Following each episode of The Ultimate Fighter Heavyweights, Team Rampage member Abe Wagner will share his thoughts on what happened on camera and behind the scenes.
This week starts out by recapping last week’s fight and then going to a clip of Kimbo and I talking about his loss. For some reason, at this point, it wasn’t sinking in to Kimbo that he lost and was out of the competition at the moment and was finding himself in the same boat as me. He just wasn’t hearing any words of reason; like he just didn’t think it was possible.
Then there was Marcus…his body was on the verge of shutting down. In my opinion, he probably should’ve gone to hospital and got an IV or something, but he was really worried that if he had to go, he be kicked out of the competition. I think it’s interesting to note that last week had a segment of Marcus and Kimbo mutually admiring each other and being really tight, and then at this time, Kimbo wants his spot and wants him out of the competition. It was an interesting social dynamic to say the least. But it just goes to show how quickly things can turn in a situation like this.
At this point Team Rampage was 0-3 in the competition. While fighting is an individual effort, I felt it was definitely starting to take away a bit of the team’s morale. Control (or the illusion of control) is a powerful thing. The team with control knows who’s going to be fighting and the team without it has no idea what’s coming and has to always be at a state of readiness. The constant state of alert starts to mentally fatigue a person.
This episode is entitled “Snitch,” after Matt Mitrione and his odd-seeming choices. Over the course of the six weeks I spent in the house, I had several conversations with Matt and in my opinion, he was one of the more intelligent guys there. I think it’s fair to say that even an 8-year-old would have grasped the strategic situation here and known enough not to “accidentally let it slip” what the team’s plans were for the rest of the competition. Which then begs the question: what the hell happened?
The way I see it, Matt didn’t like the match up they gave him so he “let it slip” what the team’s plans were so they’d “have to change it up.” If I was on his team, I would’ve been plenty pissed at him. But from the standpoint of him and his success in the competition, it was a pretty good strategic move if it results in him getting what he thinks is a more favorable match up. I just think it’s unbelievable that everyone else bought his excuse of it being an accident…nobody is that gullible. I think McSweeney was the only one who saw through it.
After the fight announcement, Dana talked about how much bigger Demico was than Brendan, but honestly, they were with in 5 lbs of each other, at like 245 and 240 respectively; they were just built differently and had different frames I guess.
On fight day, the camera shows Rampage and Tiki screwing around before leaving as the fighter vans pull up. They went to go get lunch since this fight was happening at 1:00 in the afternoon. It turns out that they didn’t get back until right before the fight. The guy that comes and tells you how much time is left until the fight announced 15 minutes left to go, right as Rampage and Tiki and the rest of the coaches came in; Demico didn’t even have his hands taped yet. Just sitting in there and not having to fight, I can tell you that I was anxious that the coaches weren’t there yet. I couldn’t imagine what that must have been like for Demico. I’m not sure if it affected the fight at all, but really there’s no way to tell. In either case, there’s no way it helped his cause.
The fight went at a good pace and was back and forth before Schaub caught Demico in an anaconda choke and finished the fight. Rampage was upset because he thought Demico quit on the fight; afterward Rampage told everyone that there was only a few seconds left in the first round and Demico should have been able to wait it out. After watching the fight with a clock on TV, there was still almost two minutes left and there’s no way he could have done that. But in these fights it was almost impossible to tell how much time was left in the round. Case in point, I hit a sweep with 0:01 seconds left in the round. Obviously I wouldn’t have tried that if I knew there was no time left to reap the rewards of the effort. Add that to the list of things that is odd about the experience of fighting on the show.
It’s hard to believe Rampage acted that way after the fight and didn’t want to give D a stool or even go in to the cage afterward. Well, I mean I guess I can, he left before my fight was even over. In fact now that I think about it, he wouldn’t even speak to me for a day or two after. I think Rashad did a very accurate job of describing the feelings after a loss and he was dead on. You do feel really low and I do think that a good coach will be there for you to help you through it.
I consider Rampage among my friends and in general I think he’s a decent guy. But at this point, it was feeling to me like his heart really wasn’t into being a coach; almost like he was just waiting out the clock. Maybe that wasn’t the case, but it was definitely my perception.
For more on me, check out www.abewagnerfights.com.
Read the recap of the first episode of The Ultimate Fighter Heavyweights.
Read the recap of the second episode of The Ultimate Fighter Heavyweights.
Read the recap of the third episode of The Ultimate Fighter Heavyweights.