The Ultimate Fighter: Season 10 “The Heavyweights”
So here I am, back again for another (my fourth — wow!) season of TUF. Unfortunately due to traveling last week, I missed the first episode which sucks! Anyway, you guys will have to bear with me a little bit for tonight’s episode as I learn all the guys’ names (though it helps to have some veterans and better-known guys like Kimbo).
And away we go…
Episode two of the Heavyweight season begins with clips from last week in which we met all the heavyweights and were “shocked” (well, they were anyway) by the introduction of Kimbo. In the first prelim fight, John Madsen of Team Rashad beats Abe Wagner’s face into a bloody pulp. Now Team Rampage is looking for revenge.
Tonight, Kimbo is the first thing we see. He believes that he is going to be next to fight. And it seems like any of the guys would love to take him.
At Team Rampage training, Kimbo seems to be happy to train with Rampage because he’s willing to take the time to teach him things. He even brings in a specialist to work with him. Rampage says that Kimbo reminds him of a young him. Kimbo promises he’s there to learn and to fight even though the world knows his strength. In watching Kimbo train, he does seem to learn pretty quickly, which Rampage echoes.
Later, at Team Rashad training, Rashad feels good about winning the first fight. He says he wanted to pick guys that were mentally strong, with the ability to learn and take direction well. However, Rashad expresses concern about Roy Nelson because he was joking around and not taking criticism very well. Another coach chastises Nelson, calling him uncoachable and claiming that it’s hindering the other guys from learning. Both Rashad and the other coach lay into him (though relatively nicely), and basically tell him that he’s not being respectful. Nelson acts like he doesn’t want to be coached, that he wants to corner himself. The other coach even goes so far as to offer to send him to Rampage!
At the fight choice, it’s Rampage’s turn to choose. He chooses James McSweeney to fight Wes Shivers. Rashad says he’s almost insulted by Rampages choice considering that McSweeney was Rashad’s first pick.
The Brit, McSweeney, has apparently been training with his team now for over a year. Unlike many fighters, he had a normal upbringing, and really feels like fighting chose him instead of vice versa. He questions Wes’s ability and his level of training — his conditioning, etc. — and claims that he’ll be easy to read.
When Rampage’s team arrives, Rashad’s team is sitting on the mats in a circle doing mental training. This pisses Rampage off because it crossed into his time, so he confronts Rashad nicely. But Rashad informs him that the gym opened late so they lost time. Rampage does not care about the excuses and tries to shoo them out. He practically follows them out ensuring that they leave. Good thing it stayed civil…this time. How soon before these two let their mouths get the best of them?
Wes Shivers, from Mississippi, played pro-football (though it seems as if he never actually got playing time) and then decided that football is not for him. He informs the coaches that he has a titanium plate in his shoulder from a surgery he had his sophomore year of college (which is funny, as I had just before turned to my husband and described him as a tank. Now I know he is. Literally. LOL). For whatever reason, Wes does not seem to take James very seriously. Basically, he is 6’7”, will walk in the cage at 270lbs and is going to use his size to his advantage. Rampage tries to pump his ego and tells him that he has it in him to win. Wes sees Rampage choosing him to fight so early as a confidence booster.
Rashad claims his team’s chemistry is really good — a good camaraderie, brotherhood he calls it. Even coach Arsdale reiterates this idea. He sees potential in Nelson’s ‘teachability’ and thinks he will be willing to learn. Rashad gives them a pep talk after their workout (and a pretty good one at that). Back at the house, the guys talk about Wes’s chances. James’s advantage is obviously his experience, but Wes is big, fast and has a lot of punching power. We shall see which is the bigger factor.
(Wes looks funny in his bed — he’s too big for it!)
Wes looks at this fight as an opportunity and nothing more. He has nothing against James, but his mindset changes once he’s in the cage. He’s not going out there to hurt James, but “shit happens.” James just believes that Wes is coming into an environment he’s not ready for. I’m inclined to agree with James.
Shivers doesn’t even touch gloves. McSweeney goes for the kick but it’s dodged, and does it again. Shivers pins McSweeney against the cage, awkwardly at first. McSweeney is trying to get some sort of advantage position but struggles with Shivers’s weight. Finally, Shivers gets McSweeney down on his back. McSweeney has Shivers in half guard. McSweeney tries to use the cage to spin around, but Shivers doesn’t do much from the top. Shivers yanks McSweeney’s arm hard and bent to go for an armbar, but McSweeney slips loose. They are back on their feet. McSweeney tries a head kick but can’t reach. Shivers then tries to counter with a leg kick, but lands it right in the groin. McSweeney takes his time and regains himself. When they restart, both are swinging wild. McSweeney keeps trying to kick, but they’re all wild and nothing lands. Shivers catches a leg, but doesn’t know what to do with McSweeney when he’s got him. McSweeney backs off, and then comes at Shivers with a half-assed superman punch. Now McSweeney is a little more confident and lands a couple punches. Shivers is clearly exhausted. A couple solid leg kicks from McSweeney are followed by a wide swing from Shivers. Shivers attempts a couple weak jabs that just get McSweeney running. An excellent leg kick from McSweeney is followed by 2 more. There are some more weak exchanges, and the round ends with yet another leg kick from McSweeney.
A nice jab to the face from McSweeney to start. McSweeney continues to hurt Shivers with the leg kicks. Shivers counters with a good leg kick, which McSweeney gives right back, twice. McSweeney tries a roundhouse that misses and Shivers charges to get McSweeney down, but they are back up immediately. McSweeney kicks but Shivers grabs his leg and takes him down. Shivers is in half guard, but again, can’t seem to do a whole lot. Shivers finally gets McSweeney mounted and starts the punches to the face. McSweeney rolls, giving up his back and Shivers slips his arm under his chin. But he can’t get the hooks in and McSweeney is loose. Shivers then rolls over, but McSweeney stands up, wanting to take the fight to their feet. They have a few more weak exchanges, but both are looking spent. McSweeney gets his leg caught again and Shivers swings as McSweeney runs away. Shivers tries to kick as McSweeney runs but he just hurts himself. McSweeney at least tries more leg kicks. Shivers gets a good headshot, which McSweeney returns with a leg kick. McSweeney lands a hard shot to Shivers’s head and he stumbles. McSweeney pulls Shivers to the ground with his arms around his neck. McSweeney pulls as hard as he can for the guillotine, but he’s got nothing left in the tank to finish it. Shivers slips out and the round ends.
From the start, the fight was going how Rashad imagined, until Wes started going after James and got him running. Wes was more tired than James, allowing James to push the action. James laid on the leg kicks. Rashad thought there’d be a third round, and when a decision was announced, he wasn’t sure who was going to win! Rashad now feels like Rampage did him a favor!
All Rampage could really do was shake his head. When Wes got tired, the game plan went out the window.
Winner: James McSweeney by majority decision
James is not yet satisfied. He won the fight, but he wants to win the show. Poor Wes is actually humble after the fight, and admits he just got too tired.
In Dana’s eyes, this is huge (ok, in everyone’s eyes this is huge!). Kimbo is explosive and can catch Roy and knockout him out dead. But Roy is definitely the more well-rounded fighter. Kimbo even admits that he is not a mixed martial artist. He is a fighter, plain and simple.
Next week is the moment of truth for Kimbo as he gets ready to fight “grizzled veteran” Roy Nelson. On top of that, the tensions heat up between Rashad and Rampage, and James gets Rashad’s back.
Will Kimbo finally prove himself? Or will he just prove that everyone else was right all along?