There was something strangely compelling about this week's TUF that has suddenly got me interested in the rest of the season, though not for the reasons the UFC probably wants. This episode was, quite simply, a disaster. The fight between Matt Secor and Michael Hill was pretty bad, and only made worse by a completely inexplicable decision. At the same time, both Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin were almost entirely absent, leaving pretty much all the interview time to be handled by Secor and, of course, Dana White.
Dana provided the most compelling part of the episode, which Brent already covered yesterday. In short, Dana went a bit nuts, pointing out that yes, that fight sucked, and that these judges are terrible. It was a fascinating moment for its weird combination of honesty and shifted blame.
Look, this show is the pits. There's really no way to sugar coat that. This is truly a disaster of a season. Neither of the coaches has done anything of interest. No fighter personalities have caught on yet. And with only two spots left in the quarter-finals, there are no fighters who have yet to impress. It's hard to see this as anything other than awful. And this week, Dana White all but admitted that. But the interesting thing is that he put all the blame for the bad fights on the fighters. No doubt they deserve a fair share of the blame, but then again, when you put a low level of talent on TV, then they deliver a low quality fight, is it really their fault? Or perhaps should the majority of that blame go to whoever cast this season? I mean, Michael Hill and Matt Secor showed that they're simply not UFC ready fighters, yet someone decided to put them on TV as representatives of the UFC. That's not their fault - that's the fault of someone much higher up. Dana can complain about their lack of effort all he wants, but the ability to change it is primarily in his hands, not theirs.
Will he get around to doing something about it and cast a higher quality of fighter? Probably not if the preview of next week is any indication, as that preview focused on Dana coming to the house and telling fighters they were not going to be on the Finale with this kind of effort. Essentially, the UFC is turning this season into a weird anti-NSAC, anti-these fighters piece of propaganda. Which is, in its own bizarre way, fascinating. Still, next season, let's hope the casting process gets an overhaul so that instead of the show constantly explaining why it sucks, it can actually not suck.
- Dom Waters asked Nelson to actually, you know, coach for once and help him pick the best match-up. Nelson refused. I know it's partly editing, but man Roy is not winning any fans this season.
- Do you think Michael Hill owns a t-shirt?
- I had the fight 19-19 after 2, and pretty clearly gave round 3 to Secor. Rounds 2 and 3 were so similar that I can't see why you would give 2 to Secor and then 3 to Hill. It was indeed really bad judging.
- Nelson's fight advice this week: "Own it!" Just that, yelled over and over. I also enjoyed Secor taking Hill's back, starting to sink in the hooks, and Roy yelling "Danger, Mike, danger!" You think?
- Surprisingly decent reaction from Secor after the loss. He was way less jerky than I anticipated he would be.
- As some of the comments pointed out yesterday, it looks like Dana is serious about the "you won't be on the Finale" threat. There are already nine fights scheduled. The actual finals makes it 10, leaving room for only maybe 4 of the non-finalist cast members.
- Six fights in, six guys who have no business in the UFC. Pressure is on for Dom Waters and Mike Ricci to actually be good.
- Next week looks like the always terrible fighting in the house episode, with Julian Lane finally snapping. Should be pretty grim.