Archive for October, 2009

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 – Episode 7

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 Episode 7 aired yesterday without a fight with Kimbo Slice, despite hints virtually every episode. There was a major kerfuffle between Rashad Evans and Quinton Jackson, such that all their coaches and team members looked very serious and people kept trying to step between them. The argument was a continuance of all the others: Jackson’s beaking off about Evans’s being cocky and Evans’ talking about Jackson’s not being a coach to his team, etc.

The fight of this episode was between Matt Mitrione of Evans’s team and Scott Junk of Jackson’s. Mitrione comes across as a goof and fool, is called “Meathead” by Evans and others, as well as “Rat”, as in ”He’s a rat”. He seems to always be involved in confrontations with other housemates. He played professional football in the NFL before turning to mixed martial arts and training with Chris Lytle and Jake O’Brien. Dana White said that he knew basically nothing about the guy.

Junk, on the other hand, has an MMA record of 6 and 2 and had his team members going on at great length about his abilities and background. He has had one match in the UFC which he took on two weeks’ notice, losing by submission in the first round. Even Dana White said that Junk would win, since he was very tough, will stand up and bang, and can go to the ground.

Round 1 of the match had Mitrione, the inexperienced fighter, catching Junk’s leg three different times to knock Junk down. He followed the knock downs with multiples strikes. Each time, though, he let Junk get up. For the first three minutes or so of the round, Mitrione controlled Junk completely. Junk looked worn out. Eventually Mitrione was tired himself, mouth-breathing, hands very low, and Junk managed a clinch at the fence. Junk just leaned into Mitrione until they broke the clinch. Junk finally got in close to Mitrione and struck many times. As the buzzer sounded, both men just leaned against each other in exhaustion.

Round 2 had Mitrione still drained, breathing through his mouth, hands down by his sides. He accomplished a few low leg kicks, but had feeble jabs. Junk tried to get in closer and managed a take down. While in full guard, Junk applied some strikes, but Mitrione had more punches from the bottom.

They were stood up by the referee. Mitrione threw a body kick, but had his hands very low and got clocked by Junk. Mitrione then was successful with most of his strikes and Junk was barely trying.

Unanimous decision in favour of Matt Mitrione.

This is the seventh match in a row which Jackson’s team has lost. Jackson left the area and smashed apart a door (one of those hollow doors with honeycomb insulation) to the change rooms. White called this fight “awesome” but our reaction here was that it was weird: Junk couldn’t accomplish anything for the first few minutes and got knocked down consistently. Only when Mitrione was tired himself did Junk get in close enough to connect (although there was a significant reach advantage by Mitrione – 7 or 8 inches). Both men had extremely poor cardio and were probably grateful that the match didn’t go to the third round.

The last preliminary fight will be between Michael Wessel and Marcus Jones.

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 1

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 2

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 3

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 4

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 5

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 6

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 8

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 9

ayjay

Ocotber 29, 2009

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 – Episode 6

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 is close to completion of its preliminary bouts. Yesterday’s fight, the sixth, was between Darrill Schoonover from Rashad Evans‘s team and Zak Jensen from Rampage Jackson‘s. Both these men have had problems in the house: Jensen has alienated or has been alienated by his teammates. He has had problems during training with complaints about his shoulder and has even been knocked out during training.

Schoonover has had a severe drinking problem which we just learned about. Evans felt that Schoonover’s drinking was affecting his training, giving him poor cardio. Schoonover said he would not drink, or drink just a little, or wait until after his first fight. He realized that in order to be able to fight he would have to curtail the alcohol.

In addition to the drinking issue, Schoonover had to contend with Jackson’s mocking his physique by constantly talking about his “titties”. This is not the first time that Jackson mocked a member of Evans’s team: he ridiculed McSweeney‘s English accent several weeks ago. In both cases, the mockery caused confrontations during which Evans placed himself between the two men in order to avert a physical battle. Any attempt by an Ultimate Fighter to hit Jackson would cause the contender to be thrown out of the competition.

One of Jackson’s coaches took the “titties” comments and the mockery to the extreme by having a professional artist paint caricatures of Evans’s team on a poster. While very clever (Schoonover with a push-up bra, Madsen in makeup, Evans as a dancing frog [I think]), the poster was offensive, indicative of Jackson’s disdain for Evans and his team. Evans removed the poster before his team could see it and be distracted by it, but told the men about it, and advised them to retain their focus on the competition.

Jensen’s teammates actually had a pool as to when he was going to go crazy and several of them were trying to break him. Tormenting the man will not help him improve his social skills or mental health.

During Jensen’s training for the elimination match, he was cut severely above the right eye, causing Kimbo Slice to jump with joy in anticipation of replacing Jensen. Jensen, however, said that he would still fight. The training went so well that his coaches felt he would win the bout.

Further to Jackson’s ridicule of Schoonover, he and a coach wrote the word “titties” below Schoonover’s name on the brass plaque of the changing room. This juvenile behaviour was to psych him out, I suppose.

Schoonover, with a background in jiu jitsu, judo and submission grappling, has had ten professional fights and won all ten. Jensen was a collegiate wrestler and football player and has competed in “Tough Man” and Golden Gloves competitions. His record is 7-2 and he has a four inch reach advantage.

The fight began strongly with both men striking, locking up and moving to the fence. Jensen attempted a front guillotine (hadaka jime), but was unsuccessful. Schoonover applied some knees and many strikes.

Jensen took Schoonover down landing in guard and did some ground and pound. Schoonover applied a triangle choke(Sankaku Jime) on Jensen as Jensen was throwing strikes to his head. Schoonover kept the legs tightly around Jensen’s head and even though he seemed not to be interested in controlling Jensen’s arm (or protecting his own face as Jensen threw punches), the choke was effective and Jensen was choked out.

The main difference this week to previous weeks is that Jackson was not depressed. His team has lost every match, six in a row now. Even though they have lost, he is planning further pranks.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 is on Spike at 10:00 p.m. Wednesdays E.S.T.

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 1

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 2

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 3

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 4

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 5

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 7

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 8

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 9

ayjay

October 22, 2009

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 – Episode 5

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 followed the antics of Zak Jensen, the problems of Matt Mitrione continuing from last week, and the two fighters who were picked by Evans for the elimination bout.

Jensen succeeded in alienating at least one other person in the house and having all the others laugh at him. In addition, he seemed to lack the ability to interact socially with the other men. Evans said the only things that Jensen had going for him were his size and that he’s a wrestler. He was terrible at training practice and, during one session while doing groundwork, was choked out by a teammate.

Amazingly, Jensen was kept on his back and someone slapped his chest in an attempt bring him to. If you know there is no spinal cord injury, basic first aid would have him turned onto his side with the bottom arm extended and the upper leg over the bottom.

Mitrione complained at great length about his shoulder, wanting to ice it after a training session. Evans kept after him about whether it was injured or was just sore.  Mitrione also wanted a cortisone injection in the shoulder. We saw him throw a football and then promptly complain about his shoulder during training. Some of the teammates suggested that Mitrione wanted to wait as long as possible before his elimination fight and the constant complaining about his shoulder would delay his being named to fight.

Jackson appeared depressed and self-involved about the losses his team had experienced. Going into this episode, his team had yet to win a fight, having lost four in a row.

Rashad Evans picked Justin Wren from his team to fight against Wes Sims from Jackson’s. Wren is a young guy, one of the shortest at 6’3″, with a very strong background in wrestling at the high school and university levels. During a year off to recuperate after an injury, he moved on to MMA. He currently trains with Travis Lutter, but plans to move to Las Vegas to work with Frank Mir. Evans thought that Wren was superior to Sims in all areas.

Sims is much taller (6’10″) and has a six inch reach advantage over Wren. He had planned on professional wrestling until Mark Coleman introduced him to MMA. In 2003 while in the UFC, he lost two matches to Frank Mir. He is far more experienced than Wren with over thirty professional matches, winning twenty-two. Kimbo Slice said that Sims wouldn’t tap out – he’d have to be knocked out or hurt.

Sims’s plan was to “stay long and fight tall”. He told the camera that he was going to crush Wren.

Dana White said he knew very little about Wren, but based on size, thought Sims had the advantage.

Although they are close in weight, with about a ten pound difference, Sims towered over Wren. At the sound of the bell, though, Wren was the aggressor, rushing Sims to push him against the fence. Sims stomped on Wren’s feet and applied a knee. In response, Wren took Sims down. Sims seemed to crumple. Wren immediately had full mount, then moved to the side and placed Sims in a ground hold – kata gatame , shoulder lock or hold or arm triangle. (The following video shows the transition from kesa gatame to kata gatame and might be of interest – kesa to kata.) Sims did not fight the hold at all. Herb Dean went over to him and moved Sims’ left arm to determine whether he was conscious. After a few seconds the arm dropped slowly to his side and he was out.

Once again Jackson did not go to his team member in the octagon. In fact, he left the ring area and went to the locker room to discuss the issues of losing all the matches.

Evans caught up with him and told Jackson that he was being himself – selfish.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 is on Spike at 10 p.m. Wednesdays.

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 1

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 2

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 3

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 4

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 6

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 7

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 8

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 9

ayjay

October 15, 2009

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 – Episode 4

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10Episode 4 aired last night. The episode covered a few men and the possibilities of their fighting. Matt Mitrione caused quite a stir when he told an opposing team member that the other fellow might be fighting, and with whom, basically telling the opposing team his own team’s strategy. Mitrione’s teammates called him a snitch. Evans was considering having Mitrione fight Marcus Jones but felt that Mitrione was afraid of Jones’s size.

As for Jones, while he was training with his teammates, he consistently hurt people, seemingly unaware of his strength. My feeling is that if he’s hurting people during training, he has limited experience and limited control: if you hurt your partners, they won’t want to train with you. It’s no longer fun for them and most of what they learn is not to play with you – just the way kids react in kindergarten.

Evans commented on his team, on individuals’ abilities and personalities.  He seemed very happy with his team, having won the first three fights. As for the fighters for this episode, Evans picked Brendan Schaub, who trains with his own team, and Jackson’s Demico Rogers. Jackson was thrilled with this match-up, commenting on how big Rogers was. Jackson’s direction to Rogers was to take Schaub down, pass to the side and pound him out. Rogers, himself, felt that his wrestling and jiu jitsu were sufficient to defeat Schaub.

One of Schaub’s coaches suggested jabs, and a long, hook cross. Evans said that Schaub was super-athletic, a great listener, technical, and took direction well.

When the tale of the tape appeared, I expected Rogers to be a giant in comparison to Schaub. In fact, they were the same height (6’4″), close in weight and almost the same age. The only significant difference was 3 inch reach advantage which Rogers had.

The actual fight was short. It began with Rogers shooting for a take down which failed. After rolling a bit and standing up, the next attempt at a take down worked. Rogers ended up in Schaub’s guard, with Schaub trapping his arms. Rogers did not accomplish much, due to Schaub’s movements. Rogers stood up with Schaub still on the ground. He then jumped at Schaub to throw a punch and ended up in Schaub’s guard again. Rogers passed to the side, elbowed Schaub in the head and was very high on Schaub’s body. He then tried to mount Schaub but got turned over.

Schaub ended the match with a variation of hadaka jime, rear naked choke, also called the anaconda choke. Ordinarily this would involve tori (the giver of the technique) applying hadaka jime lying on the ground behind uke (the receiver of the technique), trapping uke’s legs with his own. In this instance, although Schaub was looking to trap the legs, they were not yet trapped. Rogers, as uke, should have been working to prevent the leg trap and to move his way onto his stomach. Instead, he tapped out very quickly, attempting no defense against the choke.

Jackson left Rogers on his own in the octagon, merely staying on the sidelines, feeling sorry for himself.

Schaub was disappointed in his performance, but he was active on the bottom, showed control, and took advantage of the opportunity when it presented itself.

One aspect of this season which I had noticed, but hadn’t quite verbalized, is that it seems a lot like commercials with a bit of reality show thrown in. There are so many commercials that they are inserting short (perhaps 30 to 60 seconds) video clips in between the many commercials, perhaps to ensure the audience stays tuned in. Last night’s show had two of those mini-clips. Both times I assumed that the show was back on, but then they were over, and we had another five minutes (I’m guessing) of commercials. The UFC must be making money, but this is irritating. If it weren’t for the fights I wouldn’t watch any of this. Previous seasons showed drunken antics; this season has the testosterone-laden arguments between Jackson and Evans.

Perhaps there really is little to show. This group of men is older, mid-twenties to mid-thirties, maybe more mature then in previous seasons. Instead of fillers of commercials or videos of fighters doing exercises or sitting around the table, I suggest showing details of training sessions. The coaches bring experienced people with them, so why not take advantage of them and have them show some of their favourite techniques. Every one of our students would be keen to watch. Serious martial arts students are always looking for new techniques to use for that next match.  

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10  is on Spike at 10 p.m. EST on Wednesdays.

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 1

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 2

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 3

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 5

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 6

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 7

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 8

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 9

ayjay

Ocotober 8, 2009

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 – Episode 3

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 (TUF10) – Episode 3 screened last night. This episode, highlighting Kimbo Slice, had been promoted extensively for weeks. Coincidentally, The Fight Network announced yesterday that Dana White said Slice would be fighting in the Ultimate Fighting Challenge regardless of the outcome of The Ultimate Fighter. 

Most of the episode revolved around Slice’s training and other people’s opinions of him (he’s humble, hard-working, coachable…). Slice said he wanted to learn jiu jitsu, in fact to learn everything. His training emphasized fighting from his back and getting up from the ground by turning his opponent over. Jackson was very concerned about how Slice would function if he had someone holding him down who had a big belly. While practicing with one of his teammates (with the aforementioned belly), Slice could not get up.

Slice would be fighting Roy “Big Country” Nelson, a very experienced MMA guy, whose specialty is groundwork, who could handle fighting Kimbo and not be intimidated by him.  Nelson’s teammates suggested that he take Slice down, put him in a crucifix hold, and continue ground and pound until the punches were unanswered. Evans stated that Nelson was one of the best guys on the ground, plus “he can bang a bit”.

The coaches once again got into an argument, but this time James McSweeney tried to intervene. Jackson then mocked McSweeney’s English accent further aggravating the situation. Evans stepped between the two men as he thought McSweeney was close to hitting Jackson, which would be cause for expulsion from the show.

At the weigh-ins, Slice came in at 230 with a three inch reach advantage, while Nelson was a huge 264.

When the men came out for the fight, we had a very muscular Kimbo Slice and a rotund Roy Nelson, with the previously mentioned big belly. Round 1 had Slice looking for an opening, throwing a low leg kick, while Nelson tossed out little jabs. Slice was listening to his corner and immediately did what he was told. He attacked with multiple shots while moving forward toward the fence. The men tied up and Nelson pushed Slice against the fence while attempting some knees and a take down. A nice ko soto gake finally worked for the TD with Nelson ending up in full mount.

So the question as to whether Slice could defeat the big belly came up early on. Nelson moved high up on Slice’s torso, trapped Slice’s left arm under his leg and used his left hand to apply many shots to the top of Slice’s head. Slice attempted to maneuver out of the hold, actually helped by Nelson’s moving the two of them such that they were parallel to the fence (allowing Slice to use his feet to push off), but they maintained this position until the buzzer.

Round 2 had Slice using his jabs, applying a huge knee, but again being taken down by Nelson when he got close for the knee. Nelson was in side mount, trapped the arm again, tried ude garami, but ended with shots to the top of the head again, until the referee stopped the match.

White suggested that Slice might fight again during this season. Scenes from the next episode showed Marcus Jones with an injury, implying that Slice might fight in his stead.

Once again this was a fairly terrible fight: Slice couldn’t cope with being held down by a big guy: he needs lots more training on the ground. Nelson is a difficult guy to deal with, mostly a loner who trains himself. This fight may show in his win column, but he couldn’t cope while standing, took his opponent down, and basically squashed him. I wouldn’t be too proud. His first comment after the fight was something about being hungry for a burger.

My thoughts: Heavyweights can be impressive – giant punches and really, heavy kicks – but they are apt to be slow, with the result that many of their fights tend not to be as interesting as those of the lighter men. We have yet to see a good fight this season. When your audience is groaning with boredom and booing at their televisions, your show isn’t very good.

The editing is rudimentary, perhaps due to others’ influences. Why not remove at least some of the repeated conversational fillers, “You know what I’m sayin’?” uttered continually by Slice, Jackson, and even Jones? My answer: “Yes, I know what you’re saying. Stop asking.” Oh, and the fights are boring.  

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 is on Wednesday nights at 10 on Spike.

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 1

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 2

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 4

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 5

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 6

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 7

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 8

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 9

ayjay

October 1, 2009