Previously on TUF, the 14 hopefuls arrived at the gym and were quickly put to the test by the coaches. Already, Myles Jury is out due to a knee injury, making the way for his replacement, Chuck Oâ€™Neill. And by the showâ€™s end, Team Dos Santos takes the quick lead over Team Jackson when first pick Shamar Bailey ekes out a decision over last pick Nordin Asrih. Who will be the next to fall?
Tonight, Team Dos Santos is off to train with some seriously hardcore workouts that include big cardio and big lifting. The guys are happy with their initial win, but they do not want to rest on their laurels. They continue to work hard, but several teammates and coaches are worried about Keonâ€™s mental state. He just doesnâ€™t seem all there. He admits that his mind just isnâ€™t in it â€“ itâ€™s with his family.
Brock expected Nordin to lose the fight, but still, he hates to lose (as if anyone likes it). He wants to use what little time he has to lead these â€œkidsâ€ (as he calls them) in the right direction. The way he sees them, they all lack wrestling skills and that is going to be their focus. However, as the so pithy Brock puts it, â€œYou canâ€™t make chicken salad out of chicken s**t.â€ Deep, Brock, real deep.
By the dayâ€™s end, Keon approaches Junior and has decided that he wants to give up and go back to his family. Junior tries to convince him to stay, but he still seems on the fence. Shamar makes a good point â€“ heâ€™s a grown man and has to make his own decisions. If he needs to be talked into staying, maybe he just doesnâ€™t belong there. And then Dana shows up at practice looking for Keon â€“ perhaps he will make the decision for him.
Keon has a little heart to heart with Dana, and it doesnâ€™t take much for Dana to convince him to suck it up and do what heâ€™s got to do. So it looks like heâ€™s staying after all.
Now itâ€™s time for Team Dos Santos to pick the next fight. The choose Javier Torres (one of Team Dos Santosâ€™s best) to fight Chris Cope (Lesnarâ€™s next to last pick). One advantage that Javier has over Chris is in the coaching â€“ one of JDSâ€™s coaches actually trained with Chris for a year and knows his weaknesses well. As long as he sticks to the plan, he should win.
With Keonâ€™s decision to stay, he continues with practice, but it seems as though the pressure has gotten to him again. Apparently we spoke too soon earlier. He talks to Junior and wants to go home. Who is Junior to stop him? So he lets him go. Keon admits that he might not get a chance like this again, but he needs to be with his family now. Really? Has he not seen the show before? How do you not know what youâ€™re getting into?
At Team Lesnarâ€™s training, Chris admits that heâ€™s a â€œpart-time fighterâ€ because heâ€™s got an 8-hour-a-day job. But heâ€™s not letting that hold him back. To give his team a morale boost, Brock gives them a speech about not letting the underdog mentality get to them. As he says, “any given Sunday.” Anyone can win, at any time. Even the greatest champions have had losing moments (a moment of humility for Brock? Touching.). Itâ€™s entirely up to Chris to make the decision once he steps in the cage.
Both dance a bit, but finally Torres strikes first with a series of short jabs. He gets Cope against the cage and tries to work his body, alternating between knees and jabs. Cope counters while Torres maintains control. After much of nothing, they return to the center and exchange several short shots. Torres gets Cope against the cage again and manages to sweep a leg for the take down. Cope rolls and briefly allows Torres to take his back. But Cope is able to get back up and they clinch again. A big swinging right separates them and leads to a few misplaced throws. Cope gets Torres backing up this time and controls him against the cage. He starts looking for the sweep while keeping control. The clinching continues, with control alternating, but neither advancing their position. The round ends with the guys on their feet and a last second leg kick from Cope.
Cope attacks first and with a nice jab combo. The briefly clinch, but return to standing quickly. A nice leg kick from Torres sounds painful. Torres checks a body kick from Cope. And they are back against the cage with Torres in control. Torres seems to be â€œrestingâ€ a lot, while Cope throws some knees and elbows. Cope seems to have more control and Torres seems more gassed. Torres attempts a superman punch that fails. Cope keeps at Torres with several kicks, and has Torres backing up a lot. A big swing from Cope pushes Torres back to the cage where he canâ€™t keep Torres pinned long. Back away, Torres lands a sweeping leg kick that gets Cope off balance, but he regains it quickly. Torres charges forward and clinches, but canâ€™t do much and the round ends with Cope in control.
No surprise that the judges have called the fight a draw; there will be another (boring) round.
The round starts with a several uncountered leg kicks from Cope. A failed superman punch leads to a leg kick for Torres that doesnâ€™t connect. (And another superman punchâ€¦really?). Cope gets control on the cage and it starts to look like heâ€™s getting him down, but theyâ€™re back up quickly. A glancing shot to Torresâ€™s family jewels breaks them up for a second, but once they restart Cope is pumped to keep going. This round is truly a repeat of Round 2. Cope is doing all the work and Torres is backpedaling a lot. Torres is completely gassed. Cope lands a few leg kicks, backs Torres up against the cage and lands a nice uppercut. The round ends unimpressively.
Winner: Chris Cope via Decision
A completely unimpressive fight (especially given the hype behind Javier). Javier had virtually no game. And like Brock said, there was nothing pretty about Chrisâ€™s win. The only thing Chris had going for him was that he clearly had more stamina â€“ Javierâ€™s cardio gave out after the first round and that is why Chris was able to win.
Javier is disappointed that he lost control for the team, though Coach Lou seems to take it the hardest and doesnâ€™t let Javier forget it. But Team
Chicken Shit Lesnar is elated to finally have it. And their excitement is felt all over the gym.
Two weeks in and two very dreadful fights. Please tell me there is some talent hiding in that house somewhere. Or else this is going to be a long season.
Next week: Team Dos Santos welcomes a new fighter to replace Keon. Coach Lou takes training too far. Household drama spills over into the gym. Oh and thereâ€™s another fight tooâ€¦
The 13th season of The Ultimate Fighter pits former UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar versus top-ranked contender Junior Dos Santos, who is riding high on a 3-year win streak. Faced with 14 welterweights who have given up their lives to be here, who will the coaches pick to become the next Ultimate Fighter?
As the newest class of hopefuls stride into the gym, they are pumped and become even more so when it is announced that they will not have to fight their way into the house. Also back into the mix will be the wildcard spot. Butâ€¦Dana has to give his usual lecture about not screwing up this once in a lifetime opportunity. Fight for life, or get out.
The coaches are brought in and given their introductionsâ€¦totally pumps up Lesnarâ€™s credentials (prior to MMA), but completely fails to talk about Dos Santos pre-UFC (how can you not mention his amazing kickboxing career where he went 18-0?). Gee, whoâ€™s your golden-boy, Dana?
Onto the fightersâ€™ evaluations. They are put through a cardio/conditioning test, a bit of wrestling, rolling, sparring, etc. Lesnar even gives them a sort of Miss USA style interview, asking them why they want to be there. And while Dos Santos admits his limited English, he knows they can all speak the language of the fight, even if he canâ€™t â€œinterviewâ€ them.
After the evaluations are complete, the coaches meet with Dana to discuss the prospects. Both coaches seem hopeful. Dana flips a coin to see who gets first fighter or first fight. Brock wins the toss and opts to pick the first fighter. Itâ€™ll be interesting to see who he chooses.
The choices were made in advance, so Dana is left to toss the guys their jerseys (in the order in which they were chosen):
They waste no time getting to training the next morning. Team Dos Santosâ€™ first training session is used to figure out who is the best condition for the first fight. Team Lesnarâ€™s training is much of the same, but as Dos Santos has the first fight pick, heâ€™s concerned about the possibility of Myles being the first pick. Itâ€™s discovered, after an MRI, is that Mylesâ€™ ACL and his meniscus are torn. Doctorâ€™s orders? He canâ€™t fight. Both Brock and Myles take it surprisingly well and want to just let it heal. That is until Dana breaks the news that because he canâ€™t fight, he canâ€™t stay. But he vows to be back in the UFC. Taking his place will be Chuck Oâ€™Neill.
Team Dos Santos makes the first fight picks and opts to put Shamar Bailey (Dos Santosâ€™ #1 pick) up against Nordin Asrih (Lesnarâ€™s last pick). Itâ€™s definitely an interesting fight choice. Is JDS trying to pick off Lesnarâ€™s boys from the bottom up? Creative strategy? Or just a bad idea?
Nordinâ€™s strength is striking and his gameplan is to keep it standing for 10 minutes. Lesnar knows that he has his work cut out for him. Shamar is said to be violent, aggressive and a fast, strong wrestler. His goal is to control the fight and to finish it wherever he can.
(My thoughts â€“ Shamar already looks like he has the better skillset to win this fight, but I do not like his cockiness. Unfortunately I donâ€™t think Nordin has a shot in hell)
Bailey attacks first and quickly gets and keeps Asrih down. He manages to get Asrih away from the cage, but even with side-control Asrih is able to look for a crank. So far Bailey is not able to do much with his side-control. Finally he lands a few punches. As he spins around, he allows Asrih to get up. But itâ€™s not long before Bailey gets Asrih down on his back again. This time in half guard, he does a little more damage with some elbows and hammer-fists. A continues to work hard to look for the advantage. Bailey backs up and drops down a couple big fists. Bailey ends up back in half guard and continues to do a lot of nothing but shifting his weight. A few punches here and there, but Asrih is defending himself well. The round ends with Bailey struggling to get back into Asrihâ€™s guard.
Ho hum round. Where was the great wrestling??
Asrih comes out with a big kick but misses and slips. Bailey pounces and keeps Asrih on his back. In half guard again, more of the same continues, with a few more punches. Asrih spins and gives up his back to Bailey, but itâ€™s quickly reversed and Asrih looks to choke Bailey. The excitement is short-lived as Bailey turns it around to get side control on Asrih. He alternates a few knees and elbows and Asrih looks to work out of it â€“ and this continues for a solid 2 minutes. Finally Bailey manages to get the full mount and it looks to mean nothing until Asrih turns and gives up his back. Bailey does nothing with it and allows Asrih to return to his back. In a final push, Bailey rains down some huge punches with 30 seconds left. The round ends in the same boring fashion.
Winner: Shamar Bailey via Decision
According to Lesnar, Asrihâ€™s lack of wrestling is what lost him the fight. But Dana really put it best â€“ Bailey literally laid on Asrih for 10 minutes. Yes, itâ€™s a win, but it wasnâ€™t exactly spectacular. It came down to wrestling, but I hope for Baileyâ€™s sake that wasnâ€™t all he had in him.
This season on TUF:
Drama, drama, drama. A lot of one-liners from Lesnar. Some injuries. And possibly some great fights. One of the most anticipated seasons yet (mostly because of Lesnar and Dos Santos, for sure), I am interested in seeing how much talent comes out of this season. I think they should’ve had to fight their way into the house, so being that they were just given a pass, they’d better be good.