Abe Wagner’s Ultimate Fighter Blog: That’s Why They Call Him “Rampage”
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’s episode started with a lot of jawing back and forth between Rampage and Rashad. I think it might have started out as good natured teasing but then escalated to the point that they both really, really disliked each other. To say that there’s bad blood between them is a bit of an understatement. I personally am disappointed that we won’t get to see them fight each other now.
As far as Matt’s note to Junk, I think at this point Matt was full-on in game playing mode. I think he had been in that mode for a little while now, and the note was really no surprise to me. I don’t judge him for it, he was just doing what he thought was in his best interest at the time. I do think that it rubbed his coaches the wrong way causing them to match him up against what they believed to be Rampage’s best guy.
In light of Matt’s game playing, I’m not sure how much of his “craziness” was an act and how much was actual. I mean he definitely has some form of ADD, but I don’t think he is legitimately insane. Although that house will tend to bring that type of stuff out of you.
Team Rampage really had only heard about Matt’s blow up at practice. I had no idea how bad it got that day. To us, it sounded like something minor. Even if you don’t think he handled himself correctly, you do have to see Matt’s point though: if someone is going to say something like that to you, they aren’t allowed to back off when they have the opportunity to back up their threats.
This episode was not the first appearance of the ninja in the house, but it was his first appearance on television. The idea of a 6’10” blond ninja is pretty funny to me. The ninja provided a much needed diversion from the boredom of being in the house. In that same sequence Matt was getting picked on by Wes similar to the way Linderman was, but the difference was that Matt made it clear that he was no going to let himself be picked on and then it pretty much stopped.
At the very beginning of the fight, Junk got poked in his eye. It was pretty obvious since his eyelid was flipped inside out. The ref didn’t seem to notice and let the fight continue. Mitrione used this window of opportunity to land some heavy shots. That eye poke and subsequent heavy shots really changed the complexion of the fight. When you come that close to getting KO’d your cardio goes out the window. For a good portion of the first round they just stood in front of each other trading big shots. It was a pretty exciting first round, but with the several knock downs to start the round, it was a round that for sure was won by Matt.
The second round was about the same as the first, with the exception of it being at a slower pace due to fatigue. When I watched the fight in person, I thought that there was no way Junk didn’t win the second round and that the fight should have gone to sudden victory. But now that I’ve seen it on TV, I can see where a judge would have given round two to Matt, although I still would have given it to Junk with the takedown. Rampage thought that there should have been another round too, and decided to remind everyone of why they call him “Rampage.”
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