Vintage TUF – The Ultimate Fighter Season 10: Heavyweights – Week 10 – Let Go Of The Fence, Schaub!

Reliving The Season That Cardio Forgot

Week 10

PunisherBass: Someone call GNC and ask if Sean Sherk is still there, because I think Jon Madsen just robbed him blind. He’s carrying a sack filled to the brim with tubs and tubs of protein power and power bars and other crap like that. Someone is going to have a real bad case of the creatine s**ts later on.

NewChallenger: Coach Rashad is, as always, Mr. Positive. He comes off as such a swell guy on the show. I know that’s not a sexy opinion, but I remember liking Rashad even more after watching this season.

Of course, this was during the period where he got booed at every UFC event when they showed him on camera. Do you remember why that is, PunisherBass? I always assumed it was some combination of him coming off as super cocky when he was a contestant on TUF 2, and having knocked out fan favourites like Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin. Your thoughts?

PB: I wish I could tell you why, but I honestly have no idea, remember that I was still a newbie back then. The first PPV I watched live was UFC 100. So I have no real frame of reference as to why people might have hated him. I do remember seeing a GIF of him kissing his hand before giving his cup a shake and then punching Griffin, but that’s about it.

This season made me a fan of his, which I still am to this day, and it’s not just because he’ll gleefully make fun of Tiki right to his face. Partly it’s because he always talks clearly and enunciates everything that comes out of his mouth, compared to Quinton who mumbles almost all the time. It’s hard to like a guy when you can’t understand 80% of what he says.

NC: And the other 20% you wish you didn’t understand.

The interrogation of Matt Mitrione continues. He says he’s still feeling slow, but that he thinks it’s not a concussion it’s just his brain swelling up. Trevor Wittman points out that that is a way bigger problem than a concussion and if that’s the case he’s definitely not fighting. For anyone wondering, Mitrione is not a doctor.

James McSweeney is all but begging for Mitrione to drop out so he can get what he knows would be a massive fight with Kimbo that he would probably win. Imagine what that would have done for his reputation. James calls Mitrione a “two-faced little bitch without a heart”. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone get picked on so much for getting punched in the head.

PB: Nope, I said it last week and I meant it, I’m done with this whole Meathead’s phantom injury bulls**t. Moving on.

First Kimbo Kard of the episode, with Quinton saying that he thinks Slice can win it. I wonder whose idea it was to make him the first replacement, there’s no way you’re going to convince me that it was done based on anything more than his popularity, not his skills as a fighter. This is the UFC just trying to string us along and salvage what happened in Week 3.

For all his “Yes! Thank god! I get to bang again! Someone got hurt that means I’m back in! I’m continuing to fail upwards!” (I’m paraphrasing), now that they’re hinting it might come true, he says his knee is hurting him and he’s not too sure about it.

Oh for f**k sake Kimbo, don’t let Tiki touch you, you might catch something. Bleh, I wouldn’t touch Tiki even if it was just to punch him in the dick.

Tiki GlanceTiki is either dozing off here or checking out Kimbo’s package.

Team Silver are operating under the assumption that Slice will be fighting McSweeney, so they’re focusing on him scoring the knockout…because he has so many other tools at his disposal.

NC: It’s messed up that they literally spend the first ten minutes of this episode as if it’s a done deal that James will be fighting Kimbo.

PB: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but during this time period, Kimbo was actually sporting a better W/L record than James was. It’s faint praise considering who they were facing but at least he had won more fights than he lost.

Oh this is just precious, Quinton tells Kimbo that James is going to go right for his knees with kicks, which makes him ask “So what the f**k do I do?” Rather than tell him he needs to learn or maybe even show him how to check kicks, he just says that he needs to wrestle him to the ground and pound him out. Is it any wonder how he’s 1-7 as a coach this season?

Rampage ActingThis is better acting than we saw in…ah, you know the joke.

NC: Come on Pun, it’s not like Quinton’s lack of leg kick defence ever cost him in his career, right?

Oh wait.

All the editing in the world can’t make it look like Team Rampage isn’t scared that McSweeney will just totally destroy Kimbo. When you’re suggesting that Kimbo Slice try to get a fight to the ground, you’re beyond hope at that point.

PB: While working in the cage, Brendan Schaub asks for some advice from Evans on how to deal with a southpaw wrestler, after a few words Nelson comes over and jokingly says “That’s coaching! I saw that!” So Schaub apologizes for putting him in that position, Nelson then offers to show him anything he needs, and he gets left in the “capable” hands of McSweeney.

Fun fact time, when Frank Mir was going to be fighting Alistair Overeem, he brought in McSweeney to help him train, and look how much that helped him.

NC: I’m not sure why they’re so convinced that Jon is a lay-and-pray guy considering he beat the holy Hell out of Abe Wagner in the first fight of the season.

PB: In the back, a doctor checks Kimbo out and explains to him just how f**ked his left knee is, he can’t fight on it as is and he refuses to get a cortisone shot, but he’s insisting that he will fight again.

NC: Good luck doing that without cartilage, buddy.

PB: So just like with Meathead’s “brain injury”, I’m not going to waste anymore of my time or yours to this stupid storyline since we already know how it plays out.


Now it’s time to play beach volleyball on a fake beach, it’s Tiki and Jackson taking on Evans and  Mike Van Arsdale. Hmmmm, maybe we’ll get lucky and Tiki will catch a hard one to the face, or several. The prizes on the line are 10k for the coach that wins and $1,500 for each guy on his team, asswipe money for Dana.

Is there a name for when they do these kind of segments? I mean other than, you know, “stupid”?

NC: Firstly, I refuse to believe this is the first time Rampage and Tiki have played beach volleyball together.

Secondly, this is the always epic Coaches Challenge! It might be stupid, but it helps break up the monotony for us dedicated recappers!

PB: Quinton is really starting to sound like he has a case of the Not Gays here, talking about female volleyball players in bikinis “with their asses hanging out”. You stay classy there Quinton.

NC: No surprise, Rashad and Van Arsdale go skins while Tiki and Rampage keep their shirts on.

Mav Van ArsdaleDana: “Van Arsdale starts acting like he’s Maverick from Top Gun…”

PB: I bet my lunch money it’s to hide that beer belly Quinton’s been nursing. Not that it really matters, but Team Gold win two games to one.

Evans offers Quinton the chance to hold his huge stack of (probably fake) cash, and he’s told it’s no big deal to him, as he’s had his hands on bigger amounts before. So Evans asks him if he’s so flush, why not give $1,500 to everyone on his team? Quinton responds by asking his guys if they’d rather have the money or see him knock Rashad out. If given a real option, I’m sure most of them would have gone for the former, not latter.

NC: I’m going to guess it took at least 20 takes for them to get to the one where everyone says they want to see Rashad get knocked out. Though even the one they used isn’t that convincing.

Later that night, the boys entertain themselves by convincing Kimbo to try an ice bath.

Floating KimboImagine heading out to the backyard pool and seeing this bobbing up.

PB: Seeing Kimbo suffer while sitting in a tub of ice water while everyone else looks on laughing is funny, but I’m still skipping anything related to him fighting again.

NC: Kimbo actually looks like he might die from the cold. Marcus says it’s because he’s a Florida brother who can’t deal with those temperatures.

The Gold Team’s next training session revolves around Brendan having jealous eyes seeing Rashad work with Jon and more Mitrione stuff.

Man, I don’t remember these Mitrione segments being so painful to sit through. He said after the show that being in the house drove him crazy and I’m starting to understand why. I bet they had him filming these “will he/won’t he” fight segments non-stop. Nobody is convinced he wants to fight, but maybe he’s just tired of all this bulls**t and wants to get in the cage?

You can tell everyone was doing their damndest to plant the idea of not fighting in Mitrione’s head so they could get Kimbo back in the Octagon. White gives his scheduled “Do you want to be a fighter?” speech to the teams, though it’s so obvious that it’s directed at Mitrione that he may as well have pulled the guy into his office and slapped his hand with a ruler.

PB: At the weigh-ins, Schaub comes in at 237 while Madsen is 10 lbs heavier at 247. Even though Brendan is technically the smaller fighter, he’s actually a good bit larger than Jon in size and reach. Madsen trains with Matt Hughes while Schaub is a friend and training partner of Evans and Shane Carwin down at Greg Jackson’s.

NC: Just had to sneak Carwin in there, didn’t ya?


NC: Pre-fight, McSweeney helps Schaub get warmed up and Schaub has a strange way of showing his appreciation.

Schaub ShoveYou do NOT slap a man!

Quarterfinal Bout: Brendan Schaub (4-0) v. Jon Madsen (3-0)*

(* Records according to Sherdog, not the records listed on the show)

Madsen scores the first significant points of the fight, tossing Schaub head over heels and getting half guard. Every time Madsen tries to pin him against the cage, Schaub blatantly grabs the fence to avoid getting stuck.

PB: Jon is in half guard while Schaub is trying to scoot away with liberal help from fence grabs, something the ref just impotently warns him about. A fifth and sixth fence grab are then seen by the ref but nothing is said about it. Same story with the seventh and eighth when they happen.

NC: Terrible officiating by Josh “Grow Op” Rosenthal.

PB: After they get stood up, Jon shoots for a single leg and takes Schaub to the fence, which he then uses to climb back to his feet, with another impotent warning from the ref. Now I’m starting to get pissed off, take a point already! Brendan just can’t seem to help himself because now he’s grabbing onto Jon’s shorts while they’re tied up. Another ref warning and nothing more. He lets go and then latches onto them again, prompting more impotence from the ref.

NC: Despite all that, Madsen still manages to score a second big slam. He had some serious power, eh? Of course, there’s not much he can do when Schaub is grabbing pretty much everything he can reach.

Schaub CheatsExpert takedown defence.

PB: This is f**king ridiculous. By my count, he grabbed the fence 11 or 12 different times with the ref only warning him for half of them, along with grabbing shorts three or four different times. If you’re not going to be penalized for breaking the rules, I guess there’s no reason to start following them now.

Less than 30 seconds into round two, Schaub uses the fence again to help him stay on his feet during a takedown, and the ref says nothing. 30 seconds later, same s**t.

NC: Schaub is looking like the much fresher fighter, which I guess is easy when you’re not putting any actual effort into takedown defence and just cheating like a motherf**ker. Madsen doesn’t have close to the level of technique needed to compensate for this and it’s only a matter of time until Schaub connects. Sure enough, a pair of straight rights land and this one is over.

Hybrid RightPB: Let me be clear, Jon had nothing for Schaub in the striking department, and he never once had a moment of ground n pound nor was he looking for a submission while he was on top of him. But WHY was Brendan allowed to use foul after foul and not get punished for it? I’m not saying he would have been put away without them, but he most likely would have lost a UD if he couldn’t continuously employ them. This is horses**t.

NC: Agreed. It’s easy to see that Schaub is the better fighter, I just hate the tactics he had to use to win this one.

PB: Well, I take some solace in that Rashad agrees with me on getting a point taken.

NC: And they’re teammates!

Dana compliments Schaub’s ability to stay alive on the ground, but the editing team immediately puts in footage of Schaub’s fence grabs to refute Dana’s observations. Thank you boys and girls in the back! It’s obvious that Schaub is one of the guys he saw as a potential draw on the show. Not that I blame him since Schaub went on to have plenty of good fights in the UFC.

PB: The “titties” episode was a slog to sit through, while this one was just aggravating for so many reasons.

NC: Nelson asks how many times Schaub was going to grab the fence and Schaub just gives him a funny face. Hey, if you don’t get caught, it’s not cheating!

PB: Next week will be the last entry in this series covering TUF itself, since episodes 11 and 12 were aired together as a two hour special. But we won’t be leaving you high and dry just yet, there’s still a little more juice we can wring from this apple. Tune in next time to find out.

Schaub Moves on

Vintage TUF – The Ultimate Fighter Season 10: Heavyweights – Week 9 – Kimbo Kards O Plenty

Reliving The Season That Cardio Forgot

Week 9

NewChallenger: Oh boy…it’s that time of the season again when everything slows to a crawl. We’re not at the dreaded two-fight episode yet, but we’ve reached the point where all the storylines have already been drug through the mud and there’s not much new to be said. Of course, that’s not going to save us from another week of Matt Mitrione is a dummy, the Rampage and Tiki comedy hour, and “BUT WILL KIMBO FIGHT AGAIN?!?”

PunisherBass: Picking up where we did at the end of last week, Team Gold coach Rashad Evans is in a rather odd position. On the upside he has seven fighters in the quarterfinals compared to Quinton Jackson’s one. And on the downside… he has seven fighters in the quarterfinals, so he’s trying to figure out how in the hell he’s going to train seven guys to fight against each other.

NC: I remember watching this thinking there was no way Rashad would be able to avoid favouring his buddies Schaub and McSweeney.

PB: So he’s deciding to be as diplomatic as possible by keeping those who will be facing each other apart, and not really “coaching” them along. Just striking, grappling, and cardio training basically. The camera focuses on Justin Wren and Roy Nelson who will be fighting next, and Roy jokingly offers to help him work on anything he needs to shore up. I have to say, kudos to Roy for showing off his flexibility here with that kick, I don’t think 95% of the rest of the cast could throw one higher.

High KickNC: You’d think that in the 20+ seasons of TUF’s existence, someone had come up with a way to handle this dilemma of teammates having to train and then fight each other. That would require them actually put time and thought into this product though so why do I even bring it up?

PB: Matt Mitrione is either in time out or he’s just taking a breather, but we hear in his voiceover that his “brain still hurts” after his fight with Scott Junk. Welcome to my world. Like I’ve said before, it’s really tough to get a read on Meathead, you never know for sure if he’s crying wolf or not. I’ve never taken a good shot to the noggin, let alone as many as a pro fighter does, so I’ve no idea if he’s just milking it like Wren says or if he’s showing signs of actually being f**ked up here.

NC: What’s weird to me is that the rest of the cast is so quick to be skeptical. Mitrione says the after effects of the fight with Junk had him feeling “stupid” and that he was experiencing sensitivity to lights. What did he do to not get the benefit of the doubt in this situation?

PB: While Matt sits in the van holding his head and not saying anything, the rest of his team talk about what they want to have for dinner. As an aside, Brendan Schaub said years later that they will get you whatever kind of food you want, like if you want some nice steaks, just put in a request for it and they’ll arrive in a few days. But the alcohol is literally on demand, if you ask for a bottle of tequila that was made with the tears of PRIDE fans, it will be there within an hour.

NC: Whenever I hear that TUF is the most difficult tournament in martial arts, I always giggle.

Meanwhile, Schaub perfectly reads this week’s “Kimbo will be back” lines.

PB: NO! BAD HYBRID! BAD! NO! You do NOT play the Kimbo Kard! Instead of Meathead sitting in a dark room, maybe you should be the one thinking about what you just said.

Here comes James McSweeney to tell Kimbo the “good” news, that Meathead is probably concussed and that he’s back in the tournament. I’d like to take a moment to gleefully remind you that James was knocked out by Roger Gracie less than a year ago, not submitted, but knocked out.

Another Kimbo KardGuys, seriously?

I have a feeling they’re about to strap a supercharger onto the Kimbo hype train, but they go to commercial with a Kard and they come back with one as well. Jackson actually says that Kimbo is the most improved out of everyone on his team…

Mars AttacksNC: While my compatriot puts his skull back together, I want to say that if I was Demico or Wes Shivers or Zak I’d be ridiculously annoyed that they aren’t even up for consideration. Demico actually looked good, he just had the misfortune of running into Schaub who was one of the most seasoned guys in the house.

Wes Shivers and Zak…both suck. But still.

PB: I think this is the first time we’ve seen/heard Tiki talk directly to the camera this season, and with very good reason. I’m pouring two shots for myself, two for my partner in crime here, and then I’m asking Santa to bring me a dartboard with Tiki’s mug printed on it for Christmas. I’ve been a good boy this year and I deserve it after… how many weeks are we up to now? Nine? Yeah nine weeks of this crap.

NC: I think after that you’ll need all four shots.

PB: Here comes McSweeney to play Chatty Kathy, telling everyone who’ll listen that Mitrione went to the hospital last night and didn’t come back, meaning that Kimbo is now back in the tournament. This is like the UFC production crew trying to pull off the worst magic trick ever, instead of pulling a rabbit out of a hat they’re just ripping off its head and throwing it us while screaming “F**K YOU!”

NC: They’ve moved on from teasing a Kimbo return to flat out lying to the viewers. I stand by this season being a good one, but everything involving Kimbo after he lost his fight is worthless.

These conversations are phonier than Big Country’s chin-ups.

Faking ItIf they put half the time promoting Big Country as they did Kimbo…

PB: Remember how Wren was drawn like a chicken on that mural a couple weeks ago? Here’s where that came from, at least I think so. And it’s not only unfunny, but it’s animal cruelty as well. In case you were not aware, TUF is shot in Las Vegas, which is in the middle of a f**king desert. This season was also shot during the summer, which means blistering heat and lots of it. Keep that in mind.

NC: Rampage decides to resort to another dumb prank because he can’t get back at Rashad by doing silly stuff like, you know, winning fights. Admittedly, as far as pranks go this is a pretty good one especially if you have the sensibilities of a f**king a**hole.

PB: Jackson and you know who, are going to pull a “prank” on Rashad and his coaches, because they’re so “cocky” after winning so many fights. They’ve apparently bought, borrowed, or stolen some live chickens which are going to be left in their cars so they can s**t all over the inside.

Chicken PrankFrom the brilliant minds that brought you “TITTIES”…it’s “COCKS”!

I’m going to assume that this was all setup by the production crew. How else were they going to get inside the cars without smashing a window or stealing the keys?

NC: That’s a safe bet because I wouldn’t trust Rampage or Tiki to figure out which direction to turn a car key if you gave them two tries.

PB: And I’d like to think that the cars were parked there with the AC’s running on full blast, not that the chickens were just thrown into 120 degree oven to slowly be cooked alive. I’m sure the poor teenager working at Hertz didn’t care he had to clean a bunch of nasty bird s**t out of a couple Chevy Malibu’s either.

NC: Just like they’ve done with everything this year, Team Rashad makes the most of the situation and turns into an impromptu training exercise. Straight from the Vince McMahon training regimen. Make the Colonel proud!

Rampage is once again confused by Team Rashad not being devastated by he and Tiki’s wicked burns. It’s like he doesn’t understand why Rashad doesn’t have a s**t fit and go bananas on an inanimate object like he would if the situations were reversed.

PB: I’m done with this segment. NEXT!

Matt arrives back at the house, and isn’t telling anyone anything really other than saying his head hurts. Kimbo feeling very salty about not getting a second chance to play beached whale says that Meathead just has sand in his vagina.

NC: Dana pays Matt a visit. I’ve never seen him less enthused about a saying he’s going to fight through an injury. The Kimbo Kard really looms over this episode as they show Mitrione telling Dana that he might have undiagnosed concussions in the past from his football career. They even insert a clip of Mitrione stumbling over some names during a confessional just to keep the audience thinking that he’ll bow out. Appalling.

PB: During the bumper we’re lead to believe that Rashad and his team “freed” the chickens after they were caught. Yeah ok…

NC: I’m not an expert on the ecology of the chicken, but I’d bet they’re probably as good as dead anyway being released into some random environment.

PB: Alright, I have no idea how much longer the show intends to drag out this “will he/won’t he” storyline with Matt’s apparent concussion, but I’m not going to sit here six years in the future and play along. We know he didn’t pull out and we know Kimbo didn’t take his place, so as of now, I’m done with it. At this pace I’d be here all f**king night writing about it each time it came up otherwise.

Kimbo compliments Roy’s skills before s**tting all over Wren, calling him a fat kid stuffing his face at the refrigerator.

NC: I actually thought the analogy was meant to be endearing. He says Justin is like a young kid who gets scolded by his mom for eating too many jelly donuts. I’m not entirely sure what that means, but it fits somehow!

PB: Let me remind you what Kimbo looked like trying to cut to 215lbs so he could face a guy who normally fights at 205.

Slice-AlexanderPeople in glass houses Kimbo.

NC: In another bumper, we see Nelson teaching Kimbo the best way to get past a fighter’s guard.

Single Leg CrabWe defy you to prove that this wouldn’t work.

Quarterfinal Bout: Justin Wren (7-1) v. Roy Nelson (13-4)*

(* Records according to Sherdog, not the records listed on the show)

 Tale Of The Tape

PB: Looking at this tale of the tape, I’m willing to bet everyone is now hearing Goldberg say “VIRTUALLY IDENTICAL!” in their heads.

After a quick glove tap, Wren does some head hunting while Roy keeps his distance, but he does get tagged with some good shots over the first minute.

NC: Wren gets after Nelson! He lands some heavy hands and we get a glimpse of Big Country’s soon-to-be-legendary chin.

Wren FlurryThis is a top ten heavyweight he’s backing up!

Nelson wisely clinches up. It’s a position that he is comfortable with and I don’t think anyone in the house knows it as well as him. Whenever there’s separation, Justin continues to find success in the striking department.

PB: Wren lands more often looking for a knockout, but he might as well be punching a bank vault. With two minutes left, his gas tank starts to empty and he slows down, which allows Roy to start circling around him instead of backing up. The round finishes with Roy taking over by throwing (and landing) the harder shots and doing it more often.

NC: Justin started turning real red real fast. Those big swings took a lot out of him. This is experience versus exuberance playing out right in front of our eyes.

PB: I know Rashad recused himself from this, which is understandable, but I wish Wren had someone more competent than a 3-4 McSweeney barking orders at him.

NC: It was a good round, one that I would actually score for Wren. He just took a round from Roy Nelson!

Between rounds, Rampage calls Arianny Celeste “his girlfriend”. Normally I’d roll my eyes, but this is one of the rare times in any TUF season where the coaches or contestants are shown acknowledging the ring girls. Considering they’re trapped in a house with nothing but dudes for months, you’d think this would come up more often.

PB: In round two, Wren keeps lunging forward with his head facing down while throwing wild punches, something he did near the end of round one, which allows Roy to continuously step out of the way and tag him with a counter shot. 90 seconds in and Justin is starting to turn a bit Pudzi (purple) while Roy’s cardio is holding up just fine.

James should be yelling something more helpful than just “DO YOU WANT IT OR NOT!?” to Justin. Wren is doing his best, but Roy is just better conditioned, far more seasoned, and just too crafty for him. Roy scores a knockdown but opts not to follow him to the mat, the rest of the round plays out with him either dodging anything Wren throws or just eating the few shots that do land, while peppering him with 1-2’s.

Everyone thinks there’s going to be a third round, but they’re all wrong, Roy gets the MD.

NC: I scored it one apiece. I certainly don’t think that Nelson was “destroyed” in the first round as Dana declares. His clinch work kept the opening period close and then he pulled away in the second. Everyone was rooting for a third though, even Rampage.

PB: Dana s**ts on Nelson by saying he was very close to getting knocked out in the first round and would have if he didn’t go for the clinch, then says he just squeaked by with that decision. Man, talk about having horse blinders on. If you didn’t want Kimbo to be humiliated, then you shouldn’t have put him in a tournament with 15 other guys who could still beat him after taking a fistful of Ambien.

NC: Let’s not forget that Dana hated Kimbo for a long time before he realized how much money he could make off of him.

Wren is in tears, telling himself that he should have just gone for the takedown. I’m not sure that would have been a great strategy either. He’s really beating himself up over it. It’s the sort of reaction you like to see from an up-and-coming fighter. Such a shame (?) that he had greater interests in life than the UFC.

PB: The episode ends with Dana saying “The day we see Roy Nelson in an exciting fight that he made exciting is the day I will give him his props”, with a little shake of his head when he’s done.

NC: Roy has had plenty of exciting fights since and he’s still waiting for those props.

PB: The promo for next week is of course a Kimbo Kard, there’s only a few weeks left so it’s time to hit the nitrous button on them.

Epilogue: In the post episode show the UFC did after it aired, they had Roy and Justin on and asked them what really became of the chickens when the cameras stopped rolling. This was their response. Note: There was video of this but it’s long gone (thanks Spike!) so still pictures have to do.


KFC Justin

Also, Wren said that he picked McSweeney to be in his corner because he thought that would be the path to victory and James’ “experience” would help him. This is something he deeply regretted. And before I go, in the promo we see James slapping Schaub to get him ready, something he also did to Wren, only Brendan nearly shoves him through the wall in response. This makes me smile.

Nelson Moves On

Vintage TUF – The Ultimate Fighter Season 10: Heavyweights – Week 8 – Spider Jones

Reliving The Season That Cardio Forgot

NewChallenger: As if to help us keep this series relevant, the MMA gods have blessed us with Kimbo-centric news: Of course, I am referring to the booking of Slice versus Dhafir “DaDa5000” Harris at Bellator 149 next February.

Now I know this is going to hurt my standing as an expert in the field of MMA, but I have to confess I know little about this DaDa fellow. Perhaps you can fill in some of the blanks for me, PunisherBass?

PB: I know slightly more about DaDa than 100% of the people who were in the Kiel Center (St. Louis represent!) on Friday night. While you heard crickets chirping and a collective “Who?”, I was saying “Wait, are you f**king kidding me!?”

As I mentioned in a previous week, DaDa is as close to a Kimbo Klone as you can get. He is a backyard brawler who built his name on the internet, he is/was friends with Kimbo as well as being part of his “team” back in the day. And he’s compiled a 2-0 record, but he hasn’t fought since Obama was still in his first term. A fight between them was rumored to be booked sometime after Kimbo’s UFC release, but it never came together.

He was also the star of a documentary called Dawg Fight, which you can go watch on Netflix right now, and it will probably tell you more than I can. I’m willing to bet money that Spike will be doing a special broadcast of it before the event airs. I find it very amusing that Bellator thought everyone would automatically know his name only for it to go over like a wet fart during a wedding.

Anyway, back to six years in the past!

Quinton is making excuses for Junk’s loss to Meathead and his seventh loss in a row by saying that getting dropped just “threw him off his game”. No, he didn’t simply “get dropped”, he got knocked flat on his ass a good five or six times in the opening round alone.

NC: I actually think it’s fair to say that that initial knockdown essentially put Junk out of the fight though. He looked completely punch drunk for the remainder of the contest. I’m not saying he’s a world beater by any stretch, but he had to be better than what we saw, right?

PB: I’ve been spoiled by the last several fights since they were all quick finishes, these clips are making me say it was easily the worst fight since we started these recaps. We’re shown clip after clip of them exhausted, hands at their side, just barely throwing leather at each other with no power behind them and very little landing.

Junk says if there had been a third round, he would have won. Yeah, and if a frog had wings it wouldn’t bump its ass. If we got another round of that it would have looked as bad if not worse than Shivers/McSweeney back in week two.

The replays continue as we’re shown Jackson destroying the door again, I’m honestly shocked and surprised that Tiki wasn’t right behind him to throw a few pissy little kicks of his own at the pile of cardboard aftermath.

NC: Dana cracks a funny saying that what really sucks about Rampage’s, er, rampage, is that it shows how cheap the show’s doors are.

PB: Evans calls Jackson an idiot (in so many words) for tearing up a door in anger instead of being mad at himself like he should be, and in the back Quinton is seething.

NC: It’s particularly ridiculous because as Rashad points out, Rampage has shown zero investment in his team up to this point.

PB: Oh god, this right here is the second most horrifying thing I’ve seen on this show, McSweeney holding a cold compress to Junk’s black eye, I swear it looks like if Junk had any hair, James would be gently stroking it at the same time.

Junk EyeJunk? Stroking? Phrasing!

Oh? What’s the #1 most horrifying thing? Tiki rubbing Jensen’s chest to wake him up after getting choked out in training a few weeks ago. That’s going to stick with me for a long time to come.

NC: The gash in Abe Wagner’s skull has something to say about all this.

PB: Some people can’t handle blood, I can’t handle a guy who’d look right at home on a sex offender registry.

At night while in the hot tub, Wes Sims reveals that he’s not done f**king with Meathead by any stretch, and says he’s planning a party to celebrate his first win. As I’ve already said, I only watched this season once when it first aired and I write this on the fly, so I’m going to make a prediction here. My gut tells me it’s going to involve couch stuffing, Hershey’s chocolate syrup, glitter, and fire of some sort.

Let’s see how close I end up being.

Nope, he’s just going to cover him in silly string while yelling “CELEBRATE!” When Matt asks him to stop because his head is really really hurting (it’s up for debate if he’s serious or just acting), Wes actually does and leaves him be. And some say his frosted tips grew three sizes that day.

NC: I would be surprised if Matt wasn’t suffering from concussion-like symptoms after that glorified bumfight. Then again, the way he talks, I imagine it would be hard to tell the difference.

CelebrateNothing helps you get over being punched in the head a hundred times like your housemate walking into your room and dousing you in sticky white stuff.

PB: During a Team Silver training session, there’s no telling when this was shot, and Marcus Jones is T I R E D. He’s sweating profusely and can barely manage to move around due to the exhaustion. Jackson says that he’s going to tear down a cardboard wall if Marcus ends up losing. Remember those Mikey Burnett GIF’s from a few weeks ago? I’d say that makes Mikey a tougher son of a bitch than Jackson.

NC: Hundreds of thousands of eyes rolled when Rampage talked about how much he feels for his losing fighters. This is better acting than we saw in The A-Team! Hiyoooo!

PB: Back from commercial, we see that a good sized camel spider has invaded the house, and it turns out that The Darkness has a bad case of arachnophobia. This causes him to scream in terror and cry for help. After Justin Wren rushes to his aid, Jones asks the camera crew to erase the tape of him freaking out. In a later interview he says “I figured if I screamed loud enough, it would deafen the creature and give someone else a chance to sneak up on it”.

For all his flaws as a fighter, Marcus is an OK dude. Besides, I’m the same size as him and have a pathological fear of wasps and hornets, so I can’t really throw stones in this situation.

The best part is when Abe Wagner digs the corpse out of the trash just so he can toss it at Big Baby, which causes him to scream in terror once again, jump up and run the hell away. This has to be one of the best moments of the season by far.

Spider ThrowIt works better with the audio, so here’s our best shot at transcription: “OOOOWOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!”

NC: Marcus lives up to every big softie stereotype ever. He also lets out this big dopey laugh whenever he learns something new in training. As you can tell from the previous recaps, I’m not a fan, but there was a lot of star power here. It’s a shame that he chose to go pro in MMA so late in his athletic life. There just wasn’t enough time for him to learn the skills needed for a legitimate UFC run.

This episode does go a long way towards rehabilitating his childish image. They touch upon his NFL career and the montage communicates his passion and work ethic well. Really, the best part is when he gets to do something that we’ve all wanted to do since about the halfway point of episode one:

Rampage RockedThanks, Marcus.

PB: Since we had a dose of funny, now it’s time for a dose of seriousness. Mike Wessel says that he hates having to be away from his wife, who was undergoing cancer treatments at the time. He chokes up a bit while talking about her, saying that he’s made sure a card with a little note from him gets delivered to her every day to help keep her spirits up.

That would be really sad and touching… if it was true. I’ll go more in depth in my “Where Are They Now” fanpost after we’re done with this season, but it was all bulls**t. Wessel would later claim that he wife lied to him and made it all up, but in a recent podcast done by Schaub and Mitrione, they said he was the source of the story and made it up to get on the show.

The pair also said that the producers knew the truth long before the rest of the cast did, so maybe that’s why we’ve been told next to nothing about him before now?

NC: Regardless, the show does its job of presenting the cancer story and creating some sympathy for Mike who, as you mentioned, was a blank slate before this episode. The other angle they push is that he’s small, compact, and powerful, like Mike Tyson, which comes off as desperate at least to me.

PB: Back at the house, Schaub has drawn a couple doodles of Marcus and taped them to the kitchen window, but not before Wessel has added “sucks balls” to the bottom of one.

Big Baby ArtIt’s scientifically proven that adding “sucks balls” to anything makes it ten times funnier.

See? This is why the TUF house needs some board games on hand all times, you put a bunch of guys together with the mentality of 8 year olds and no distractions and this is what happens.

NC: You’re really not going to let this board game thing go, are you?

PB: I don’t see you coming up with a better idea. Someone reading this, photoshop me a picture of Big Baby playing D&D!

NC: This week, Roy Nelson and Kimbo Slice face off again…in a game of Connect Four! Smell the ratings!

PB: Why stop there? I can just imagine Mike Rowe saying “Who will make the other say ‘You sunk my battleship!’”

NC: …actually, that probably would get a huge rating.

PB: Big Baby does not find it the least bit humorous and tears them off before going outside to be alone in anger. I think Mike misunderstood that whole “If your opponent is angry” line from The Art Of War, because all he did was piss off a much larger man who up to now had been very calm and easy going.

NC: This is the part where I turned on Marcus again. What an overreacting jerk. He gets self-righteous about his family possibly watching and being offended, then he proceeds to go on a profanity laced tirade. Yuck.

PB: What does the 800 lb. gorilla do? Whatever the f**k he wants. I think it’s better that he just gets pissed off, I admit over nothing, instead of losing it like Meathead did with Madsen over the OJ, or worse. Who knows, maybe Marcus got picked on a lot as a kid?

NC: That would explain all the murders.

PB: In the gym while Jones is checking his weight, Jackson and Roy Nelson actually lift shirts and do a belly bump of their own. Quinton is clearly sporting a decent beer gut of his own here, lending credibility to Mike Dolce’s claims of him starting camp at 245 pounds for the Evans fight, which is why what’s about to happen pisses me off even more.

Schoonover walks in and Jackson greets him with a “Hey Titties! Titties come over here and talk to me. Come on Titties, let’s make up.” Darrill offers a handshake and Quinton goes in for a hug… then cups the left side of his chest and gives a squeeze.

GropeRampage’s version of an apology.

Darrill responds by shoving him to the edge of the cage and getting right in his face telling him to knock it the f**k off. They exchange a few “COME ON!”‘s at each other before Schaub steps in and pulls Schoonover away.

Quinton starts to laugh before Tiki comes over to say “I thought you motorboated him”. I involuntarily shout “OH F**K YOU!” at my tv screen. If I hadn’t made it abundantly clear over the last 7 weeks, I really… really… really hate Tiki’s guts.

Oh if I had my druthers… Dark dirty bathroom, some heavy duty chains, and a hacksaw. That’s all I’m saying…

I get the sense that Quinton either doesn’t know what personal space is, or just doesn’t care about respecting it. “You should never grab somebody’s titty if they don’t like it” he says. I’m sure Karyn Bryant would like to have a word with you about that.

NC: The whole scene makes it look like Quinton is completely incapable of sincerity. Rather than issue another apology, he goes back to chuckling and making bad jokes. It’s obvious that he’s embarrassed by the whole thing and actually does want things to be cool, he just has no concept of how to reach that point having pushed Darrill one step too far.

The next Tiki scene made me scared for PunisherBass’s keyboard, his monitor, his sanity, any surrounding friends or family…

PB: Tiki drops a “That’s what she said” to one of Quinton’s comments. A runaway bread truck, a single lightning strike, softball sized chunk of hale. Anything like that, that’s all I’m asking for. And take four shots while you’re at it.

You know what Tiki reminds me of? Other than a rancid jar of mayo that somehow gained the ability to talk? This old cartoon.

Was one of the requirements to get on this show “Have at least one really large and terrible tattoo”?

NC: To get into the sport, really.

Team Rampage’s Marcus Jones (4-1) v. Team Rashad’s Mike Wessel (8-2)*

(* Records according to Sherdog, not the records listed on the show)

PB: The fight starts and Marcus shows this really oddball striking stance when he first comes out. It’s just strange the way he holds his hands up.

NC: The whole episode, Team Rashad has been trying to tell Mike that size doesn’t matter. Guess what happens in the first clinch.


PB: Marcus goes for a kimura before switching to back control about 30 seconds in. 10 seconds later Mike spins around into full guard only to almost instantly get caught in an armbar and the ref calls it off.

NC: When a guy that big tugs on your arm, you’ve got to submit and that’s what Mike does yelling “tap” at the top of his lungs.

Arm Bar FinishPB: Evans is so pissed off by his first loss that he picks up a sledge hammer to go outside and starts busting up cars… oh wait no he doesn’t. He handles it like an adult, he says he’s disappointed but still proud his guys went 7-1.

NC: In a funny moment, Marcus compares the win to doing crack and Rampage asks him how he would know what that’s like.

PB: Jackson says that he’s going win the show. No, no he’s not.

The episode should be over now, but they’re going to spend the last 10 minutes setting up the next round of the tournament. They’re bringing the fighters out one by one to ask them who they’d like to fight, Evans jokes “You’re going to be waiting a while, aren’t you Rampage?”

NC: The consensus seems to be that Darrill, Justin, and Matt are easy pickings. Everyone except Big Country (and Matt himself, because that would be weird) ask for Mitrione. Speaking of Nelson…

PB: When it’s Roy’s turn, Dana gets pissed that Nelson says he matches up well with all of them. Well… he’s not wrong. There’s a difference between talking s**t and then backing it up, which Roy can do. White then bitches that his fight with Kimbo wasn’t very exciting, to which Roy basically responds with “Yeah, and…?”

He explains that he took the smart path by exploiting where Kimbo was the weakest, because why take damage when you need to fight three times in just a few short weeks.

NC: Dana makes that face that he makes when someone is talking sense to him and he has no retort.

Dana FaceYou know the one.

PB: When Jones comes out, he doesn’t really have any opinions on who he should fight, he’d rather defer to Quinton. I understand him being a humble guy, but that’s just plain foolish, especially when he’s shown zero leadership qualities up to now.


Roy Nelson v. Justin Wren
Brendan Schaub v. Jon Madsen
James McSweeney v. Matt Mitrione
Marcus Jones v. Darrill Schoonover

NC: Rashad wisely decides open up his training to the Team Rampage guys. He’s not just being magnanimous, his team situation has become far more complicated with all of his boys having to fight one another. I’m stunned that Team Silver remain doggedly loyal.

PB: Kimbo actually says “I can’t disrespect my coach like that”.

Really? What the f**k has he done to earn that kind of loyalty? This is the same guy who walked away after every single loss to piss and moan about the situation while Evans was in there checking on them.

NC: The sad thing is I think the main reason they didn’t jump at the opportunity is because they’re professionals and they didn’t want to make Rampage look bad on national television. You know, kind of like how he’s been doing to them the whole season.

To cap off this absurd edition of TUF 10, next week’s preview revolves around Mitrione possibly having a head injury and…what’s this…a Kimbo Kard?!? They actually show Schaub saying that his money is on Kimbo coming back, though it’s with all the conviction of Rampage talking about how much he cares for his team.

PB: It’s going to take a few days for this to come in, once it does I’ll be ready for next week.

Whiskey CaskNC: It might be a chintzy thing to do, but Bellator is about to pull their second Kimbo Kard and they’re laughing all the way to the bank.

Jones Victorious

Vintage TUF – The Ultimate Fighter Season 10: Heavyweights – Week 7 – Stanky Legs, Ninjas, & Door Destruction

Reliving The Season That Cardio Forgot

Punisher Bass: Do you know why NewChallenger and I decided to get a backlog of these done and in the can before it started running? Yeah, partly is was so we wouldn’t miss a week if we tried to do it in real time, but also for when we ran into episodes like the last one. It’s actually been three weeks since I’ve sat down to write my end of a recap. Episode six pissed me off that badly I had to just walk away for a while.

Maybe this week it will be better?

NewChallenger: *snicker*

PB: Well… it was a nice thought while it lasted, but since the first few seconds of the episode is a pullout shot of Quinton Jackson, Tiki, and Kimbo Slice sitting on a bench, it’s already been shot to hell. While normally the cream filling would be the best part, I can grantee you the exact opposite is true when it comes to this Little Debbie cookie. I wish Tiki had to go through the Klingon Rite Of Ascension every single morning on his way to the bathroom before he could take a piss.

BenchedSee no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil. But who does what?

Rashad Evans is giving his impression of how Jackson looked when Wandy knocked him out the first time back in Pride. Quinton responds in kind with his own impression of how Evans looked in his (then) recent loss to Lyoto Machida. Credit where it’s due, his is the better of the two since Evans just kind of twitched while Jackson did the full on stanky leg.

NC: Ah yes, the now infamous “stanky leg”. As you said, this is one of the few times where Rampage got the better of an exchange with Rashad. I laughed. Then again, that Machida loss always makes for good material.

Stanky LegI mean…he’s not wrong.

PB: Even though we’re not 30 seconds into it, crack the bottle open and take a shot, because Tiki shouldn’t be allowed to get any sort of pleasure at Evans’ expense.

“I can’t take losing no more to Rashad’s cocky ass”, maybe if he tried teaching… oh f**k it.

Before Rashad makes the next fight announcement, Quinton starts up with more homophobic bulls**t by calling him “Gayshad Evans”. Seriously, what the f**k is it with him? This is far from the first time he’s done something like this on the show and I have doubts it will be the last. Jackson has the mentality of a 7th grader. I wonder how he would have reacted if Evans called him “Queerton” instead of “Whaaampage”?

NC: “Gayshad”. Be A Star, people! Oh wait, I’m criticizing the wrong sports entertainment company. Carry on.

PB: They then argue about who’s been knocked out more, with Jackson showing how much brain damage he’s suffered by insisting it’s Evans and not himself. This show is destroying my will to live.

NC: I would say this has more to do with Rampage’s ability to count than his cognitive shortcomings.

PB: The next couple seconds are actually hilarious as Evans says he’s picking Matt Mitrione to fight… Scott Junk. The funny part comes when as soon as he finishes the word “versus”, Marcus Jones takes a step forward with a big smile on his face, only for it to vanish and turn into a look of shock and disappointment as he’s forced to step back in line as Junk’s name is spoken. You can even hear someone giggle in the background.


NC: If Marcus weren’t so annoying, I would have spared him the gif. But he’s getting exactly what he deserves. When will he learn?

It always surprises me when Dana acknowledges right off the bat that a TUF contestant has already fought in the UFC (as Junk has). That information kind of takes the shine off of winning the six figure contract, making it look more like a quick payday than a life changing career opportunity. This would prove even truer in the seasons to come when a few winners wouldn’t make it past three bookings before being cut.

PB: So with that fight booked, the eighth and final one by default becomes Jones vs. Mike Wessel. In the previous six episodes, we’ve seen and heard so little from Mike that I had to look his name up for proper spelling.

NC: Those are seconds of your life that you’ll never get back.

PB: I admit I have a lot of trouble when it comes to remembering names and faces, but Mike has been like a ghost so far, or a random extra in a crowd scene in a movie. We know literally nothing about him except his name.

“Marcus is so big and Wessel is so small… I absolutely have no idea what to think about this fight” Dana White says. The look on his face and his eyes tell me these are the truest words I’ve ever seen him speak.

“I’m going to make you quit, just like you quit on this competition and you quit on your fighters, I’m going to make you quit.” Rashad tells Quinton right to his face. Jackson responds with “I ain’t quittin’ nothin’, my fighters is the ones who is quittin’.”

NC: Um…good comeback?

PB: The argument continues to escalate and quickly turns into the worst version of Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on first?” routine, with Evans saying “You came here to coach” while Quinton says “But I’m not a coach” over and over again.

“I brought my coaches with me, and we doing a good job, we doin’ a great job!” Jackson says, with a dump truck full of irony I hope.

NC: They also go to a shot of his fighters standing idly by, not backing up his statements in anyway. It’s an edited shot, but I doubt it’s far from the truth.

PB: Quinton then asks him why he’s only wearing one shoe, and Evan’s reason is “Because I was ready to break one off in your mother f**king ass!” That gave me a good hearty laugh, thanks Rashad.

NC: Okay. I think I’ve reached the point where I’ve had enough of the Rashad-Rampage back and forth. It’s crazy to remember how highly anticipated this fight was at the time though.

PB: As I said way back in week one, I don’t remember exactly when it was announced there would be no fight since Jackson was “retiring” to go film The A-Team remake, but it had to be around this point. Which makes all this trash talk and confrontation completely pointless.

In a previous recap, I said that I write all this out in real time, and I just paused so I could check Wessel’s wiki page. Turns out he actually fought at UFC 92 in December of 2008 against Antoni Hardonk (fun fact, Antoni is still listed on the UFC roster as of this writing). This has not been mentioned by the show at all, they said Junk was a UFC vet, but nothing about Mike. I just put more time and effort into telling you about him than the TUF production crew has.

NC: Who has time for Mike Wessel when you’ve got more Meathead drama? You can tell they were struggling to make something of this episode since they lean heavily on the “Matt the Rat” angle while sprinkling in some Zak Jensen-esque mind games.

Apparently his teammates are upset that he slipped a note to the other team saying that Mike was afraid to fight Junk. When confronted by Rashad, Mitrione admits that he thinks Mike is “scared to death” and Rashad tells him straight-up that it isn’t Matt’s place to say those things.

Say what you want about Mitrione, but like Rampage, he made the most of his camera time this season.

PB: Matt says “What brings me to MMA is that I enjoy the mental aspect of competition”. The ground aspect though? Not so much.

Outside he tells Schaub that the voices in his head only quiet down when he’s doing something violent, and the look on Schaub’s face says “This guy is totally full of s**t.”

Tiki tells Junk “This guy has nothing for ya, I’m tellin’ ya!”. Yeah… just like he told everyone else on the team how they would CRUSH the other guy, only to be DEAD F**KING WRONG every single time. Many. Take. Of. Shots. Whiskey.

NC: It pains me to think that Tiki Ghosn of all people will prove to be your undoing.

PB: I’m German/Irish, it’s going to take more than a bottle of Jonnie Walker and Tiki’s stupid facial hair to be a nail in my coffin. Jones asks if he’s allowed to say “assh**e” on TV, making him a politer guy than me.

There’s apparently some static between Meathead and Jon Madsen, and it was sparked over a glass of orange juice. And that’s all I’m going to write about it because I need to get through this episode.

NC: This tension between them really comes out of nowhere too. It’s one thing to have feuds on the show, but to spring one up out of nowhere and then use this orange juice tiff as a justification for it? Lame.

At some point, Jon goes as far as to say that he’s going to slap Matt, which leads to a tense training situation, to put it gently.

Mitrione Freak Out 1“Come on, motherf**ker! COME ON!!! F**king tell me—*incoherent wheezing*”

Mitrione Freak Out 2“Little punk ass BITCH!”

Mitrione Freak Out 3“He’s like ‘I’m done, I’m done.’ And I was like, ‘You…p**sy bitch!’ How dare you call me out and say you’re going to slap me in the face and then quit when we’re starting to work? It made me so mad and I just completely blew up.

PB: After he goes full force during a brief sparring session with Madsen, Rashad goes into the back to call him on all crazed alpha male bulls**t and tells him to knock it the f**k off. Thank you Rashad.

NC: Specifically, Rashad asks him how he can freak out so badly when he hasn’t even fought yet. He brings up Mitrione’s wonky shoulder and you can see that for better or for worse, the speech is really getting to Mitrione. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the tough love he received on this show was beneficial to his career in the long run.

PB: Oh thank god for Wes Sims (did I really just type that) for he’s providing this episode with some MUCH needed levity. He dons a black gi (thus destroying my excuse to Benten20 that they don’t come in my size), a little grease paint, and begins stalking Mitrione while he’s outside shooting hoops.

Wes NinjaBecause Zak and Matt are the crazy ones…

NC: The fact that you find this amusing makes me worry about what this show has done to your mind.

PB: Hey, if you sat through the “titties” episode twice like I did, you’d take anything you could get. We see him continue to stalk his prey, and as he’s leaving the basketball court, Sims decides to strike like the biggest and most arthritic panther you’ve ever seen.

Back inside the house, Meathead is having none of Sims’ s**t and tries warning him to never touch him again in his best serial killer voice. The key with guys like Wes is to never show emotion, act upset, or tell them exactly what will piss you off, because it just gives them the perfect ammunition to do exactly that. While shooting a little pool, Wes just continues to needle and just dick with him as much as possible.

Back outside, Matt delivers more serial killer type warnings, which are just laughed off.

NC: Just like they did for Zak, they start a calendar for when Matt will snap. This joke was worth half a laugh the first time around and it’s essentially dead now.

I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to see that “Fight Day” title card come up.

PB: Meathead tells Rashad that he’s all good now, because he talked to his wife… in his head. I’m guessing he either snuck some peyote into the house or he’s into astral projection.

NC: At breakfast, Scott Junk says “I can see myself banging him. And after the fight banging him again in the house just for f**king being a bitch.”

Hold UpPhrasing.

Team Rampage’s Scott Junk (6-2-1) v. Team Rashad’s Matt Mitrione (0-0)*

(* Records according to Sherdog, not the records listed on the show)
(** Yup, Mitrione had zero amateur or pro fights prior to filming)

Oddly, the fight info graphic lists Mitrione as having a 2-0 record. Again, we could find no evidence that he had any actual fights before TUF so I guess we’re just making s**t up now?

PB: Maybe they counted him schooling Slice on the ground back in episode one along with his Madsen tiff as wins?

Within the first minute, Junk gets dropped twice, and instead of pouncing on him like one of the more skilled fighters would, he instead backs off and lets Scott get to his feet. I don’t know if it’s just because he’s so green or because he’s just that terrified of being on the ground.

NC: One thing I noticed is how light on his feet Mitrione is, at least in the early going. You can see how his agility would give him a clear advantage over a lot of the guys in the house. It’s also obvious that Junk’s eye gets busted up, a plot point to be revived in a later episode.

PB: Why are the drawstrings on Junk’s shorts coming out above his ass crack? Please tell me that’s normal and that he didn’t simply put them on backwards.

Matt keeps tagging Scott with shots that knock him to the ground, including one with a delayed fuse, but he refuses to follow him and allowing a reset. The one time he does leap in he nails Junk in the back of the head several times in clear view of the ref, but nothing is done about it.

I think Quinton must have been gone on this day because we haven’t seen or heard from him in a while now. I don’t care what the reason for his absence is. Never look a gift horse in the mouth.

NC: They probably just shut his microphone off.

PB: Alright, it’s obvious that Meathead is just terrified of being on the ground with anyone, even if he’s the much bigger guy and he’s on top.

This fight is just really really ugly. Junk just keeps getting dropped over and over again while Meathead acts like Overeem in the Werdum rematch the moment it could hit the ground.

The last two fights really spoiled us, because they ended before any of them could really hit E on their gas tank, here we’re not so lucky as things pass the half way point both guys have slowed way way down.

NC: As the round comes to a close, you can see that both guys are losing steam in their punches

Finishing StrongK-1, eat your heart out.

PB: And looking at how much time is left for this episode, we’re going to have to sit through another 5 minutes of this slopfest. Dana is giddy like a schoolgirl because they’re playing Stand N Bang, it doesn’t matter how terrible they are, he just wants to see leather getting thrown.

Ah s**t, there’s Quinton.

Round two is a reminder why we subtitled this season as the one cardio forgot, it looks more and more like a brawl you’d see outside a dive bar at 3AM. Both guys shot their load 20 seconds in and now they’re just praying the other guy drops dead of a heart attack before they do.

NC: Junk manages to drag the action to the mat where he should have a clear advantage. “Should” being the operative word here. He stays on top but isn’t able to do much of anything so Josh Rosenthal stands them up. It’s a shame because they both seemed to be enjoying the opportunity to lie down and do nothing.

I think Junk was actually ahead heading into the middle of the second round, but he becomes a stationary target and Matt lands one clean shot after another.

PB: After Meathead gets the majority decision, Quinton (surprise surprise) walks off once again. Instead of checking on his fighter, he’s going to throw a full on f**king temper tantrum and show us just how pissed off he is. And he’ll do it by infamously destroying the cardboard door that separates the back rooms from the gym itself.

Door Destruction 1

Door Destruction 2One could argue that Rampage hasn’t had as convincing a win since.

Ever heard the saying “A bad mechanic blames his tools”?

NC: In this case, the mechanic himself is a tool.

PB: Try as he and his lapdog might, the only person Rampage should be mad at is himself. He was an idiot while picking fighters and then he hired even bigger idiots to work with them. This is like the blind leading the blind, and the idea that Jackson should shoulder even an ounce of responsibility is seen as ludicrous.

NC: After this episode aired, Rampage had a 2-13 TUF coaching record in his two combined seasons.

PB: You know what really irks me about Quinton and his coaches? None of them seem to give a s**t about actually helping anyone grow or improve as a fighter. If you’ve already lost, then f**k off with you, Tiki’s words of stupidity need to go to someone else. Unless you’re Kimbo, you just suck and you always will suck, there is no helping you so why even bother trying, you’re just a drain on resources.

That’s the message they’ve been sending loud and clear.

NC: It’s one of the reasons I’ve always wanted the show to move towards having coaches who are good coaches rather than picking it based on potential match-ups. Admittedly, it helped to add a lot of heat to the Rampage-Rashad collision that would go on to do about a million buys, but I’d say this was the last time this ploy worked (you could make an argument for Rousey-Tate II, but at that point Ronda was generating so much heat all the show did was delay the inevitable).

Bring Matt Serra back. Chael Sonnen. Big Nog. Heck, bring back Rashad! Give me coaches who care and form relationships with the fighters (even if it’s just for show) over pushing feuds that are usually already manufactured.

Then maybe we can get guys like Punisher Bass back into TUF.

PB: That’s going to be a tall order, because not even Shane Carwin’s coaching gig was enough.

Mitrione Victorious

Vintage TUF – The Ultimate Fighter Season 10: Heavyweights – Week 6 – Titties

Reliving The Season That Cardio Forgot

NewChallenger: Before we go any further, I feel it’s important to note that I actually think TUF 10 is one of the better seasons despite my partner’s protestations. Then again, that’s because many of the seasons since have been some mixture of boring, awful, and pointless. At least TUF 10 is hilariously stupid at times. I’d say it’s one of the five best seasons, a compliment that says more about the TUF franchise in general than anything else.

PunisherBass: Oh really? Next time, you pick the season we recap and prove me wrong.

We open in the TUF house kitchen where it’s 8 AM and the guys are eating their breakfast, only Darrill Schoonover is having his in liquid form. And I don’t mean he’s sipping a Carnation instant breakfast either, dude is drinking beer. He reasons this away to his team by saying he has a headache.

NC: One of my favourite things about these rarely seen heavyweight seasons is that they do not give a s**t about what they’re putting into their bodies.

No ShameSo these are free, right?

PB: Because this is a reality show and the production crew will try and shape the narrative as they see fit, no matter how against reality it is, they use editing here to make Schoonover look like a raging alcoholic. We’re shown him grabbing three beers from the fridge, pouring a glass of red wine (I think), and then eating breakfast with a Long Island Iced Tea.

The problem is that just like Kimbo’s shorts in a previous episode, Darrill’s shirt keeps changing during the montage, so you’re not slipping that past me.

NC: That said, he is still having a beer in the morning and later when asked if he’s been drinking all he can say is “I was drinking yesterday, not today.” And you could probably add a “yet” at the end there.

PB: At the gym, Rashad Evans gives a special introduction for Phil Nurse who will be working with the guys today. Feel free to make up your own greasing jokes because I’ve got nothing. Soon Rashad says he wants to have Brendan Schaub and Schoonover get in the ring so he can watch them spar.

He’s none too thrilled with what he’s seeing and says “We need to get (Darrill’s) cardio right, it’s not where it should be”. Truth be told, he’s hardly the worst offender we’ve seen in that regard this season, faint praise I know, but at least someone is finally talking about the gas tank issue.

James McSweeney tells Evans that Schoonover is an alcoholic and about his recent self medicating, which only serves to piss Darrill off.

In the back, Rashad and his coaches sit him down to have a little intervention about his drinking habits.  They gently suggest that he either cuts way back on his consumption, if not stop it all together, and save it for his first victory celebration.

Off topic, but I’d really like to know what the weekly grocery budget for the TUF house is.

NC: And not just the grocery bill, they’re also able to request all sorts of toys and gadgets especially if it will lead to shenanigans in the house. It’s undoubtedly a hefty chunk of change, but still a lot cheaper than any television show where the cast is making hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars per episode. Just another benefit of reality TV programming.

PB: Rashad tells the camera that Darrill is a diamond in the rough, and I just don’t see it. Out of all these guys, disregarding fight skills, if I was to label any of them as something special then it would have to be Justin Wren.

NC: I was rooting for Darrill, but only because I wanted to see him shut Rampage up. Regarding his skills, I agree with you that there wasn’t much of note on the show. Rashad is convinced that he has some serious power in his stand-up though.

Clinch Elbow TrainingSo we’re not worried about concussions in training at all?

PB: If you somehow found Quinton Jackson saying the word “titties” those 4,000 times in the first episode to be amusing in any way, first I hope you never have children and second you’re about to see it driven into the ground so f**king hard that it pops out in a parallel dimension.

He calls Darrill this a half dozen times in less than 30 seconds which eventually provokes him to fire back with “You know what? I’ll drop down to 205 and I’ll kick your ass”.

Proving once again that he loves to talk s**t to people but can’t stand it if any comes back his way, he follows Darrill as he’s walking away and redoubles his efforts.

His “I’ll kick yo ass titties!” is met with Darrill’s challenge to have a sparring session, which is declined. There’s no Tiki here but I’m taking a shot anyway.

NC: Not to mention the fact that if they did spar and Darrill somehow hurt Rampage, he would be in deep trouble and likely kicked off the show while Rampage would just keep laughing all the way to the bank. It’s a blatant abuse of his position on the show whether he realizes he’s doing it or not.

It is deeply disturbing that a veteran like Rampage lets Darrill (who is essentially a nobody on the MMA scene) get under us skin. This would be like Louis CK getting flustered by some random insult comic hijacking a show.

PB: When it’s time to announce the next fight, Evans chooses Schoonover to take on this season’s other favorite whipping boy Zak Jensen. When his initial attempts to get a rise out of him fails, Jackson switches to asking Darrill “Got milk bitch!?” several times until he’s finally told to go f**k himself.

NC: In Rampage’s defence, not a single person laughed when he said it the first time, so obviously the right thing to do in that situation is repeat the same tired joke.

PB: Seeing Darrill step up to Quinton makes me think of two things. One, how I’ve been in very similar situations during my school days. Two, a quote from Farscape, “It’s a show of force, it’s the only thing that Klingons understand!” Foolish as it may have been, I don’t think I’d blame him if he took a swing.

NC: Rashad does the smart thing and steps in for Darrill, much to the constant amusement of Trevor Wittman.

Wittman LaughingAt least someone is having a good time.

PB: Thankfully, because you can’t make an entire episode with just the word “titties”, it’s now time for things to focus on Jensen and more of the abuse he’s forced to endure. Can we file a lawsuit against this show? Like for second hand emotional battery by proxy or something?

NC: Kimbo has a new nickname for Zak: “Linderman”. So random. I remember there was this fighter named D.J. Linderman who started making waves on the regional circuit a few years ago, and I legitimately thought it was Zak working under an alias.

Here’s Kimbo to explain things as only he can: “To sum it all up: If Shrek had a little brother it would be (Zak). And his name would be ‘Linderman’.”

PB: Wes Sims has started a betting pool for which day Zak will finally crack on and skin everyone in their sleep. There’s nothing wrong with good natured ribbing, but Wes is really starting to push up against the line of being a sadist.

NC: We get a variety of reactions from the rest of the cast. Abe, literate as always, compares Zak to Piggy from Lord of the Flies. For anyone not familiar with that book, Piggy gets killed.

Matt says he likes Zak, though he still thinks he’s going to flip out so he’s just glad that he’s on Zak’s good side. Brendan says that the others are “f**ked up” for doing it, then adds “You’ve still got me for the 16th, right?”

Zak In BedAdding names to the list like he’s Arya Stark.

PB: Because there are no TV’s or internet in the house and contact with the outside world is prohibited while on the show, I understand they need to come up with ways to entertain themselves, and that can lead to some really stupid things…

Mikey Burnett 1Mikey Burnett 2So why don’t they keep a couple boardgames in one of the closets somewhere? I’m serious, just picture Roy Nelson, Kimbo Slice, McSweeney, and Abe Wagner (as the banker) sitting around the kitchen table playing a game of Monopoly. Or what about Marcus Jones, sitting on the floor in a dark bedroom, surrounded by Wren, Demico Johnson, and Schaub. He’s wearing a bath robe pulled over his head because he’s playing Dungeon Master for a D&D campaign he got started.

Think about it, the UFC really missed the boat here. I’d pay money to see either of those.

NC: You’re really assuming that these guys can handle anything more complicated than Candy Land or The Game of Life.

PB: Oh come on, the possibilities are endless here. Mouse Trap and Outburst come to mind. A game of laser tag or a Nerf war maybe. What about Nelson taking on Slice in a game of the almighty CROSSFIRE!!!!! They could at least spring for a deck of Cards Against Humanity, you know?

NC: Speaking of offences to humanity, Darrill proudly shows off a demented tattoo of a clown cutting off a girl’s head and tells people that he got it when he was drunk.

PB: And you see kids? This is why you should never be drunk in public with cash in your pocket, bad s**t like this is what can happen to you. Most reputable tattoo artists won’t work on someone who’s obviously intoxicated, but I guess Darrill found one who was also s**t faced at the time or was simply less scrupulous.

Welp, we made it through almost half of this episode without having to look at Tiki’s face and his Scott Steiner knockoff facial hair. Maybe we’ll get lucky and won’t have to listen to him talk as well. Either way, take a shot.

Ok, I swear to you dear readers, I write all this on the fly. I watch, I pause so I can take notes, then I unpause and continue watching. I don’t go back and rewrite something to setup a joke to try and sound clever, this kind of thing just happens on its own.

Once again…I have spoken way too soon, because here he comes carrying of some sort of wrapped gift. I don’t really care what it is simply because of its association with Tiki, I’m only hoping it’s not a painting of himself in a thong, covered in baby oil, and posed seductively on a bear skin rug in front of a fireplace.

NC: Tiki has a collage made of Team Rashad and…come on, Pun, you’ve got to admit that’s pretty sweet:

Team CockyPB: I highly doubt Tiki actually made this himself, but credit where it’s due, I’ve seen far far worse. Props for having McSweeney’s MMA record right on his shirt as well. If you pay close attention, you’ll see Wren has been given a set of chicken legs and a beak, I remember there being something about a chicken prank during this season, but we obviously haven’t seen it yet. Creative editing at work once again.

NC: Some of the other highlights are Mike Van Arsdale being made up like a transvestite, Roy Nelson as a fat cowboy, and the expected Darrill in a bra. Oddly, Mitrione and Schaub get away unscathed.

PB: A few quick thoughts here. I guess Quinton liked Kimbo’s nipple cap so much, he just had to get one of his own, that or he’s borrowing one and that idea just maks me feel icky. It’s also nice to see that Wes Shivers has finally caught his breath and is apparently training again. And then Jackson shows that he only really knows how to communicate through anger or personal attack by belittling his team once again.

NC: Rampage asks if Zak if he wants him to call Zak’s momma and Zak responds by shoving him, which Rampage likes.

Zak bangs his face against someone’s knee during training and the damage is immediately noticeable. Blood is pouring down his face. You can hear someone enthusiastically yell, “Does that mean he’s out?” I wonder who would say such a thing?

Kimbo KaresOh.

I like Kimbo, but that is a truly f**ked up way to behave.

PB: He’s really showing team spirit and concern for his fellow teammate by instantly assuming he’s now back in the tournament.

NC: This whole segment is disgusting. Like I said at the beginning, I think this season is alright overall, but this is not one of its prouder moments. Tiki and Rampage are all but begging for Zak to not be able to fight, with Tiki saying that he’ll quit at the first sign of adversity anyway. F**king hell, Pun. This would be a good time for one of your anti-Tiki rants.

PB: Ask and ye shall receive. I never have to scrape up new reasons to hate Tiki, because every single week he provides me with a treasure trove of new ones. No one, not a single person likes him except Jackson. He’s not only incompetent at what he does, but he’s just a terrible human being on top of it, the kind of person you want to either never see again or hit with a baseball bat after spending five minutes talking to them.

He’s like the Rob Liefeld of the MMA world. Just, you know without the money, fame, and continued gainful employment.

This week’s gem from Tiki is “You want this, and you know some of the guys on this team DON’T want this!” said to Slice. What exactly in the fresh hell did Arianny Celeste find so appealing about this man? Because it gives me and Alexandra Daddario hope for the future. And, don’t forget to take two shots.

Gee guys, why don’t you just take Zak out behind the gym and put two behind his ear? Give him the Old Yeller treatment, because that’s obviously what you’d rather do to the guy, it would also be more humane.

NC: At least Rampage says that he is proud of Zak for sticking with it, though in a condescending way. He compares it to watching a kid riding a bike on his own for the first time. They know Zak is a grown-ass man, right?

PB: Awwwwww, poor Kimbo has a sad face when he finds out he’s not getting to replace Zak after all.

Ugh, I might have to start a bro fist counter now as well.

While Evans and Nurse are doing some light sparring, they notice the piece of Deviant Art that’s been hung on the wall. “I’ve got a joke for them, 5 and 0” Evans says. He quickly takes it down and hides it in the back room. I would have put it in the bathroom, there’s no such thing as too much toilet paper.

During the weigh-ins, we get another bombardment of “titties jokes” from Quinton along with telling Schoonover to take his bra off. This has been the hardest episode for me to sit through by FAR. I’ve had to step away several times because it just gets to be too much of a chore.

NC: I picture you going for a break and then coming back to Rampage and Tiki taking one last opportunity to mess with Darrill before the fight.

Door PrankComedic geniuses.

PB: Tweedle Dumb and Dumber scamper to the Team Gold dressing room with a sharpie to deface Schoonover’s name. They add dots to the “OO”s along with the secret word of the day. Their psych warfare is second to none.

Helpful tip of the day, if you need to remove sharpie markings from something, all you need is some rubbing alcohol. It will take it off like magic.

NC: They were probably afraid that Darrill might try to drink it.

PB: “We’re not here to talk you to death.” I CALL BULLS**T ON THAT QUINTON!

Ok, I’ll admit, that is some horrible ink Jensen has on his back.

Team Rampage’s Zak Jensen (7-2) v. Team Rashad’s Darrill Schoonover (10-0)*

(* Records according to Sherdog, not the records listed on the show)

NC: As both teams predicted, their beloved psychopaths come out aggressive! They land several hard shots on each other. It’s Darrill who eventually gets the better of it, landing some nice clinch knees before tagging Zak against the fence.

Darrill easily snuffs a takedown, then chooses to pull guard to take control on the ground. In the post-fight recap, Rampage and Dana would recall Zak getting a takedown, which is completely incorrect. Darrill then proceeds to set up the slowest triangle choke in history.

PB: As he’s setting up the triangle, he eats about 10 clean shots to the face from Zak before he thinks to try and block some of them. Darrill has it locked in, but I don’t know if it’s a technique or position problem that’s preventing him from really putting the squeeze on. He makes an adjustment and the lights start going out, at the half way mark the fight is called off as Zak is unresponsive.

NC: If only he’d followed Rampage’s advice to “GET OUT! GET OUT OF IT! GET OUT OF IT! GET OUT OF IT ZAK!” he might have turned this whole thing around.

Sleeping JensenPeace at last…

PB: If you thought Quinton would finally start showing some concern for his fighters, or do anything except walk off in a huff, you’d be wrong. Poor Zak breaks down crying in the back, and I don’t blame him, he’s done nothing but eat scoop after scoop of s**t from everyone in the house, and now he’s been choked out.

I guess Kinko’s had 2 for 1 sale, because Team Gold are presented with another copy of the Team Cocky picture. Instead of pissing off and upsetting them like intended, they simply laugh it off, still being undefeated tends to do that.

NC: I was kind of confused by the art unveiling as well. It wasn’t believable to me that they would make two copies, so I think they just messed around with the editing again so they could have their cake (Rashad dealing with it before training) and eat it too (showing Team Gold’s non-reaction to the joke). But at this point I feel like we are putting way too much thought into these things.

Speaking of which, I believe you had a side project of your own for episode 6?

PB: After I was done writing my notes for this episode, I somehow found the strength to re-watch it start to finish just so I could count how many times the special word of the day was either spoken or shown on screen. I seriously thought it was close to 100, it really felt like it, but I was wrong. “Titties” is used 51 different times during this 40 minute show. That means every 0.7 minutes we had to hear it.

Yet another reason why I never watched another season after this one.

Schoonover Victorious

Vintage TUF – The Ultimate Fighter Season 10: Heavyweights – Week 5 – Shower Shenanigans

Reliving The Season That Cardio Forgot

NewChallenger: This week opens up with a lovely reminder that Team Rampage is off to a 4-0 start. Let’s not forget that just three seasons earlier, Rampage had coached opposite Forrest Griffin and started the same way. The streak was broken by Tim Credeur in week 5. Would he have any such luck this time around?

PunisherBass: While rolling with Darrill Schoonover, Matt Mitrione has apparently injured or reinjured his shoulder. He’s requesting a cortisone shot to which Evans is heavily objecting to. He says they’re only two weeks into this with four more to go, and if he gets one now without even having fought yet, he could do even more damage to himself.

While they’re riding to the gym, Team Silver member Marcus Jones says he’s anxious to fight and gives his best version of a maniacal laugh. Sorry Big Baby, I give you an A for effort, but there’s a reason why JDS checks under his bed for Ben Rothwell every night.

When Rashad tells him he’s getting his wish, Marcus’ face lights up like a Christmas tree.

NC: Unfortunately, Marcus doesn’t realize that Rashad is kind of messing with him. Any attempts to clarify the situation for him are ignored and he’s convinced that Rashad gave him his word.

PB: During Team Silver’s training session, Quinton is lamenting the fact that his guys are down four-zip to Rashad. He then says they’re the reason for his sour mood and even blames their losses for affecting his own performance in the bedroom. I wonder if he used this as one of the reasons he went on TRT?

NC: It would suit him since along with BJ Penn and Tito Ortiz, Rampage is one of the masters of excuses.

PB: Not having a human trouser stain as your #1 assistant might help as well.

Jackson says he’s going to teach them how to “wall walk”, or basically how to get to the cage and back up to your feet after being taken down. This would have come in real handy during week 3, and I know this is new footage since the cage mat is now blue instead of gray. This is like slamming the barn door after the horse has already escaped.

They try teaching this to Zak Jensen with Kimbo holding him down, Quinton then bags on him by saying he was the last one picked because he had the least amount of skills… NC, what was Jensen’s MMA record up to this point?

NC: Zak was a sterling 7-3 with his notable fights being first round submission losses to TUF alums Brad Imes and Mike Whitehead.

PB: Thank you. So yeah, to he’s not the best guy in the cast, but to say he’s the least skilled when Kimbo is in the same building is just an insult. It’s also no way for a coach to be talking about one of his own fighters, especially not if he’s trying to motivate them.

And to his credit, Jensen admits that he’s not comfortable off his back, and that it’s a flaw he needs to correct.

NC: It’s a good thing he has such a calm, steady motivator like Rampage to guide him.

Slap HappyYou do NOT slap a man.

PB: Back at the house, the Mark Twain quote thief with frosted hair apparently had an issue during his morning shower. As if Zak hasn’t already been s**t on enough in this episode, his own teammate is now pissed at him. Wes Sims is claiming that Zak left a puddle of splooge on the shower floor, which he stepped in and nearly hurt himself.

Just for fun, let’s list the euphemisms used here. “A whole family of Jensens” “Jerked Mr. Happy” “Big ole pile of fermented mayonnaise”. Everyone sits around cracking various jokes about him while he’s in his bed writing.

NC: In their testimonials, James McSweeney says that Zak has no idea how to cope with being bullied and Brendan Schaub says Zak is sensitive and shouldn’t be there.

I always feel bad for guys like Zak who are clearly brought in to fulfill this weird “everyman/sad sack” role made famous by the likes of TUF 5’s Wayne Weems and, of course, TUF 1’s Jason “Strange Brew” Thacker.

PB: While Team Gold is getting ready to hit the mats, Meathead clutches his left arm to his chest and has Brendan wrap him in plastic wrap like he’s Thanksgiving leftovers. I have no idea if this is a legit thing to do or not, so I’m going to put it next to Kimbo Nun Slice as “Bizarre S**t On TUF 10”.

Shoulder WrapKeep in mind, this was long before the UFC had an insurance program.

Here’s a question, do we know if Meathead is left or right handed? Maybe he’s the one who “seeded the shower” and that’s really how he hurt his arm?

After, we see him do some solo one armed shadow boxing, which I’m convinced the producers put him up to.

One Hand ManThis is just damn silly.

And now he’s running on a treadmill and telling Evans that he wants to fight next. Rashad asks him “Why? Why over everyone else who’s here?”

NC: Matt tells Rashad that he’s a guaranteed win. According to Meathead, he’s too hurt to practice but not too hurt to compete. Uh…

PB: Meathead is basically an enigma wrapped in a lot of contradictions with a healthy dash of utter confusion on top, which makes my brain hurt.

During Team Silver’s time in the gym, Wes Shivers (still benched I might add) recites Sims’ Shower Shenanigans Story to Quinton. Damn, exactly which one of the MMA Gods did Jensen piss off to have this much s**t rain down on him? While in a triangle choke with Sims, he goes to sleep and must get woken up by Tiki rubbing his chest.

I’d like to know how Arianny Celeste didn’t involuntarily scream in abject horror whenever the same thing happened to her.

He’s out of it enough to where the medics are called in and fit with him an oxygen mask. I’d make a joke asking where these things were for the past four episodes, but I don’t have to heart to.

NC: I think you just did.

Rampage has no sympathy for Zak (shocker) and says that if it was him who had passed out in practice like that, he would have moved to another planet.

OxygenAm I fitting in yet, guys?

Back at the house, Matt is driving the rest of the team crazy with all of the stuff he’s doing with his shoulder besides training. Shooting hoops, throwing the pigskin, probably jackin’ it in the shower like Zak as you mentioned…I’ll be honest, this was the depiction of Mitrione that stuck in my head for a while. I rooted against him in his first few UFC appearances until I realized that 1) he’s a fun fighter to watch and 2) he might be an assh**e, but no more than most of the folks you see on reality TV shows.

PB: Schaub and Nelson sit and imitate what he just said doesn’t hurt it, but surprisingly they refrain from doing the classic jerk off motion.

NC: Or at least it didn’t make it to air. I think it’s cool to imagine that these two were sticking together from day one with the knowledge that they were a step ahead of everyone else. It’s one of the reasons I tell people to watch these older editions of TUF, to see well known and successful fighters having to jump through these hoops to make it to the big show. Can you believe that the likes of Forrest Griffin, T.J. Dillashaw, and Rashad himself had to go through this crap?

PB: In training, Matt is getting the “Kimbo treatment”, aka Nelson is on top of him and has the job of trying to get out. This is the same guy who six years later went for his first official takedown in the UFC and was instantly choked out moments later. So you can imagine how well this goes.

NC: If there’s one good moment for Matt in this episode, it’s his dialogue about wanting to switch out his arms:

“…kinda like the old He-Man figurines where you could just pull off an arm and put, like, Ram Man’s arm on there, I might do that. Or Cringer. Cringer had really strong arms, I could probably use his. Actually, he was Battle Cat when he was strong, maybe I’ll use Battle Cat’s.”

PB: And we still have his whole “I went to go visit my wife… IN MY HEAD!” thing to deal with in the future.

On the ride back to the house, Marcus says “I’m too tired to masturbate right now” to which Abe Wagner says “You know who’s not?” Even as childish as this all is, I’ll still take it over more Tiki.

NC: Big Baby is still going on about being picked to fight even though he was given zero confirmation that that was actually the case.

PB: At the fight announcement, Rashad pulls a Russo and picks Justin Wren to fight Wes Sims and Jones looks crushed.

NC: Maybe he was just confused by Justin and Wes’ post-pick antics.

Weird FaceoffWe honestly have no idea what this means.

Big Baby proceeds to have a bitch fit about not getting to fight. Re-watching it now, these Marcus Jones segments are as tired as I remember them. I’m all for the “big, sensitive guy” trope, but this is just boring.

In Justin’s info segment, we learn that he fights out of Travis Lutter’s camp. You all might remember Lutter as the middleweight winner of TUF 4, for missing weight in a subsequent title fight with Anderson Silva, and for being the Michael Jordan of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

I’m starting to remember why I liked Wren. His soft spoken demeanour won me over. He really comes off as a thoughtful individual. Even when he’s announcing that he’s going to put on a show for all of the people watching on Spike TV, it comes off as more dutiful than boastful.

PB: Slice says Wren is a “Greco-Roman whateverthef**k that is wrestler”. If you’re a fighter signed to the UFC, shouldn’t you at least know what the difference is between freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling? I do and I’ve never even done either.

First Kimbo Kard of the episode with him asking how he’s going to get another fight. It sounds like he’s planning to pull a Showgirls if that’s what it will take for him to be a replacement. I think we might have our third suspect for what happened in the shower…

My thoughts on Sims are 1: He’s a tall mofo, tallest in the house in fact at 6’9. 2: He’s a real character.

NC: He has a tendency to talk like someone who has taken too many blows to the head. I actually feel kind of bad for him. He’s just trying so hard to use this show as a platform to promote himself.

Sims BellyMoments like this are why they don’t do more heavyweight seasons.

PB: I only feel bad that he later had to job to Bobby Lashley in Strikeforce. At the weigh-ins, Wren takes his shorts off to reveal he’s wearing a pink leopard print speedo.

NC: A glorious pink leopard print speedo.

PB: Indeed, Dennis Hallman would be proud. He comes in at 247lbs so well played. Not one to be outdone, Sims drops his drawers to show that he’s wearing what has to be the world’s biggest thong, he weighs 251lbs.

NC: I would call that a “banana hammock”.

ThunderwearWe stand corrected: THIS is why they don’t do more heavyweight seasons.

PB: Instead of laughing along with everyone else, Quinton decides to make some homophobic jokes.

NC: We might need a new drinking game.

Team Rampage’s Wes Sims (23-12-1 [2 NC]) v. Team Rashad’s Justin Wren (7-1)*

(* Records according to Sherdog, not the records listed on the show)

PB: The fight begins with Wren tying Sims up against the fence and Wes attempting a few foot stomps.

NC: Say what you want about these fights so far. That is some sweet ass foot stomping.


PB: After a separation and another tie up, Justin wrestles him to the ground.

NC: That was caused by Wes inexplicably abandoning his jab for a completely useless kick.

PB: He quickly switches from side control to north south then back to side control before applying an arm triangle choke on Sims.

Only 90 seconds in and Herb Dean calls it off, though I think Wes was clearly out for a good 5-10 seconds before he stepped in. You even see him allllllmost call it before backing off again a few times. This was more one sided than Nelson/Slice was, you couldn’t even nuke a bag of popcorn before this fight was over.

During the replay, we see that while Herb was checking to see if Wes was responsive, Quinton was yelling at him “Get out! You know how to get out of this!” Too little too late.

NC: Don’t forget these other gems from Rampage’s corner: “You know what he’s doing” and “He doesn’t got it”.

Arm Triangle KONo he doesn’t. And yes he does.

PB: In the cage, a very confused and disoriented Sims is trying to get to his feet but being told to stay down by Herb and the doctor while Trevor Wittman pours cold water on him. Do you want to take a guess where Jackson is during all this and what he’s doing?

NC: At his fighter’s side, clasping his hand tenderly with tears in his eyes?

PB: He’s sitting on the edge of the cage with his back to Wes, bitching and moaning to Tiki about another loss and asking why this keeps happening.

NC: Oh.

PB: Shivers tries to defend Quinton’s actions, more like inaction, by saying he’s a fighter and not a coach. So is Rashad, but he’s still putting in far more effort than Jackson is.

Wren and his team are happy and excited after moving to 5-0, and they don’t plan to let their stranglehold on the tournament go anytime soon. A post fight celebratory belly bump between Justin and Roy gets the thumbs up from me.

In the back room, Quinton continues to sulk and says “We can’t make ‘em fight”. And then Tiki says what is in my mind the most infamously stupid and downright moronic thing said in this entire season. And trust me, I don’t make that statement lightly.

He says “We can’t fight for ‘em.” Now just let that sink in for a minute.

Don’t take two, but take three shots this time, because this is a special occasion. Tiki saying s**t this like this perfectly highlights why a lot of people wish a house would fall on his head.

Before everyone leaves, there’s a conversation/argument between Quinton and Rashad. Evans tells him he could do better and Jackson just tells him that he isn’t a coach and only knows how to handle himself, not other fighters.

And then Rashad delivers this epic putdown to Tiki, he even gift wrapped it and put a nice big bow on it! “Tiki, just because Rampage doesn’t go in the cage doesn’t mean you don’t have to go in the cage either”. BOOM! HEAD SHOT! And all Tiki can do is stand there schtum.

NC: Tiki just took it like the obedient lap dog that he is.

PB: Quinton suggest that the whole reason he hasn’t been checking on his fighters post fight isn’t about a lack of respect, but rather doing so would make him so angry he’d do something that would require the cops. Not really the best thing to say after that monster truck incident.

In the preview for next week, there’s heat between Jackson and Schoonover, Jensen continues to wish this show was over already, and they play the Kimbo Kard again when someone gets injured.

NC: “Oh God, thank you. I get to bang again.” The most blatantly misleading Kimbo Kard yet!

Wren Victorious

Vintage TUF – The Ultimate Fighter Season 10: Heavyweights – Week 4 – Kimbo Komeback?

Reliving The Season That Cardio Forgot

Punisher Bass: “The most anticipated showdown in Ultimate Fighter history?” NewChallenger, is there any truth in that statement?

NewChallenger: I’d certainly say so. Outside of the finale fights, the only matches with much hype behind them were Josh Koscheck/Chris Leben (huge at the time) and maybe Gray Maynard/Nate Diaz. Though I can’t remember either of them having near the level of buzz as Kimbo’s first fight on TUF.

PB:  “But is this really the end for Kimbo?” 30 seconds into the episode and we already have our first Kimbo Kard of the night.

NC: Just to clarify for any new readers, a “Kimbo Kard” is any shameless attempt by the show to imply that Kimbo could be returning to the competition even though he was eliminated last week.

PB: As we’re shown highlights from last week’s fight, Team Silver fighter Scott Junk provides us with these little gems.

“Kimbo was looking good.” No, no he wasn’t, not unless he was playing charades and trying to imitate “Hybrid of fish on land crossed with upside down turtle”.

“Kimbo looked good, his gas levels were nice.” Even by the extremely low standards that have been set so far, there is no way anyone should be saying that with a straight face.

“Kimbo made one mistake in the second round when he threw that knee, and I think it basically cost him the fight.” Oh we’re deep into the bulls**t now.

“Kimbo didn’t know how to get out of that move and there’s been champions who’ve been finished in that move, you know?” That comparison is an insult to anyone who’s ever held a belt in any major MMA promotion.

“Kimbo did super well I thought, he was just outclassed on the ground”, I rolled my eyes so hard I think I broke something.

NC: If I hadn’t actually watched the fight myself, I’d think that Kimbo was really good. Unfortunately, I did and he isn’t.

PB: They’ve spent the first 5 minutes of this episode trying to put some of the bloom back on this rose, but once the toothpaste is out the tube, there’s no shoving it back in.

Nelson tells Quinton that the counting out loud helped him because he lost track after the 10th punch. This pisses him off enough to where he gives Roy a shove as he’s walking away and continues to lob insults at him after he’s out of the cage. Trash talk is a one way street with Jackson, he loves dishing it out but can’t stand it coming back at him.

NC: Justin Wren and Roy celebrate with a belly bump, much to their delight of their teammates and to the disgust of pretty much everyone watching at home. In a somewhat related note, I thought Justin was going to become a heavyweight contender for reasons that escape me at this moment.

Belly BrosHow’d you like to be in the middle of that man sandwich?

PB: As a fat guy, I approve of the belly bump celebration, it’s better than a bro fist at least.

In the back, Jackson says to Kimbo “We’re gonna keep working with you and turn you into one of the best fighters out here homie.” Yeah… no.

“Only thing that kept you on the ground was his weight” Quinton says, and Tiki follows him up with “He was the IFL champ and he was scared to stand with you, he almost got knocked the f**k out. He had to take a desperation shot.” Tiki, hair dye is meant for external use only, I’m willing to bet that there’s an “avoid ingestion” warning label somewhere on the box. And if you’re playing at home, take a shot.

NC: They refuse to acknowledge that Nelson is a well regarded BJJ black belt. There is just no accountability whatsoever. Tiki says that Roy probably isn’t happy with the win. I don’t know, he seemed pretty happy to me.

Nelson Victorious PB: “He was pounding the s**t out of me up there. He didn’t hurt me though, I can take a punch” says Kimbo. Isn’t that kind of an oxymoron?

Another Kimbo Kard, reminding us that he can be tagged in if someone gets injured.

NC: The first 10 minutes of this episode are dedicated to keeping the hope of a Kimbo return alive.

PB: I know they’re trying to paint him in a sympathetic light here, but I have a hard time buying it when he was probably getting paid more to be on the show than the rest of the cast put together.

Marcus Jones is doubled over in the kitchen and sweating as bad as I do in 110 degree heat. James McSweeney calls it a “sweat attack”, Brendan Schaub says he thinks it’s from Jones not being used to training like a pro fighter, and as Kimbo is fanning him off with a shirt he says to him “You may not be able to fight”.

Marcus’ reaction to this is akin to being told about scientology for the first time.

NC: It might be a bad sign that the act of staying physically fit is actually killing Marcus.

Matt Mitrione gets some shine in the next gym segment. Rashad praises him for his athleticism. I admit, I didn’t think much of him, probably because he was giving me a Vincent D’Onofrio in Full Metal Jacket vibe. Wait, maybe that should have made me take him more seriously.

PB: While the guys are having their training session, Rashad and his coaches are in the back going over their gameplan for the rest of the tournament, who they want who to fight, and they bring in each guy one by one to let them know what the deal is.

Because this is still a reality show, the title of this episode was “Snitch”, after Mitrione is filled in, van Arsdale tells him “Don’t tell nobody, keep it to yourself” as he’s walking out.

Wren comes back into the room to inform the boss that he and Junk (their preferred matchup) are good friends and have a history together, so he’ll do it but that he really doesn’t want to. Rashad (remember, this was before the shakeup at Greg Jackson’s) says he understands and couldn’t imagine having to fight one of his own friends.

NC: Rashad compares it to having to fight Jardine, which he actually had to do to make it to the finals of TUF 2 (though presumably that was before they became training partners).

PB: Team Silver comes in for their training session and Quinton calls Roy a fatass over and over.

Jackson says that Marcus Jones is a big dude who doesn’t know how to go at half speed, as we’re shown clips of him putting several of his teammates down with hard strikes and torquing on subs too much.

NC: He also tries to big up Scott Junk by saying that Junk eats forks and knives and staples. That makes him sound incredibly stupid, not tough.

PB: Back at the house, a little birdie has told Junk about what his future holds and he wants to hear confirmation from Wren on whether it’s true or not. That “little” birdie was none other than Meathead.


During breakfast the next morning, Justin confronts Matt over the leakage, and Wren is willing to forgive and forget. He’s a good dude, you need look no further than what he’s been doing in the 6 years since this show ended for proof of that. Schaub and the rest of the team on the other hand are more than a little pissed at the situation he’s created.

NC: Matt expresses his regret and says he’d jump on a grenade for the team. Schaub says it sounds like he threw the grenade this time. Ouch.

PB: McSweeney thinks he did it to get out of fighting Marcus because Meathead’s solution is to “just switch them up, change the fights.”

NC: Man, I’ve said it before, but I can’t stress enough how much better these older seasons were about teasing storylines and setting up potential match-ups.

PB: On the van ride to the gym, Schaub asks Matt “What were you thinking?”

“I am just an assh**e, really. It’s what I am.” Well… at least he knows.

At the gym he confesses his sins to Rashad and the other coaches, and they take it better than I would have. I would have let the team smear him in honey and then tie him to a red ant hill.

Outside the building, Quinton and his coaches have a “secret” meeting about the matchups. Tiki, being the incredible unwashed assh**e that he is, decides to start throwing rocks at a group of birds nearby. Take a shot.

When it’s time for the fight announcement, Rashad chooses Schaub to face Demico Rogers.

Dana White says that Brendan is a big dude, but “not anywhere near as big as Demico”… we’re told this while they’re standing face to face and are clearly the same height. In fact, Sherdog lists both men at 6’4. I will not tolerate your lies and bulls**t Dana.

NC: Tiki then tells Demico that he wants him to explode on Brendan’s face. Phrasing. Drink up, partner.

PB: After some more words outside, it looks like Quinton has given up his F-350 for an Audi while the trunk in Evans’ car is ridiculously small, you’d have a hard time fitting a single body in there without liberal use of a chainsaw, and even then it would be tight.

NC: I’m sorry, I have to take this moment to fully transcribe Rampage’s fantasy about wanting to murder Rashad:

Rampage UnhingedHave you ever thought about just punching somebody in they face and just…your fist keep going through the back of their brain and *brain exploding sound* and through their nose you pull out their brain *gaaaaaah* you just throw it back and you spit on it *ptew*. You know what I’m sayin’? Then you kick ‘em in the nuts.

PB: Back in the gym, after a Schaub training montage, we get one for Rogers.

“This fight is tailor made for you man, these guys f**ked up, they picked the wrong fight.” Well Tiki hasn’t been correct about a single thing yet, maybe he’s like a broken clock and it will happen eventually. And don’t forget to take a shot.

On fight day, Demico walks into the back to find Junk sitting there alone, his coaches are literally out to lunch while Schaub finds all of his ready and waiting for him. I’m sure this is just creative editing, but they show Rogers sitting around with his team like they’re all waiting for a bus while Brendan and his are getting ready to go to war.

NC: When Rampage and his crew finally show up, Tiki makes a play on words with “wrap” and “rap” and starts rapping. I can actually feel Punisher Bass seething even though we’re not watching at the same time and this actual episode aired six years ago.

PB: Do you know what the difference between Tiki and Kimbo is? Kimbo actually managed to notch a W in the UFC while Tiki went 0-4 during four different stints in the promotion, he also went 0-3 in the WEC. I should add, he was also finished in all of those fights as well.

Out of all the ways I have and will be trashing Tiki in the weeks to come, that right there is probably the biggest insult I can lob at him. He’s a less accomplished fighter than Kimbo f**king Slice.

NC: I love it when you get worked up like this. And I’m just going to remind everyone again that Tiki used to date Arianny Celeste. That’s the one that really sticks in my craw.

Team Rampage’s Demico Rogers (4-0)** v. Team Rashad’s Brendan Schaub (4-0)*

(* Records according to Sherdog, not the records listed on the show)
(** Rogers had zero pro fights prior to this show, so we’ve listed his amateur record)

PB: Before this fight starts, I’d like to point out that at the time I was picking Schaub to win the tournament. All I knew about him was the he was a friend and training partner of Shane Carwin, but that was enough for me. Remember, I was still a newbie to the world of MMA.

NC: I wouldn’t blame you for that. He was also singled out as someone who worked with Rashad and his team before the show.

The game plan was for Demico to set up his takedowns with punches. So, of course, the first thing he does is shoot in with no set up whatsoever and nearly get trapped in a choke.

PB: After his first takedown gets stuffed, Demico completes the second and gets told to “score points” by Quinton while he’s in Schaub’s guard.

NC: Demico actually looks…kind of great passing into side control to land some big elbows.

PB: After some well placed fence grabs by Schaub, he’s able to reverse and lock in an anaconda choke and get the tap with a little over 1:40 left to go in the round.

Schaub AnacondaRemember what we said about him almost getting caught in a choke earlier…

While Team Gold celebrates moving to 4-0, Tiki asks Jackson if they should get Rogers a stool, to which he replies “What he need a stool for?” and walks away. Really showing how much you care about your guys there Quinton.

NC: Again, we know reality TV is all about manipulating footage, but…this is some damning evidence. It’s only made worse by what Team Rashad does next.

PB: Trevor Wittman goes over to help Demico get back to his feet and he and Rashad give him some words of encouragement as he hugs them both. After he gets a stool, Evans is still talking to him in the middle of the cage. The fight didn’t last long but he sure is tired. This is why we called this The Season That Cardio Forgot.

Fun fact, after this season, Demico wound up joining Wittman’s Grudge Training Center.

“He really got tapped out by an anaconda choke?” Quinton asks to no one in particular. This is followed by “I don’t believe in all that passing the guard crap when you’re in good position to punch…coaches, we need to have a meeting for real!”

In the back, I can’t really understand what he’s saying, but I think it boils down to “Our guys suck, so we need to keep things simple, we can’t give them complex instructions. They’re not on our level, they’re too green. I can’t deal with this, it’s too much for me”.

NC: I’m mixed on my feelings about Rampage as a TUF coach. On the one hand, he’s clearly the worst at it and has little to no interest in actually helping his fighters improve. That might not be fair. He doesn’t show that he has any idea about how to help his fighters improve. There we go.

On the other hand, his schtick is entertaining for the most part. And as I mentioned in a previous post, he seems to be in on the joke. The joke being TUF itself, naturally.

PB: I think, no, I know I was far more involved and had more emotional investment in my BECW teams than Jackson has shown here.

As Schaub walks to the back, he’s still breathing harder than he should be considering the fight ended several minutes ago (in their time).

Ok, I was wrong last week, they don’t end this episode with a Kimbo Kard, but I’ll bet my lunch money that they do it more often than not.

NC: Normally, I like to end every TUF post with a shot of the victorious fighter, but after going 4-0 I think it is okay to shine some light on the coach himself.

Rashad Happy“We kickin’ Rampage’s ass!”

PB: Next week, the show spends way too much time focusing on a “whole family of Jensens” left in the shower. Why did I ever think recapping this season would be a good idea?

Vintage TUF – The Ultimate Fighter Season 10: Heavyweights – Week 3 – KIMBO FIGHTS

Reliving The Season That Cardio Forgot

Week 3

Punisher Bass: In the opening recap, we’re shown about five seconds worth of footage from Shivers vs. McSweeney last week and it consists of the opening bell, four or five leg kicks James throws, then him getting his hand raised. Good, the less of that the better.

“Can former IFL champ Roy Nelson overpower the street fighting legend? Or…will Kimbo show up to do what he does best?” Mike Rowe asks me.

I don’t know Mike, is it too much to ask for both?

After the intro credits, Kimbo is sitting in the bedroom talking about getting right with God and such to Abe Wagner. If I’m perfectly honest here, between the glassy eyed look and the fresh stitches on his forehead, poor Abe looks like he was recently given a frontal lobotomy. I’m only half surprised he’s not wearing a gown and gluing macaroni to a paper plate while Slice is talking.

NewChallenger: We get a glimpse at the kinder, gentler, more thoughtful Kimbo as he puts things “in perspectives”. It’s not easy being Kimbo.

By the way, now is as good a time as any for me to say that if anyone has a problem with CM Punk keeping his working name, then I don’t want to hear you use the name “Kimbo Slice” anymore either. Make sense?

PB: *Cough*#RallyForTheGreenRanger*Cough*

NC: I mention this because the former Reality Kings bodyguard refers to Kimbo Slice as if it is another person altogether.

“I guess whenever I decide to shave the beard…that’s when I’ll probably put Kimbo at rest. But will Kimbo ever be at rest?” Whoa.

And then of course, this classic:

Inner Kimbo“It’s not that it was the enemy. It was the inner me! The inner me. The inner me! The inner! THE INNER ME.”

PB: As Kimbo tapes some b-roll training footage outside, Schaub, Mitrione, and Schoonover are in the kitchen talking about the upcoming fight. Outside, before he’s even finished his jog, Slice is already out of gas and needs the help of his teammate to make it back to the house.

NC: The three guys make a good point about what a huge event this could be anywhere else. Both Nelson and Kimbo could make at least a few hundred grand from it, so for anyone who thinks the UFC exploiting its fighters is a recent development, it isn’t.

PB: Rashad and Trevor talk about how talented Roy is, but how he’s also very much a lone wolf (acting as his own manager and training out of his own house) and how they need to break him of that. They can help him grow as a fighter and they want to, but he has to start listening to their instructions.

NC: It’s his greatest strength and his greatest weakness, something that holds true to this day.

PB: Oh my goodness, it’s “The Dean Of Mean” Keith Jardine! Mr. CrazyNippleTweaker himself! Maybe he caught wind of Kimbo’s head and felt compelled to stop by?

NC: Don’t leave out his starring roles in such cinematic classics as Crank: High Voltage and Gamer!

PB: Fun fact, after shooting an episode of Breaking Bad with Jardine, actor Dean Norris thought he was actually the infamous Techno Viking. He had no idea they were not the same person.

And here’s the walking used baby diaper, Tiki. Take a shot. No, take two this time.

Quinton does the old “you’ve got something on your shirt” gag to Keith. Don’t people normally stop doing that after the 3rd grade?

NC: Yes, but they shouldn’t. Never fails to get a laugh from me. By the way, I’m 30.

Old Gag*boop*

PB: Evans keeps asking Jackson if his jaw hurts because Keith is there, to which Quinton takes umbrage. They get in each other’s faces and start smack talking each other, while Tiki stands next to both of them grinning like the village idiot.

The confrontation ends when Jackson says Evans’ breath is horrible so he pulls Tiki in front of him to act like a human shield. Now that’s a job he’s perfect for! Also, take two more shots.

NC: Rashad, ever the counter-puncher, was winning the argument by countering Rampage’s claim that Jardine stepped up so that Rashad wouldn’t have to defend his belt by pointing out that Rampage refused to take a short-notice fight against him at a different date. And Quinton, ever Quinton, chose the path of least resistance.

Take CoverIf only Rashad’s breath actually was bad enough to make Tiki’s facial hair fall off his face.

PB: Ah s**t, looks like I was wrong, now it’s time for McSweeney and Jackson to trade verbal jabs. Quinton tells him he can’t understand what James is saying and that he needs to “Speak American!” I take another shot just for myself.

NC: As far as British accents go, McSweeney’s is pretty mild so I’m not sure what Rampage is going on about. He trains at Wolfslair in the UK!

PB: Is the alcohol starting to kick in or Kimbo trying out for the lead in a Flying Nun remake? Seriously, with that towel on his head (over the nipple cap I might add) it looks like he’s wearing a nun’s habit.

Kimbo NunI know he said he was feeling closer to God at the top of the episode, but this might be taking things a tad too far.

I’m not even listening to the conversation he’s having with Quinton, I’m too distracted by the sight of Kimbo Nun Slice. And just like that it’s time for another training montage.

NC: Kimbo’s headgear isn’t the only thing about his appearance that Rampage gets fixated on. The trademark beard causes Coach Quinton to go on one of his infamous tangents:

“You ever lose a chicken bone in there?” And then he asks Kimbo if he’s a black Jew.

PB: There better not be much more Tiki in this episode, I’m running low on Knob Creek.

NC: Don’t look now, but…

PB: Oh god damn it! “Do whatever you’re comfortable with, there’s no wrong thing you’re gonna do down there”. I don’t care if Tiki was only getting paid in used chewing gum for this gig, it was way way too much. Time for another shot.

Quinton is worried that Kimbo is going to have trouble getting a big guy like Roy off of him, so Tiki calls Zak Jensen over to roll with Slice for a while. Remember how I described Slice’s grappling training as a “pity f**k” last week? Second verse same as the first.

NC: You know, at least Rampage recognized the scenario they should be preparing for. I mean, he offers no actual constructive criticism other than to tell Tiki that he’s not happy with what he’s seen so far, but he’s trying!

PB: Kimbo is struggling for all he’s worth while Zak just kind of sits there using the least amount of energy or skill require to stay on top of him. I’ve seen broken mechanical bulls put up more of a fight.

Ride 'ImYee. Haw.

“I’m fixing it” Tiki says trying to alleviate Quinton’s fears. Take another shot.

NC: I suppose it’s worth mentioning that they…don’t really come up with a solution to the Big Country conundrum.

PB: Did you know that Roy Nelson is fat? No? Well Quinton Jackson is here to tell you in about 20 different ways.

NC: And not one of them is particularly funny.

PB: “Picture yourself knocking this guy out, and I promise you it’s gonna happen!” I don’t think Tiki could pour piss out of a boot with instructions on the heel. Take another two shots.

Moments before, Quinton was bitching that they didn’t have anyone near Nelson’s weight for Kimbo to train with, now we see Slice talking to Wes Shivers in the house. The fact that no one just had Wes run a couple laps around the cage and then lay on top of Slice as 280lbs of dead weight is just poor resource management.

In the backyard Nelson tells his less experienced teammates that if you’re on top of someone and hitting them clean, it doesn’t matter if they’re light little taps or serious bombs, the ref will have to step in because they’re not being defended intelligently. Foreshadowing?

NC: I was going to say, that whole segment could have used a *spoiler warning* tag.

PB: Another training session for Team Silver, and there’s a lot of huffing and puffing going on, it’s a good thing the UFC Gym isn’t made of straw (it is made of cardboard though) or else this would be the perfect start to a live action Three Little Pigs. Whatever workout they’re doing is apparently too much for Marcus Jones as he walks off the mats.

Quinton is sandwiched between Wagner and Shivers on the bench watching the guys work out, and he asks if Marcus is changing his tampon. I guess Abe and Wes are under medical suspensions with no contact allowed? Or does Quinton figure since they’ve already lost there’s no point in working with them any further?

NC: Do you think Quinton even remembers their names after they lost?

PB: Good point. Marcus says it’s his knee, he’s not injured but it is bothering him, enough to where he needs a break. My own bad knees begin aching in sympathy.

NC: Maybe so, but I don’t have a lot of sympathy for Marcus’ attitude. You know when you’re trying to talk down a significant other or your kid or something and no matter what you say they take it the wrong way? That’s how it is with Marcus here.

First, Marcus gets further aggravated when one of his teammates steps up to fight next despite Marcus’ desire to do so. Rampage points out that he wants Marcus to be at 100%, which he can’t be if his knee is bothering him.

Marcus takes this as Rampage not believing that he can win, which isn’t anywhere close to what his coach is saying. After some time, Rampage is able to talk the big man down, though not before threatening to put his foot up his ass if he starts to act like that again. Good talk.

PB: The show takes a moment to focus on Jones a bit more. He says he’s a big softie at heart, he plays D&D and collects comic books, he also likes to garden.

NC: I really can’t say enough what a great job these older seasons did of showcasing fighters ahead of time, not just on the episodes where they’re scheduled to fight. There’s a direct connection between this lack of attention to detail and the show’s current state of irrelevance.

On an unrelated note, we get a bonding moment between Marcus and Kimbo and I can’t help but picture what a kickass professional wrestling tag team they would be.

PB: What would they be called? “The Huff N Puff Express” with their finisher “The Big E”?

Oh we’re doing weigh-in s**t now? Slice weighs 230 lbs while Nelson comes in at 264 lbs. Roy may not look like an action figure, but he’s one of those fat guys you really don’t want to mess with.

NC: Alas, Both guys decline to weigh-in with their shirts off.

PB: “What’s gonna happen? I don’t know” Dana says, and I think he’s fibbing. One fighter is a guy who knocks others out with cinderblock fists and once beat Frank Mir in a grappling competition, and the other was knocked out cold by a skinny guy half his size who was hopping backwards on one foot at the time. Remember?

Slice-PetruzelliNC: In the show’s defence, this was before Nelson became the insane knockout artist that we would see in the UFC.

PB: Another training montage for Kimbo, and clearly it’s a mix from several different days since his shorts keep changing from cut to cut to cut.

NC: I’m in awe of the amount of editing that must have gone into making Kimbo look more competent than he actually is.

Wes Shivers sounds like he’s reading a hostage note as he praises Kimbo’s work. Though Wes always sounds like that.

Bull TrainingWith training methods like this, it’s a wonder that Rampage has such a poor coaching record on TUF.

Team Rampage’s Kimbo Slice (3-1) v. Team Rashad’s Roy Nelson (13-4)*

 (* Records according to Sherdog, not the records listed on the show)

PB: After some jabs back and forth, with Nelson throwing and landing more, Kimbo tries throwing a leg kick. Would you believe that Roy is actually the faster fighter here? Most of the clock is eaten up with Roy clinching Slice against the cage before getting him to the ground with a nice trip and a little over 90 seconds left.

Nelson might as well be fighting a training dummy here because he goes from side control into full mount in about half a second. Kimbo is totally out of his element here and all he can do is grab hold and start praying for a stand up.

NC: Just as Rampage had feared, that big ass belly is all over his number one pick’s face.

PB: With one minute remaining, Roy goes for a kimura but quickly switches to side control and gets Slice in a crucifix against the cage and begins tagging his now completely helpless foe. Kimbo tries to push off the cage in hopes of shaking Nelson off, and he almost pulls it off but Roy reverses and maintains top position before easily regaining the crucifix.

Nelson starts going to town on Kimbo’s head again while he just lays there flopping his legs, no hip movement or further effort to escape, he’s looking into the face of the abyss and has resigned himself to his fate.

That’s basically the last 30 seconds of the round.

NC: It’s amazing how Roy implements his game plan exactly as he said he would. Once he’s got that crucifix, he can land as many unanswered shots as he wants and it doesn’t even matter if they’re doing any significant damage. The whole thing just looks so bad for Kimbo.

I do wish Roy didn’t get so desperate as the round ended. He was all but begging for Herb Dean to call it.

PB: During the rest period Kimbo is exhausted but is opting to stand with his hands over the cage.

Tiki says “He does NOT want to stand with you Kimbo!” Oh if I actually had a time machine and stun gun… Take two shots.

Quinton tells him that if (If? If? Hahahahahahah) Roy takes him down again, just tie him up until the ref resets them.

As soon as round two starts, Kimbo starts looking for a knockout so that means throwing haymakers only. After 30 seconds Slice tries kneeing Roy in the gut only to be taken down for his trouble, and this time there is no fence to help him.

NC: Oh, that fateful knee. It really looked like he’d hurt Nelson too. If only he hadn’t been compelled to do his best Sagat impression.

Bad Idea KneeTIGER! D’OH!

PB: I know I keep saying it, but Slice is completely and utterly lost while on his back. He’s not even trying to escape and he’s unable to tie him up for the possibility of getting a standup.

Now the round becomes a carbon copy of how the last one ended. Nelson goes for a kimura which leads directly into the crucifix, and is then followed by him teeing off on Kimbo’s dome. I start counting the unanswered shots in my head moments before I realize that Team Gold is already calling them out for me, pro wrestling style. After about 22 unanswered shots Herb Dean finally steps in and calls it off.

Count ItGet thee to a nunnery!

NC: Yeah, but imagine how much better Kimbo would have done if he’d just listened to the advice of his mentor:

Rampage: “Let’s go! Don’t let him do that. You gotta go!” All good options.

PB: Because Roy just humiliated Dana’s shiny and expensive new toy in front of the largest audience in TUF history (more on that in a minute), White is more than a little pissed off at Big Country. He also complains that “Roy did just enough to win and not get hit.”

NC: Are you saying he didn’t appreciate Roy asking him and Lorenzo for a double whopper with no pickles? These guys really did not like each other from day one.

PB: This pisses Dana off even more when he should be happy, since he’s giving a free plug to TUF sponsor Burger King.

Surprisingly, instead of walking off in a huff again, Quinton sticks around after the fight and makes the excuse that Nelson was simply just too big for Slice to get out from under. That’s the only possible reason and not that Kimbo has about as much grappling ability as my dead grandma. I’d be willing to bet that Kimbo would struggle against an old WWF Wrestling Buddy if he tried to grapple with it.

The episode ends with White trying to polish that turd of a performance by saying how ballsy it was for Kimbo to join TUF in the first place. Then he lays this little gem on us, “And one thing about The Ultimate Fighter, it’s never over until it’s over. There could be another opportunity for Kimbo to get back in there and fight again.”

This is where what I call the “Kimbo Kard” was birthed. It’s a cheap ploy they’re going to use every single week from here on out, and they’re doing it in hopes that constantly teasing his re-entry into the tournament will keep the ratings high.

This is how they will begin and end every following episode. If a fighter says he wants to go home, they play the Kimbo Kard. If Wes Sims slips in a puddle of j**z in the bathroom and stubs his toe, they play the Kimbo Kard.

NC: Spoiler: he doesn’t come back.

PB: So the episode ends with Team Gold now 3-0 against Team Silver, and nothing looks like that’s going to change it any time soon.

And I’m sending Tiki the bill for the cost of restocking my liquor cabinet.

Nelson VictoriousEpilogue

PB: This was a landmark episode for TUF, at least it was ratings wise, it set such a high watermark that in the six years since it first aired, no other has ever come close to even matching it let alone top it. Not even having Brock Lesnar or GSP as coaches could do it. It was all because of Kimbo and the casual viewers he brought in, they either didn’t know or care that he wasn’t a very good fighter, they just wanted to see him.

Just how many casuals? Try 2.4 million. This episode was watched by 5.3 million people as it aired, that was up from the 2.9 of the previous week and the 2.8 the week after this. I think it’s a shame that this had to be the most watched fight in TUF history and I also think it’s bulls**t that Dana tried to place the blame solely at the feet of Nelson.

Though I have to wonder, if Roy had knocked him out in 20 seconds, would Dana have been more or less pissed off at the result than he was here?

NC: The only “Nelson wins” scenario that I could see Dana being happy with is if the two slugged it out for three rounds ending in a close split decision. He must have known about Nelson before the show and had to realize that the man was going to play it as safe as possible until he’d made it to the finale. If Roy chose to throw caution to the wind, it might have endeared him to Uncle Dana.

As it stands, they’ve never had a gimmick like putting Kimbo on the show. I would have loved to have seen them do the same with CM Punk, but I couldn’t see him agreeing to do it considering he had a lot more leverage than Kimbo going in. And even then, I don’t think he has the crossover appeal of Kimbo. Say what you want about his MMA performances, he has a mystique that can’t be manufactured.

PB: Can’t be manufactured? What about Dada 5000? If he was any more of a walking talking Kimbo clone, he’d be sued for copyright infringment.

NC: Call me when he gets called up to main event with Ken Shamrock.

Next week…I mean, who really cares? Kimbo already fought.

Vintage TUF – The Ultimate Fighter Season 10: Heavyweights – Week 2

Reliving The Season That Cardio Forgot

 Week 2

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.

Street Thug JitsuWhat exactly is Kimbo going to do from this position?

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!

Nelson ShockedTell me…he did not just say that.

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.

Nice HouseThe struggle is real.

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.

Right In The McSweeneysMaybe he can make it back to the NFL as a punter.

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…

Veteran SkillsMcSweeney sure doesn’t look like the veteran of 100+ fights.

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.

Powerful LungeSlick.

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!

Hunched OverMcSweeney searches for an opening against the cat-like Shivers.

Rashad is actually losing his voice screaming at McSweeney. It is hilarious.

Rashad Screaming“JAMES DON’T WAIT DON’T WAIT!!!”

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.

Rampage DisapprovalThat about sums it up.

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?

McSweeney VictoriousNext week, the most watched episode in TUF history!

Vintage TUF – The Ultimate Fighter Season 10: Heavyweights – Week 1

Reliving The Season That Cardio Forgot

Punisher Bass: The year was 2009 and Dana White was adamant that the UFC’s heavyweight division was more exciting than it had ever been before. The PPV monster Brock Lesnar had just unified the heavyweight title by beating Frank Mir at the wildly successful UFC 100 event, knockout artist Shane Carwin would be getting his chance later in the fall, and White was proud to announce that they had signed famed backyard brawler turned MMA fighter Kimbo Slice for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter.

But I was still a neophyte MMA fan at the time. I had been following the sport for less than a year, UFC 100 was the first event I watched live instead of reading a live blog, and I only haunted Cage Potato instead of Bloody Elbow. I knew what TUF was about, but because I hate reality shows I had never watched any of it, so I figured the upcoming 10th season would be a good jumping on point.

I was wrong, I was so so so wrong.

Honestly, the entire season could be best summed up with this simple GIF:

Slice-AlexanderI really could just end this right here and be done with it. It’s not only that Houston Alexander and Slice are sucking wind so bad the first five rows of the audience are in danger of passing out from oxygen deprivation, but take a look at poor Josh Rosenthal, he’s so embarrassed by what he’s seeing he involuntary facepalms. That was TUF 10 in a nutshell.

But that would be taking the easy way out, and I don’t want to take the path of least resistance here, so over the next several weeks I’m going to be rewatching and recapping the season that was TUF 10. But there’s a twist… I won’t be doing it on my own.

I’m going to be teaming up with Bloody Elbow’s unofficial TUF guru NewChallenger for this series. We’ll be working together over the next while because misery loves company.

So I need to go warm up the time circuits and fill Mr. Fusion, that means NewChallenger will take over from here.

NewChallenger: 1.21 GIGAWATTS!!!

How do I follow up that glamorous introduction. I am not worthy. And I’m not just saying that because I never finished the TUF: Brazil 4 recaps.

The truth is that like so many others, I finally succumbed to TUF burnout. Blame it on the contestants, blame Dana White, blame it on the inane and outdated premise of the show…for whatever reason, I could no longer get my blood up when it time to write about the long running reality series.

So when Punisher Bass came to me with the idea of recapping a “classic” season, I was reluctant at first. But I thought about how fun it would be to work on something that’s already finished, alleviating the pressure of hard deadlines (my only weakness) and I started to consider it. Then he suggested recapping TUF 10 aka TUF: The Heavyweights and..

PB: Actually, you were the one who first proposed the idea of working together on something, and that was well over a year ago. I put you off for all that time before this idea came to me, so just remember that you brought this on yourself.

NC: And that’s what really hurts.

I was mentioning TUF burnout and one of the big reasons is that people are tired of seeing the same weight classes. Like clockwork, a season will be announced and you’ll hear “Gawwwwwd, lightweights and welterweights again?!?

Look, the UFC can be held accountable for a lot of things but it’s not their fault that the majority of mixed martial artists’ body types happen to fall into the 145-170 range. Alas, we do not live in a world of super agile mythical beasts and monsters.

PB: There is where I get to humblebrag that I’m actually one of those giants and monsters. In real life I stand 6’6″ and weigh around 300 lbs, in fact there are only two heavyweights on the current roster who are larger than me, Stefan Struve and Travis Browne. I live in a world surrounded by dwarfs and hobbits.

NC: If you’re wondering, in the 29 combined domestic and international editions of TUF, heavyweights have only been featured three times and TUF 10 was the first to feature them exclusively. If you’ve watched any of these seasons, you’ll understand why. Here are some notes on the other two:

  • TUF 2
    • Split cast with welterweights
    • Season 10 coach Rashad Evans would go on to defeat the massive Brad Imes in the finale, then immediately drop back down to light heavyweight
    • No fighters in the heavyweight bracket would have significant heavyweight careers, though Imes once recorded two straight gogoplata finishes, so there’s something
    • Other notables: Keith Jardine (LHW, MW), Seth Petruzelli (LHW)
  • TUF: Brazil 3
    • Split cast with middleweights
    • Antônio Carlos Jr. beat Vitor Miranda in the finale, both would drop to middleweight within a year

So even when the show has featured heavyweights, it hasn’t really featured heavyweights, ya dig? If there’s one thing we can say for sure about TUF 10, it’s that most of these dudes are heavyweights.

PB: During the opening montage, I catch a brief glimpse of my favorite heavyweight ever, Shane Carwin, knocking Gabriel Gonzaga the f**k out. I involuntarily smile while thinking of UFC 116 where he knocked Brock Lesnar out in the first round to unify the HW title. Then I’m saddened when I remember he was eventually forced to retire without ever defending it due to injuries.

NC: Um…

PB: Then Dana White informs me that their heavyweight division has never been more exciting and this new crop of fighters will only make it better. Mmmhmm….

I think you’d be hard pressed to provide evidence that the 2015 roster of heavyweights is any better or worse than the 2009 incarnation.

Mike Rowe says that this season will feature 4 former NFL players, 3 UFC vets, and my UFC avatar Roy Nelson. There’s also going to be none other than Kimbo Slice joining in on the fun. Just for s**ts and giggles, here’s what happened to Kimbo about a year before this episode aired.

Slice-PetruzelliNC: In regards to the coaches, here’s a quick rundown of where their careers were going into the season.

  • Rashad Evans (14-1-1) had just lost the LHW title to Lyoto Machida and fighting Rampage at the end of this season was meant to put him on the fast track to a rematch.
  • Rampage Jackson (30-7) was on a two fight-win streak, having finally avenged a pair of losses by knocking Wanderlei Silva’s soul out and then taking a convincing decision from Rashad’s buddy Jardine.

PB: I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m the suburbanite white boy from the midwest, but I really wish I could turn on subtitles when Quinton is talking here. I’m having a lot of trouble keeping up with him.

NC: I actually like how this season starts with the two of them talking trash like a couple of old men in the park. It’s a big comedown from the intense intro.

Rashad says that Rampage is “too slow” and that his head is “too big”. Both true. Rampage counters by saying that Rashad “ain’t fought nobody” (except, you know, Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin, Machida…)

The LookSonny, back in my day…

PB: He and Rashad trade insults back and forth until the cast starts making their way through the (cardboard) door. And they sure are binguns, I think it’s fair to say that none of these guys will be dropping to light heavyweight when the season is over.

NC: Rampage is blown away by the 6’6” Marcus Jones aka “The Darkness”.

PB: As they file in, we’re shown a few interview clips with a few of them answering questions about their background and why they’re here, that kind of thing.

NC: “Big Country” Nelson is far and away the most experienced and accomplished fighter in the cast. No surprise, he’s one of three contestants still competing in the UFC today. We also hear from two of the NFL players, Marcus and Wes Shivers.

PB: Quinton starts razzing Rashad about his (then) recent loss to Lyoto Machida which also cost him his LHW title. So Rashad counters by reminding Quinton about getting KO’d by Shogun Rua, too bad he didn’t bring up the times Silva left him in a heap in PRIDE.

NC: Even more insulting, Rashad actually accuses Rampage of quitting against Shogun, which results in a game of “you quit”/“I never quit”. It’s safe to assume that this riveting exchange lasted about ten minutes before it was edited down for our sakes.

PB: Dana makes a special introduction for Kimbo Slice, and I swear I can hear him go “ka-ching!”, meanwhile Brendan Schaub says “F**k him. F**k that guy”.

I’m inclined to agree with him here and would probably do the same if I was just basically told “None of you guys are worth half a s**t as much as this guy right here”.

It dawns on me that whatever the hell Slice is wearing on top of his head looks like a giant rubber nipple.

Kimbo's HereRATINGS

NC: I feel compelled to remind people how just how famous Kimbo was when this season aired. He had little more than an illustrious street fighting career, a 3-1 professional MMA record, and an appearance on the Drake & Josh Christmas special under his belt, and he was arguably one of the five most famous fighters in the world!

Sound crazy? When now deceased promotion EliteXC had to pick a headliner for their CBS debut (the first primetime MMA event to air on a major American network), they chose Slice’s match with journeyman James Thompson. An estimated 6.51 million people tuned in to the main event, a record that would stand until the UFC debuted on FOX in 2011.

Dana had been dogging Kimbo for years (more so when he was signed with competing leagues, obviously) and he’s happy to put his money where his mouth is.

PB: “I got Kimbo Slice. Don’t even be thinkin’ about him, he my first pick, he ain’t even gotta train.” Quinton says (I think). Clearly he’s showing his world class coaching ability right out of the gate and putting his years of experience as a fighter to good use.

NC: Say what you want about Rampage, he knows what this show is really about.

PB: Fighter evaluations start. Is it just me, or does Matt Mitrione look a lot like Chris Pratt?

NC: White guy with short hair and a beard? Checks out in my book.

Rashad has got Greg Jackson and Trevor Wittman in his corner, not to mention two Jackson’s MMA fighters on the show in Schaub and James McSweeney. Rampage has Tiki Ghosn and his brutal facial hair.

UghThis man once dated Arianny Celeste.

PB: And we have our first Tiki sighting! Take a shot!

Quinton’s method of evaluation is for the guys to spar and spar hard, which apparently isn’t sitting well with all of the fighters.

NC: Especially when you consider that these guys can all kill each other with one punch. This doesn’t seem like a great idea.

PB: “Roy Nelson got a big ass belly, he was fat”. Keen observation there Quinton.

This is followed up by him yelling “We got titties! We got titties!” in reference to Darrill Schoonover walking by. He then makes kissy faces to the camera and drives this unfunny joke into the ground by repeatedly saying “titties” about 4,000 times.

Very Mature 1“We noticed that one of fighters, he was kind of a fat, pudgy guy, like a heavyweight…and he had some titties.” Very Mature 2“Go ahead and shake them titties. Do a little dance like this with them titties. Be happy you got titties!”

This is going to be a long f**king season…

Jackson says “Kimbo Slice’s standup was really impressive”, I’m not sure if he was being serious or sarcastic. He then describes Kimbo’s ground game as simply “lacking” all while we’re shown footage of him being outgrappled by Meathead. I repeat, he’s being schooled on the ground by Meathead.

NC: We probably won’t be seeing Slice/Mitrione at Metamoris anytime soon.

PB: It’s time for the coin flip, which Rashad wins. He opts to get first pick and he uses to draft…James McSweeney? I swear I burst out in laughter and surprise when I saw this, my memory was of him selecting Roy Nelson first, so this was a shock to me.

NC: Nelson goes ninth overall!!! Unreal.

PB: Jackson makes the 4,001st “titties” joke of the episode and then promptly selects Kimbo as his first pick. If any of his coaches voiced any sort of objection, then we weren’t shown it, and if they didn’t then they should be fucking ashamed of themselves.

NC: Wes Sims makes a big scene when he’s picked and Dana has this wry smile on his face like, “I’m remembering now why I cut this guy in the first place.” Wes jokingly claims that he’s the only man to beat Frank Mir twice (in reality, he was disqualified in their first bout and then KO’d in the rematch).

When it’s down to Zak Jensen, Rampage jokes that he’s picking the camera guy instead. Cold.

Team Rashad (Gold)

  1. James McSweeney
  2. Brendan Schaub
  3. Justin Wren
  4. Jon Madsen
  5. Roy Nelson
  6. Darrill Schoonover
  7. Matt Mitrione
  8. Mike Wessel

Team Rampage (Silver)

  1. Kimbo Slice
  2. Abe Wagner
  3. Demico Rogers
  4. Wes Sims
  5. Scott Junk
  6. Wes Shivers
  7. Marcus Jones
  8. Zak Jensen

In retrospect, you can see that Rashad’s team is leaps and bounds better than Rampage’s team. Almost everyone there would go on to either have multiple UFC fights or capture titles for smaller promotions.

They establish early on that everyone is gunning for Kimbo. This is what the recent iterations have been missing. Not just a famous name like Kimbo, but long term storylines for viewers to get invested in. Every episode these days feels so slapped together.

PB: Team Gold have their training session followed by Team Silver, with Quinton wanting to see what kind of cardio everyone has. “I was pretty impressed with most of ‘em”, either Jackson has very, very low standards or he needs to get his eyes checked.

NC: In the words of Rampage himself, at one point it looks like Marcus might puke his heart out onto the mat.

PB: Quinton decides the first fight of the season will be between Abe Wagner and Jon Madsen. Evans thanks Quinton because he believes Madsen’s wrestling background will provide the perfect path for an easy win.

I noticed that they didn’t show anyone stepping on the scales before the fight. Isn’t that something they normally do on TUF, or are they just figuring none of these guys are going to crack the 265 lb limit?

NC: The parade of flabby bodies didn’t make it past the first focus group testing.

Abe is a director of finance and operations at a large company with a background in mechanical engineering. Presented with this information, Rampage tries to stump him by asking “what’s 10 times 2”, which Abe quickly answers. I’m not sure Rampage would even know if he was right or not.

In the locker room, Rampage tells Abe to stay relaxed, which is promptly followed by Abe puking into a bucket.

Prefight RitualGSP style.

Team Rampage’s Abe Wagner (7-2) v. Team Rashad’s Jon Madsen (3-0)*

(* Records according to Sherdog, not the records listed on the show)

PB: It’s time for the fight. After a quick glove tap, Madsen scores a takedown about 10 seconds in and spends the next three minutes stuck to Wagner like s**t to a blanket.

NC: Gross.

PB: Yeah I have a real way with words, don’t I?

With roughly two minutes left an elbow from above cuts Abe wide open and he starts bleeding like a stuck pig.

La Magra gets a hard-on.

Abe's BloodI’m not a doctor, but…

At 20 seconds left to go the cage is starting to look like the aftermath of the elevator scene in The Shining.

NC: Let’s not forget that round allowed us to get a glimpse of the infamous Rampage corner work. He never stops shouting helpful advice like “let’s go!” and “do what you gotta do”. Tiki one-ups him by asking the referee to “stand ‘em up!” and telling Abe to improve his position without actually offering any tips on how to do that.

Not to be outdone, Rampage reaches deep down for a “You gotta do something, Abe!”

PB: That is a really really big watch Stitch is wearing there.

NC: Well he earned his money in this one.

PB: Quinton just tells Abe he needs to win, that he needs to knock Madsen out. On the other side of the cage Evans tells his fighter he’s doing well and he needs to mix things up to keep Abe off balance.

A pseudo glove tap from Madsen leads right into another takedown just five seconds in and Quinton scolds Abe for trying to be a sportsman. They were both already huffing and puffing before the bell, and it’s only going to get worse from here. After a minute of stalling on the ground, the ref puts them back on their feet.

And another takedown from Madsen, and Quinton just keeps yelling “You gotta finish him Abe! Work to get up! Get up! GET UP!”. Sage advice there Quinton. After another standup and another takedown, we hear him continue to order Abe to simply “Get up”.

With 20 seconds left and yet another standup, Jackson yells that Madsen is just going to do the same thing again, and when he’s right he gets pissed off and storms away. Tiki follows right behind him like a loyal dog.

Thank God this episode is almost over, that fight was terrible. To paraphrase George Carlin, “This was like watching old people f**k, sloppy and slow”. Both fighters are so spent, if you asked them to blow up a balloon they’d probably die.

Shockingly, Madsen gets the UD making it the first victory for Team Gold this season. Rashad praises his guy while others tell him that Quinton walked away he was so pissed off.

Quinton orders his team to never touch gloves again, because I’m sure that’s the only reason Abe got cracked open like a rusty pipe. Speaking of poor Abe, as the doctor is taking care of it, it’s clear that he got fucked the fuck up, a huge gash on his head deep enough to where you can see his skull. Dude got Sanchezed.

Sanchez GashNC: You can actually see the bone and for all of our sakes, I’m going to strategically cap this so as to avoid that image.

TreatmentAbe: “Is this going to hurt?”

Doctor: “Yeah, it’s going to hurt.”

Abe: “A lot?”

Doctor: “Uhh…”

PB: I have to say, hiring Mike Rowe to be their narrator was a brilliant (if predictable) move, his voice makes even the silliest ideas sound legit and exciting.

NC: Rowe is great. Sadly, I think this was one of the last seasons he would do.

And so we come to the end of the first, er, thrilling (?) episode. As snarky as we can be, I actually recall greatly enjoying this season and this first episode was intriguing if nothing else. They got a good mix of personalities, the heat between Rashad and Rampage was ever present without being grating (yet), and KIMBO!

Come on Punisher Bass, let’s turn that frown upside down.

PB: Easier said than done my friend. I forget, did we already know at this point that Quinton was “retiring” to go shoot The A-Team remake, or did that news break part way through the season? I do remember it basically killing all of the heat between them since we knew there wouldn’t actually be a fight at the end. Yeah they did eventually square off, only it was about 6 months too late.

NC: No, the movie was a surprise to DW and let me tell you, he was not happy.

Madsen VictoriousPB: Anyway, next week the “Will Kimbo get attacked by a pack of rabid weasels!?” show will continue.