Reliving The Season That Cardio Forgot
PunisherBass: Someone call GNC and ask if Sean Sherk is still there, because I think Jon Madsen just robbed him blind. He’s carrying a sack filled to the brim with tubs and tubs of protein power and power bars and other crap like that. Someone is going to have a real bad case of the creatine shits later on.
NewChallenger: Coach Rashad is, as always, Mr. Positive. He comes off as such a swell guy on the show. I know that’s not a sexy opinion, but I remember liking Rashad even more after watching this season.
Of course, this was during the period where he got booed at every UFC event when they showed him on camera. Do you remember why that is, PunisherBass? I always assumed it was some combination of him coming off as super cocky when he was a contestant on TUF 2, and having knocked out fan favourites like Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin. Your thoughts?
PB: I wish I could tell you why, but I honestly have no idea, remember that I was still a newbie back then. The first PPV I watched live was UFC 100. So I have no real frame of reference as to why people might have hated him. I do remember seeing a GIF of him kissing his hand before giving his cup a shake and then punching Griffin, but that’s about it.
This season made me a fan of his, which I still am to this day, and it’s not just because he’ll gleefully make fun of Tiki right to his face. Partly it’s because he always talks clearly and enunciates everything that comes out of his mouth, compared to Quinton who mumbles almost all the time. It’s hard to like a guy when you can’t understand 80% of what he says.
NC: And the other 20% you wish you didn’t understand.
The interrogation of Matt Mitrione continues. He says he’s still feeling slow, but that he thinks it’s not a concussion it’s just his brain swelling up. Trevor Wittman points out that that is a way bigger problem than a concussion and if that’s the case he’s definitely not fighting. For anyone wondering, Mitrione is not a doctor.
James McSweeney is all but begging for Mitrione to drop out so he can get what he knows would be a massive fight with Kimbo that he would probably win. Imagine what that would have done for his reputation. James calls Mitrione a "two-faced little bitch without a heart". I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone get picked on so much for getting punched in the head.
PB: Nope, I said it last week and I meant it, I’m done with this whole Meathead’s phantom injury bullshit. Moving on.
First Kimbo Kard of the episode, with Quinton saying that he thinks Slice can win it. I wonder whose idea it was to make him the first replacement, there’s no way you’re going to convince me that it was done based on anything more than his popularity, not his skills as a fighter. This is the UFC just trying to string us along and salvage what happened in Week 3.
For all his "Yes! Thank god! I get to bang again! Someone got hurt that means I’m back in! I’m continuing to fail upwards!" (I’m paraphrasing), now that they’re hinting it might come true, he says his knee is hurting him and he’s not too sure about it.
Oh for fuck sake Kimbo, don’t let Tiki touch you, you might catch something. Bleh, I wouldn’t touch Tiki even if it was just to punch him in the dick.
Tiki is either dozing off here or checking out Kimbo’s package.
Team Silver are operating under the assumption that Slice will be fighting McSweeney, so they’re focusing on him scoring the knockout…because he has so many other tools at his disposal.
NC: It’s messed up that they literally spend the first ten minutes of this episode as if it’s a done deal that James will be fighting Kimbo.
PB: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but during this time period, Kimbo was actually sporting a better W/L record than James was. It’s faint praise considering who they were facing but at least he had won more fights than he lost.
Oh this is just precious, Quinton tells Kimbo that James is going to go right for his knees with kicks, which makes him ask "So what the fuck do I do?" Rather than tell him he needs to learn or maybe even show him how to check kicks, he just says that he needs to wrestle him to the ground and pound him out. Is it any wonder how he’s 1-7 as a coach this season?
This is better acting than we saw in…ah, you know the joke.
NC: Come on Pun, it’s not like Quinton’s lack of leg kick defence ever cost him in his career, right?
All the editing in the world can’t make it look like Team Rampage isn’t scared that McSweeney will just totally destroy Kimbo. When you’re suggesting that Kimbo Slice try to get a fight to the ground, you’re beyond hope at that point.
PB: While working in the cage, Brendan Schaub asks for some advice from Evans on how to deal with a southpaw wrestler, after a few words Nelson comes over and jokingly says "That’s coaching! I saw that!" So Schaub apologizes for putting him in that position, Nelson then offers to show him anything he needs, and he gets left in the "capable" hands of McSweeney.
Fun fact time, when Frank Mir was going to be fighting Alistair Overeem, he brought in McSweeney to help him train, and look how much that helped him.
NC: I’m not sure why they’re so convinced that Jon is a lay-and-pray guy considering he beat the holy Hell out of Abe Wagner in the first fight of the season.
PB: In the back, a doctor checks Kimbo out and explains to him just how fucked his left knee is, he can’t fight on it as is and he refuses to get a cortisone shot, but he’s insisting that he will fight again.
NC: Good luck doing that without cartilage, buddy.
PB: So just like with Meathead’s "brain injury", I’m not going to waste anymore of my time or yours to this stupid storyline since we already know how it plays out.
Now it’s time to play beach volleyball on a fake beach, it’s Tiki and Jackson taking on Evans and Mike Van Arsdale. Hmmmm, maybe we’ll get lucky and Tiki will catch a hard one to the face, or several. The prizes on the line are 10k for the coach that wins and $1,500 for each guy on his team, asswipe money for Dana.
Is there a name for when they do these kind of segments? I mean other than, you know, "stupid"?
NC: Firstly, I refuse to believe this is the first time Rampage and Tiki have played beach volleyball together.
Secondly, this is the always epic Coaches Challenge! It might be stupid, but it helps break up the monotony for us dedicated recappers!
PB: Quinton is really starting to sound like he has a case of the Not Gays here, talking about female volleyball players in bikinis "with their asses hanging out". You stay classy there Quinton.
NC: No surprise, Rashad and Van Arsdale go skins while Tiki and Rampage keep their shirts on.
Dana: "Van Arsdale starts acting like he’s Maverick from Top Gun…"
PB: I bet my lunch money it’s to hide that beer belly Quinton’s been nursing. Not that it really matters, but Team Gold win two games to one.
Evans offers Quinton the chance to hold his huge stack of (probably fake) cash, and he’s told it’s no big deal to him, as he’s had his hands on bigger amounts before. So Evans asks him if he’s so flush, why not give $1,500 to everyone on his team? Quinton responds by asking his guys if they’d rather have the money or see him knock Rashad out. If given a real option, I’m sure most of them would have gone for the former, not latter.
NC: I’m going to guess it took at least 20 takes for them to get to the one where everyone says they want to see Rashad get knocked out. Though even the one they used isn’t that convincing.
Later that night, the boys entertain themselves by convincing Kimbo to try an ice bath.
Imagine heading out to the backyard pool and seeing this bobbing up.
PB: Seeing Kimbo suffer while sitting in a tub of ice water while everyone else looks on laughing is funny, but I’m still skipping anything related to him fighting again.
NC: Kimbo actually looks like he might die from the cold. Marcus says it’s because he’s a Florida brother who can’t deal with those temperatures.
The Gold Team’s next training session revolves around Brendan having jealous eyes seeing Rashad work with Jon and more Mitrione stuff.
Man, I don’t remember these Mitrione segments being so painful to sit through. He said after the show that being in the house drove him crazy and I’m starting to understand why. I bet they had him filming these "will he/won’t he" fight segments non-stop. Nobody is convinced he wants to fight, but maybe he’s just tired of all this bullshit and wants to get in the cage?
You can tell everyone was doing their damndest to plant the idea of not fighting in Mitrione’s head so they could get Kimbo back in the Octagon. White gives his scheduled "Do you want to be a fighter?" speech to the teams, though it’s so obvious that it’s directed at Mitrione that he may as well have pulled the guy into his office and slapped his hand with a ruler.
PB: At the weigh-ins, Schaub comes in at 237 while Madsen is 10 lbs heavier at 247. Even though Brendan is technically the smaller fighter, he’s actually a good bit larger than Jon in size and reach. Madsen trains with Matt Hughes while Schaub is a friend and training partner of Evans and Shane Carwin down at Greg Jackson’s.
NC: Just had to sneak Carwin in there, didn’t ya?
NC: Pre-fight, McSweeney helps Schaub get warmed up and Schaub has a strange way of showing his appreciation.
You do NOT slap a man!
Quarterfinal Bout: Brendan Schaub (4-0) v. Jon Madsen (3-0)*
(* Records according to Sherdog, not the records listed on the show)
Madsen scores the first significant points of the fight, tossing Schaub head over heels and getting half guard. Every time Madsen tries to pin him against the cage, Schaub blatantly grabs the fence to avoid getting stuck.
PB: Jon is in half guard while Schaub is trying to scoot away with liberal help from fence grabs, something the ref just impotently warns him about. A fifth and sixth fence grab are then seen by the ref but nothing is said about it. Same story with the seventh and eighth when they happen.
NC: Terrible officiating by Josh "Grow Op" Rosenthal.
PB: After they get stood up, Jon shoots for a single leg and takes Schaub to the fence, which he then uses to climb back to his feet, with another impotent warning from the ref. Now I’m starting to get pissed off, take a point already! Brendan just can’t seem to help himself because now he’s grabbing onto Jon’s shorts while they’re tied up. Another ref warning and nothing more. He lets go and then latches onto them again, prompting more impotence from the ref.
NC: Despite all that, Madsen still manages to score a second big slam. He had some serious power, eh? Of course, there’s not much he can do when Schaub is grabbing pretty much everything he can reach.
Expert takedown defence.
PB: This is fucking ridiculous. By my count, he grabbed the fence 11 or 12 different times with the ref only warning him for half of them, along with grabbing shorts three or four different times. If you’re not going to be penalized for breaking the rules, I guess there’s no reason to start following them now.
Less than 30 seconds into round two, Schaub uses the fence again to help him stay on his feet during a takedown, and the ref says nothing. 30 seconds later, same shit.
NC: Schaub is looking like the much fresher fighter, which I guess is easy when you’re not putting any actual effort into takedown defence and just cheating like a motherfucker. Madsen doesn’t have close to the level of technique needed to compensate for this and it’s only a matter of time until Schaub connects. Sure enough, a pair of straight rights land and this one is over.
NC: Agreed. It’s easy to see that Schaub is the better fighter, I just hate the tactics he had to use to win this one.
PB: Well, I take some solace in that Rashad agrees with me on getting a point taken.
NC: And they’re teammates!
Dana compliments Schaub’s ability to stay alive on the ground, but the editing team immediately puts in footage of Schaub’s fence grabs to refute Dana’s observations. Thank you boys and girls in the back! It’s obvious that Schaub is one of the guys he saw as a potential draw on the show. Not that I blame him since Schaub went on to have plenty of good fights in the UFC.
PB: The "titties" episode was a slog to sit through, while this one was just aggravating for so many reasons.
NC: Nelson asks how many times Schaub was going to grab the fence and Schaub just gives him a funny face. Hey, if you don’t get caught, it’s not cheating!
PB: Next week will be the last entry in this series covering TUF itself, since episodes 11 and 12 were aired together as a two hour special. But we won’t be leaving you high and dry just yet, there’s still a little more juice we can wring from this apple. Tune in next time to find out.
For more, check out Alex's blog at herecomesanewchallenger.com and follow him on Twitter @AlexanderKLee. Punisher Bass doesn't have a Twitter or Facebook account, because he's a rebel like that. Comments, suggestions, and criticisms are always welcome!