediately. Kyacey laughs as he thinks about how he almost lost his temper.
– Kyacey enters their bedroom with nothing but his basketball shorts. Yager thinks it is all about cracking a smile.
– People make fun of the trio for giggling like little school girls during the night. It wasn’t cool, man. Yager enters the room by hiking up his boxers. So weird.
– James describes Clayton and Yager as step-brothers who hate each other. Clayton snaps on him for saying he hasn’t fought anybody and has nothing but a mouth.
– Punishment van. Yager laughs in the van. Now we’re at the gym. Clayton is whisked off to the MRI.
– The good news is that there isn’t any sort of tear or permanent injury. However, there is a contusion and fluid collection in one of his shoulder bones. It’s just a bad bone bruise. Tito tries his best to shut Clayton’s complaining down quick. Both thank the doctor. Clayton playfully whines. Tito says he is only hard on Clayton because he cares.
– Clayton continues to whine in confessionals. We see him run on a treadmill in a yellow hoodie. Is the air conditioning pumping that hard? Clayton intends to go ‘balls to the wall’.
– Liddell training session. Kyle is shadow boxing while everybody else is together training. Kyle has received such a small edit. Perhaps Clayton will win the fight. Kyle is from Greg Jackson’s camp but originally from Australia. He wants the first Australian title holder. Liddell says he is an outstanding fighter. Hackleman says he doesn’t find any weaknesses with Noke.
– One of the fighters ask Liddell why him and Ortiz are matched up. Ortiz said in an interview right before the season started that Dana had an intervention for Liddell’s accused alcoholism. Liddell denies it all. And even if it was true, Liddell says that would be a jerk move.
LIDDELL: I’d drop Tito here, but knowing Tito, he’d be enough of a pussy to press charges.
– Liddell pretends to wind up a punch and hit the camera.
– Ortiz training session. Lots of bags being punched with Ortiz counting in the background. Ortiz is talking to the camera as we can see Nick training with a boxing bag in the background.
– Ortiz decides to have fun. It’s his birthday. They blow out candles on a dozen cupcakes.
ORTIZ: My wish is that we go undefeated, and every Mexican kid’s birthday needs to have a pinata in it.
– Cue a Iceman pinata that is hoisted above the octagon. Ortiz punches and kicks it around as the pinata pours out. . .money. Best pinata ever. The players scramble to collect the cash as Ortiz strikes it with cruel intentions. They were all single dollar bills. Yager hoped for twenties and fifties.
– Somebody puts on the Iceman face. The guy punches himself in the chin and immediately collapses. Mean.
– Clayton is in front of a mirror wearing a toque before taking it off and resting on a couch as he drinks a minimal amount of water. He wants them all to shut the f— up in the locker room. He is annoyed to hear their voices especially Yager as he is twenty pounds under weight.
– Assistant coaches encourage Kyle and talks about he is a respectful person.
– Marines sponsour the official weigh-in. Dana finds the matchup interesting. He didn’t find Kyle incredibly impressive. Kyle is wearing green-and-yellow briefs. Joe thinks Kyle will only lose if he gets caught.
– Kyle weighs in at 186.
– Dana says Clayton had a tough fight where he hurt his shoulder. Clayton is 185.5. James thinks Clayton can be a stud. Dana says that Kyle is the favourite because of Clayton’s injury.
– Clayton puts on Lonely Island glasses before tilting it down as he faces off with Kyle. Rich wants to “throw Yager a beating”. Him and Yager talk trash at the weigh-in.
– Fight Day. This fight is gonna be over quick. We see them shadow boxing at the house. Clayton writes down notes. Kyle likes fighting first. Chuck pops over and announces he will fight Tito one week after the show. Provided Tito still wants the fight.
– They are taped up in the locker rooms and do last-minute prep. Kyle refuses to be cocky and assume he will knock the opponent out. Sounds like lay and pray to me.
CLAYTON: Oh crikey! I think I’m gonna have to beat his a–.
– Players whistle as one of the ring girls go by. Way to be classy.
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO
– Dana introduces the first preliminary fight. Herby is our referee. They slowly walk to touch gloves. Both dance around. Kyle fires a leg kick. Clayton returns fire. They dance around some more. Clayton fakes a superman. Weak leg kick. Kyle feints too. Clayton misses a leg kick. Clayton drops his arms but puts them back up. More dancing. Kyle connects with a front kick. Clayton backs away before coming in with a zero-punch combination.
– Clayton pretends that he is going to throw a right hook. Kyle misses a head kick. They find themselves in a grapple. Clayton has Kyle’s back. Clayton is on top in half mount. Kyle tried to grab a leg but failed. Kyle tries a triangle followed by an armbar. Clayton dodges it and is still on top. Kyle slaps on a triangle. He is on top temporarily but Clayton keeps rolling. Clayton is back on top. Clayton’s face is awfully red. Suddenly he taps. End of fight.
– Kyle earns the W. Clayton finds it embarrassing. Ortiz congratulates Noke. Clayton exits the octagon and retreats to the locker room but Ortiz begs a minute with him. Please. Please. Please. Please. Wow, this is getting annoying. Clayton sits down with Ortiz and doesn’t even look at him. Ortiz keeps begging for a minute of his time and promises it will ensure he never gets caught like that again. Clayton agrees.
ORTIZ: Okay. (Points to a random fighter). Go on your back.
CLAYTON: Dude! I don’t wanna learn this s—!
(CLAYTON stands up.)
ORTIZ: PLEASE! C’MON! You’ll get caught in this s— again!
– Ortiz puts himself in Clayton’s position and shows how to escape the triangle. Clayton is barely focused. Ortiz finishes the instruction and wants Clayton to do the drill twice right then and there.
– They all clap after he does the drill twice. He cries as he sits on the ground. Eventually he stands up and proclaims he is embarrassed.
ORTIZ: HEY! IT’S A MISTAKE WE ALL MAKE!
– Iceman celebrates. 1 down. 6 to go. It’s never been so easy to sweep. Dana still believes that Tito picked the better team, but that Chuck will have the better strategy. Brains versus brawn, in other words.
– Next Time on TUF: A shocking announcement from Dana shakes up the competition. Tensions boil over on Team Ortiz and Jaime Yager is at the centre of it all. Then two more middleweights face off in the octagon. Who will move one step closer to becoming the next Ultimate Fighter?
NICK RING 0
KYACEY USCOLA 0
KRIS MCCRAY 1
JAMIE YAGER 5
JAMES HAMMORTREE 5
CLAYTON MCKINNEY 11
CHRIS CAMOZZI 6
KYLE NOKE 3
RICH ATTONITO 2
CHARLES BLANCHARD 0
JOSH BRYANT 0
BRAD TAVARES 2
COURT MCGEE 1
JOE HENLE 1
Rank the Fights
1) Kyle Noke vs. Clayton McKinney (Clayton went from ‘hero’ to ‘zero’ very quickly. He was considered a stud in the qualifying fight but this entire episode he was treated as a joke. He was made into a pansy with his slight shoulder following the praise in the season premiere. Kyle Noke was silent, but that’s probably because he was a boring and respectable fighter. The storylines leading up to the fight were great, but the fight itself was an uneventful affair until it went to the ground and Clayton got caught in a triangle.
“I know you are super angry about losing ten seconds ago, but just give me ONE MINUTE of your time to do a quick training session when all you want to do is break down a locker room door”.)
2) Cleburn Walker vs. Kris McCray (Kris landed beautiful hip tosses.)
3) Jamie Yager vs. Ben Stark (It’s easy to be cocky in a fight when your opponent has an inability to defend against head kicks.)
4) Brad Tavares vs. Jordan Smitch (Classic quick knockout by Tavares.)
5) Norman Parisy vs. James Hammertree (Glass Joe has more heart as a Frenchman than Norman Parisy.)
Previously on TUF: Dana thought Chuck missed the mark on team picks. Chris Camozzi pushed through the pain from his three-round elimination slugfest. Team Liddell claimed victory when Kyle Noke scored a first round submission over Clayton McKinney. Who will be the next casualty in the battle to become The Ultimate Fighter?
– Yep. We have restored to the tradition of an intro not occurring until episode three. No duplicates of the same name this season. Bye bye last name initial!
– How many more times must I listen to this intro? I wouldn’t mind a remix of the theme for each season like Survivor usually does.
– Coaches and Dana enter. All of the fighters are on the mat. Brad thinks this impromptu meeting means something bad will happen.
– Dana summons Chris Camozzi. I figured by all of the attention early on that he must be a big character, but didn’t think it would be this early. He has nice tattoos.
– Dana compliments that he is everything that The Ultimate Fighter is looking for. Sadly, he has a broken jaw. Therefore, he’s out. That’s why you can’t go three rounds. Apparently it’s just a fracture where he has his toothache, but if he gets hit hard enough, the whole jaw will break.
– Everyone is upset and sad piano music plays. Everybody on both teams hugs it out with him. He is extraordinarily popular. They are stunned, including The Promise. Chris thanks them for the opportunity before exiting the house. Poor Camozzi.
– Because there was a record low fourteen people entering the house, there of course needs to be a replacement. Dana asks Tito to pick one of the eliminated fighters from the qualifying round to enter. He highlighted the names of those who are healthy, but sadly we never see this list. Replacements by picking somebody who never entered the house yet after the first fight hasn’t happened since TUF 2 (yes?)
– Only four names are highlighted. Dana reminds everyone how easy it is to be kicked out from the game. Everyone is unsettled. Even Clayton who has already lost.
– Liddell training session. Chuck insists matchups make fights. He trains Court and others with the short hook. Court likes that Liddell doesn’t pick a favourite. Hackleman thinks his camp is happier.
– House time. Wish they showed what day number it was like they used to in the older seasons. Charles Blanchard reveals he went to school for massage therapy. He is massaging Nick Ring from the opposite team at two o’ clock in the morning. Kris McCray does not find it okay. He thinks everybody should be in bed or brushing their teeth.
– Charles jokes he is giving massages at two o’ clock in the morning because he is a “big f-g”. He jokes with McCray and Yager as he poses for them as Captain America ain his boxers, and flosses his teeth. McCray finds it weird to have a man-on-man massage at three.
– Dana rounds up the teams. It’s time to reveal that Seth Baczynski is coming back. The guy who lost to Court McGee in that evenly matched affair. Seth finds it surreal to be thrown into the situation. It’s probably been nearly two weeks.
– It’s also time for fight matchup. Tito jokes with Baczynski that Chuck is about to pick him. Everyone chuckles.
– Liddell picks Brad Tavares from his own team to fight. . .wow, there’s no indication as to who he will fight.
– Dana likes how Hammortree made Parisy quit after making things turn around, and how Tavares has good striking and wrestling.
– Punishment training session. Yager and The Promise get into a fight while sparring because Yager called him names. They are pulled away while wearing helmets. The team is rounded up on the mat outside the cage. Ortiz says that Yager needs to check kicks.
YAGER: People are sandbagging it coach.
Oooooh, that will not be a popular statement amongst your team. Usually people are considered outcasts on their team for having a weaker spirit than everybody else rather than being upset with everybody else for not working hard enough.
– Yager says that Nick is a “b—-” for complaining that he got hit too hard, therefore making it a “b—-” move.
– Official weigh ins already. This fight must go to decision. Rich views Brad as possessing legit standup. McCray views both as working without a leash. They square off. Yager doesn’t care who won. Brown Pride.
– Introduced to Brad from Hawaii. Howard Davis JR. wishes he threw his jab a bit more. Brad thinks they will both stand and bang.
– Introduced to James. He holds a record for the fastest KO in Florida (five seconds). Okay Todd Duffee. James intends to ground and pound. Tito identifies with James’ style.
– Fight Day. James hasn’t really talked to Brad much. He is in the kitchen doing random stuff. I sense a Brad victory. It’s clear that James is a much bigger 185er. James intends to take control of the fight. They are doing last-minute prep in the locker room. Davis sprays a bunch of water on Brad’s face.
– Dana is in a new suit!
– We go to commercial after they enter the octagon.
– We resume with a super random scene. They are in the streets tossing tires backwards with Vegas buildings in the background at night.
– Dana introduces the fight. Mazzagatti is tragically our ref.
– They touch gloves. Leg kick by Brad. Then a head kick. Then a leg kick. James is eyeing the takedown. Then they dance around. Brad feints a legkick. He connects with a punch to the face. Frontkick. Head movement. James makes a move for the takedown. He shoves Brad against the fence. Brad defends the takedown but James still has a single. Brad has decent balance. He punches James in the skirmish before hip tossing him. He has his back. Tito tells James to spin. James is on his stomach. Brad has his arms around James’ throat. James flips over and they rotate until James is on top of Brad against the fence.
– Half mount. Nobody is throwing strikes. Brad is on his side against the fence. Never seen that before. They work back to their feet. Brad has James against the fence. Both sides screaming for underhooks. James takes Brad down and has his back. Brad escapes and has James’ back on the ground. James turtles in order to defend. This is quite the amateur grappling match. They grapple until Brad has mount on James. James gives his back. James easily gets back to his feet. Size difference comes in handy.
– James rotates and is in half mount on Brad. Dang. Never seen position change so much. James has side control. Now Brad tries to get to his feet. James has Brad’s body under his as they get to their feet. Then back to their knees. It’s like he is preparing a piledriver. End of round. Good mix of strikes and grappling.
– We go to commercial. Another random scene. Assistant Coach Scott Epstein for the Ice Man complains about Tito in an empty gym with the exception of Ice Man. Wow. Never been introduced to this guy yet. He hates how Tito made stuff about Ice Man. He throws a rock at Ortiz’s nipples on the poster, and thinks Ortiz is afraid of Chuck.
– We go ‘back’ to the present. Ortiz and Ice Man give last minute advice before the start of the round.
– Ortiz screams out for numbers. They dance around. Ortiz is told not to be afraid. Brad connects with James’ face but James is also going for the takedown. He has underhooks with Brad against the cage. James fails at a hip toss. Shoves Brad into the cage. They bounce off the cage before Brad puts James on his back surprisingly. Brad spins around for north-south but James is back on his knees. They are on their feet. Brad does a jumping knee to connect with James’ face, but falls onto the mat in the process.
– He gets back up as they continue to grapple. James has Brad’s back on the ground. A couple of weak hammer fists. They are close to the fence. Brad is nearly flattened out. This fight will likely be about fatigue. Brad has ahold of James’ left arm. They are in Ortiz’s corner. Back to their feet but James still has Brad’s back. He trips Brad back onto the ground.
– Brad is on his side. I guess James technically has side control. Brad continues to work James’ arm. James is not striking. Neither is Brad. James’ right elbow is bleeding. James is punching the side that is exposed. Brad has refused to give up the right arm. Brad flips up his legs to go for an armbar but James escapes. He stands above Brad before going into Brad’s guard. James hugs him as Brad punches him from the bottom. End of round.
– Ortiz tells James to be ready for one more round, and insists Brad is tired. Classic coaching.
– Dana announces it is a draw. Everyone cheers when they hear it is sudden victory.
– We are introduced to Ice Man’s Olympic coach. He talks like an elf. The guy looks like an elf too. Oh, end of random scene.
– Back to the present. Ortiz coaches James. Just think they need to fight ttwice more.
– They swing for fences right away. Both then proceed to dance around. Feints. Breathing hard. Tons of sweat. Hot! What neat tattoos on Brad. Brad does a couple leg kicks. He spins around for no reason as James nearly charges in. Brad lands a couple punches. James fails at a superman punch before shooting. He succeeds on the takedown.
– Half mount. Both are absolutely exhausted. They are simply holding one another. James punches Brad’s face a few times. James is now in full mount. Brad bucks him off. Brad works fast enough to get James on his back and stands above James. He punches from up top. James flops around to be on his knees as Brad tries to ride his back. He lays down hammer fist after hammer fist as James drives him into every fence in the octagon. They finally rest against the fence but in the same position.
– They freeze as Brad lays down a couple punches. James is still underneath Brad and is underneath him but yet nearly has his back. Brad is sitting on his butt. James falls to his knees. Now on their feet but still in this weird position. They fall to their knees again. James is on his feet while Brad is on his knees. STILL in the same position. Brad tries going for a wrist. Big mistake as James’ position slightly improves. Both are still hunched over but on their feet as they rest against the fence.
– James is still underneath Brad. Both slump to their knees and butt. Brad tries to kick James’ hand from underneath. Good flexibility. Now on their feet but position remains the same. I think this position is advantageous for Brad because he has defended these underhooks for four minutes.
– Brad lays down a few punches as James drives him into another fence. End of round. End of fight. No idea who won that.
– I guarantee you that whoever loses will be fighting in the wildcard match.
– Dana praises the fight. Not over-the-top, but liked it. They recap the fight. No need to recap what they recapped. You don’t see too many fights go full 15 minutes in the first round. Ice Man tries to insist that Brad went for more submissions.
– Brad and James hug it out.
– Dana announces that Brad won by unanimous decision in the final round. All of Ortiz’s team boos while all of Ice Man team’s cheers.
– Brad is stoked. He said it’s a win for him, his team, his family, and his friends.
– James is drained. Ortiz is frustrated. He hates that James’ side mount and full mount didn’t earn enough credit. Hey, it’s unanimous decision in favour of the non-wrestler. How rare is that for UFC?
– James hopes for wildcard. I think he has earned it too. Even if he is purely a wrestler.
– Next Time on TUF: Tito looks to rebound from two straight losses. But hostility between his fighters could kill any hope for success. Then a controversy in the cage sets off a post-fight riot. All this plus two fights in one electrifying episode. Who will become the next ultimate fighter?
NICK RING 2
KYACEY USCOLA 0
KRIS MCCRAY 1
JAMIE YAGER 2
JAMES HAMMORTREE 5 X
CLAYTON MCKINNEY 1 X
CHRIS CAMOZZI 1
SETH BACZYNSKI 1
KYLE NOKE 0
RICH ATTONITO 1
CHARLES BLANCHARD 1
JOSH BRYANT 0
BRAD TAVARES 7
COURT MCGEE 1
JOE HENLE 0
Rank the Fights
1) Brad Tavares vs. James Hammortree (A lovely three-round decision. I love the back-and-forth nature of this fight. Both fighters were aiming to finish and giving their all. I would hate to be a judge for that fight, but I take comfort in assuming that James will be apart of the wildcard. The fight was very well-rounded in terms of skills being displayed.)
2) Kyle Noke vs. Clayton McKinney (Clayton went from ‘hero’ to ‘zero’ very quickly. He was considered a stud in the qualifying fight but this entire episode he was treated as a joke. He was made into a pansy with his slight shoulder following the praise in the season premiere. Kyle Noke was silent, but that’s probably because he was a boring and respectable fighter. The storylines leading up to the fight were great, but the fight itself was an uneventful affair until it went to the ground and Clayton got caught in a triangle.
“I know you are super angry about losing ten seconds ago, but just give me ONE MINUTE of your time to do a quick training session when all you want to do is break down a locker room door”.)
3) Cleburn Walker vs. Kris McCray (Kris landed beautiful hip tosses.)
4) Jamie Yager vs. Ben Stark (It’s easy to be cocky in a fight when your opponent has an inability to defend against head kicks.)
5) Brad Tavares vs. Jordan Smitch (Classic quick knockout by Tavares.)
6) Norman Parisy vs. James Hammertree (Glass Joe has more heart as a Frenchman than Norman Parisy.)