First of all, I apologize for the delay. I promise that I have good reason!
So here I am, the morning after a chaotic night filled with flight delays and turbulence. I had carefully planned that while I was away in Cancun, missing TUF, my wonderful VCR would tape the TUF Episode. Unfortunately, what I didn’t account for was stupid DAYLIGHT SAVINGS! So I came home to a blank tape and nothing to write about. All I have to say is thank god for the internet and finding someone who posted the episode (and there’s always a bright side – at least there are no commercials!).
The episode begins with a recap of all the previous pranks pulled by Team Mir (more specifically Krzysztof) along with the highlights of the third Light Heavyweight fight in which Vinny Magalhaes dominated Jules Bruchez giving Team Mir their third straight win.
After this fight, no one was without comment. John calls Vinny super-cautious; Kyle says he wants to stay outside and not really engage; but all agree they did a lot of staring at each other. Once it goes to the ground, it was an instant submission.
The next day, Team Mir leaves for the gym and Team Nogueira is on the hunt for food. Into the refrigerator they go, where they steal Tom Lawlor’s fruit tray as a joke. Apparently, every day, Tom orders a fruit platter, and each day when he comes back from practice, it’s gone. Playing up on the joke, the guys are feeding each other grapes, etc.
Eventually, Tom comes back from practice and notices AGAIN that his fruit platter is gone. He is understandably pissed off and decides to take matters into his own hands. His plan of action is to wait until they leave and pee into his own fruit platter. If someone else eats it, it’s not his fault. Tom then proceeds to piss in the fruit — poolside. The rest of the guys seem to think it’s hysterical (except George who seems to be patently against it, though just stands there and watches) and they shortly follow suit and piss in it too! Shane rewraps the platter and gingerly puts it back in the refrigerator (ugh, I can only imagine what that refrigerator smells like!).
Later at the Fight Announcement (at which Dana seems to be MIA…again), Team Mir makes their fight choice for the next Light Heavyweight fight. They choose Dave Kaplan (who seems surprised) and Phillipe Nover. Both seem satisfied with the choices, as Phillipe has been dying to fight since he got in the house while Dave wants to fight Phillipe because he was a first pick and is the toughest on their team. Nog thinks that Nover will be a tough fight for Kaplan but conversely Mir thinks it will be an eye-opening experience for Nover.
At the house, Team Nogueira comes home and almost immediately goes for the fridge. Bader is shown with the fruit platter, bringing it back into his room where he immediately begins eating it (pardon me while I throw up in my mouth a little)! Nover then joins in on the fun! As they’re eating, Bader jokes it’s a little more bitter than last time and that he doesn’t even like fruit, but because it’s Lawlor’s it tastes better. Shortly thereafter, Efrain, Kyle and John start to chow down in the kitchen. Then Dave breaks the news….and the vomiting begins! In between bouts of barf, Lawlor tells them each guy that peed in it, laughing all the while. All seem to be taking it well, and they even seem to be laughing. Nover is continually dry-heaving, but Kyle seems especially fine. They willingly admit that Lawlor got them good and Nover admits he shouldn’t be eating other people’s food anyway.
Team Mir goes off to training and we learn a little about Dave Kaplan. In college at Old Dominion University, he was a Division I wrestler. After graduation, he then went to Holland for seven months and learned Thai Boxing. He adds that most of his fighting is instinct. His strategy for fighting Phillipe: liver punching, leg kicking. Mir thinks that Dave is a super-tough guy, who is scary on his feet. He likes Dave as a fighter and has grown to like him as a friend. Honestly he wants to see him go to the finals.
What is it with food in the TUF house? Nover talks about his sushi going missing multiple times. He jokingly blames it on the heavyweights because they eat everything. Apparently it’s been happening since the second week, but he’s not the type to say anything. Maybe this is the breaking point, as he yells “I want my sushi!” He is told later that it was Kaplan who ate his sushi which seems to especially rile him up. In plotting revenge, Bader comes up with the very disgusting idea to “spunk” on the sushi. The idea goes over swimmingly with the rest of the guys.
At another Team Mir session, Junie criticizes the other guys saying they’re not training very hard or taking it (their training) seriously. As he’s theoretically training himself, he gets mad at the trainers and other fighters because they never want to roll or spar with the Lightweights because they’re off with the other guys. Typical Junie gets hot under the collar when told he’s being too emotional in his grappling. By now, Mir has learned to keep his distance when Junie begins to act this way because he knows it’ll blow over. A temperamental Junie whines that other people besides Dave need work.
While Team Mir is training, the red team begins their plan. They take Nover’s California rolls and label them. Then Bader disappears into the bathroom to, ahem, “work his magic”. In trying to concentrate, he yells at the other guys for talking too much and “disturbing” him. Soon after, he emerges to taint the sushi and puts it back in the refrigerator. While Team Nogueira is enjoying their food, Team Mir comes home. Into the fridge they go and Kaplan goes straight for the sushi and chows down. All Kyle can do is just sit there and smile. When it is finally confirmed that it is Kaplan eating the sushi, Kyle rips into him. Kaplan fully admits to it, claiming to have eaten only one piece. Bader then poses the hypothetical “Let’s say I ate someone else’s semen….” You can tell immediately by the dumbfounded look on his face that Kaplan knows what’s going on. Kaplan just sits there in disbelief, and looks mad. His response: that his s**t will come in contact with Kyle’s stuff in the next few days. But how is it any different than the fruit platter? Kaplan declares that his fecal matter will touch all involved and that it isn’t fair because he had nothing to do with the fruit platter. Kaplan is not taking it well at all; adds that he wouldn’t want to be Bader.
Later at Team Nog training we learn about Phillipe Nover. A lot of people seem find Phillipe odd because he’s a Registered Nurse as well as a fighter. When he’s working, he works the 12-hour night shift in a very busy ER, seeing the worst of the worst. Because of his job, nothing can scare him anymore. He’s a walking contradiction: he fixes people up, and he tears them down. Because of his training, he feels he is mentally prepared for fighting.
Speaking of Nover, back at the house, he is cooking a Filipino delicacy which is a duck egg, taken right as it is about to hatch, and boiled. He cracks them open and begins to eat while all the guys watch completely immersed and grossed out. Krzysztof goes for a bite, as does Kyle who actually admits it’s good, quipping that it’s “Yolk mixed with the dark meat of a chicken, mixed with blood.” Between pissed-on fruit, spunked sushi and aborted duck eggs, I have totally lost my appetite.
At the weigh-ins, both guys weigh in at 156 (and not that it’s entirely important, but is anyone else a little weirded out by the fact that Kaplan knows every capital of every country?). Mir calls Dave a dangerous dude who is capable of winning the whole thing: he’s tough, he’s conditioned and he’s last guy Mir would want to fight in the house if he was 155. Both Nog and Dana agree that Phillipe is extremely talented and very well could dominate the house. Phillipe claims he has better Jiu Jitsu than Dave and probably has better stand up too. The jokester, Dave says Phillipe is better at being Filipino, better at cooking and better at having more veins; but to be serious, he adds that he’s more technical in all aspects of the game.
At the house after the weigh-ins, Junie begins ranting to Phillipe about Dave, about how he is constantly running his mouth at the gym. Junie tells him about Dave’s skills: how he has no power behind his punches and how he has no Jiu Jitsu and that if Phillipe can get him on the ground he’ll be able to submit him easily. Junie even shows Phillipe some of Dave’s moves! What’s Junie’s motive behind all this? He says he doesn’t care for Dave because he’s a lot of talk and no show and that’s precisely why he wants Phillipe to beat him: because he’s got a big mouth. And of course, Junie asks Phillipe to keep it quiet that he told him all this (as there were like five other guys sitting around them…duh!).
Nog shows up at the house later that night, once again showing that they are a tight knit family. Nog says that Team Mir looks like a group of individuals with talent, whereas Team Nog is a real team. He is very happy with how much the guys respect him. Nog and Phillipe then discuss fight strategy — hit him hard (as if hitting soft were an ideal option?).
Nover is not scared. He sees Kaplan as intelligent and as a joker, but doesn’t think he has the same hunger. Nover didn’t come for the pranks, didn’t come to make friends. He came to hurt his opponent.
Kaplan thinks Nover has a better chance of beating him at a game of pool. While part of Kaplan fights for the money, he mainly does it because it’s interesting to him to be in a good fight.
He jokes that anything can happen, but he’s never been knocked out. He doesn’t do a whole lot of things well, but he does fight well.
(Someone please tell me to stop looking at the clock before fights!)
In the tale of the tape there is a HUGE reach and height advantage for Nover.
The round begins and both come out aggressively. They exchange some solid jabs and leg kicks. Kaplan lands a brutal leg kick. Nover retaliates with a barrage of solid punches to Kaplan’s head. Kaplan takes a defensive position and falls. Nover is on top of him in a half mount, but Kaplan swings his leg around and Nover is in full guard. Nover continues to punch, repeatedly landing shot after shot. Kaplan rolls and gives up his back and sides. Nover takes advantage and pounds Kaplan’s face and head. Eventually Kaplan fully rolls and Nover mounts his back. Nover gets the hooks in for a Rear Naked Choke and Kaplan quickly taps.
In post-fight comments, Dana was amazed to see Nover hit Kaplan with 3 or 4 punches in a row at which point Kaplan began to crumble. Flabbergasted, Mir was in total shock during the fight, so shocked that he didn’t say a word. Junie says he doesn’t mean to be an asshole, but he is glad to see Kaplan lose because he needed a reality check. And in the strangest TUF quote ever (second to Dana’s beat off comment), Nover claims, “I am the toughest Registered Nurse on the planet right now.”
As Team Nogueira celebrates their victory, Nover pretends to faint (I’m beginning to like him more and more). Apparently, he impressed Dana who says that Nover reminds him of a young GSP, in his potential.
In Team Mir’s locker room, a beat-up looking Kaplan blames himself for testing Nover’s punching abilities (he took about five unanswered shots to the chin). When questioned by Mir, he really doesn’t know what made him divert from the game plan. He knew that Nover had a lot of power, but he let his pride get in the way of the game plan. Kaplan feels embarrassed because he feels that he is a better fight than Nover. Mir is in shock, because he really thought Kaplan would walk over Nover. Respectfully, though, Mir gives props to Nover for out-strategizing Kaplan and taking advantage of what Kaplan put out there freely.
A good ending to a very sick, twisted and strange episode.
Next week promises to be even more interesting. It appears that Kaplan does not take loss well, and he proceeds to spiral out of control. Following the drunken antics, we are treated to the Coaches’ Challenge, which is soccer (which is ironic that Nog, a Brazilian, has never played soccer). And lastly preparations are made for the last prelim Light Heavyweight fight, which will be Krzysztof Soszynski and Kyle Kingsbury. As long as there are no more bodily fluids mixed with foods, I think my stomach can handle it.