Scott Junk vs. Mitrione: Where Is the Cardio? A Disgrace to Sport and MMA

Leon Horne@@Leon_HorneAnalyst IOctober 29, 2009

LAS VEGAS - FEBRUARY 29:  Roy Nelson white trunks of Lion's Den celebrates his victory over Fabiano Scherner red trunks of Team Quest during their Heavyweight title bout at The Orleans Arena on February 29, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Has anyone ever just gone and hit a heavy bag for a little while to work up a sweat? You can have great stamina, but it doesn’t take much work on the bag before you realize you aren’t the Energizer Bunny.

Fighting, whether it’s on the ground or standing up, is an exhausting activity.

That being said, what viewers have seen thus far on The Ultimate Fighter 10 The Heavyweights has been both a disgrace to the sport of MMA and sport in general.

It’s not just the level of stamina the heavyweights have been displaying, it is also their attitudes.

Having a guy who claims to have so many voices in his head that he can’t concentrate unless he is knocking someone’s head off screams schizophrenic.

Then proceeding to let Mitrione step in the cage when he should really be in some therapy sessions is terrible and doesn’t help the sport in any way.

Not to mention Rampage Jackson’s mauling of the gym door after going down 0-7 as a coach in the competition.

Obviously there are some good guys on the show, but overall, the show has been a disgrace both in terms of talent and in terms of character.

After witnessing guys empty their gas tanks like a dragster screaming down the strip, it really begs the question, are the TUF 10 heavyweights in worse shape than your average Joe?

In the first episode, former NFL linesman Marcus Jones looks about ready to die in the stamina evaluations.

Fight No. 2 between James McSweeney and Wes Shivers looked like two guys ready for full on heart failure.

Wes Shivers, after the first three minutes of round one, was bent over with his hands on his knees like an Ironman that just crossed the finish line. The only difference being that Shiver didn’t finish a 227-kilometer (142 mile) race.

Even worse, Shivers’ opponent, McSweeney, was so tired, he couldn’t land a winning combination to put away the defenseless Shivers.

Roy Nelson looks like the fat kid that always sat out in the dodgeball competitions in elementary school. Kimbo Slice looks shredded and in excellent shape for 35 years old.

Fight No. 3 involved Roy Nelson wanting nothing of the stand up battle with Kimbo Slice after taking a couple of stiff shots.

Nelson took Kimbo to the ground, got him in the crucifix, and basically held Kimbo down with his belly while landing shots with the power of a five-year-old wrestling with his siblings.

Kimbo obviously lacks the necessary ground skills to compete in mixed martial arts (key word being “mixed”). 

Nelson obviously lacks the physical shape and stamina to ever be taken seriously.

No wonder Dana White and fans of the sport were disappointed with the Kimbo vs. Nelson result.

Now all this is not to say that there are no professionals on this season’s Ultimate Fighter.

Brendan Schaub and Demico Rogers both look in shape and soon ready for the UFC.

Justin Wren looked great against Wes Sims and he appears to have a level head and great attitude.

Although Wes Sims’ fighting abilities are fleeting, he doesn’t have much to prove considering he has 37 professional MMA bouts and 22 wins under his belt.

Sims is on the show for the reality aspect: He loves the camera and he is a practical joker who appears to have a good heart. Sims makes the show outside the fights fun to watch.

The last fight to have aired in Week Seven between Matt “the voices in my head” Mitrione and Scott Junk really cemented it for me.

Mitrione came out like a race horse that heard the gun shot. He was landing crisp, clean combos and throwing with power. In fact, Scott Junk looked completely out classed.

Scott Junk hadn’t landed anything up until the halfway point and he wasn’t defending very well.

All of a sudden, Mitrione looks exhausted, Scott Junk starts landing big shots and Mitrione isn’t defending well and isn’t throwing anything with accuracy or authority. He looks finished.

In the second round, both fighters looked exhausted and if it hadn’t have been for the first half of the first round, Mitrione could have easily lost this decision or been forced to go to round three.

Rampage is understandably frustrated after dropping to 0-7 in TUF 10 competition as a coach. Once again true to his name, Rampage goes on a “rampage.” No, Mr. Jackson didn’t drive over innocent bystanders in his off-road pick up, he only destroyed a door this time.

Generally speaking, Rampage seems like a decent guy who really likes to compete and enjoys joking around. The problem is, the guy isn’t a coach, he wasn’t put on this planet to teach and there is nothing wrong with that.

It was clear in TUF 7 that Rampage Jackson didn't have the coaching mind.

The question is, why did the UFC ask Rampage back to coach? It was clear that he wasn’t cut out for the job. Even Rampage admits he isn’t a coach himself.

Not only is TUF 10 chalk full of guys with no gas tank, they have brought in what appears to be borderline sociopaths.

Of course it is reality television and Matt Mitrione could be a perfectly normal guy. The fact of the matter is do you want to portray MMA fighters in the way Mitrione has been portrayed in TUF 10 ?

Other fighters in the house have been keeping bets on when Mitrione and Zak Jensen will snap. TUF 10 members have wondered whether Jensen and Schoonover with his tattoos of decapitated little girls are maybe serial killers.

In order to grow MMA as a sport, you need to market stand up athletes who are not only great athletes, but who possess great character.

Guys like Georges St. Pierre, Randy Couture, Lyoto Machida, Kenny Florian, and a handful of other mixed martial artists are what makes me and many other fans of the sport respect this sport and the excellent athletes that sit at or near the top of their respective divisions.

Now I obviously understand the fact that moving 240+ lbs of weight around at the speed and intensity that is required in a mixed martial arts bout isn’t an easy task. It takes a hell of a motor to be able to carry a heavyweight body through two rounds, let alone the three to five rounds of the UFC.

However, when you see heavyweights like Cain Velasquez, Brock Lesnar, Randy Couture, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira push the pace of a fight through the full three- to five-minute rounds, it really makes the fan wonder, can these TUF 10 heavyweights actually compete with the UFC’s best?

Obviously, some of the guys on TUF 10 are works in progress, but with that being said, a guy like Cain Velasquez is 27 years old and some of TUF 10 competitors are in their mid to late 30s.

Can guys like Marcus Jones and Kimbo Slice really close the gap with a guy like Velasquez, who appears to be leagues ahead of them? My first impression is no way.

Demico Rogers, Brendan Schaub, and Justin Wren are young guys who look in shape and ready to learn; they are the guys with the most potential on this show.

Roy Nelson has the skill to roll with the best in mixed martial arts, but he is in terrible shape and he looks as if he could fight at 205 lbs.

I am all for having guys of all walks of life, different shapes, and styles in sport. It provides a great role model and motivation for overweight children who want to play sports. For example, I loved watching all 250 lbs of Jerome “Twinkle Toes” Bettis punish linebackers.

That being said, no matter who you are or what you look like, if you are a professional athlete, you have to look good at what you do and you need to have a strong character that can be respected as opposed to being ridiculed.

If the rumour mill is right, TUF 11 should be featuring welter and middle weight fighters. Obviously, it is easier to find solid athletes who weigh between 170 and 205 lbs than finding 265+ lb guys like Brock Lesnar or Shane Carwin.

So TUF 11 should feature a stronger roster than TUF 10 . Hopefully, the show looks for guys who like to joke around but don’t come off as psychopaths while they are at it. 



    Report: Machida, Bellator Have Multi-fight Deal

    MMA logo

    Report: Machida, Bellator Have Multi-fight Deal

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Meet Conor's Biggest Nightmare

    MMA logo

    Meet Conor's Biggest Nightmare

    Scott Harris
    via Bleacher Report

    Gall Says Punk vs. Jackson ‘Went 15 Minutes Too Long’

    MMA logo

    Gall Says Punk vs. Jackson ‘Went 15 Minutes Too Long’

    MMA Fighting
    via MMA Fighting

    Fighters Just 1 Win Away from a Title Fight

    MMA logo

    Fighters Just 1 Win Away from a Title Fight

    Steven Rondina
    via Bleacher Report