As my good friend Jermaine Dupri would say, I’ve been slackin’ on my pimpin’…
…so I guess it’s time to turn it up.
Team Carwin (actually yellow on the show, but brown for the purposes of this article)
Team Pearson (actually blue on the show, but red for the purposes of this article)
(TUF: The Smashes – September 26, 2012, TUF 16 – September 28, 2012)
Things picked up last week as two genuinely entertaining personalities emerged: TUF 16’s Matt Secor (who made the remarkable comparison between a teammate’s hair and a vagina) and TUF: The Smashes’ Colin Fletcher. Secor administered some more sick burns, saying that he heard military man Colton Smith had to learn to walk when he was 3 months old because nobody wanted to hold him. That is cold-blooded. When habitual line stepper Nic Herron-Webb says he hopes Secor makes it to the quarter-finals, Secor shuts him down by saying “Why? You’re not gonna be there, bud.” This is after he quizzes Herron-Webb about his jiu-jitsu credentials. Normally I hate a loud mouth, but not when the targets are asking for it.
Sam Alvey (Carwin’s #1 pick) is picked to fight Joey Rivera, who Nelson describes as a jack of all trades: in other words, he’s going to get smashed. Both guys actually come off pretty well, with Alvey being a former band nerd who ended up marrying America’s Next Top Model cycle 11 winner, McKey Sullivan…
…and Rivera explaining that he got into fighting to defend his mom from some bad boyfriends. That’s a good son, right there.
Igor Araujo even scores some points for TUF 16 with his unique Brazilian/French accent!
The TUF: The Smashes cast get a visit from UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos and the results are…underwhelming. I’m not surprised the contestants are star struck, but it doesn’t make for great television.
Otherwise, the spotlight is focused squarely on Fletcher aka “Freakshow”. Like many fighters, Fletcher used to be bullied. I wouldn’t have known from his, er, “unique” looks. He starts talking about his wife and I’m thinking, “Oh, this should be good.”
Holy s**t. She looks like Bridgette Wilson-Sampras. More highlights from Fletcher include referring to his fighting style as a giraffe cross-bred with an alligator, how his opponents can’t figure out what he’s going to do next because even he doesn’t know, and an exhibition of strikes designed to take his opponent’s eye out. Fletcher is officially amazing.
His opponent, Ben Wall, is given the loving nickname “Fox Piss” and I’m not sure what that means but Team UK takes great pleasure in needling him for his sullen disposition. He reminds me of another TUF veteran, Charles McCarthy (who also earned an endearing nickname, “Captain Miserable”). His one quirk is that he likes to train to Japanese pop music, but there’s really not much to work with and Fox Piss might have cost The Smashes this round. Freakshow and his freakishly hot wife aren’t enough to carry the day.
Advantage: 10-9 TUF: 16
Pearson and Sotiropoulos seem to be on good terms, but there are finally some signs of tension between the two as they engage in some half-hearted trash talk capped off by this heated exchange:
“We will see.”
I like Carwin, but he is a black hole of charisma and I’m not even sure Nelson even did anything this episode. The coaches have not been a highlight of either of these shows.
Advantage: 10-10 Draw
Team Nelson is up to no good again, taking Alvey’s bed and putting it on a flotation device in the pool. Alvey feigns disappointment and crashes on the couch. You can almost hear the production team shriveling at this dull turn of events.
Over in Australia, Team UK renews the recent tradition of defacing whatever image they have handy of the other team’s coach. Fletcher climbs up on a support and places a mustache, an eye patch and a nipple ring on a giant banner featuring Sotiropoulos. It’s not bad, but nothing is going to beat last season when Team Cruz made a thong for Urijah Faber’s butt chin.
So you’d think Smashes has this in the bag but as usual, Classic is tough to beat when it comes to unintentional comedy. Alvey comes out wearing his favourite “Spartan” underwear, which causes him to come in super heavy at the weigh-in. That alone would have been enough, but Rivera steals the show by sharing his philosophy on sex before a fight:
You’re not supposed to have sex before you fight, but having sex with my wife, it makes me feel proud. I don’t always finish and I’m just doing it for her to make sure that she’s being taken care of properly. Before I fight I try not to have, um, ejaculation…so I can keep my spiritual energy, keep it all in there.
Advantage: 10-8 TUF: 16 for the near-finish.
The injury storyline from episode 1 concludes with Michael Pastou (aka “UK Daryl”) being forced to withdraw from the competition. Everyone is torn up about it and while we’ve seen this happen on TUF before, it never fails to resonate with me. Win or lose, the program has proven to be such a valuable asset to a fighter’s career and I can’t imagine what it feels like to be so close to the next level only to be knocked back down. My heart goes out to him.
The drama in the US house revolves around Herron-Webb’s inane attempts to “psyche out” the other team by staying up late whistling, playing pool and skipping rope. Playing mind games is fine, but when you’re that overt about it you just end up alienating everyone and making yourself a huge target. Even his teammates can’t stand him.
Advantage: 10-9 TUF: The Smashes
TUF 16 Welterweight Bout: Joey Rivera d. Sam Alvey via MD (20-18 x2, 19-19)
Almost everyone in the house discussed how much they liked Rivera and how they were going to hate seeing Alvey take him out. He shocks everyone by coming out firing, throwing two head kicks that Alvey only narrowly blocks. From there, Rivera gets in close and nearly locks in a standing arm triangle. The two men trade takedowns, but Rivera is more active going for a guillotine and a triangle from his back. The second round is similar to the first, but Rivera continually uses his strength advantage to avoid bad positions. In the middle of the fight, Nelson grabs one of his corner men to demonstrate a proper guillotine choke. I wonder why more coaches don’t do that. Regardless, Rivera pulls off the upset and poor Alvey ain’t smilin’ no more.
TUF: The Smashes Lightweight Bout: Colin Fletcher d. Ben Wall via UD (20-18 x3)
Freakshow lives up to his name, coming out in a clown mask and stumbling around like a hammered Keith Jardine. His gangly body gives him a unique advantage in the clinch as he’s able to land a lot of high knees from that position. Wall scrambles for a takedown, but Fletcher twists around and starts to work ground and pound from guard. Somehow, he gets Wall’s back and he locks in a dragon sleeper, which I don’t see too often in MMA (maybe for good reason because Wall doesn’t look close to tapping). Fletcher may have stolen the 1st with the late activity. In the 2nd, Fletcher starts to make Wall miss, using every inch of his reach. When they get back into the clinch, Fletcher bloodies Wall’s face with more high knees. Here’s how the referee announces the victor: “Unanimous points decision…winner by way of blue corner…Colin Fletcher!” I have no idea what that means.
Both fights were solid, but nothing to write home about. I think we’re likely to see Rivera, Alvey and Fletcher all fighting in the UFC someday. Sorry, Fox Piss.
Advantage: 10-10 Draw
Final Score: 49-46, TUF: 16
The old guard strikes back, which surprised me as I thought the show was already going downhill. A couple of things I couldn’t fit in another section; first, after Alvey’s loss, Carwin comforted the team with a mind numbingly boring story about his visit to the Intrepid. It was like Randy Couture’s monologue in The Expendables, but worse. Second, the totally hetero comment of the week courtesy of Herron-Webb: “I’m just gonna lay in Sam’s bed.”
Uh…did I mention that Arianny Celeste was on ring girl duty this week? Take us out, Arianny!