Since the comments section is clearly composed of readers who take pleasure in seeing a man break down week by week in service of an increasingly irrelevant reality television program, I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for the continued support that motivates me to keep doing these posts. I also want to take this opportunity to tell you how much I hate you all for the continued support that motivates me to keep doing these posts.
I believe it was Herman Melville who wrote: …from hell’s heart I stab at thee.
Time to get drunk! No, not time for me to get drunk. I mean, I probably should. You can if you want. I can’t stop you. Whatever helps you get through this. But what I’m talking about here is the quarterfinal round being over and now that half the cast is out of the competition (barring some sort of injury or disqualification) that means everyone can let loose. Heck, it looks like the guys are still in the competition are indulging. One of the benefits of fighting at a heavier weight class than normal is that you can you do some s**t that is terrible for your body and still be a pound under when you hit the scale.
Cathal: "I was up there trying to sleep, get my rest up. I got a fight comin’ up. The lights go on, I pop my head up and I just see Hector. I don’t know what he was doin’. He was just makin’ a lot of noise."
Amidst the drinking, there’s more discussion and dispute about everyone’s strategy. Matt Van Buren agrees with Daniel Spohn: It’s about winning a competition, not necessarily showing what a good fighter you are. He’s not wrong. The problem lies with the format of the show, not necessarily the fighters themselves.
Van Buren: "At least he wasn’t just pissed about my fight. He’s pissed about all of ‘em."
Chris Fields and Hector Urbina get into it over Cathal Pendred beating Urbina with wrestling. I can’t believe in the year of our Lord 2014 fighters are still using "he just laid on top of me" as an excuse for not winning a fight. It’s your job to get up from the mat. Yes, it’s incredibly hard but it’s also hard for the offensive fighter to get into that position in the first place. You were on the bottom. You lost. Now can we please stop arguing about this before things get ugly?
Best stand-up we’ve seen all season.
In the spirit of great TUF dialogue, Tim Williams tries to get "Let’s get busy!" going. I’m sure we can all agree that it’s no "Just let me bang, bro!" but what is? Also, bum rape.
Chris: "My wife…ah…she’s going to be disappointed about that one. But it won’t be the first time I’ve disappointed her so we’re okay."
God help me, it loops perfectly.
And he didn’t even stay in bed with him.
With five of his eight fighters advancing, there’s a funny moment in training where Frankie Edgar tells Pat Walsh and Corey Anderson to spar lightly and Walsh fakes throwing a haymaker. It’s a good way to break the tension since they’re actually matched up in the semi-finals! Walsh says he couldn’t find a better partner to simulate his upcoming opponent.
Stuff like that gives me hope for this cast. I also like Eddie Gordon’s attitude regarding Pendred. The Irishman is a big name and rather than be intimidated, Gordon knows that a win over him (even in an exhibition) would do wonders for his career.
Dana White takes the guys down to the MGM Grand Arena to fire them up. This would have meant a lot more in the past.
That’s right boys. Play your cards right and you could one day be in the co-main event of a Fight Pass exclusive card in Bolivia.
Pendred and Gordon both talk about the options they had outside of fighting. Yeah! That’s what we want to see! A fight between two guys who could be doing something else. Feel it!
They certainly come out with more energy than we’ve seen in previous episodes even if the results are less than ideal. A couple of scrambles result in neither man gaining much of an advantage. Pendred throws a terrible wheel kick…and it actually connects!
Eat your heart out Edson Barboza!
Pendred stays aggressive. He ducks in and gets a huge takedown. As I said above, it’s hard to blame the guys on top for measuring their ground and pound and not taking risks to advance. There isn’t a single fighter on this show who is any sort of threat from their backs. I feel the impetus is on the guy losing to change things up. A second takedown all but guarantees a 10-9 round for Pendred. BJ Penn tries to get an "Eeeeeelboooooow" chant going to little success. Pendred almost gets a rear naked choke at the close of the round.
Just when I think Gordon has nothing to offer, he actually manages to get Pendred down with a pretty nice looking shot. Prior to that, Gordon had been on the defensive almost the entire fight. He’s less active on the top than Pendred, though it’s likely that he’s in control long enough to even the score at one round a piece.
Entering the final frame, both guys are exhausted. The output is much greater than we’ve become accustomed to seeing on this show. Penn does a great job of riling his team up to get behind Pendred. There’s a lot less to score in the third round and the fight could go either way. I lean towards Pendred who seemed crisper and cleaner. Gordon gets the split, which doesn’t cause much controversy. It was that close.
Pendred is too emotional to do the testimonial after and I don’t blame him. He was the man to beat entering this competition. I’m comfortable saying that he showed enough to get himself a multi-fight contract with the UFC, which he would have got based on his reputation alone without any help from TUF. Gordon is completely respectful to Pendred afterwards.
Huh. That wasn’t a bad fight. That wasn’t even bad episode. It wasn’t particularly good either. I feel like…I might have enjoyed myself? Ha! Take that, commenters!
Next week: Pat Walsh v. Corey Anderson. Also, I consider quitting while I’m ahead.