Welcome back for The Ultimate Fighter 13 Episode 9 blog with Chuck “Cold Steel” O’Neil. This episode had a lot of everything going on. There was an explosive KO, a entertaining two-round decision and a healthy serving of in-house drama. I’ll get everyone a behind the scenes look as well as a recap on everything that happened on this week’s episode.
On this episode, I weighed in and fought for the third time in only 11 days. My body was starting to feel more and more fatigue with each cut. It actually starts to become visibly noticeable as to what my body was going through as I began to look smaller with each weigh in/fight. My body started to want out, but my mind pushed on. It’s all mental though, nothing was going to stop me from my opportunity I had got within this competition.
As for the matchup of myself vs. Zach, we got to see Zach training before the fight. It was easy to see we both got along pretty well as neither of us had anything negative to say outside of the fact we both felt we were going to win. Zach is an awesome guy, and I was bummed out I had to fight him once, let alone twice. Not to mention what the overall outcome of this fight was made it a little less enjoyable for me.
Due to my first fight performance, Brock and the coaching staff put a lot of focus behind wrestling defense for me. I actually went into the show with having pretty good wrestling defense as my main training partner from back home, Jimmy Quinlan, is not only a beast in BJJ but also was a high level college wrestler. Nevertheless, you can never be too good at any one point in your game, so all the coaching only helped to make me better.
All of this specific focus showed pay off as Zach had a horrible time trying to take me down against the cage throughout the fight, thus keeping the fight standing where I landed a mix of hard punches along with some very solid kicks. Zach just looked frustrated, not being able to execute his game plan at all. You could see the fight slip away from him halfway through the first round, but he kept pushing forward. I kept the damage coming and came away with a huge unanimous decision in our rematch and was beyond pumped to show the world the real Chuck vs. Zach matchup.
Zach was rocked many times throughout this fight. I remember thinking to myself toward the end of the first round “well looks like I won't be getting another 5k” because Zach is one tough bastard! A lesser man would’ve looked for a way out in these circumstances.
After the fight, learning of Zach’s run in with the eye specialist made me feel like absolute dog crap. I understand injuries are a part of this sport, but you never wish for an outcome like this for anyone. I felt I was partially responsible for taking away a good person’s dreams as well as his career, and that is never my intention going into a fight.
The next match-up showed Tony vs. Ryan. It’s very apparent how Brock feels about Tony and his skills going into the fight. Brock feels Tony is the best on the show and has what it takes to win the show. Ryan, on the other side, is a super tough fighter who has shown his toughness and how he is very well rounded. Unfortunately, what wasn’t shown was how Ryan received a concussion from his fight with Len. Ryan had been in and out of practice since that fight took place. I learned of this two days before the fight, but I didn’t feel it was something I needed to tell Tony about—especially since Ryan and myself began to become pretty close though our daily morning talks.
That being said, in the fight, Tony landed an uppercut from hell on Ryan at which point he went down like he got shot. Tony quickly jumped on him for the finish and has yet to see the second round within this competition. He is super tough and a gamer, especially when he gets the devil look in his eyes.
I definitely feel if Ryan would have been healthy and not coming off some pretty bad head trauma this fight would’ve been completely different. It could’ve played out a million different ways. But...I can't play what if’s, although this would be a rematch I would love to see further down the line with a healthy version of Ryan!
After the fights were done, Dana took the coaches into his office to discuss the potential semifinals fights, and we four left in the competition had no say in the matter. In my mind, I felt my best matchups would be against either Chris or Ramsey. Unfortunately, I didn’t get my wish, and I was matched up against Tony and Chris vs. Ramsey.
Tony and I were matched up in training a lot throughout the season and spent our rounds going to work, fighting back and forth at a very high pace. We both felt this would be a war where we beat the crap out of each other and would be let down if it was anything less than that. At the time it still sucked as Tony and myself got pretty close throughout our time in the house until the blowout…
The night after our fights was a wild night. Mostly everyone was drinking (except me I can’t drink due to a liver condition). A house full of drunken, testosterone-filled fighters will never end well. The night of fighting actually all started when Tony instigated a back-and-forth argument between Charlie and Len out by the fire. This fight got pretty intense with a lot of nasty things being said back and forth. Len finally removed himself from the scene before the situation turned physical, and looking back, their situation was a walk in the park compared to what came later.
Tony had drank throughout the season, and when he got pretty drunk, he would get his evil look in his eyes like he was possessed. I just brushed it off the first night I saw it, but this time, there was no brushing it off. Tony stepped way over the line by attacking Charlie about his kid which was beyond a low blow. This went on for well over an hour and went all over the house. I did my best to try and make sure Charlie didn’t do anything stupid.
Charlie showed a ton of maturity and self control by not punching Tony’s teeth down his throat because, realistically, he deserved it that night. He was on a complete rampage talking crap and attacking everyone in the house. He had looked Zach in the face and said his face was a joke and laughing at him after he found out that day he will never fight again. He even went as far as physically throwing Nordin to the ground and yelling at him, and Nordin might as well have been a Care Bear because he was just this cuddly little German.
We all finally went to bed and knew the next day to come would not be pretty because this would be an issue which needed to be dealt with. I, however, was no longer in search of a reason to try to go out and KO Tony in our fight. I was ready to put every bit of energy I had left in my body into this fight and try to take him out!
The preview for next week shows some of the aftermath of this blow out as well as the two semifinal fights. Who is going to be fighting in the live finale for the UFC contract Chris, Ramsey, Tony or myself? Make sure to tune in next week to find that out and come check out my The Ultimate Fighter 13 Episode 10 blog! Until next week, this is the “toughest guy on the show”, as stated by Dana, Chuck “Cold Steel” O’Neil.