Reliving The Season That Cardio Forgot
Punisher Bass: We open up with a brief recap of the previous episode. The coaches don’t like each other and lots and lots of blood. On the off chance that you forgot who the centerpiece of this season is, the UFC happily reminds you that it’s Kimbo Slice.
Oh dear god this theme song… NC, please tell me they’re not still using this thing? It’s a good thing I can fast forward through it, otherwise I’d be in search of a knitting needle to shove through my ears right now.
NewChallenger: How dare you criticize that classic theme. No, they are no longer using it…and we are all the worse off for it.
PB: Hmmm, the opening shot is of a wooden cross on a hill overlooking the city below and Mike Rowe is narrating… Gee I wonder where the production crew got the idea for that? Add a little water and snow, both things not normally found in Vegas, and this is a carbon copy of Deadliest Catch.
NC: As we get a look at the cast in the house, Kimbo says that the first thing he noticed was that there was “a lot of meat in there”. Phrasing.
PB: “I’m sure I’m gonna fight next” Kimbo says. Not yet big guy, not just yet…
Justin Wren and Roy Nelson are in the kitchen talking about our favorite nipple head and how they think they match up against him.
NC: They are licking their chops at the prospect of getting their hands on Kimbo (I know, phrasing). In retrospect, it’s insane that Kimbo would be considered anywhere near the level of a top ten heavyweight like Big Country. This is the world that some of us were living in back in 2009.
PB: Team Silver starts their training session and the camera focuses almost exclusively on Kimbo.
NC: Nothing endears you more to a group of guys who want to beat your ass than getting preferential treatment from the show and the coaches.
PB: We have the first Tiki sighting on the episode! And he’s bringing less wisdom than what you’d find inside a fortune cookie. Take two shots, one because he’s on camera and another for saying something stupid.
I’m not a grappler, but to my very untrained eye, this looks like the grappling equivalent of a pity f**k for Slice.
NC: One thing I’ll say about Rampage is that he could have gone the opposite way with this whole thing and been envious of all the attention that Kimbo has received. It’s nice to see him take him under his wing, for better or for worse.
PB: Team Gold takes to the mat for their training session, and Nelson seems to be giving his coaches a bit of a hard time. Roy is a seasoned fighter, and former champion, and doesn’t feel like he needs to be in the Guppy class like everyone else. So Rashad and company sit him down for a little chit-chat in the back room.
“You got knocked out by Arlovski, do you want that to happen again?” Trevor Wittman says to him.
Roy replies with a sigh and low key “No, I don’t”.
“If you’re not going to take this seriously, I’ll ask Rampage if he needs another guy.” Damn man, that’s cold!
It’s time to announce the next fight, and Quinton pretends he doesn’t remember Nelson’s name. We’re not even 10 minutes into the second episode and I think this is the third time he’s used this joke this season. Stuff like this is one of the reasons why I never tuned into another TUF after this.
Jackson selects Rashad’s #1 pick James McSweeney (after flubbing his name) to face off with his #4 pick Wes Shivers. There’s A LOT I have to say about these guys, but it’s going to have to wait for a bit, but trust me their day is coming.
NC: It should be mentioned that McSweeney is a natural 205er and Shivers dwarfs him. The man is enormous.
PB: Quinton is very confident that Wes is going to demolish McSweeney in short order, saying he’s just doing it “to be mean”. Yeah, get back to me on how that works out for ya.
I’m going to listen to some ZZ Top here instead of whatever James has to say, I don’t like the guy and I find him to be very irritating, so trying to recap his thoughts would just push me into snark overload. I need to save that up for later. Sorry NC, but you’re on your own here.
NC: Don’t apologize, we must preserve our snark as we get older lest we resort to SRT (Snark Replacement Therapy). And that’s not a line I’m willing to cross!
McSweeney is a teammate of Rashad’s with Greg Jackson, originally from the UK. This whole season kind of becomes an extended advertisement for the Jackson camp.
PB: But my head’s in Mississippi… oh we’re back? Team Gold is sitting on the mat in what my pre-school teacher called an “Indian Circle” (don’t look at me like that, she said it, not me!). Apparently they’re running a bit long since Quinton marches in and shoos them out so his band of misfits can put their time in, and they’re going to need every single second of it.
NC: Thankfully, he’s prepared to handle the situation with his trademark class and aplomb.
PB: “I’m thinking about just pulling my pants down, goin’ over there and just fartin’ right on their heads, just ghetto blast em’”. Congrats Quinton, that actually gave me a good chuckle.
There is some cordial banter back and forth between him and Rashad, which boils down to “get the hell out of here… please”.
Another Tiki sighting! Take a shot.
NC: *glug, glug, glug*
I actually like that everyone this season seems to be in on the joke. They’re always laughing and smiling and having a good time. Manufactured beef or not, I could watch Rampage and Rashad all day.
PB: The next montage focuses on Shivers instead of Kimbo, but there are still shots of him peppered throughout. Shivers was with the NFL for a very brief time before getting cut and eventually moving onto MMA. He’s a big boy who hits hard and… that’s about all he’s got.
Mike Van Arsdale looks like the world’s toughest Telly Savalas impersonator.
NC: Rashad calls TUF the “hardest road to getting to the UFC”. I don’t know about that.
PB: Back at the house, the Silver team talks about the upcoming fight, and Marcus Jones says “You know, James has had over 100 something kickboxing matches…”
Wait one hot sh**ting minute here, what the hell did he just say? Did that include games of Mortal Kombat II at his local arcade? Wiki says his kickboxing record is 2-3 and his current MMA record is an abysmal 14-13, which includes a recent knockout loss to Roger Gracie. I wish I was making that up.
I notice that everyone is wearing the same goofy octagon necklace, as of this writing Amazon has two of them left in stock for $19.99 each. They’re practically giving them away!
NC: I know what someone is getting for Christmas.
Team Rampage’s Wes Shivers (7-1) v. Team Rashad’s James McSweeney (3-4)*
(* Records according to Sherdog, not the records listed on the show)
PB: It’s fight time. Let’s hope this one isn’t as messy as the last one, and I mean that literally as well as metaphorically.
McSweeney shuffles back and forth trying to psyche himself up for the battle ahead, it looks more like he’s about to do one of those “Eat a five pound burrito in 30 minutes or less” challenge videos you see on YouTube.
As James takes his shirt off I laugh at his choice of ink. At first glance it looks like he’s had a piece of barbed wire tattooed around his torso instead of just the typical one around the bicep.
NC: Much like Abe’s head wound last episode, I’m not going to cap this in the name of good taste.
PB: James offers his hand out for the customary glove tap and it’s ignored by Wes. Remember last week Quinton ordered that no one touch gloves from then on.
NC: He just doesn’t want his whole team to get Madsen’d.
PB: Wes looks like a high school senior taking on a 6th grader who hasn’t hit puberty yet.
Being the much bigger and stronger fighter, after some wild punches, Wes gets James in the clinch and eventually gets him to the ground, and then has no idea what to do with him now that he has him there. He just kinda holds him there and isn’t sure what he should do next.
NC: I actually like how Wes started this one. His rush was hard to stop and he used a nice trip to get McSweeney down. Even with McSweeney being the better grappler, it had to be a good sign that the much larger Shivers was on top.
PB: He wants to go for a kimura but apparently doesn’t know that both of his hands are required to pull it off. Ah, he finally remembers that important fact but it’s too late and McSweeney slips out and they’re both back on their feet.
NC: It didn’t help that he hadn’t taken the time to move past half guard either. That’s not going to fly against someone with McSweeney’s training.
PB: What. The. Hell.
We’re less than two minutes into this fight, where most of it has been spent with Shivers in top control, and he’s already out of gas as his hands drop to his side. He’s exhausted and throws a sloppy kick that catches McSweeney in the cup and he goes down.
As the ref calls for a time out and the fighters separate, Quinton yells at Wes “Deep breaths, in through the nose out through the mouth”. If this was a lamaze class it’d be exactly what Shivers needs to hear, but sadly this is a fight he’s in and should be getting something a little more constructive right now.
Shivers turns around to grab the top of the fence and catch his breath, but when the fight restarts I think he’s even more tired than he was before the break.
James offers another glove tap, if only to say “It’s cool bro, accidents happen”, and it gets ignored. Never let it be said that Jackson’s fighters don’t obey every order to the best of their abilities.
NC: As much as I’m against tapping gloves at the beginning and during a fight, the post-groin kick tap is a matter of respect. Then again, it’s entirely possible that Shivers was too tired at this point to raise his hand that high.
PB: I can’t even begin to describe the next 15 seconds of the fight…
Just a hair over two minutes left and James’ tank isn’t proving to be much better than Shivers’, both guys start dropping their hands to their sides. As the seconds tick by, it just gets worse and worse, this is like late round five of a heavyweight fight at high altitude.
NC: I can at least say that McSweeney is getting the better of Shivers in the stand-up as bad as that sounds. Shivers lunges in and looks like he might fall over if the cage wasn’t there to catch him.
I got the first round 10-9 McSweeney on my scorecard.
PB: At the start of round two, they’re sucking so much wind I think my TV is in danger of imploding.
NC: You’re going to think I’m nuts, but Shivers actually had some potential, no? He manages to catch a McSweeney kick (okay, we probably could have caught one of McSweeney’s kicks in this fight) and put him on his back again. There was some talent there. If he’d taken up martial arts when he was younger, maybe he could have had a decent UFC career.
PB: Yes, you’re nuts because that’s a mighty big “IF” there. If he was 10 years younger, if rounds were only one minute long with a five minute break between them, and if he was allowed use of an oxygen mask during that time, then maybe.
NC: Alas, his glaring lack of submission training rears its ugly head once more. His rear naked choke attempt is easily countered and soon they’re back up on their feet. Neither man is looking particularly spry, and that’s being kind.
PB: That RNC was so bad, Ken Shamrock would be shaking his head while muttering “Amateurs”.
NC: Shivers gives us a preview of Slice/Alexander and McSweeney keeps resetting himself as his corner shrieks at him to get in there!
Rashad is actually losing his voice screaming at McSweeney. It is hilarious.
PB: “Can we just take five, please? Please!? Come on! I’m really tired here and this fighting s**t can really take it out of you!”
“Yeah that’s cool, I could use a breather myself, maybe I should use this time to think about how I really need to quit smoking 5 ½ packs a day.”
“Oh dude, I’m down to just four a day and it’s done WONDERS for me! I can actually walk to and from the fridge without having to pause and hold onto the wall.”
“I have an idea! You throw a real half hearted punch and kick, then I’ll come back with a slightly firmer kick of my own but totally whiff on the punches. Only 60 more seconds of this and then we can both go lay down and beg God to live for a while.”
“Oh man, if I could lift my arms right now, I’d give you such a big hug!”
I really hope those of you reading this will appreciate how much we’re suffering just for your entertainment.
NC: I don’t know what you’re talking about. Prior to the decision, Steve Mazzagatti congratulated both guys and called the fight “awesome”. Another hit to the much maligned official’s credibility.
PB: Mayor McCheesey wins by majority decision, and I’ve now spent 22 minutes of my life watching this fight, which is 22 minutes that I’ll never get back.
NC: When you write it out like that, I really have to question what I’m doing with these recaps and my life in general.
PB: And this is why I drink.
NC: Rashad says Rampage did him a favour with those first two fight picks. With that, Team Rampage completely squandered their side of the opening coin flip. Rashad got the first pick and he won both of Rampage’s fight selections. Yee-ikes.
PB: Since his team has won two in a row, Rashad takes control over the matchups, and he picks Roy Nelson to take on… drum roll please… Kimbo Slice. Goodie gum drops.
NC: So much for the foreplay, eh?