Whats up everyone and welcome back for The Ultimate Fighter 13 episode 8 blog with Chuck "Cold Steel" O'Neil. We got to see two fights, a quick finish, a little trash talk and an exciting preview. So I'll get right into the action.
The quarterfinal matchups were selected at the end of the last episode. It was interesting to see how they were a little out of place from the actual order they took place in, but it's not that big of a deal. They didn't show the process of each fighter getting brought in to talk to Dana White and the coaches before the picks were selected.
Apparently, everyone on Team Lesnar went in asking to fight Ryan, thinking he was the best matchup or the weakest left on Team JDS. I had asked for Ryan for a different reason, thinking we would match up well and it would make for a solid fight between us. I also asked for Ramsey more so to get redemption for the fight with my close friend Charlie. Team JDS was very vocal on all asking for Chris in the decision process as well as Clay.
The picks actually took a few days to be made after the wild card fight took place as Dana was out of town. This made for a non-stop, three-day long speculation of all our picks in our minds. This process was driving me crazy as well as Chris. We both were getting sick of hearing everyone's thoughts on the matchups and just wanted them to be announced and happen. Finally, after the fights were announced, the game planning began.
The house was definitely starting to wear on a lot of guys and we were all starting to go a little crazy. Add in the fact that Brock and his coaching staff decided we needed to cut back to one practice a day and here comes the trouble. They felt we needed more time to rest and we didn't need to train as much leading into the home stretch to prevent injuries. Whatever their reasoning was, I honestly felt they just didn't want to be there as much and this was an easy out.
With more downtime added into the mix, Team Lesnar was starting to run more pranks and mess with each other a lot more. Myself and Charlie would have a daily water fight at one point or another everyday. This would turn into us wrestling and eventually getting food thrown at each other. One day, both myself and Charlie actually teamed up and ambushed Len sending him out into the yard. Only to his surprise, he got hit by eggs and protein bombs which made a nice mess of him. Len obviously had to one-up us and take things too far as he grabbed an egg, tossed on his Nolan Ryan jersey, and proceeded to pitch it at Charlie as hard as he could.
Everyone was getting fed up with Len's constant complaining, one-uping stories and, at times, ignorant statements. Charlie was aggravated more so than anyone else. Needless to say, they got into it a bit when the egg fiasco took place and, with the team's current state of attitude toward Len, he became the outcast.
Over the next couple weeks, Charlie and Len would argue about everything from who is tougher to who has gotten more fat since their fight. It was getting ridiculous and we were starting to feel they may end up fighting in the house. But realistically, Charlie was just more vocal on how everyone was feeling in the house.
The one session we were having a day was actually going pretty well. Brock continued to step up big time with the amount of help he was bringing to the table. The coaching staff was putting together pretty solid individual game plans for Chris, Clay, Tony and myself. Brock was working a lot of wrestling defense for both Clay and Chris as they were getting ready for their fights with the two wrestlers from Team JDS—myself and Tony were working our stand up and BJJ with Compredo. The four of us left on Team Lesnar were going into our fights feeling pretty confident with our matchups and our skills.
Everything was going well for me besides having to approach making weight for the third time now in 11 days which was just getting silly to me. But to hell if I'm going to complain, I'm living my dream and I'm still in the competition.
Clay versus Ramsey. My initial thoughts on this matchup was torn. Part of me felt Clay, with a solid game plan, would be able to pull out this solid win. There was another part of me worried about Clay's health, so to speak, with the state of his finger. Clay wasn't the strongest wrestler on our team but he had some decent ground skills once the fight would go there—not to mention the obvious that he is tough as hell.
Throughout all his pre fight game plan and talk, Clay was told to just scramble back up right away if taken down. Honestly, I felt this wasn't the best of ideas. Clay is more than competent working off his back and could've given Ramsey a lot more trouble if he just fought his fight. Unfortunately for Clay, he listened too well to the game plan and was overwhelmed while he was trying to out-scramble the wrestler and eventually choked out in a pretty quick fashion.
In the end, Clay has a lot of balls. He had stitches removed days before the fight happened and at no point did he consider not fighting, even with a super restricted range of motion in the finger. Yeah, it's only his pinky, but how many people have ever thrown a punch before with a hurt finger? It sucks! Ramsey took care of business and takes out another tough competitor from our team and another close friend of mine. He's now officially the enemy—ha.
As for the Chris vs. Shamar matchup, this was quite an interesting situation. Shamar completely called Chris out to fight him in the quarters to "shut that woo up" but was still super friendly with him in the house. During the filming of the show, Chris became a Jesus fan and brought an uncreased bible with him. He started asking Shamar which stories he should read next to help him along his way. So in one aspect, Shamar is Chris' pastor—in the other, he wants to smash him. I found it pretty funny.
Going into the fight, as I said on the episode, Chris has a lot of heart and you have to break him early or else he'll take your heart and fight away. He did exactly that...I think. This fight in my opinion was awful! I remember being there in person being super uncomfortable as I had to make weight after the fight was done. I gave the fight the benefit of the doubt and thought it might be better watching it under different circumstances but...it wasn't.
Chris did a good job of frustrating Shamar and taking him out of his game plan. At the same time, Chris seemed super tentative to throw any punches to the point Dana even yelled at him. As the first round of nothingness ended, I remember telling Charlie I felt Shamar was super frustrated but Chris, at the same time, wasn't doing anything offensive. So that round could've been a draw.
The second round started and Chris let his hands go a bit more, but at the same time still running away a bit from Shamar. They both seemed nervous about getting hit or touched by each other which made this the boring fight it was. Finally, the fight ends and we all think it's going into a third round. When they said the fight was done after the second round, we didn't know which way it would go.
Chris got the huge nod and Shamar, along with Team JDS, was heated! Shamar started telling us he hadn't been practicing because of his back condition, however still felt there needed to be a third round. In this, Shamar took the high road, took his unhappiness on the fight out that day, then moved on from there so we didn't have two bitching Lens on our hands.
Now we have two of the four semifinalists announced with two more quarterfinal matchups to go. The previews for the next episode show a lot of good stuff from fights in the house to actual regulated fights in the cage. I definitely think this next episode will bring the most entertainment out of all the episodes thus far this season. It will definitely make up for the lackluster episode this week. So make sure to tune in!
That will do it for this week's The Ultimate Fighter 13 episode eight blog. Make sure to check back for next week's blog with the best cook of this season, Chuck "Cold Steel" O'Neil!