"The Ultimate Fighter: Team Lesnar vs. Team Dos Santos" debuted Wednesday night on Spike TV.
"Get ready as two giants of MMA take command of a fresh squad of fighters," the narrator tells us. Welcome to "The Ultimate Fighter: Team Lesnar vs. Team Dos Santos."
I can imagine Mike Goldberg saying, "You are looking liiiiive inside the UFC Training Center here in beautiful Las Vegas!" Our 14 welterweight fighters walk in and meet UFC president Dana White.
He tells them they don't have to fight their way into the house this season and they like this. He says the UFC likes guys who fight so they are bringing back the wild card and that person will get the eighth spot in the quarterfinals of the tournament. White tells them to not blow this opportunity and to keep the intensity they have now the entire time they are here.
Now he brings in their coaches — former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and top contender Junior dos Santos. White runs down each of their credentials and says we are going to have a two-hour evaluation process for the coaches.
Dos Santos says he's here to win. He wants his team to win the show and he wants to beat Lesnar. Lesnar says he's looking for tough, blue chip guys, not guys who have spent the last month on the couch eating pizza and drinking beer.
We're introduced to Lesnar's strength and conditioning coach who is putting the prospects through a process to figure out who's in the best shape.
Dos Santos is in the Octagon shadowboxing. He explains he doesn't speak English that well but he can speak the fight language. Lew Polley is his wrestling coach and will help him out a lot. He says he did his evaluations in the Octagon and that Lesnar cares more about cardio than fight training and that's the big difference.
Lesnar says they looked at how the guys handled themselves in each of the different areas and they're looking for guys who can win. Lesnar goes through personal interviews with the fighters, asking them what they're here for — to be a fighter or a TV star. Dos Santos jokes with his team that he can't talk face-to-face. Lesnar says Len Bentley is at the top of the list. Dos Santos identifies Shamar Bailey as a top guy and also singles out Ryan McGillivray.
Myles Jury is working out in the Octagon and hurts his knee. He says it's sore but nothing that ice and rest can't cure.
White welcomes Dos Santos and Lesnar in to pick teams. White is going to flip a coin and the winner will get first pick or first fight. Lesnar wins it and wants the first pick.
Stay with us following the jump as the two coaches pick their teams and we get the first fight announcement and the fight itself.
White enters the gym and is announcing the teams:
Team dos Santos
Davis said he thinks Team Dos Santos did a little better job of evaluating the talent. Cope says he knows Lesnar is going to give it to him straight and that's all he wants.
The two vans arrive and we are at the TUF House. All the fighters run up the stairs to look for the best beds. Cope says all of Team Lesnar is upstairs and Team Dos Santos is downstairs. Back at the gym for a Dos Santos training session. Dos Santos says the purpose of this session is to find out who's in good condition to fight. Polley is leading the troops. Bailey says he wants to build a rapport with the coaches and keep it going beyond this competition. Dos Santos says his guys are awesome and he says his team is going to win the show.
Now it's time for Lesnar and they're already painting this like the Ken Shamrock/ Tito Ortiz season. We see Dos Santos doing fighting-related things and Lesnar doing cardio things. We're in the locker room and we're told Jury's ACL is torn 100 percent. Lesnar gets up and sits on the couch's arm when he hears this. He's not happy. The doctor tells Jury he's going to be told not to fight.
Jury says he can move around on it. Lesnar tries to give the motivational speech to Jury, telling him this is something a lot of athletes go through. He tells Jury he's sorry. This was tremendous. Brock trying to be sympathetic is just the best thing ever. Now Jury's in with White and White asks him how it happened. White tells Jury he can't stay in the house but he's got a good record and is tough and he'll be back.
Now we're introduced to Chuck O'Neil, Jury's replacement. Lesnar says they're happy to have him. We see Team Lesnar doing more cardio work. I have a feeling this will be a recurring theme.
Well, now it's time for the "Dodge Fight Announcement." That's a nice sponsor. Dos Santos picks Bailey to face Asrih. So it's first pick against last pick. Rader says Asrih has jet lag during the evaluations and that Team Dos Santos must've thought he was weak. He says it's a bad matchup and Team Lesnar is going to gain control.
Bailey says he doesn't want to give Lesnar anything. He wants to win.
Time to take a look at Asrih and Bailey. Asrih says Bailey is the golden boy. Erik Paulson says Asrih's big strength is his striking. It's going to be striker against wrestler, Asrih says. Lesnar admits it's a tough fight.
Now we head over to Bailey. He says there's a little bit of a difference between European fighting and American fighting. Polley says Bailey has the tools to set the tone. Dos Santos says Bailey is fast, strong and he has confidence and that's good for them.
Bailey is in his bed reading the Bible. He grew up the son of a pastor. Asrih is German. Asrih says he doesn't give a f--- that he was the last pick. He's here to change that. Bailey says he's in the best shape of anyone here and Asrih has weaknesses in his game.
It's now fight time. No weigh-in segment, eh? I assume they both made it.
It's 9:43 and it's fight time. Looks like we have a decision on our hands here. We'll see. Bailey has a six-inch reach advantage. This fight is two five-minute rounds.
Bailey immediately drops for a takedown and has Asrih down near the cage. Asrih with a headlock but Bailey in side control. He gives it up. Asrih can't do a thing underneath. They scramble and Asrih gets to his feet but it's only for a few seconds as he's almost immediately taken back down again. Bailey in half-guard. Bailey can't mount and is now standing. He dives in once without success and then goes in again and is in half-guard again with 1:40 to go in the round. Not a while lot happening here. Nice elbow lands for Bailey. Two more. He stands up with Asrih on his back. He ends the round in half-guard. Easy 10-9 for Bailey.
Asrih slips on a kick to start the second round and he's on his back with Bailey on top of him. Bailey mounts with 4:33 left. Asrih bucks off the cage but Bailey gets his back briefly until Asrih sweeps him. He briefly stands but Bailey never lets him out of range and takes him back down into side control. Lesnar yelling at Asrih that he needs to make something happen with 2:38 left in the round. He isn't. Knees to the side now by Bailey. Not much happening at all here, though. Bailey is pretty much cruising at this point. Into mount now with 90 seconds left. Asrih gives up his back, eats some shots and rolls back over with a minute left. A few short elbows by Asrih. Now he starts landing his best offense of the fight with some ground-and-pound. That's it. 10-9 Bailey. Asrih could do absolutely nothing.
Your winner via unanimous decision: Shamar Bailey (20-18x3)
Dana White: "Not the most exciting fight you'll ever see in Ultimate Fighter history."
Lesnar hears the reaction of Team Dos Santos in the locker room: "They're reacting like they just won the gold medal or won the championship fight, but they put their best guy against our last pick, so it was to be expected."
"If they win this next fight, it's going to be a long road for us," Lesnar said.