Archive for the ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ Category

It’s The Little Things – Pt 4

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Recently a new student in our class has been learning the first group of throws in anticipation of testing for his first belt.  This fellow is not especially tall, but really muscular and strong. The throws which he favours involve big movements – o goshi, koshi guruma, etc. – and which do not involve the little movements of many of the others.

Just because yellow is the first belt level in judo does not mean that the throws are easy. Many of the yellow belt throws are complicated and some may be the last which a student manages to do well. De ashi harai, if done well, is performed when tori sweeps out uke’s leg in the fraction of a second before the foot hits the floor. The throws which require tori to step in closely to uke (o uchi gari and ko uchi gari, for instance) when performed statically involve arm movements and multiple small foot movements. Ippon seoi nage and o goshi must have tori’s body placement just so in order to execute the forward throw properly.

This new student has difficulty with the small foot movements (he compares them to ballet movements). To throw uke with o uchi gari, tori steps in between uke’s feet strongly with his right foot, while pulling himself into uke at the same time. He then brings his back foot up behind the front foot (tee-ing up) in order to become balanced forward. The front foot then reaps uke’s left leg to the right.

These minute foot movements were driving this student to distraction. His gut instinct was to move the front leg and leave the back leg where it was, resulting in a very wide-legged, off-balance stance. In order to sweep the leg, he was even more off-balance (not forward, but backward) and the throw was not strong. It mostly consisted of his pushing uke. Granted, uke hit the floor, but that wasn’t the throw we wanted.

During competitions, throws are not static. Even during class randori, once all the movements have been learned, variations of body position are taken into account and the throw may not be traditional. Even the “push” variation I mentioned above might garner a point.

But, as we are still a judo club, and teach traditional judo (along with variations), students who wish to advance to other belt levels must know the traditional movements for throws and all other techniques.

We have many repetitions to do in order to get this student to learn the correct movements, which do not come naturally to him. When he performed the throw with the correct movements, the throw was strong and powerful. He was also balanced properly after the throw. Unfortunately doing a throw once doesn’t constitute learning it.  Any body movement which is to become muscle memory must be performed many, many times, and then still worked on and perfected.

One of the reasons judo is still an effective martial art is that there is always more to learn. There are variations of techniques which people have developed and are still developing – Judo is constantly evolving. Sometimes these variations are out of necessity because of body type or ability. Sometimes they come from having worked out with someone else and finding yourself in an unusual position and managing to weasel your way out by doing something new.

One of the reasons we love judo, and love teaching, is that we get to learn new stuff, too.

Click here to go to It’s The Little Things – Pt 3


January 5, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 – Finale – Ep. 12

Monday, December 6th, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 – Finale – Episode 12 aired last night. The show had a little something for everyone – grappling, striking, take downs and questionable decisions by the judges. 

One of our favourites, Nam Phan, started out the show with his bout against Leonard Garcia, with both fighters as featherweights. Garcia came in as a very experienced fighter, one of whose fights qualified for fight of the year.

Round one began with the men trading kicks and then Phan hurting Garcia with a strike to the jaw. Garcia tried a superman punch and a spinning back fist, neither of which worked. His giant looping strikes were not very effective, but his straight jabs connected. Phan was a far more technical striker than Garcia, with more shots hitting their target.

Round two had Garcia more effective with strikes and kicks and achieving a double leg take down. Phan hurt Garcia, though, and followed up with multiple strikes causing Garcia to go down. Phan then applied ground and pound, got on Garcia’s back and had both hooks in. The remainder of the round continued on the ground, with Phan controlling the situation.

Round three began with Garcia coming in quickly for multiple strikes and kicks. Phan’s face was bleeding from what looked like many scratches. Garcia had another double leg take down. He was exhausted after this onslaught and moved about the octagon with arms down at his sides, still striking on occasion, but with limited energy. Phan’s strikes were effective.

Unanimous decision in Garcia’s favour. The audience booed at great length: Joe Rogan complained about the judging for some minutes and even Garcia said that he thought he had lost and would fight Phan again.

Johny Fredericks fought against Rick Story next. Round one had Story in total devastating control while standing. The second round was more even with the men trading take downs and trying chokes.

In round three, Fredericks had a take down and both men fought for control.

Unanimous decision in Story’s favour.

Cody McKenzie fought against Aaron Wilkinson in the next fight. Both men were in The Ultimate Fighter Season 12. McKenzie’s favourite (only?) technique is the guillotine and he has won all his matches with it. It didn’t matter how much his opponents trained to avoid it, they invariably stuck their necks in the crook of his arm and were goners. Prior to this fight, he had had only lost one and that was in the quarterfinals of TUF12.

Wilkinson is a strong fighter, but McKenzie rushed him right away and he was taken down, with McKenzie trying for the guillotine. Even when Wilkinson managed to stand up, McKenzie still had the makings of the guillotine there. Wilkinson dropped to the floor and kept getting out and then going back into the choke. The match ended with McKenzie on his back holding Wilkinson, his forearm across Wilkinson’s face, not his neck. Tap out. When we saw Wilkinson immediately after McKenzie let go, he looked as though his jaw were dislocated. Frightening.

In the fight between Demian Maia and Kendall Grove, the much shorter Maia displayed his take down techniques multiple times in rounds one and two. When on the ground, in the superiour positions, Maia scored with ground and pound. He attempted chokes, but Grove defended. Unanimous decision in Maia’s favour.

Stephan Bonnar then battled Igor Pokrajac in the co-main event. Bonnar achieved a take down in round one and attempted a guillotine afterward. In round two, Bonnar threw Pokrajac with a tight harai goshi. On the ground, Pokrajac kneed Bonnar’s head from the bottom and had a point deducted. 

In round three, on the ground again, with Bonnar in control, Pokrajac got loose and tried a juji on Bonnar. Bonnar had a point deducted for punches to the back of the head.

Unanimous decision – Bonnar. 

The finale of The Ultimate Fighter came next, between Jonathan Brookins and Michael Johnson. The bout began with Brookins trying a single leg take down which Johnson stuffed. Johnson connected with his strikes and Brookins was tagged and dropped. Johnson attempted a guillotine and then struck Brookins’s jaw two more times. The guy was dazed and completely unstable on his feet. I was surprised that he managed to survive the round. Brookins had his hands too low, head too high and hair too long (he kept brushing it out of his face even though he had it tied up.)

Round two had Brookins taking Johnson down and connecting several times when in half guard. He trapped one of Johnson’s arms under his leg and used his forearm to strike Johnson. Johnson got up, but Brookins had one of Johnson’s legs. Johnson struck Brookins with elbows to the face, but Brookins retaliated with a huge take down.

Round three began with shots to Brookins’s jaw from Johnson. Brookins then took Johnson down with a single leg. On the ground, Brookins began in full mount, but Johnson rolled out. Standing again, Brookins took Johnson down again, but in a dangerous move, throwing himself to the ground, landing on his back and immediately turning over and getting into Johnson’s half guard. Ground and pound followed.

Unanimous decision in Brookins’s favour.

Both these guys have real skills, but Johnson needs to work seriously on his ground game. He was completely dominated. Brookins, on the other hand, needs to work on stand up: he stands straight up; his hands are far too low and his jaw was the perfect target. He can take a punch, though.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 Finale had boxing and submission attempts, so whoever watched, had something to relate to. There were FAR too many commercials for games; there are always far too many commercials for the free shows, but perhaps that just annoys me. Brookins is a truly nice guy and fought and won against another nice guy (how unusual in the UFC!)


December 6, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 – Ep. 11

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 Episode 11 contained the two semi-final matches, the first being between Kyle Watson and Jonathan Brookins, and the second between Michael Johnson and the sole Koscheck team member, Nam Phan

The fight between Brookins, a wrestler, and Watson, a jiu jitsu guy and one of Matt Hughes‘s coaches, was a fight between friends and teammates. Brookins’s game plan was just to be quicker. St-Pierre said he didn’t know who would win as their skill sets were so different.

In a filler scene before the fight, Koscheck‘s team complained about their lack of training and jealousy of GSP’s team having had great guest coaches and GSP’s main coach, John Danaher.

Round 1 of the first fight began with Watson controlling the stand up until a take down by Brookins. Getting up quickly, Watson was again taken down, with Brookins in his butterfly guard. Brookins calmly held Watson’s arm, applied ground and pound while in full guard and tried to get behind Watson for a rear naked choke. Watson managed to turn over to avoid it.

Round 2 began with a take down by Brookins again. As in the first round, when on the ground, Brookins was in control.

Round 3 Brookins achieved a double leg take down and was in control on the ground. When standing, Watson was effective. Time ran out when on the ground after the second take down of the round.

Watson was defensive on the ground, with only one strike that I noticed. Very little can be accomplished on one’s back. We’ve seen few fighters manage to strike from there. The superiour position is on the top. Watson turned over once, but when he was taken down, mainly was on his back, trying to get his arms free. The fight got quite boring because of Watson’s defensiveness.

Unanimous decision in Brookins’s favour. 

Afterward Watson said he planned on using all GSP and Danaher had taught him. Brookins said that he wanted to be great, but not lose himself along the way. He is the most introspective person we have seen on The Ultimate Fighter.

The second fight, between Nam Phan and Michael Johnson, promised to be interesting: Phan is a very strong, competent striker and Johnson is very athletic. Even GSP stated that on paper Phan was better, but he felt that Johnson’s athleticism would allow for him to be explosive. He also thought Johnson had the best transition from stand up to the ground.

In the training, unbelievably, Phan actually trained by himself one day: he didn’t ask his teammates to train with him since they had been up late the previous night (drinking and mocking him) and the coaches were elsewhere. Later when the coaches and team were together, Koscheck stated that they should be supporting Phan, but only after mocking Phan once himself.

Phan said that Johnson had holes in his game and that he himself had more boxing experience, whereas Johnson was more of a brawler.

White thought Phan had the edge and was more well-rounded.

Round one began with Phan kicking and then being taken down by Johnson. Johnson let Phan up (this is a common practice by him, sort of wearing the opponent down) and then took him down again. Phan retaliated with kicks and strikes, but was chased around the octagon by Johnson. A knee by Johnson opened up a cut below Phan’s eye and a small one to the side of the eyebrow.

Round two began the same way, with Johnson chasing Phan until Phan gave a hard body shot to Johnson’s liver. Johnson then backed up himself and, for the next two minutes or so, had arms fairly low, protecting his body and mainly just managing to stay in the game. Johnson did attempt a take down but Phan bounced off the cage. By the end of the round, Johnson had recovered and started being aggressive again.

Round three had Johnson take Phan down, but Phan tried a juji gatame. When in the clinch, Phan applied another body shot, but to Johnson’s other side. Johnson had another take down and ended in a loose guard.

Split decision in Johnson’s favour.

We were of two minds in this fight: Phan is a very good fighter and we wanted him to succeed, but did not want Koscheck to win, so we were hard-pressed as to whom to cheer for. The fight was far more aggressive and exciting than the previous semi-final bout.

In camera after the fight, Koscheck said that he had no one else to blame for the results: Josh Koscheck had picked the team and Josh Koscheck was responsible for the results. Yes, that’s right: he talked about himself in the third person. He was alienating himself from the results. It was that Josh Koscheck guy who was responsible, not “I”.

If he had wanted Phan to win and to salvage something from the season, his team should have been supportive of the sole person left, training with him and backing him up, not mocking the guy and embarrassing him. Koscheck and his coaches should have been behind Phan completely. That absolutely didn’t happen.

The finale of The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 is on Saturday, December 5, 2010 on Spike at 9 p.m. EST.


December 4, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 – Ep. 10

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 Episode 10 completed the quarter finals.

Fight one was between Aaron Wilkinson and Kyle Watson. GSP stated that Aaron was a better striker than Kyle, so Kyle’s plan was to take Aaron to the ground where Aaron is weaker.

Round one began with Kyle’s kicks and a take down using ko soto gari. He ended up in half guard and then side. When standing, Watson once again took Wilkinson down. He turned onto Wilkinson’s back and put on a figure of four from the back. Watson then grapevined Wilkinson and wrapped his arm around Wilkinson’s neck for a rear naked choke. Wilkinson lifted his head a little, probably to relieve the pressure on his jaw, and the choke was on. Tap out.

Watson was in total control of the match.

The next fight was between the two who hated each other from the start of the season – Alex Caceres and Michael Johnson. GSP said that the fight could go either way, with Alex more technical and agile, whereas Johnson had the power.

The match went two rounds with Johnson taking Caceres down many times. On the ground, he applied ground and pound. When standing, Caceres was successful at strikes and kicks. The one error Johnson made in round two was to attempt a choke without getting his hooks in first. He was much stronger than Caceres, though, and controlled the match.

Unanimous decision in Johnson’s favour.

The semi finals were announced at the end of the show: Jonathan Brookins is to fight Kyle Watson and Michael Johnson will fight Nam Phan.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 is on Spike on Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. EST.


November 23, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 – Ep. 9

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Episode 9 of The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 contained the first two fights of the quarterfinals. After the fights, each coach had a win.

The first pair to fight were Jonathan Brookins against Sako Chivitchian. GSP’s training of Brookins for the fight resembled a shortened version of swimming tapering: after long slogs of training, the tapered training comes in short bursts allowing recovery from the hard training previously.  By fight day (or swim day), if the tapering is done correctly, the athlete peaks on the day, desperate to get fighting, or swimming.

GSP stated that Brookins had amazing skillsets and would put a good game plan together.

Koscheck warned Chivitchian to avoid the guillotine from Brookins and not to give up his back if taken down. He thought the fight would be tough, yet winnable.

Round one had the non-judo guy (Brookins) throw Chivitchian. Brookins clamped on Chivitchian’s back and did a figure of four on one of Chivitchian’s legs. Then Brookins grapevined both Chivitchian’s legs and moved toward a rear naked choke. He showed great patience as he got his arm in position and achieved tap out.  Brookins is a very talented, patient fighter.

The next fight was between Cody McKenzie and Nam Phan.

GSP thought that McKenzie would have a big problem with Phan’s striking, but would put Phan against the fence and on his back, in order to neutralize Phan’s striking and jiu jitsu.

Koscheck said that Phan would win, and desperately wanted him to win against McKenzie, with whom Koscheck had had multiple arguments during the previous weeks. Training showed Phan working guillotine defense, the guillotine choke being the way McKenzie had won all his previous matches.

Round one had McKenzie attempting take downs and applying knees to Phan’s legs. He achieved one take down and ended in Phan’s closed guard. McKenzie’s height and reach advantages proved significant factors in the round.

Phan eventually connected with multiple strikes and then McKenzie pulled guard. McKenzie scored a couple of shots right before the buzzer, but he looked exhausted.

During the break, GSP forced McKenzie to stand up.

Round two had Koscheck yelling to Phan that McKenzie was tired. GSP kept calling for the clinch. Phan connected with strikes and kicks. McKenzie had long kicks. After lots of shots to McKenzie’s chin, Phan struck McKenzie’s ribs and McKenzie went down. After Phan hit McKenzie on the ground a couple of times, the referee stopped the match.

Koscheck was thrilled with the win and proved once again that he was a bad winner.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 is on Spike on Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. EST.


November 16, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 – Eps. 7 & 8

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Episode 7 of The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 contained the Coaches’ Challenge as well as the last preliminary fight of the team members.

The Coaches’ Challenge involved  baseball, a sport GSP had never played. In fact, he said that he had never held a bat before. Koscheck dominated the three ”innings”,  although St-Pierre did very well in the second. In the third inning, GSP had no hits, probably the result of nerves.

The fight in the episode was between Sako “Psycho” Chivitchian and Dane Sayers. GSP thought that Sayers was the most improved on his team and the heaviest hitter. He felt that Sayers could surprise everyone, even though his showed not a lot of skill in his first fight. Sako had a huge advantage, being a champion in judo at the Worlds’ and an Olympian.

Round one began with Sako walking into a guillotine attempt by Sayers. Sayers was not listening too well to his coach, but stayed in the game. At the end of the round, he attempted a take down which failed, mainly due to Sako’s holding the fence.

At the start of round two, Sako threw Sayers with an harai goshi and ended in Sayers’ half guard. Sako then applied some ground and pound. After Sayers got up and traded shots with Chivitchian, Sayers tried another take down. Once again, Chivitchian held onto the fence.

Sayers stayed in the fight but was dominated in the round; Chivitchian won by decision.

Episode 8 had some verbal and physical sparring between Koscheck and GSP’s medic. Koscheck actually grabbed the guy by the throat. In another environment, he would have been charged with assault, and should have been: he is a professional fighter and attacked another man.

The wild card fight was between Aaron Wilkinson and Marc Stevens. Wilkinson was planning on jab and run and thought his cardio would outdo Stevens.

White felt that Wilkinson would stay on his feet and use his hands. He thought Stevens was more talented than we’d seen previously and would bring it this time.

Round 1 started with Stevens taking Wilkinson down, ending in a grapevine and rolling with him. Wilkinson had his arms out and Stevens tried a triangle. Wilkinson lasted 3 1/2 minutes on the ground, being dominated, but his defense was strong.

Round 2 began with Wilkinson’s kicks. Stevens took Wilkinson down after grabbing the leg during a kick attempt and ended up in exactly the position he was in during his previous fight: he was in Wilkinson’s guillotine and tapped out.

This last match completed the preliminaries; the quarterfinal matches were announced afterward.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 is on Spike on Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. EST.


November 9, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 – Ep. 6

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Episode 6 of The Ultimate Fighter had advertised that there would be two fights. As the time went on, literally, we kept saying that these fights are going to be short. The first fight of the show was between Cody McKenzie (11-0, all submissions using the guillotine) and Marc Stevens, Koscheck‘s number one pick.

McKenzie said he was not an athlete, not an orthodox fighter, more of a scrapper. The latter has been witnessed multiple times as he got into  verbal scraps with Koscheck, his way of defending GSP. He actually chucked Koscheck’s chin after the weigh-ins. St-Pierre said that McKenzie was not afraid of anyone. When talking to one of Koscheck’s team, McKenzie said that Stevens was better at everything, and listed the skills, but that he (McKenzie) would win.

Stevens has had more than twenty fights and was prepared for McKenzie to attempt the guillotine. He said fighting was just another day. Dana White thought that Stevens, who although he is a good wrestler, would try to keep the fight standing to avoid the choke from McKenzie. White mentioned that Stevens won his elimination fight by knock out and that he expected Stevens to win.

The fight began after the half hour mark of the show and if you went to get a drink or blew your nose, you would have missed it. At about thirteen seconds into the match, after McKenzie attempted a kick, Stevens caught the foot and went down to the floor with McKenzie, ending in McKenzie’s half guard. With one leg trapped, and an arm under his neck, Stevens was prime for the guillotine. It was on so tightly, that he passed out.

There was stunned silence by Koscheck and his team. GSP, in the change room, told his team that there would be no wall-banging, which Koscheck and his team did the previous fight after their win.

The next fight was between Jonathan Brookins, of GSP’s team, and Sevak Magakian. Koscheck said that Magakian was a wild man, an Alpha male, who loves to fight. He thought Magakian had tremendous talent, was a great wrestler, had good judo and jiu jitsu.

GSP told us that no one knew how good Brookins was, including Brookins himself. He felt that Brookins’s wrestling was amazing and he was getting better at boxing , absorbing the training like a sponge.

As we saw Brookins practicing yoga, he explained that he was mellow, yet competitive. He felt he was but a small, little speck in the universe.

The fight began in earnest with a beautiful ura nage (suplex in wrestling terms) by Brookins, with his ending in side control of the judo guy. Magakian managed to stand at the fence, with Brookins on his back. Then with his hooks in, and much patience, Brookins slowly worked for the rear naked. When he couldn’t get his arm under Magakian’s chin, he let go of the choke attempt, actually re-positioned his arm and eventually got it. Tap out.

When speaking to the camera afterward, Brookins said that he did not want people to fear him, but wanted respect.

In this episode, Koscheck, once again, showed his lack of good judgement and maturity. At the beginning of the episode, he and his team were at the house gloating over their win the previous fight, mocking St-Pierre’s team members. He always tries to get GSP’s goat: in this episode, he hid one of St-Pierre’s sandals.  St-Pierre told his team that he only gets involved in conflict when his well-being is jeopardized. He just walks away. That was not to say that he did not remember all the things done to him. He remembers them and uses their memories in his fight with the individual.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 is on Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. EST on Spike.


October 21, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 – Ep. 5

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 Episode 5 produced the first win for Josh Koscheck‘s team.

Spencer Paige, from GSP’s team, fought against Nam Phan. GSP stated that Paige was a hard worker and had a lot of heart, good hands and good take downs. Paige thought that he was quicker than Phan and could find his opponent’s chin.

During the fight, despite Paige’s four inch reach advantage, Phan took control almost immediately. His strikes connected and Paige looked hesitant. Phan caught Paige’s kicks and knocked him down. At the end of the first round, Phan had Paige in a Kimura which looked very strong and lasted until the buzzer.

During the break, GSP told Paige to kick Phan in his leg and to stay in the middle. Koscheck mentioned Phan’s experience as incentive. From the beginning of round 2, there appeared to be a problem with Paige. He looked as though he were limping and did not listen to instructions from GSP. He was kicking so hard that he fell down and was doing limited punching (we learned afterward that he had broken his hand during the fight). Phan, on the other hand, was pommelling Paige. Both rounds went to Phan.

Afterward, Koscheck, thrilled at finally winning, made some comments to GSP. St-Pierre said that there are bad losers and bad winners. Koscheck certainly falls into the latter. When the teams were in their respective dressing rooms, which are side by side, Koscheck and his guys banged on the adjoining wall in unison. Scenes from next week’s episode show Koscheck and his team mocking GSP’s team.

During this season, during all the previous seasons, in fact, there have been poor behaviours among the team members and among the coaches. That does not apply to all, of course. Nogueira, for example, was a great coach and his team were very positive, played sports together and seemed friendly toward each other. Most of GSP’s team reflect his personality: he’s quiet, hard working and polite. Aside from Caceres, the other team members who won their fights did not boast or mock Koscheck’s people.

Koscheck has mocked GSP’s accent, his body movements, his workout clothing, anything he could. He always talks of his hatred for the man. This is not mature behaviour and the attitudes of his team members reflect his personality.

My interest is in the training and the fights. The petty comments and jealousies which we witness every season of The Ultimate Fighter are juvenile and irritating. Can we not see people who are professional, who can win without gloating and train because they love what they are doing instead of training to kill someone?

Some years ago there was a Canadian tennis pro who, when he won matches, calmly smiled and waved to the crowd and went to the net to shake hands with his opponent. When asked why he didn’t make a great show of it as most winners did, he said that he thought it was inappropriate to gloat when the other person had just lost the match. Every once in a while we see that happen in MMA, but I’d like to see more of that attitude. It has to start with the coaches.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 is on Spike on Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. EST.


October 19, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 – Ep. 4

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 Episode 4 was the closest episode in any series to having a fight within the house. Caceres has had major ego problems since his win and has irritated most of the house members. In the fight between Johnson and Wilkinson, Caceres had been shouting multiple times for Johnson to “f*** Wilkinson up”.  Sevak Magakian took great offense, saying it was unprofessional. The conversation degenerated from there, certainly not helped by the alcohol in the giant brandy snifter from which Caceres was drinking.  Sevak went after Caceres and would have attacked him had he not been pulled away by Pham. Caceres is immature and mouthy, alcohol not withstanding.

Mike Tyson proved himself to be a positive influence to GSP’s team, giving a pep talk about confidence. In contrast, Koscheck told his team members that they would improve if they listen to what he says.

This week’s fight was to be between Kyle Watson and Andrew Main, both jiu jitsu guys. Watson, the oldest fighter this season, is Matt Hughes‘s jiu jitsu coach. Main is the youngest fighter this season.

GSP stated that Watson had maturity and experience going for him. Watson, himself, said that he analyzes his opponent’s strength and weaknesses. Ultimately he aimed to be on top on the ground and his opponent was going to get beaten up.

One of Koscheck’s coaches said that Watson was slow and methodical, so he wanted Main to control the fight. Main said he wanted to work on his striking, mix up his hands. He said he had the speed and power and planned to take Watson down, pass the guard and finish the fight. Koscheck believed that Main was the better fighter of the two and wanted Main to sweep Watson, submit him and get off the bottom, to be on top and use that power.

GSP believed both guys were stressed and had Watson practice going into the octagon to get him to relax, visualize and reduce his anxiety. The other team members cheered him on as he came into the room and went into the cage as though it were the beginning of the fight. One of GSP’s comments during the episode to help the anxiety was,”Courage is not about not being scared, but about being scared and doing it anyway.” 

Round 1 had Main connecting with multiple strikes, whereas Watson threw inside and outside leg kicks. When in the clinch, Main jumped on Watson’s back and tried a rear naked choke.  He fell off, still holding Watson’s arm, but the choke was lost. Watson was in half guard and moved very slowly and methodically to improve his position, bringing Main to his level.

Round 2 began with Watson breathing heavily. Main threw punches and kicks. Watson grabbed both Main’s legs for a take down and worked up Main’s body. He achieved side control easily. He went from side to half guard with slight ground and pound, to side and then the back. He grapevined Main and got tap out with a rear naked choke.

Watson’s movement on the ground, his calmly controlling the opponent and moving up the body or to whatever side he wanted is very much the way our senior people fight. Take your time, breathe, control what you can. Don’t let go of one area until you have another area under control.  Watching him fight on the ground was like watching Dave, Mike or Chris in our club. Nice.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 is on Spike at 10:00 p.m. EST.


October 12, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 – Ep. 3

Friday, October 8th, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF 12 Episode 3 showed a significant difference in the training styles of Georges St-Pierre as compared to Josh Koscheck. GSP wanted his team members to have fun playing around, to have the goal not to win, but to become better MMA artists. Koscheck lectured his team in what he called “mindless training”.

GSP brought Olympic wrestler Gia Sissaouri to work with his guys, giving them the opportunity to train with a world class athlete.

The fight this episode was between Michael Jordan and Aaron Wilkinson. As an aside, what’s with the sub-titles whenever Wilkinson is speaking? He is English with, granted, a thick accent, but he is speaking English. GSP is speaking English with a thick French-Canadian accent, but still understandable. There are no sub-titles for GSP.

GSP said that Jordan was very focussed. Jordan was not to circle to the right, to Wilkinson’s power hand. GSP maintained that Jordan would utilize boxing and be put on his back and would win after ground and pound. Jordan considered himself a better boxer and better wrestler than Wilkinson.

Wilkinson stated that Koscheck’s team had the same work ethic as his team in England. Koscheck wanted Wilkinson to keep his feet moving. Wilkinson thought that Johnson underestimated him, believing him to have no wrestling ability. He planned to stand and strike and then take Johnson down.

Dana White thought the fight could go either way. During the episode, he received a call GSP requesting Mike Tyson be allowed to come to meet his team. Johnson thought having Tyson there was added incentive for him to win.

Round 1 had both men succeeding with take downs, although Wilkinson had more control over Johnson. Near the end of the round, Wilkinson was in Johnson’s half guard and applied elbows; Johnson did little to stop the onslaught.

During the break, GSP told Johnson that he wanted him to press Wilkinson and not the other way ’round. Johnson started Round 2 with a big shot to Wilkinson’s face, pressed him against the fence and then took him down, ending on Wilkinson’s back.  Wilkinson retaliated by a take down of his own and, in Johnson’s half guard, did some ground and pound.  Johnson got up and took Wilkinson down again, using G & P at the fence.

During the next break, GSP told Johnson that Wilkinson could not fight while going backward. Johnson began the third round by pushing Wilkinson right away. He struck Wilkinson, causing him to hit the floor. Johnson did some G & P and then ended the match with a rear naked choke.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 is on Spike at 10:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday.


October 8, 2010