The Ultimate Fighter 19: Team Edgar v. Team Penn – Week 11 Recap

Entering this season, I knew little about Cathal Pendred besides the fact that he held a title in Cage Warriors, he’s Irish, and his name is difficult for us North Americans to pronounce.

Eleven episodes in, all I know about Cathal Pendred is that he held a title in Cage Warriors, he’s Irish, and his name is difficult for us North Americans to pronounce.  Oh, I think he said something about having studied to be an engineer or a doctor or some such thing.  I can’t remember.

Not only has this season failed to entertain or produce a potential star, it hasn’t even been able to help in promoting a fighter like Pendred who already had considerable buzz before appearing on the show.  Even knowing that he would eventually lose to Eddie Gordon in the semi-finals, the makers of the show have to be aware that Pendred still projects as a valuable commodity in the future especially when he returns to his natural weight class.  As it stands, I’ve been given no reason to care about him or Gordon or any of the other fighters for that matter.  The Ultimate Fighter has long been one of the UFC’s last reliable and controllable outlets for manufacturing personalities and now it can’t even seem to get that right.

Team Colours

Team Edgar
Team Penn

Pat Walsh wants more practice time so he decides to talk to Mike King about working with Team Penn.  This isn’t going to cause any problems whatsoever.  You may recall back in season 5 when Nate Diaz went to train with Team Penn prior to his match-up with Corey Hill, his teammate at the time.  And that didn’t…oh wait, Diaz was ostracized by his teammates and called a traitor.  But you have to think Fat Pat is easier to get along with than him.

I like that Walsh isn’t intimidated by the technical acumen of Corey Anderson.  Once you get in that cage, there are so many variables that sometimes the advantage goes not to the man who prepares to do everything right, but the man who is ready when the action goes haywire.

If I were Team Penn, I wouldn’t Walsh training with my guys.  Daniel Spohn is still in the competition.  What if he faces Walsh in the finals?  Team Edgar’s worst fears are realized as they show us clips of Walsh telling the other team about his training partners.  You know you’re on camera!  It goes to show you that even the people on TUF 19 don’t care about TUF 19.

Anderson has no choice to confront Walsh about it the next day while Gordon and Ian Stephens look on.

ObserversDon’t mind us.  This is getting good.

Putting the format of the show aside, I’m with Walsh.  We say it all the time: MMA is not a team sport.  He has to look out for himself.  You can see Anderson back off when Walsh starts to get upset, which is lame.  Especially when you consider that he and the others tattle on him to Frankie Edgar later.  I would have liked to have seen Walsh tell his teammates to screw off.  Diplomacy does not make for exciting television.

TenseAwkwaaaaaard.

The confrontation carries over into the locker room.  Walsh is forced into the humiliating position of getting dressed down in front of everyone, though I’m not sure that was the intention.  Everything Ricardo Almeida says sounds like he’s angry because he’s Brazilian.  It’s too much for Walsh and he has to take a powder.

Exit WalshF**k this I’m leaving!

Nobody wants to see the fat kid getting teased to the point of crying.  Edgar and Almeida calm him down, though he’s not allowed to train with the other team anymore.  I’m not sure Edgar did the right thing there by accommodating his team’s complaints.  Sounds like the squeaky wheels got the oil.  Stephens says he can see both sides of the argument.  He’s always offering a reasonable viewpoint, which is probably why he’s not featured on the show all that much.

The fight

About a minute into the fight, Walsh does that thing where a guy gets clipped and then smiles.  That’s the universal sign for “you got me now please don’t hit me again because I’m kind of f**ked up right now.”  His Keith Jardine-esque countering style doesn’t stop Anderson from landing.  Walsh is in all kinds of trouble.

The first is a clear 10-9 for Anderson.  Walsh actually starts the 2nd round off strong, tagging Anderson with some wacky hooks.  It’s…kind of fun to watch?  He’s either driven by creativity or a concussion.  Either way, Anderson sticks to the gameplan and turns things back in his favour.

Swing & A MissThis makes me laugh.  I don’t know why.

The story of all three rounds is Walsh flailing around and Anderson doing enough to win without endangering himself.  Look, nobody wants to be the guy who rushes in and gets caught at the last second (*cough* Pat Barry *cough*), but…damn, do you want this or not?  Anderson’s utter lack of finishing ability is not going to ingratiate him with Dana White.  Going into the third, his own corner yelled at him to finish the fight and he was up two rounds!

Walsh is rocked badly by a knee.  It looks like he doesn’t know where he is.  Anderson refuses to go for the finish.  Refuses.  I should be impressed by his dominance.  I’m not.  White isn’t.  Even Anderson is subdued when his hand is raised.  Congratulations on making it to the finals.  Good luck convincing anyone to care.

I know I’m being too harsh.  I’m defending Walsh’s selfish actions while condemning Anderson for fighting smart to guarantee his spot at the finale.  But I really feel that Walsh did everything in his power to prepare himself against a bigger, more highly regarded opponent (Anderson was the top light heavyweight pick).  Anderson, on the other hand, fought well enough to make Walsh look bad, but not well enough to make himself look good.

It goes back to what I was saying at the beginning.  The show hasn’t been showcasing the fighters.  At the same time, the fighters haven’t been giving them much to work with.

Just one episode left.

Anderson Moves OnNext week: Roger Zapata v. Dhiego Lima & Daniel Spohn v. Matt Van Buren.

The Ultimate Fighter 19: Team Edgar v. Team Penn – Week 10 Recap

Since the comments section is clearly composed of readers who take pleasure in seeing a man break down week by week in service of an increasingly irrelevant reality television program, I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for the continued support that motivates me to keep doing these posts.  I also want to take this opportunity to tell you how much I hate you all for the continued support that motivates me to keep doing these posts.

I believe it was Herman Melville who wrote: …from hell’s heart I stab at thee.

Team Colours

Team Edgar
Team Penn

Time to get drunk!  No, not time for me to get drunk.  I mean, I probably should.  You can if you want.  I can’t stop you.  Whatever helps you get through this.  But what I’m talking about here is the quarterfinal round being over and now that half the cast is out of the competition (barring some sort of injury or disqualification) that means everyone can let loose.  Heck, it looks like the guys are still in the competition are indulging.  One of the benefits of fighting at a heavier weight class than normal is that you can you do some s**t that is terrible for your body and still be a pound under when you hit the scale.

Spoon!Cathal: “I was up there trying to sleep, get my rest up.  I got a fight comin’ up.  The lights go on, I pop my head up and I just see Hector.  I don’t know what he was doin’.  He was just makin’ a lot of noise.

Amidst the drinking, there’s more discussion and dispute about everyone’s strategy.  Matt Van Buren agrees with Daniel Spohn: It’s about winning a competition, not necessarily showing what a good fighter you are.  He’s not wrong.  The problem lies with the format of the show, not necessarily the fighters themselves.

Van Buren: At least he wasn’t just pissed about my fight.  He’s pissed about all of ‘em.

Chris Fields and Hector Urbina get into it over Cathal Pendred beating Urbina with wrestling.  I can’t believe in the year of our Lord 2014 fighters are still using “he just laid on top of me” as an excuse for not winning a fight.  It’s your job to get up from the mat.  Yes, it’s incredibly hard but it’s also hard for the offensive fighter to get into that position in the first place.  You were on the bottom.  You lost.  Now can we please stop arguing about this before things get ugly?

More SlappingBest stand-up we’ve seen all season.

In the spirit of great TUF dialogue, Tim Williams tries to get “Let’s get busy!” going.  I’m sure we can all agree that it’s no “Just let me bang, bro!” but what is?  Also, bum rape.

Strangler AttacksChris: “My wife…ah…she’s going to be disappointed about that one.  But it won’t be the first time I’ve disappointed her so we’re okay.”

SpankingGod help me, it loops perfectly.

The Morning AfterAnd he didn’t even stay in bed with him.

With five of his eight fighters advancing, there’s a funny moment in training where Frankie Edgar tells Pat Walsh and Corey Anderson to spar lightly and Walsh fakes throwing a haymaker.  It’s a good way to break the tension since they’re actually matched up in the semi-finals!  Walsh says he couldn’t find a better partner to simulate his upcoming opponent.

Stuff like that gives me hope for this cast.  I also like Eddie Gordon’s attitude regarding Pendred.  The Irishman is a big name and rather than be intimidated, Gordon knows that a win over him (even in an exhibition) would do wonders for his career.

Dana White takes the guys down to the MGM Grand Arena to fire them up.  This would have meant a lot more in the past.

MotivationThat’s right boys.  Play your cards right and you could one day be in the co-main event of a Fight Pass exclusive card in Bolivia.

Pendred and Gordon both talk about the options they had outside of fighting.  Yeah!  That’s what we want to see!  A fight between two guys who could be doing something else.  Feel it!

The fight

They certainly come out with more energy than we’ve seen in previous episodes even if the results are less than ideal.  A couple of scrambles result in neither man gaining much of an advantage.  Pendred throws a terrible wheel kick…and it actually connects!

Wheel KickEat your heart out Edson Barboza!

Pendred stays aggressive.  He ducks in and gets a huge takedown.  As I said above, it’s hard to blame the guys on top for measuring their ground and pound and not taking risks to advance.  There isn’t a single fighter on this show who is any sort of threat from their backs.  I feel the impetus is on the guy losing to change things up.  A second takedown all but guarantees a 10-9 round for Pendred.  BJ Penn tries to get an “Eeeeeelboooooow” chant going to little success.  Pendred almost gets a rear naked choke at the close of the round.

Just when I think Gordon has nothing to offer, he actually manages to get Pendred down with a pretty nice looking shot.  Prior to that, Gordon had been on the defensive almost the entire fight.  He’s less active on the top than Pendred, though it’s likely that he’s in control long enough to even the score at one round a piece.

Entering the final frame, both guys are exhausted.  The output is much greater than we’ve become accustomed to seeing on this show.  Penn does a great job of riling his team up to get behind Pendred.  There’s a lot less to score in the third round and the fight could go either way.  I lean towards Pendred who seemed crisper and cleaner.  Gordon gets the split, which doesn’t cause much controversy.  It was that close.

Pendred is too emotional to do the testimonial after and I don’t blame him.  He was the man to beat entering this competition.  I’m comfortable saying that he showed enough to get himself a multi-fight contract with the UFC, which he would have got based on his reputation alone without any help from TUF.  Gordon is completely respectful to Pendred afterwards.

Huh.  That wasn’t a bad fight.  That wasn’t even bad episode.  It wasn’t particularly good either.  I feel like…I might have enjoyed myself?  Ha!  Take that, commenters!

Gordon Moves OnNext week: Pat Walsh v. Corey Anderson.  Also, I consider quitting while I’m ahead.

The Ultimate Fighter 19: Team Edgar v. Team Penn – Week 9 Recap

I just got a great idea for the next edition of TUF: Nations.  USA v. Brazil.  Obvious, I know.  What’s changed is that we now have the perfect person to act as a coach for the Brazilians who is also comfortable with American television.

The recently retired Chael P. Sonnen.

Now that he’s more popular than Neymar (obligatory World Cup reference) over in Brazil, what better person to bridge the gap than our favourite fighter/broadcaster/hype man/coach/cheat?  In my dream scenario, he puts together a team with some of my favourites from the three TUF: Brazil seasons and other unsigned Brazilians for a second shot at UFC glory.  They’d go head to head with eight Americans and the winners would get two guaranteed fights in the UFC.  The losers are entered into a Bellator tournament.

Mr. CharismaWho doesn’t want to see more of this?

Sound strange?  I’ll do anything to shake up the format at this point.  Or maybe I’m just fantasizing too much about the TUF 19 cast getting their asses whipped.  Dana White joins me in the love fest this episode.

Team Colours

Team Edgar
Team Penn

Matt Van Buren (Team Edgar, 5th overall) starts us off by airing a list of grievances he has with his opponent Chris Fields (Team Penn, 8th overall).  Nobody is happy this season!  He even goes as far as to crib Sonnen’s anti-Anderson Silva boasts: “It’s going to be a one-sided pounding and I’m the one swingin’ the hammer.”  If you’re going to steal, steal from the best.

His rival Fields has been underutilized on the show despite having some interesting hooks.  Fluky win to get into the house.  Irish.  Bad teeth.  Okay, maybe not so interesting.  He believes all fighters are selfish, a comment that could extend to athletes in general.  BJ Penn says that he picked Fields due to his heart and mindset.  He neglects to mention that Fields was the last fighter left.

A comment from Fields about how he’s been fighting “elite level guys” prompts me to take a quick glance at his record.  No surprise he’s competing a weight up for the show.  Some of his name opponents include Jack Mason (Won), Pavel Kusch (W), Jesse Taylor (L), and Norman Paraisy (Draw).  Better than I expected, I’ll admit.

Van Buren’s past is unfortunately not littered with big name MMA competition.  No, his upbringing was spent avoiding falling into the trap of his drug using friends.

Gutter CrazyDrugs, you say?

He trains at Alliance MMA, which provides some frame of reference for us North Americans.  Amongst the list of names that he regularly spars with is Chris Leben so that means he’s guaranteed to win.

Cathal Pendred is worried that Fields’s emotions will get in the way of his performance.  It doesn’t help when they overhear Van Buren planning an elaborate victory celebration.  He plans to climb over the cage after he finishes Fields.  Fields tells Pendred that he’s going to come out as aggressive as possible.  Ha!  I’ll believe it when I see it.  Fields says Ireland will “lose their s**t” if he and Pendred make the finals.  Again, I’ll believe it when I see it.

They are not making it easy to love these guys.  Van Buren thinks that his willingness to openly express his dislike for people makes him a “grown ass man”.  There’s something to be said about utilizing discretion and carrying yourself with dignity, but what do I know?  Fields doesn’t fare much better in the congeniality department, believing that “sob stories” are a dumb reason for a person to become a fighter.  Yeah, how dare these guys use fighting as a way to triumph over tragedy and adversity?

The other day when I was at the cinema I caught the trailer for the new Transformers movie.  My brain shut down completely as it was going on.  It was just a blank screen and white noise.  I’m that numb to the sights and sounds of that franchise.  I feel the same way during the pre-fight hype on TUF.  I couldn’t even tell you if these guys were speaking English.

Ireland v. AmericaIs there anything on this show that doesn’t feel contrived?

The fight

Oh yeah, Fields really comes out swinging like a mad man…

WhiffMirko Cro “Crap”.

Van Buren and Fields are content to trade shots in the clinch and I do mean “trade”.  They make no effort to stop each other’s attacks, Fields going with uppercuts and Van Buren attacking with knees.  Van Buren’s corner is shouting at him to pummel but he completely ignores them.  When they separate, Fields is able to connect on some kicks.  It’s impossible for him to capitalize on the range though since he has no counter striking whatsoever.  Whenever Van Buren gets close, Fields just keeps backing up until he hits the fence.  If Van Buren had any hands he’d be able to knock Fields out cold.

In between rounds, Van Buren says he feels flat.  I doubt Fields is doing too well either since his corner proceeds to slap the s**t out of him.

Corner EncouragementI wouldn’t mind doing this to the people who put this season together.

The two fighters exchange lacklustre takedowns with neither managing to gain control for any significant period of time.  They are determined not to listen to a word from their respective corners.  Hell, even after the fight they don’t listen!  Mark Coleman implores Fields to stay standing and look strong for the judges.  Fields immediately responds by sitting on the stool and not getting up.

Van Buren scored a couple more takedowns than Fields and that’s enough to give him a majority decision win.  I notice that he’s not climbing over any cages.

The one good thing I’ll say about this episode is that it put Dana White and the fans in complete agreement on something for once.

White: Nothing interesting or exciting happened.  You guys had to sit through it and watch it.  The last thing you want to do is hear me remind you of how f**king uneventful it was.  I feel like this is the season of guys that just don’t give a s**t.

That about sums it up.  The only point I’d argue is that we didn’t have to sit through it if they’d just reduced it to a highlight (or in this case, lowlight) package and fill up the rest of the program with more human interest stuff or stupid reality show challenges.  Do something!  White has even made a point not to shake hands with several of the winners this season.  He just reads the result and stomps off.

The TUF mindset is that they think that they’re going to get around the same number of viewers every year so it doesn’t matter what they do; I’ll counter by saying that’s how shows get cancelled.  If you assume the audience will always be around, you will find yourself sorely mistaken and out of a job some day.

White wants to cut through the crap for the semi-final picks.  He goes as far as tell Frankie Edgar and Penn to not even bother to give their suggestions because he’ll make the fights.  The match-ups are secondary to his search for an answer regarding the dull performances by these fighters.  It is awful that we’re in the 19th season of this show and White still has to yell at people to motivate them.

It was Daniel Spohn who got this boring bandwagon rolling.  He says his next fight will be exciting.  The tone of his voice doesn’t change in the slightest the whole time.  This cast is atrocious.

Middleweight

Cathal Pendred v. Eddie Gordon
Roger Zapata v. Dhiego Lima

You can tell that they love Lima and not just for his effervescent personality.  He was the only guy to get a finish in the quarterfinals.  If Zapata beats Lima, I might throw something.

Light Heavyweights

Corey Anderson v. Pat Walsh
Daniel Spohn v. Matt Van Buren

White says he’s just going to erase everything that he’s seen and move on to enjoy some new fights.  If only we could all do the same.

Van Buren VictoriousNext week: Pendred v. Gordon.  Also, I try and give myself a head injury.

The Ultimate Fighter 19: Team Edgar v. Team Penn – Week 8 Recap

How about that TUF: Brazil 3 finale, eh?  Okay, I’ll admit that the card kind of stunk.  The ratings were in the toilet.  The main event was an absolute farce.  But hey, for those of us who had been watching the whole season it was really just the after party of what was otherwise an entertaining edition of this never ending series.  I enjoyed seeing Warlley Alves live up to the high standards coach Chael Sonnen had set for him.  Demente and Pezão had strong showings on the undercard.  Demian Maia was doing Demian Maia s**t.  We even got to witness the mere mention of Wanderlei Silva’s name cause a torrent of boos, something I never thought possible much less in Brazil.  It wasn’t a great event by any stretch but you know what?  It wasn’t for you.

And yes, I’m finding new ways every week to put off actually writing about TUF 19.

Team Colours

Team Edgar
Team Penn

Credit to whoever put together this week’s show, they actually took the time to make us care about the match-up between Eddie Gordon (Team Edgar, 5th overall) and Mike King (Team Penn, 2nd overall).  It’s certainly not the most interesting feud, but at least it’s something.

The conflict starts when King becomes aggravated by the unsanitary kitchen.  Complaining about the house being dirty is the lowest common denominator of TUF programming; it’s like starting a conversation by talking about the weather.  King says if the red team guys were his kids he’d “beat the s**t” out of them.  In a testimonial, Gordon declares that King is “the woman in the house”.  Nice, politically correct attitudes all around.

Towel MessageTelling kids everywhere how to respond when asked to do chores.

Gordon is an ex-football player, which might one day be as solid a base as wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu.  I guess it makes sense since it involves discipline, athleticism and a predilection towards hurting people.  It helps that Gordon just so happens to be good friends with some guy named Chris Weidman.  Gordon is jazzed to be facing Team Penn’s top middleweight pick.

It seems like ages ago, but King made a name for himself in the elimination round with his rousing performance against future TUF: Nations competitor Nordine Taleb.  He’s a meat and potatoes fighter with good cardio and wrestling.  BJ Penn and Mark Coleman are confident he can control Gordon with his wrestling.  Much to their chagrin, King posits that he might be able to beat Gordon with his striking.  OMFG please tell me King is planning to “Stand and Wang”.

Penn says that Gordon can knock King down, but King can’t knock Gordon down.  That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement.  Coleman is once again the voice of reason on the show (what am I saying?!?) and he suggests that they lay off on the advice so as to avoid accountability.  Thanks for being here, Mark!

The Coaches’ Challenge is a kayak course, which is about as unfair as it sounds considering one guy is from New Jersey and the other is from Hawaii.

Frankie Edgar: How we picked water sports when this dude visits his buddy down the street on a kayak?

They confirm a cash prize of $10,000 for the coaches and $1,500 for each of the fighters.  Not to be overly negative yet again, but even this challenge sucks.  It’s just a race around some buoys and that’s it.  Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones got to operate friggin’ bulldozers!  The course has a terrible design.  Once you get past the first few turns, it’s just a straight shot to the finish line.  Edgar falls behind and never catches up.  Yippee.

BJ RowPenn: “Hey, this is how my ancestors got to Hawaii!  Don’t feel bad.”

The fight

Neither the domestic disturbance nor King’s insistence on showing off his striking acumen resulted in much to write about as far as the fight goes.  The match had that awful sparring feel to it, like both men were afraid to lose.  The most intensity came from the Team Edgar corner who were constantly shouting combo codes in the form of Battleship coordinates (B3!  B3!).

Remember the eye poke that was featured so prominently in the commercials for this episode?  The one that could allegedly jeopardize the whole fight?  It looks bad, but it takes about one minute for King to recover and it’s never brought up again.  F**k off TUF 19.

After three rounds (they needed the extra), it’s Gordon’s takedowns that end up making the difference.  He earns a tepid decision.  As much as I respect both guys for their effort (Gordon especially since it looked like he was starting to gas out in the second round), this was a classic case of copious trash talk followed by a whole lotta nothin’.

King's Eye ViewI ain’t gonna hate too much on a guy who fights through this.

They even resort to showing a nice shot of Chrissy Blair during Dana White’s review of the fight as if…that will…distract us…

Chrissy BlairHey, stop that!

For those of you keeping score at home, both Edgar and Penn’s top middleweights have bowed out in the quarterfinals and Penn’s top light heavyweight is also out.  Only Corey Anderson was able to back up his high selection.

The last match-up is Matt Van Buren v. Chris Fields.  I’m actually looking forward to this one since Van Buren has developed a decent reputation for mudslinging and Fields has a lot to prove since he just scraped by the elimination round.  They don’t get along either.  Unfortunately, what should have been an intense stare-down became completely inexplicable instead.

Van Buren & FieldsMonaghan: “Van Buren vs. Fields.  The most awkward face-off that I’ve ever seen.  Both their hands were up, they looked like they were ready to fly away.  They genuinely don’t like each other so that’s going to be the grudgiest fight in the house.  I’m really looking forward to it.”

And if King talking about beating children and Gordon expressing his opinion on the woman’s role in the kitchen weren’t enough, we end with someone yelling about Van Buren and Fields being like two pitbulls on a leash.  Dogfighting.

Gordon VictoriousNext week: The last quarterfinal match-up and the semi-final selections.  Also, I take a moment to ponder whether this season is even worse than TUF 16.

The Ultimate Fighter 19: Team Edgar v. Team Penn – Week 7 Recap

I’m an optimist.  That’s how I choose to live my life.  I’m disappointed in myself that this season of TUF has brought out the worst in me.  I should be dwelling on the positives.  Like how nice the show looks.  How contestants now come off as human beings as opposed to cartoonish frat boys.  How Mark Coleman seems to genuinely be enjoying himself even though he’s been in the fight business since the early 1900s.

I know I’m reaching.  The fact of the matter is that only the most loyal TUF fans could picture any of these guys coming close to resembling a contender in the UFC.  I am one of the most loyal TUF fans and I’m still not predicting great success!

There’s good to be found here.   You just have to look a lot harder than usual.

Team Colours

Team Edgar
Team Penn

Fat Pat!  That’s the lighthearted nickname Patrick Walsh has been given by his teammates.  Tim Williams even makes fun of the jolly way he walks, which is kind of f**ked up.  Walsh (Team Edgar, 3rd overall) faces Anton Berzin (Team Penn, 1st overall).  Even though they were both high picks, the buzz on the show is mostly for Berzin.  He’s a sleeker looking fighter and his elite grappling is expected to carry him to an easy victory.

As expected, the bizarre result of the last fight has made things in the house akwaaaaaard…Eddie Gordon is perturbed.  Dhiego Lima is disgusted.  Matt Van Buren says not a single person could have watched that fight and thought that Roger Zapata won.  Well, I can think of at least two judges…and Dana White actually.

Berzin tells the tale of his family’s hardships coming to America.  When his mother tells him he should have been a doctor, Berzin says that now he sees doctors.  The rough upbringing has left him bristling with self-confidence, maybe too much so.  BJ Penn notes that he’s so sure of his skills that he doesn’t always pick up new things.

Penn: I still don’t have my finger on Anton yet.  I know he’s our first pick but listen to your coach every once in a while.  I should take that advice too. (laughs)

The fighters are treated to a viewing of UFC Fight Night: Belfort v. Henderson.  One of the fights goes to a close decision so Van Buren jumps at the opportunity to call out Zapata.  Zapata just laughs it off like he always does.  To Ian Stephens’s credit, he does his best to defuse the situation by telling everyone to accept that Zapata won and that’s that.  The tension escalates when Gordon and Chris Fields jump in.  Ironically, they both tell each other to mind their own business.

Coleman ApprovesGood.  Kill each other.

The real heat is between Gordon and Daniel Spohn, though I use the word “heat” in the loosest sense of the word.  It’s a mild simmer at worst.  They both think they’re terribly clever, but in actuality they stumble over their insults and desperately try to come off as cooler than the other guy when they’re both clearly flustered.  I wouldn’t be doing anybody any favours by transcribing the conversation.  These guys are boring even when they’re s**t talking each other.

Van Buren says “This is definitely a ticking time bomb.”  His trademark dull monotone delivery has never been more fitting.

Conversation By The FireAnton and Tim moments before Tim was engulfed in flames.

In a curious choice, we don’t get to see the weigh-ins.  I’m sure this has happened before and it’s an example of a little tweak they should make more often: If nothing interesting happens, don’t bother showing it.  Then again, if they’d stuck to that policy, we wouldn’t have TUF 19 at all.

The fight

An early body lock allows Berzin to take Walsh down right away.  He advances to back control just thirty seconds into the bout.  Walsh’s wrestling background gets him back to his feet, though he can’t quite shake Berzin.  The Russian briefly goes for a 10 finger guillotine before moving to the back again.  Then Walsh hits a phenomenal judo throw.

Judo TossHai-yah!

Post-fight, Penn says that the throw might have taken something out of Berzin.  He certainly doesn’t look like he’s used to being on the defensive.  We also find out that Berzin had never fought past the first round before.  This one goes well enough for him after he recovers.  Walsh’s stand-up approach is mystifying.  His hands are really low.  He goes for a trip near the end, but Berzin just falls on him.  Round 1 to Berzin.

Walsh takes the second round and the third.  He does a great job defending himself against Berzin’s submissions while staying in top control.  The entirety of the third round is just Walsh chipping away from half guard.  Despite the hype, it’s Walsh who outlasts Penn’s top pick.  Not bad for a fat boy.

Sit DownMaybe he’s been learning escapes from Josh.

Sorry, but that was a boring ass fight.  Berzin faded and Walsh did what he had to do.  That’s really all there is to say about it.  There’s a twinkle in Walsh’s eye when Coleman approaches him after to compliment him on their similar styles.  This is me dwelling on the positives.

Walsh VictoriousNext week: Eddie Gordon v. Mike King.  If you’ve caught any of the commercials for the next episode, you’ll see that they’re building all of the intrigue around an eye poke.  AN EYE POKE!  TUF 19!!!