The_Vortex: The season’s beginning to wind down, as we’re hitting our third last episode. This has been a great season so far, but unfortunately, it’s been pretty short on tears. Don’t worry, fight fans, there’s some quality joy-sobbing in this episode. We start this time with Marlon “Chito/Pollito” Vera. He’s fighting against Alejandro “El Diablito” Pérez later this episode. It’s not looking good for him, though. Remember those rashes and scabs he developed last episode? Well, holy crap, but they’ve multiplied out of control. They’re spreading across his face and back, and he’s genuinely quite ill because of it. It’s not a good sign, and his teammates are cautious, as no one wants to catch anything funky.
Even the coaches are being realistic about the situation. As they take Chito off to see a specialist, they mention that he could very easily be removed from the fight, leaving one of the other 135’ers to take his place. Between Bentley (copped a whupping), Fredy (lost a close, yet boring decision) and Guido (lost a hugely controversial decision that he almost certainly would have won with judges that had fully working brains), Guido seems to be the best pick to replace poor Chito.
With Chito off in quarantine, it all seems up in the air. Thoughts, NewChallenger? Think we’re gonna get a schooling from The Professor, a visit from the Doctor, or have the Revenge of the Ninja?
NewChallenger: Putting aside our shared distaste for Guido, it would be crazy for anyone but him to get the second chance. As you said, Bentley got taken out in the first round and didn’t show much to warrant further consideration. Fredy’s case is even worse. The Professor is dealing with an ankle injury and Alejandro is the one who took him out of the competition in the first place. Moggly isn’t convinced that the Team Werdum bantamweights even want back into the competition. In particular, he doesn’t like Bentley’s chances against Alejandro.
Guido is still talking and talking and talking…this whole episode he is talking. Did the judges get to know him before the fight? Because that might explain how they came up with their scores. I do have to give Guido credit for not treating Chito like the Outbreak monkey (he applies Chito’s rash cream for him) and declaring that he’ll give half of the prize money to Chito if he wins the tournament. Nice one, Guido…*mumble, grumble*
Speaking of Chito, he earns a dubious TUF first by being put into isolation at a hotel. He’s stuck there the whole day while he waits to see the doctor.
The good news is that it’s not contagious and the scabs have already begun to fall off. The bad news is that there’s a high risk of becoming infected again if he uses the sauna or if he fights. “I already cried in the house, so I don’t want to do it here.” he says.
The_Vortex: Chito is easily the most likeable of the Team Werdum guys. I agree, he’s taking this with an insane amount of grace. The most important thing though, is that it’s just an immune system issue, and not contagious. After the doctor nixes his chances of fighting, obviously the next step is to meet with Dana and Werdum. This is honestly one of the better scenes this entire series. First thing Chito does, is he shoots in for a hug. Werdum’s not having any of it, until Dana assures him it’s not contagious, and even then, Werdum’s still not keen on the touching.
Despite being removed from the tournament, Dana is guaranteeing Chito a spot on the finale, somewhere in the undercard of UFC 180. This is awesome news for him, that he’s able to salvage something out of this situation. They all end up laughing at Chito’s stories of being regarded by other hotel goers as a zombie/leprosy patient. It’s kinda touching, and amazing that Chito’s so accepting of all of this. He probably knew what was going to happen when they quarantined him.
NewChallenger: I was also impressed with Chito’s maturity and understanding. No doubt having to raise a daughter with an illness of her own has provided him with the proper perspective. Guys usually beg or bargain with the doctor in these situations, but as you mentioned he had to expect that this was coming. The whole segment was a welcome departure from the gloom we’re used to (not to take anything away from someone like Justine Kish on TUF 20), with Werdum in particular continuing to come off as everyone’s favourite coach/big brother. Along with Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, he has to be one of the most likeable coaches ever.
In a moment devoid of suspense, Dana makes the Guido/Alejandro match-up official. You would think Guido would finally be satisfied. You would be wrong. He can’t stop tweaking Marco about the result of their fight. It does say something that Marco doesn’t offer a strong response when Guido asks if he felt like a winner when he got the decision. Still, it’s ridiculous that the man can go on like this even though he got a second chance.
Chito to the rescue! He busts Guido’s chops by reminding him that he said he would retire if he lost to Psycho. Verbal shots are fired at poor Vinny Magalhães to illustrate the point:
He said, “If he hits me, they can take me out.” The other guy did this (mimes a weak punch), and Vinny fell like this (eyes roll to the back of his head). And he had fought three rounds against Phil Davis. And an old man came and knocked him out.
As for the fight…I have to leave the recap to you, sir. Lord knows you have waited long enough for this day to come.
The_Vortex: So, Chito doesn’t even mention Anthony Perosh by name, just refers to him as nothing but the “old man.” I’d leap to my countryman’s defense, but, yeah, that’s really the only way to describe the Hippo these days…
As for the fight, yeah, it’s a good one. This season has really delivered on the entertainment value of the fights, and this one was a crazy few minutes. After the glove touch, Guido just comes out firing on all cylinders, throwing bombs like they’re going out of fashion (not that bombs were ever in fashion, but I digress). Guido is flurrying like crazy, roaring in and swinging hard.
NewChallenger: All I have in my notes for this fight is “What the f**k is Guido doing?” He’s just out there winging haymakers.
The_Vortex: He’s getting some hits in, but for the most part, Alejandro is able to stay elusive, and clip him with a couple nice counters. About 90 seconds in, they both connect with hard hits nearly simultaneously, and Guido gets sent flying away. He recovers well, and three seconds later, he’s right in the face of Alejandro again, swinging wide with the right, and launching himself behind his fist. This time, it doesn’t work so well. Alejandro is out of range, and clobbers Guido with this huge left hand. Guido drops, and he’s basically already out, but Alejandro is taking no chances, and straight up murders him with the next shot, and a couple more before the ref officially stops the fight.
Remember last week, when everyone was deathly silent when the fight ended? Yeah, this ain’t like that. Guido’s still down for a few seconds, and he went full facedown Fedor-Arlovski for a short while. Guido intentionally fought a fight that wasn’t going to go to the judges, and by crap, it most certainly did not.
Guido is still in a daze, super confused. Guido, I’m a let Chris Tucker tell you what just happened:
NewChallenger: There’s no other way to describe Alejandro’s reaction after other than “unrestrained squealing”. Earlier in the episode, we found out that he and Teco had formed a close relationship over the years having fought in the same circuit (Teco having beaten him twice in the past). Openly sobbing, he exits the cage and calls for Teco. All Alejandro can say is “To the UFC! To the UFC!” as they embrace. Damn this show for making me feel feelings.
Guido has now lost twice on the show, a rare feat. He muses on his experience:
I thought I could beat everyone, and I think God made me fall. He said, “Now you’ll see that you can fall, too. And that you need to be careful because you’re just human.”
Humbled by God, knocked out by a guy whose name translates to “The Little Devil”. How poetic.