In between shots of Kevin Ferguson massaging his beard. A number of semi-notable things happened on the opening salvo of "The Ultimate Fighter." We learned a lot of things about the fighters thanks to a lot of footage from the workouts, as well as the general course were headed on for the majority of the rest of the season.
Starting at the top.
Kevin is what he is. With the majority of the shots featuring the rest of the cast the two set clips we saw were of him sprawling a takedown, and getting totally undressed in the wrestling practice.
While these aren't breaking news, they underscore a little possible foreshadowing for the future. So its noteworthy.
Secondly, I could listen to Rashad and Rampage jaw all day long. I just could there two charismatic talkers with big personalities who have a semi genuine dislike for one another.
Building fights is important, and these two are masters at it. However this all may be puff for a fight that never happens after a previously scheduled date in Memphis is now not going to happen.
Here's hoping we'll see one walk all that talk sometime in the near future.
Next up was the rest of the casts workouts, nothing caught my eye on the first pass, save Marcus Jones' embarrassingly poor cardio. Could this be more foreshadowing? We'll see.
As team selections took place a...trend started to emerge.
With his first pick Rashad selected 3-4 James McSweeney, the Cage Rage veteran holds notable fights against UFC fighters Mustapha Al-Turk, and Neil Grove. He lost both fights.
With Rampage's first selection he chose "Street Certified" Kevin Ferguson the 3-1 fighter does hold a win over James Thompson(and that thing growing out of the side of his head) and is probably the most vetted of the "prospects" currently in the field.
Rashad took Brendan Schaub with his second selection, the 4-0 Ring of Fire veteran has so far never let his prey past 1:27 in the first round. He's one of the most unknown of the Heavyweights on the cast.
Rampage countered with Abe Wagner, the sporadic 6-2 fighter holds a victory over Sherman Pandergrast, however has so far spent more time designing cars, and planes, then he has fighting. He's fought just once in the past 18 months.
Rashad selected 6-1 Justin Wren fifth overall. Again going for the unknown fighter with a ton of upside.
Rampage selected “Rashad's big older brother” Demico Rodgers the “4-0” fighter, claims to be a strong ground fighter.
Rashad went back to his roots; selecting a 1-0 unknown wrestler by the name Jon Madsen, the H.I.T Squad member, and a Division II national champion. He's one of the shortlist of fighters with a shot at winning the contract.
Rampage cements that his team with be the most charismatic team in TUF history when he selects UFC wash out Wes Sims. Immediately making himself known he starts hassling Jackson about his selection at such a late pick. To which Rampage sooths him by placing him next to Kimbo and himself. Forming a real photo op, of Sims, Ferguson, and Jackson.
While his rival is fooling around, Rashad lays claim to the most established of the members of the cast by selecting Roy “Big Country” Nelson. The IFL vet has a number of key fights most noteworthy of all his KO win over Brad Imes, and his KO loss to Andrei Arlovski. The talented fight would be best served making the cut to 205lbs in the UFC but here, he's all but a lock to make the final fight.
Rampage made another whim selection as he took Scott Junk, The UFC washout holds a 6-2-1 record with noteworthy fights against Christian Wellish, and Ricco Rodriguez, he lost both fights.
Rashad's talent hording continue when he selected the maligned and by far the smallest heavyweight Darrill Schoonover the 12-0 fighter defeated Rex Richards at Shark Fights 4 in May. Cementing his status as a top dog in the house this season.
Rampage selects unknown former NFL player Wes Shivers
Rashad starts the run on former NFL players by taking Matt Matrione
Rampage finishes the run by taking Marcus Jones
Rashad concludes his draft by selecting UFC ringer Mike Wessel
And Rampage concludes the draft by taking the cameraman in the back of the room... ok maybe he took 7-3 Zak Jensen with noteworthy fights against former TUF washouts Brad Imes, and Mike Whitehead. Again I have to tell you he lost both fights.
Rashad and his ringer Greg Jackson clearly won this draft. They quickly got through their loyalties, and then used Quinton's very large mouth against him. When Rampage announced that he wants Kevin first. He's basically handed Rashad the first two selections.
Then Rampage tipped his hand again in the walkout by voicing his infatuation over the bigger fighters.
Rashad, and Jackson took that and ran with it pushing there smaller fighters deeper into there draft plan. Instead taking the bigger guys like Justin Wren they had there eyes on earlier knowing that Rampage would envy his size. It's just a master draft if ever there was one.
Rampage attempted to make amends by placing his top fighter(that he's allowed to select) in Abe Wagner, against Rashad's best wrestler in Jon Madsen.
I don't think Quinton's going to get any offers to make any cards any time soon. Rashad correctly laughs at him.
The fight went predictably. Madsen took him down at will, and proceeded to paint the canvas red.
The final scores were read by Dana White. 20-16, 20-17, 20-17
Wagner's looked over by a doctor in the locker room with a massive cut on his forehead. Abe asks if they can see bone. The doctor says he can. His chances of getting back in the cage are almost nil.
Jackson immediately apologies for the fight. But the damage to Abe Wagner's career is already done.
Here's hoping the sight convinces Jackson to give a damn about the fighters he's assigned to train. I'm not holding my breath.