(Scott Junk and Justin Wren discuss Team Rashad’s not-so-secret-anymore plans.)
Let’s not waste time with a recap of last week’s over-hyped, underwhelming fight – there’s too much fresh drama to discuss.
Team Rampage spends some serious time building up Kimbo after the loss, denigrating Nelson’s skills, strategy, and physique. Slice claims to have known nothing of this new fangled mixed martial arts before joining the cast of The Ultimate Fighter and his performance lends credence to the claim. You have to wonder what he was actually doing during those months he spent with Bas Rutten.
Abe Wagner tries to talk real talk with Kimbo about being out of the competition but Kimbo’s having none of it. He seems to think that two more weeks of training is all that separates him from the rest of his competitors, not years of wrestling, BJJ, or pro MMA experience.
We jump immediately to Marcus Jones, sweating profusely in the hallway. Brendan Schaub calls it a “rude awakening” as Jones adjusts to live as a full-time fighter but I’m inclined to think that the reaction is related to his previous profession. Jones may look like he’s in great shape at 35 but football ages you in ways similar to combat sports. He’s an old 35 and this viewer is curious to know what the cause of the sweats was but we never find out. As Abe Wagner points out in his TUF blog, it’s interesting how quickly Kimbo goes from Jones’ bosom buddy to trying to replace him in the competition. “You may not be able to fight, man,” Slice says.
At Team Rashad practice, Evans talks about not trying to change guys’ style in a short amount of time but that’s also a central tenet of Greg Jackson’s approach – don’t change fighters, just help them do what they do as well as they can possibly do it. After the training sequence we find ourselves in Team Rashad’s office where the coaches are discussing match ups with different guys. Trevor Wittman, Mike VanArsdale, and Evans tell Justin Wren that they want him to fight Junk and that Brendan Schaub will fight Demico Rogers. Schaub is told the same thing and then Matt Mitrione walks in.
The coaches tell Mitrione that they want to match him with Marcus Jones. “I come in to compete, I didn’t come in to sit around,” he says. “Don’t tell nobody, keep that to yourself,” VanArsdale says.
Wren then re-enters the room to tell the coaches that Scott Junk is his roomate and one of his best friends. Team Rashad is sympathetic and we cut immediately to a Team Rampage training session. “I need a win like fish need water,” says Rampage. We get a montage of Marcus Jones inadvertently hurting his training partners and a brief look at Demico Rogers before going back to the house.
Justin Wren and Scott Junk are having a heart to heart because Mitrione told Junk that they were going to fight. “The number one meathead in the house is Matt. He’s a cool dude but he’s such a meathead,” says Junk. “He doesn’t think be for he says things.”
Team Rashad whispers around the table at breakfast and Mitrione is greeted by some light ball busting. He apologizes and everyone seems more bummed than angry. The team thinks he is trying to get out of fighting Jones. “I don’t know what I was thinking,” Mitrione says. Schaub calls him a snitch in the van and Mitrione rolls with it. “I’m sorry, I was just an asshole,” Mitrione says. “I am just an asshole. That’s what I am.”
Team Rashad discusses mixing the fights up but they don’t, not yet at least, because they pick Schaub vs. Rogers. “When big guys start throwing punches anything can happen,” Dana White says. More filler trash talk between Evans and Jackson and we’re back in a training session which might as well be called Daily Affirmations with Trevor Wittman. ”When you go to sleep tonight, dream how f***ing good you are,” the boxing trainer says.
Team Rampage is similarly confident because of Rogers’ size, power, and jiu jitsu. We cut to fight day and Team Rampage’s coaches head out for lunch right as the fighters arrive. Schaub gets wrapped up and gloved up while Rogers waits for the coaches to get back. Jackson expresses some contrition for not getting back earlier but at this point his team seems completely broken mentally.
The fight starts with an inside leg kick and shot from Rogers. Schaub stuffs it and turns Rogers over but Rogers escapes. Both fighters swing but fail to connect. Rogers gets a takedown and lands in guard. Schaub works to turn away from the fence. Rogers throws punches but Schaub pushes him off. Rogers dives back into guard with a punch. Schaub spins away from the fence again. Elbow Rogers. Rogers passes to side control. Rogers attempts knee-to-belly and Schaub escapes and reverses his opponent, landing in Rogers’ guard. Punches from Schaub, who stands up, throws Rogers’ feet aside and falls into side control. Schaub quickly secures an anaconda choke and Rogers taps out. Team Rampage bails out on their fighter, leaving him alone in the cage.
Team Rampage is reeling, Team Rashad celebrates, and we get a taste of even more Matt Mitrione-related drama next week. Be sure to check out Matt Mitrione’s blog this week, where he explains exactly what went down before and during The Ultimate Fighter Heavyweights.
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.