Episode 9 opens with scenes from last week’s episode. Mir rightfully gets pissed at Dave Kaplan for not following the agreed upon game plan for his fight with Phillipe Nover. Neither is happy with the outcome of the fight. We then see some past and present shots depicting Krzysztof’s time on the show: demolishing his opponent to get on the show, which later was followed up with an injury to his thumb. The question that remains is whether or not his thumb injury will affect tonight’s fight.
Last week, Phillipe Nover defeated Dave Kaplan via Rear Naked Choke. Krzysztof is admittedly shocked by the fight; especially by Dave’s horrible game plan of eating Phillipe’s punches. Junie agrees, adding that obviously the game plan of taking punches to the face didn’t work out too well for Dave, because he was downed by the third punch.
Without a doubt, Phillipe is thrilled with his victory. He hopes that this fight has struck fear in the other 155’ers. His teammates y even says that Vinny was happy he’s at 205! As of right now, the wins are 3-all.
So what remains is the final two Light Heavyweights: Krzysztof and Kyle. Krzysztof’s thumb is killing him, but he’s dealing. For obvious reasons, he doesn’t want to let his team down. He tells Mir what’s going on and that he’s worried it might be fractured, so Mir brings in an expert (a boxing trainer) who says with some ice and rest it’ll be fine.
Back at the house, some of the guys start drinking to drown the sorrows of Dave’s loss, in particular Dave and Tom. The two are pounding vodka, one shot after the other. Dave continues to insist that he can’t be knocked out — except maybe by the vodka. The antics eventually move downstairs when Dave starts calling out all the other fighters. In an ironic twist, Junie finds it entertaining, as it takes the attention away from him. It all makes him look more stable because the rest of the guys lose and get drunk. The drunkenness finally comes to a head when Dave literally BEGS Tom to punch him (to see if he can be knocked out). Tom persistently refuses, and Dave begins to slap and push him to get him motivated. Tom doesn’t want to…but he says “sometimes ya just gotta do things you don’t want to do”. So he does it! HOLY CRAP does he hit hard! And it appears that Dave is OUT COLD.
When we come back from the commercial, we see that Dave is still out. I guess he was wrong, he CAN be knocked out! (in later interviews in the show, Kaplan denies being out — is he THAT stupid? Tom attempted repeatedly to get up and he was unresponsive…dude…you were out. Get over it). Finally, he comes to and can barely even stand….but nah, he wasn’t out! (insert eye roll here)
At the fight announcement, everyone is saying that Krzysztof is underestimating Kyle. Vinny says he is a good striker, but has no takedown defense. Shane Primm says he’s looking past Kyle to the finals, and that’s just wrong. Krzysztof says that he is not afraid of Kyle. Says that he looks in Kyle’s eyes and sees the fear, that he is afraid of him.
Team Nog goes home and they decide that they are going to pull a prank on the ultimate prankster himself: Krzysztof. Since the beginning, he has pranked anyone picked to fight, so we shouldn’t he get a turn? They decide they are going to take everything in the house and fill his room. They shove his mattress and bed into his closet, and fill in all the gaps with toilet paper. Then they put every single thing they could move into his room — lawn chairs, water, booze, tables couches — EVERYTHING. The finishing touch is a sign on his door that says “UFC STORAGE ROOM.”
While the mice are playing, the cat is at Team Mir’s training session, where Mir has brought Dan Henderson in. Apparently, Dan has been working with Krzysztof for over a year at his gym. Krzysztof is ecstatic to see and train with Dan; he feels very lucky to have one of the best P4P fighters in his corner. At the end of training, he is shown soaking his hand in a bucket of ice, adding that it hurts like hell, and that it’s 65-70%, but he spars with it and will be fine.
Later on, Team Mir comes home… and Krzysztof begins to chuckle when he sees the sign on his door. Over and over, all he can really say is “nice.” He was expecting a prank and knew he’d get one. And what a good sport; he gives Team Nogueira props for the good prank.
That same day happens to be Dana’s favorite: the coaches’ challenge. Dana loves the Coaches’ Challenge because it gets the fighters all pumped because they get to see the coaches do something. On the other hand, the coaches are worried about looking stupid on TV. Mir is worried that it’s swimming, because he can’t swim. Nog has trained in every sport just to be ready…ironically, except for the one they’re going to play. When they walk up and see the soccer goal, neither is thrilled. Nog admits he is the WORST soccer player. When he pulled up, he was like “oh shit, I’m gonna get humiliated in front of my entire country”.
So the Challenge is this: one coach stands in the goal, the other coach tries to score a goal. They switch back and forth. Whoever is the first to 10 goals gets $10K and each fighter gets $1K. Not a bad deal.
They flip a coin and Nog is first to play goalie. Mir goes for the kick…and misses. Mir jumps in the goal, Nog kicks…and scores! This same basic pattern continues, and all the while, Kyle is playing the part of Mexican Soccer Commentator, yelling GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL in everyone’s ear. Mir is clearly getting bothered by it, and criticizes him for being disrespectful. Dana notices that any time Nog is at the goal, he’s diving to stop it Mir’s shots. Mir, however, hardly moves and lets shots fly by. It’s almost as if he doesn’t want to mess up his hair.
Finally, we’re down to Nog’s last shot, and he’s up 9-6. He shoots, he scores the 10th goal and wins the $10K. As if losing weren’t bad enough, Krsytof Krzysztof jokes to Mir that he lost the Brazilian National sport to a Brazilian. Mir tries to make excuses and claims that it says something about Nog that he was able to score six goals on a guy who’s played before (and this is where I totally lost respect for Mir — Nog said repeatedly that he never really played soccer because he was BAD at it!) and then says something to the effect the he (Mir) is 200 times the athlete that Nog is because he can jump higher, run faster, etc. Talk about not being able to lose gracefully!
We finally get back to the subject at hand later, and we learn about Kyle Kingsbury. A college football player from ASU, he got into MMA shortly after college. Because his father told him to never be a fighter, he wouldn’t tell his parents about what he was doing. His parents found out after his third fight, at which point his dad informed him that both he and his grandfather were pro-boxers. Now his dad is his biggest fan and supporter (aww, makes me want to go call my dad). He predicts that this will be a good fight, as they are both good strikers. He feels like he has the advantage because all the pressure is on Krzysztof because he was a first pick. Kyle is really only there because he was brought back due to someone else’s injury. This fight means everything in the world to him, and so he promises to deliver and promises that it won’t be a boring fight.
Back at the house, Krzysztof is putting his room back together (or undoing it, as it were). In the midst of the cleaning at 2am, he comes up with a prank to avenge himself. He grabs every single dish, cup and kitchen utensil (as well as the table) and puts it out to the basketball court to set up a nice breakfast for the red team in the morning. Somehow, he transitions this idea into talking about his childhood. He mentions what it was like for him during the Communist regime — living in Poland, how his parents were tired of food stamps and rationing, so they moved to Canada to get a better life for their sons. Now he says that he is living the American Dream and calls this the biggest fight of his life.
The next morning the guys wake up and see the setup on the basketball court. Most take it well. Roli even takes his sushi out to the court and enjoys his breakfast. Eliot, though, seems to be pissed about it…but deals. Krzysztof thinks it’s hysterical — especially the expressions of the guys who had to go out there and get what they needed for their meals. Krzysztof is laughing the whole time…
Nothing particularly exciting happens at or around the weigh-ins, so we’ll skip right to…
It seems as if both guys have a lot to say about the fight. Krzysztof admits there is a lot of pressure on him because he was first pick, and adds that Kyle is nowhere near the level of the guys he’s fought before. In his eyes, Kyle has nothing that can beat him. If he does get something in, it’s because he made a mistake. The only one who can beat Krzysztof is himself.
Kyle says he’s not scared at all of Krzysztof, as he’s fought bigger, stronger, more intimidating looking guys. “Once you get in there and the gate’s locked, it doesn’t matter.” What matters is your training. Kyle calls it the biggest mistake of his life if Krzysztof is just looking past him. He notes that the pranks didn’t affect him and compares it to the annoyance of a mosquito biting him.
Finally, it’s fight time. I won’t tell ya if I looked at the clock or not
The guys come out and touch gloves. The spend a moment or two feeling each other out. A great leg kick from Soszynski, but Kingsbury retaliates with three good jabs. This is followed by a stiff cross from Soszynski. They clinch and exchange knees one after the other. They take turns pinning each other against the cage, but the ref separates them for knees to the Soszynski’s groin. Some SOLID punches from both. They clinch against the cage again, but there is not a lot of action. There are some good knees from Soszynski, followed by an excellent uppercut. Back to clinching and more knees. They receive a warning to separate if they don’t work. Kingsbury goes for a takedown and gets it. From his back, Soszynski wraps his legs around Kingsbury as Kingsbury lands some punches to his face. Soszynski manages to swing his legs up and over Kingsbury’s head. Soszynski rolls over and yanks Kingsbury’s arm stretched out underneath the both of them. He rolls a little more and Kingsbury practically SCREAMS a verbal submission.
Everyone feared Krzysztof’s standup, so NO ONE thought he’d win by a submission. Krzysztof dedicates his win to his wife and son. He is on cloud nine. Kyle had no idea Krzysztof’s ground game was what it was. He realizes that he needs to put in the time and learn Jiu Jitsu. Nog doesn’t seem too distraught. He says that Kyle did well with his stand up, he just needs to work his ground. He’s still proud of Kyle and even says that he’s going to invite him to Miami to train with him after the show is over. Kyle tells John he needs to win to even the score. He says we will see him again in the UFC (isn’t that what they all say?).
In scenes from next week, we find that John Polakowski will be fighting (last pick) George Roop in the last Lightweight fight. This will be the final fight before the semis and Team Nogueira’s last chance to even the score. However, while training, Roop is injured…will he ignore it and score the upset? And finally, the Semi match-ups are chosen. As the season winds down, I feel like it is only getting better. I just hope the last few episodes will deliver!