TUF 10 Episode 1 recap
Random thoughts on The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 premiere...
Rashaad says he doesn't like Rampage, but he says it so mildly, with a half smile on his face, that you're not sure how much he means it or how much it means to him. Rampage, on the other hand, grows visibly more pissed off at his opposite number throughout the episode and seems barely able to contain his urge to slug it out then and there.
Kimbo makes his entrance wearing a Kimbo tee. Classy!
Greg Jackson and Mike Van Arsdale spotted on Team Rashaad. Team Rampage has Tiki Ghosn and his crazy beard. Advantage: Rashaad.
For a heavyweight Kimbo Slice is shredded, and his standup looks faster than the competition.
The former NFLers in the cast all voice agreement that TUF team tryouts are way harder than NFL training camp. I'm sure it will seem easier when someone's punching you repeatedly in the face, guys. As Goldie would say, "So you want to be an Ultimate Fighter?"
During team selection Rampage makes the first of many poorly thought out decisions. Rashaad wins the coin toss and selects the first team member, giving Rampage control over picking the fighters for the first match. Rashaad's pick is his training partner, James McSweeney. Rampage knows (or at least has every reason to suspect) Rashaad wants his other training partner, Brendan Schaub, for his 2nd pick. But instead of messing with Rashaad's head and snapping up his friend -- a promising 6' 6" former NFLer with a 4-0 MMA record -- Rampage wastes his pick on Kimbo, whom he could pretty much count on getting with a later pick as he knows Rashaad doesn't want him on his team. Strategery!
Throughout the team selection process Rampage shows a remarkably consistent inability to separate sheer size from ability. Let's see how that works for him...
Marcus Jones has the build of a badass superhero and the cardio of a tubby teenage girl. He needs to log some miles or he's going to gas just walking to the center of the ring to touch gloves.
In the season's first matchup, Abe Wagner displays absolutely no ability to defend Jon Madsen's takedowns and little ability to defend himself from the ground & pound. Accordingly, his head is soon bleeding like an overripe orange in a citrus juicer. This is one of the bloodiest bouts ever: the canvas looks like a crime scene.
Referee Steve Mazzagatti must be related to Wagner. In round 2 he keeps standing them up to give the hapless fighter a chance, but Wagner's unable to capitalize on the repeated gifts and keeps getting dumped and pounded.
That master of strategic thinking Coach Rampage Jackson's advice to Wagner throughout the fight is literally just to repeat "Abe, get up!" and "Do something!" over and over. And y'know, he's right: Abe should have gotten up and/or done something. Seems so simple in retrospect...
After Team Rashaad has racked up its first (of, I'm predicting, many) victories, the EMT tending to the gash on Wagner's head has some good news: "Well, you don't have a fracture." Wagner asks "Are you able to tell that because you can see the bone?" Yeah, the cut is that enormous. He doesn't need an EMT, he needs a team of plastic surgeons, or maybe just a trowel and a tub of joint compound. He's going to be sporting a scar like Harry Potter meets the Frankenstein monster.
Abe Wagner seems like a nice guy and he showed a lot of heart hanging in for that bloody drubbing and coming back for round 2. But with his current skill set he's got no business in the octagon. I'm glad he's got a good job to go back to.
Two last things I noticed: they didn't give fighter weights, not that either of these particular guys was likely to top the 265# limit -- but usually they state the weight anyway. Hmmm. Also, they didn't show a ring doctor checking Wagner during the fight, and that was one of the biggest, bloodiest cuts I've seen. Was there even a doctor in attendance? What's going on at TUF?
Anyway, those are my quick impressions of the premiere episode. Looks to be a fun season, though maybe not so much for Team Rampage. Check back next week for more of TUF 10, IMO.
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