The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 – Episode 1
The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 began last night. This is the season of heavyweights with coaches Quinton Jackson and Rashad Evans and, as the top dog, or most-looked-forward-to-individual, Kimbo Slice (Kevin Ferguson). In addition to the size factor, the ages of these people are different from previous seasons: most of these guys are aged from mid-twenties to Slice at the high end at 35.
The guys had two hours only in which to show their skills to the coaches. After the two hours, Jackson and Evans picked their teams. Evans seemed interested in guys who could take direction well and Jackson wanted the biggest fellows.
Jackson picked the first fight – his guy, Abe Wagner, against Jon Madsen from Evans’ team. Madsen is 6′ and 240, whereas Wagner is 6’4″ and 265. Madsen’s background is all wrestling. He started in high school and actually won against Brock Lesnar as a kid. He was a Division 1 national wrestling champion at university as well. He trains with Matt Hughes and Robbie Lawlor.
Wagner’s background is in football and basketball, including being a linebacker in university. He is employed as a mechanical engineer and has studied mixed martial arts since 2005.
Madsen’s game plan was to take Wagner down, since Evans said Wagner’s groundwork experience was lacking. Wagner believed he could win the match, that his jiu jitsu was sufficient to win. He also is decidedly larger than Madsen - four inches taller, twenty-five pounds heavier and a five inch reach advantage.
The match began with Madsen taking Wagner down within seconds. Wagner held on to Madsen tightly, but Madsen delivered punches to Wagner’s kidney and ribs and then did some ground and pound. He opened a huge gash in Wagner’s head from the hair down the forehead and there were puddles of blood everywhere.
Round 2 began in the same way as round 1 – an immediate take down which Wagner did not fight. It was a cheap shot, though, as Wagner reached out to touch gloves and Madsen faked him out, taking him down instead. They were made to stand after a while as nothing happened with either man. Madsen looked gassed, but he easily controlled Wagner.
Most of the round consisted of take downs and closed guards. Jackson screamed, “Abe, get up!” many times in the round, to no avail. Wagner did trap one of Madsen’s legs and threw a knee when told to, but got taken down again.
Unanimous win by Madsen.
Jackson walked out after the match and took responsibility for picking the fight.
As for potential in this season, we have Jackson and Evans arguing continually from start to finish in the episode. Clips from next week’s show indicate that the conflict continues. Kimbo Slice is a target in everyone’s sights, so it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. Will the coaches keep him in reserve to ensure an audience or treat him like any other competitor?
The Ultimate Fighter is on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST on Spike.
September 17, 2009