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.