Reliving The Season That Cardio Forgot
Punisher Bass: "The most anticipated showdown in Ultimate Fighter history?" NewChallenger, is there any truth in that statement?
NewChallenger: I’d certainly say so. Outside of the finale fights, the only matches with much hype behind them were Josh Koscheck/Chris Leben (huge at the time) and maybe Gray Maynard/Nate Diaz. Though I can’t remember either of them having near the level of buzz as Kimbo’s first fight on TUF.
PB: "But is this really the end for Kimbo?" 30 seconds into the episode and we already have our first Kimbo Kard of the night.
NC: Just to clarify for any new readers, a "Kimbo Kard" is any shameless attempt by the show to imply that Kimbo could be returning to the competition even though he was eliminated last week.
PB: As we’re shown highlights from last week’s fight, Team Silver fighter Scott Junk provides us with these little gems.
"Kimbo was looking good." No, no he wasn’t, not unless he was playing charades and trying to imitate "Hybrid of fish on land crossed with upside down turtle".
"Kimbo looked good, his gas levels were nice." Even by the extremely low standards that have been set so far, there is no way anyone should be saying that with a straight face.
"Kimbo made one mistake in the second round when he threw that knee, and I think it basically cost him the fight." Oh we’re deep into the bullshit now.
"Kimbo didn’t know how to get out of that move and there’s been champions who’ve been finished in that move, you know?" That comparison is an insult to anyone who’s ever held a belt in any major MMA promotion.
"Kimbo did super well I thought, he was just outclassed on the ground", I rolled my eyes so hard I think I broke something.
NC: If I hadn’t actually watched the fight myself, I’d think that Kimbo was really good. Unfortunately, I did and he isn’t.
PB: They’ve spent the first 5 minutes of this episode trying to put some of the bloom back on this rose, but once the toothpaste is out the tube, there’s no shoving it back in.
Nelson tells Quinton that the counting out loud helped him because he lost track after the 10th punch. This pisses him off enough to where he gives Roy a shove as he’s walking away and continues to lob insults at him after he’s out of the cage. Trash talk is a one way street with Jackson, he loves dishing it out but can’t stand it coming back at him.
NC: Justin Wren and Roy celebrate with a belly bump, much to their delight of their teammates and to the disgust of pretty much everyone watching at home. In a somewhat related note, I thought Justin was going to become a heavyweight contender for reasons that escape me at this moment.
How’d you like to be in the middle of that man sandwich?
PB: As a fat guy, I approve of the belly bump celebration, it’s better than a bro fist at least.
In the back, Jackson says to Kimbo "We’re gonna keep working with you and turn you into one of the best fighters out here homie." Yeah… no.
"Only thing that kept you on the ground was his weight" Quinton says, and Tiki follows him up with "He was the IFL champ and he was scared to stand with you, he almost got knocked the fuck out. He had to take a desperation shot." Tiki, hair dye is meant for external use only, I’m willing to bet that there’s an "avoid ingestion" warning label somewhere on the box. And if you’re playing at home, take a shot.
NC: They refuse to acknowledge that Nelson is a well regarded BJJ black belt. There is just no accountability whatsoever. Tiki says that Roy probably isn’t happy with the win. I don’t know, he seemed pretty happy to me.
PB: "He was pounding the shit out of me up there. He didn’t hurt me though, I can take a punch" says Kimbo. Isn’t that kind of an oxymoron?
Another Kimbo Kard, reminding us that he can be tagged in if someone gets injured.
NC: The first 10 minutes of this episode are dedicated to keeping the hope of a Kimbo return alive.
PB: I know they’re trying to paint him in a sympathetic light here, but I have a hard time buying it when he was probably getting paid more to be on the show than the rest of the cast put together.
Marcus Jones is doubled over in the kitchen and sweating as bad as I do in 110 degree heat. James McSweeney calls it a "sweat attack", Brendan Schaub says he thinks it’s from Jones not being used to training like a pro fighter, and as Kimbo is fanning him off with a shirt he says to him "You may not be able to fight".
Marcus’ reaction to this is akin to being told about scientology for the first time.
NC: It might be a bad sign that the act of staying physically fit is actually killing Marcus.
Matt Mitrione gets some shine in the next gym segment. Rashad praises him for his athleticism. I admit, I didn’t think much of him, probably because he was giving me a Vincent D’Onofrio in Full Metal Jacket vibe. Wait, maybe that should have made me take him more seriously.
PB: While the guys are having their training session, Rashad and his coaches are in the back going over their gameplan for the rest of the tournament, who they want who to fight, and they bring in each guy one by one to let them know what the deal is.
Because this is still a reality show, the title of this episode was "Snitch", after Mitrione is filled in, van Arsdale tells him "Don’t tell nobody, keep it to yourself" as he’s walking out.
Wren comes back into the room to inform the boss that he and Junk (their preferred matchup) are good friends and have a history together, so he’ll do it but that he really doesn’t want to. Rashad (remember, this was before the shakeup at Greg Jackson’s) says he understands and couldn’t imagine having to fight one of his own friends.
NC: Rashad compares it to having to fight Jardine, which he actually had to do to make it to the finals of TUF 2 (though presumably that was before they became training partners).
PB: Team Silver comes in for their training session and Quinton calls Roy a fatass over and over.
Jackson says that Marcus Jones is a big dude who doesn’t know how to go at half speed, as we’re shown clips of him putting several of his teammates down with hard strikes and torquing on subs too much.
NC: He also tries to big up Scott Junk by saying that Junk eats forks and knives and staples. That makes him sound incredibly stupid, not tough.
PB: Back at the house, a little birdie has told Junk about what his future holds and he wants to hear confirmation from Wren on whether it’s true or not. That "little" birdie was none other than Meathead.
*DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUN*
During breakfast the next morning, Justin confronts Matt over the leakage, and Wren is willing to forgive and forget. He’s a good dude, you need look no further than what he’s been doing in the 6 years since this show ended for proof of that. Schaub and the rest of the team on the other hand are more than a little pissed at the situation he’s created.
NC: Matt expresses his regret and says he’d jump on a grenade for the team. Schaub says it sounds like he threw the grenade this time. Ouch.
PB: McSweeney thinks he did it to get out of fighting Marcus because Meathead’s solution is to "just switch them up, change the fights."
NC: Man, I’ve said it before, but I can’t stress enough how much better these older seasons were about teasing storylines and setting up potential match-ups.
PB: On the van ride to the gym, Schaub asks Matt "What were you thinking?"
"I am just an asshole, really. It’s what I am." Well… at least he knows.
At the gym he confesses his sins to Rashad and the other coaches, and they take it better than I would have. I would have let the team smear him in honey and then tie him to a red ant hill.
Outside the building, Quinton and his coaches have a "secret" meeting about the matchups. Tiki, being the incredible unwashed asshole that he is, decides to start throwing rocks at a group of birds nearby. Take a shot.
When it’s time for the fight announcement, Rashad chooses Schaub to face Demico Rogers.
Dana White says that Brendan is a big dude, but "not anywhere near as big as Demico"… we’re told this while they’re standing face to face and are clearly the same height. In fact, Sherdog lists both men at 6’4. I will not tolerate your lies and bullshit Dana.
NC: Tiki then tells Demico that he wants him to explode on Brendan’s face. Phrasing. Drink up, partner.
PB: After some more words outside, it looks like Quinton has given up his F-350 for an Audi while the trunk in Evans’ car is ridiculously small, you’d have a hard time fitting a single body in there without liberal use of a chainsaw, and even then it would be tight.
NC: I’m sorry, I have to take this moment to fully transcribe Rampage’s fantasy about wanting to murder Rashad:
Have you ever thought about just punching somebody in they face and just…your fist keep going through the back of their brain and *brain exploding sound* and through their nose you pull out their brain *gaaaaaah* you just throw it back and you spit on it *ptew*. You know what I’m sayin’? Then you kick ‘em in the nuts.
PB: Back in the gym, after a Schaub training montage, we get one for Rogers.
"This fight is tailor made for you man, these guys fucked up, they picked the wrong fight." Well Tiki hasn’t been correct about a single thing yet, maybe he’s like a broken clock and it will happen eventually. And don’t forget to take a shot.
On fight day, Demico walks into the back to find Junk sitting there alone, his coaches are literally out to lunch while Schaub finds all of his ready and waiting for him. I’m sure this is just creative editing, but they show Rogers sitting around with his team like they’re all waiting for a bus while Brendan and his are getting ready to go to war.
NC: When Rampage and his crew finally show up, Tiki makes a play on words with "wrap" and "rap" and starts rapping. I can actually feel Punisher Bass seething even though we’re not watching at the same time and this actual episode aired six years ago.
PB: Do you know what the difference between Tiki and Kimbo is? Kimbo actually managed to notch a W in the UFC while Tiki went 0-4 during four different stints in the promotion, he also went 0-3 in the WEC. I should add, he was also finished in all of those fights as well.
Out of all the ways I have and will be trashing Tiki in the weeks to come, that right there is probably the biggest insult I can lob at him. He’s a less accomplished fighter than Kimbo fucking Slice.
NC: I love it when you get worked up like this. And I’m just going to remind everyone again that Tiki used to date Arianny Celeste. That’s the one that really sticks in my craw.
Team Rampage’s Demico Rogers (4-0)** v. Team Rashad’s Brendan Schaub (4-0)*
(* Records according to Sherdog, not the records listed on the show)
(** Rogers had zero pro fights prior to this show, so we’ve listed his amateur record)
PB: Before this fight starts, I’d like to point out that at the time I was picking Schaub to win the tournament. All I knew about him was the he was a friend and training partner of Shane Carwin, but that was enough for me. Remember, I was still a newbie to the world of MMA.
NC: I wouldn’t blame you for that. He was also singled out as someone who worked with Rashad and his team before the show.
The game plan was for Demico to set up his takedowns with punches. So, of course, the first thing he does is shoot in with no set up whatsoever and nearly get trapped in a choke.
PB: After his first takedown gets stuffed, Demico completes the second and gets told to "score points" by Quinton while he’s in Schaub’s guard.
NC: Demico actually looks…kind of great passing into side control to land some big elbows.
PB: After some well placed fence grabs by Schaub, he’s able to reverse and lock in an anaconda choke and get the tap with a little over 1:40 left to go in the round.
Remember what we said about him almost getting caught in a choke earlier…
While Team Gold celebrates moving to 4-0, Tiki asks Jackson if they should get Rogers a stool, to which he replies "What he need a stool for?" and walks away. Really showing how much you care about your guys there Quinton.
NC: Again, we know reality TV is all about manipulating footage, but…this is some damning evidence. It’s only made worse by what Team Rashad does next.
PB: Trevor Wittman goes over to help Demico get back to his feet and he and Rashad give him some words of encouragement as he hugs them both. After he gets a stool, Evans is still talking to him in the middle of the cage. The fight didn’t last long but he sure is tired. This is why we called this The Season That Cardio Forgot.
Fun fact, after this season, Demico wound up joining Wittman’s Grudge Training Center.
"He really got tapped out by an anaconda choke?" Quinton asks to no one in particular. This is followed by "I don’t believe in all that passing the guard crap when you’re in good position to punch…coaches, we need to have a meeting for real!"
In the back, I can’t really understand what he’s saying, but I think it boils down to "Our guys suck, so we need to keep things simple, we can’t give them complex instructions. They’re not on our level, they’re too green. I can’t deal with this, it’s too much for me".
NC: I’m mixed on my feelings about Rampage as a TUF coach. On the one hand, he’s clearly the worst at it and has little to no interest in actually helping his fighters improve. That might not be fair. He doesn’t show that he has any idea about how to help his fighters improve. There we go.
On the other hand, his schtick is entertaining for the most part. And as I mentioned in a previous post, he seems to be in on the joke. The joke being TUF itself, naturally.
PB: I think, no, I know I was far more involved and had more emotional investment in my BECW teams than Jackson has shown here.
As Schaub walks to the back, he’s still breathing harder than he should be considering the fight ended several minutes ago (in their time).
Ok, I was wrong last week, they don’t end this episode with a Kimbo Kard, but I’ll bet my lunch money that they do it more often than not.
NC: Normally, I like to end every TUF post with a shot of the victorious fighter, but after going 4-0 I think it is okay to shine some light on the coach himself.
"We kickin’ Rampage’s ass!"
PB: Next week, the show spends way too much time focusing on a "whole family of Jensens" left in the shower. Why did I ever think recapping this season would be a good idea?