At the start of tonight’s episode, we are reminded of the Junie’s smack talk before his fight with Roli. After 3 grueling rounds, Roli loses a split decision. After the fight, there is wonder about who will be fighting in the next LHW matchup: for Team Mir will it be Krzysztof or Vinny and for Team Nog will it be Kyle or Jules?
When we come back to the present, everyone is discussing the fight between Junie and Roli, which Junie won by split decision. Someone even goes so far as to describe the fight as spectacular (were they watching the same fight?). Kyle admits that Roli impressed everyone, and everyone else agrees that Junie did NOT back up his trash talk as he had promised.
Back in Team Mir’s room, Mir lets loose on Junie, saying that winning a split decision over Roli is not good enough and that it’s his own fault. Junie agrees and adds that it’s a victory that’s really a loss. In Krzysztof’s eyes, the only thing he needs to work on is his conditioning. Wisely, Mir tells Junie not to drink tonight — no fiascos. He advises him that if he wants a career, he needs to do things right.
Later at the Team Mir Training Session, Mir is happy to have it tied up, and thinks his next choice for matchup will change the chain of events. As we saw in the previous TUF leak, we see Krzysztof grappling and getting hurt. Thankfully, it is only his thumb. He claims he can still make a fist so it’s no big deal. Talk about a bullet dodged for Team Mir.
At Nogueira’s Training Session, things look very interesting… it looks like they’re playing leapfrog. Jules talks about the camaraderie of the team and how everyone picks on everyone else. In defense of his strange training, Nog says he wants to keep things light sometimes. He adds that if he had control of the fights, he’d choose either Jules or Kyle. He jokes that he’s frustrated that he doesn’t have control and would choose “this and this and this”, but he can’t do “nothing.”
Back with Team Mir, he talks about how he didn’t always take conditioning seriously, but now stresses how anaerobic conditioning is the most important. So he brings in a guy from Wanderlei Silva’s camp to help with their training. The guys wear snorkels to limit their oxygen intake — this pushes them through the hardest workout they’d ever been through. They have to sprint for five minutes with the headgear and snorkel strapped to their faces. Then they are forced to jump into a garbage can FILLED with ice to reduce inflammation in their joints, sending the blood flow back to their heart. Mir says the cardio pain crushes EVERYBODY. Soon after, they begin grappling. Mir says Vinny’s ground game is unparalleled to anyone else on the show. He even admits that he’s so scary on the ground, there are things he’s showing Mir!
At the house, a few guys are cooking; what, I can’t tell. Then we find that Jules and Phillipe have baked cakes for Nog’s birthday. As they’re cooking dinner, Nogueira and the other coaches show up. Phillipe is glad he comes over because it’s like they have a tight knit family. Nog genuinely seems to be happy to be with the guys and jokes that he loved all the food. Kyle finds that Nog isn’t as homesick as he thought he would be, which makes the guys feel special.
As Team Mir is watching all this, Shane Nelson makes fun of them all — says they all act like they’ve known each other for 20 years. In agreement, Vinny claims that it seems so “fake.”
The next day, at the fight announcement, Mir announces that the next Light Heavyweight bout will be between Vinny Magalhaes and Jules Bruchez. This seems to please everyone. In response to the fight pick, Nog says Jules has to keep the fight standing up; he can’t let the fight go to the ground because Vinny’s Jiu Jitsu is dangerous. Mir, on the other hand, thinks Vinny will destroy him. Born in Brazil, Vinny started training in Jiu Jitsu at 13 years old and has been champ several times. Mir thinks he has both the talent and the tools, but there are things he needs to work on. He’s developing his standup and picking up some good combinations. In his favor are the fact that Vinny is phenomenally strong and has good conditioning.
Nogueira discusses Vinny and how he might look good in the gym, but when he get in the ring he’s different. Early on, he was going to make him his second pick but is now glad he didn’t because Vinny is running his mouth too much. And what’s an episode of TUF without a little drama? Team Nogueira begins to tell Nog some trash that Vinny was “supposedly” talking about him, so angry, Nog confronts Vinny. He repeats to Vinny what the guys told him, and avers that they are enemies now, that he shouldn’t have said anything, and that he blew it with him. Vinny tries to rectify the situation, and tells him that he would never say anything about him, but Nog won’t even hear it. Vinny swears he’s telling the truth and that Nog took their side without knowing everything. In defense, he even tells him to look back at all the tapes, because he never said anything. Nog says he’d be happy to, and will ask forgiveness if he is wrong, but he is still angry. Now Vinny is pissed because of the gossip. He doesn’t know if it’s a cultural thing, but if this were in Brazil, someone would be being punched in the face (now that would make for exciting TV!).
Later, at a Team Nogueira Training Session, Jules and Nog are sparring. Jules says this is hands- down the most important fight he’s ever had. It’s a personal goal of his to fight someone of this caliber. He is going to try to get Vinny wherever he’s uncomfortable. With a twinkle of hope in his eyes, Nog says that Jules is getting better with each session but he has to show a lot of heart to win the fight. Jules admits that Vinny is one of the top Jiu Jitsu fighters in the world, but luckily for him it’s an MMA match, not a Jiu Jitsu match. And apparently Jules is not the only one with high hopes for his chances. Primm gives Jules a chance because Vinny does not like to be hit. That being said, Kyle hopes that Jules pounds his “pretty Brazilian face” in.
At home, Junie is trying to get Vinny pumped up for the fight and they are all making predictions. Nelson’s prediction is a flying armbar two minutes into the first round. Rope also predicts a win for Vinny; it was just a matter of how long it takes Vinny to get Jules to the ground. Then Krzysztof begins with the pranks. He had previously ordered a body bag, flowers and a headstone for Jules, which her personalizes with “He lived. He died…. Who cares?” This is all set up in Jules room as a memorial.
The upcoming fight seems to be a hot topic. As Vinny is grappling, Krzysztof talks him up (they are training partners back home). He is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champ, but a quiet guy. However, he is not counting Jules out, as Jules is a lefty and that in and of itself may throw Vinny off. This will also be bad for Vinny in that Vinny does not like to be punched in the face.
Upon Team Nogueira’s return from the gym, immediately everyone sees the “funeral” made for Jules. Jules admits it’s a good one, that he feels special. All think it’s actually pretty cool (finally, a prank taken for what it is!). Later on, Jules talks about his experience (when he fought Magee in elimination). Because of that fight, he feels that people underestimate him because he didn’t get to throw a punch or even really showcase his skills. He’s from a small school with no big names, so he’s hard to study. Jules likes being the underdog, because he likes to spoil it for the guys who think they’re going to win the show. He wants to impress people by being the guy to beat a tough opponent.
(I guess nothing of worth happens at the weigh ins?)
In prefight trash-talking, Vinny says that Jules only chance is if he knocks him out, as Jules has no chance of submitting him. Vinny, however, can knock Jules out, submit him, or just make him cry.
Jules says he’s always nervous before a fight. His plan is to come out, landing a big left and breaking his teeth, punishing him until he can’t take anymore.
While they’re getting ready, Vinny jokes to Mir that he had a nightmare that he got submitted by Jules. Mir looks straight into the camera and says if that happens, he’ll quit as coach for the rest of the season. Vinny says he’ll leave the house if he loses and Mir says he’ll go with him, that he’ll keep the car running outside.
(I already know this will be over fast, as it’s 10:52EST)
And we finally see Dana!
No big left as Bruchez promised. The two are pretty much just feeling each other out. Finally, we get a big kick from Magalhaes that is blocked. The next good leg kick from Magalhaes is landed. This is followed by a good kick from Bruchez. Magalhaes returns with another great kick to the knee. The two exchange jabs. Magalhaes tries to land a big roundhouse that would’ve been deadly if it hadn’t missed. He follows this up with a good body kick, then another that is blocked. In continuing, he lands another good kick to Bruchez’s knee. Bruchez taunts Magalhaes to come at him. So he does and lands a good body kick. Bruchez returns the favor. (HO HUM — that’s what I’m thinking). Finally, Bruchez lands a few punches and they begin to clinch. As they are clinching, Magalhaes latches on to Bruchez’s arm, at which time he swings his body, pulls Bruchez down and tries to get him in a triangle on the ground. They begin to grapple and Magalhaes sweeps and gets full mount and is working for a submission. He is able to get his arm, swings himself over for the armbar, and Bruchez taps.
After the fight, Mir claims that the fight was a nightmare, that Vinny wants to be a kickboxer, and Jules is petrified. Nog agrees and says that Jules gave Vinny too much respect due to the kicks.
And almost as if he took the words right out of my mouth, Dana admits that he almost fell asleep until it went to the ground. “Vinny’s ground game is a amazing, his stand up is boring.”
As his parting words, Jules says that he is disappointed in his performance, but is not quitting. And to show the damage done by Vinny, they show shots of his ribs…nice and pink.
* Stolen food becomes bait for the next wave of pranks.
* Mir makes the next matchup — Will it be Roop or Kaplan and Nover or Polakowski?
* Betrayal from one fighter might change the outcome in the octagon?
It seems to me like even though Junie is not creating the drama anymore, the TUF house hasn’t changed. Someone’s food, man…. that’s one thing you just don’t mess with!