Posts Tagged ‘the ultimate fighter season 9’

UFC 100

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Everyone I know who follows the UFC was looking forward to the one hundredth episode; there were to be three huge fights, GSP versus Thiago Alves, Brock Lesnar versus Frank Mir and The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 coaches’ fight between Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping. There promised to be talented fighters, and, hopefully, some thrilling fights and action (physical, emotional and psychological).

The first broadcast match was between a judoka, Yoshihiro Akiyama, and Alan Belcher, a muay thai guy. This one went the distance, with strong kicks by Belcher, such that Akiyama’s lead leg was continually whacked, resulting in his limping by the end of round two, and take downs by Akiyama (catching the kicking leg and throwing a straight right). While on the ground, Akiyama ground forearms into Belcher’s face and applied elbows. While standing, the judo guy threw some potent punches and was accurate with his kicks.

By the third round, Akiyama was obviously fatigued and Belcher attacked the lead leg again (as far as I could see Akiyama never changed his stance, a useful thing if your leg is becoming tenderized). Akiyama must also have received a poke to his left eye: his blinking was noticeable, but nothing came of it. Despite being tired, he did a spinning back kick. Belcher did a Superman punch, using the fence to gain purchase, basically launching himself off the fence.

Akiyama had a final take down with a solid left-sided o soto gari and remained on top until the end of the round.  It was a fun fight with both men applying themselves well. Although we thought Belcher won round three, the decision was split in Akiyama’s favour.

Next up were the coaches from The Ultimate Fighter Season 9Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping. Henderson had made it known during the series that Bisping was not his favourite person, calling him a “douche bag” and wanting him to stop talking. After the finale of the series, in which three of the four finalists were from the U.K., I think he may also have wanted to prove that the U.S. was capable of winning too.

Henderson is thirty-eight, ancient in fighters’ years against Bisping’s thirty. He looked strong and far heavier than Bisping, who, since his change to middleweight, looks skinny to me. 

The first round had Bisping light on his feet, backtracking most of the time, his legs in an extremely wide stance which had the potential for being off-balance. Henderson kept his eyes on the target and followed Bisping around the octagon, connecting with a leg kick, an uppercut and multiple shots and then, when in the clinch, an elbow. Bisping had a high kick and a looping right punch.

When in another clinch, Henderson used his knees. Bisping tried a take down (against a two-time Olympian in Greco-Roman wrestling) and walked into Henderson’s right hand.

During the break, Bisping’s crew told him to move to the right, essentially away from Henderson’s right hand. In the second round, Bisping almost continually moved to the left. Henderson threw a big right, knocking Bisping out on his feet. When Bisping toppled over, Henderson jumped on him and threw another right to his jaw, more than unnecessary. Bisping was unconscious for some time. Knock Out of the Night.

Georges St-Pierre‘s bout against Thiago Alves was up next. In terms of statistics, the most amazing aspect was St-Pierre’s six inch reach advantage, although the men are only one inch difference in height.

Alves is a very strong guy. Taken down by GSP many times (eight?) during the five rounds, he muscled his way up time after time. He was unable to accomplish anything while on the bottom though. St-Pierre did not always control the match and ended up on his back once, an unusual happening for GSP, but he proved that the belt was all his. He took Alves down, would get both hooks in, force Alves to hold all his weight. He would squash Alves against the fence when standing. He switched stances - a useful thing to throw people off and protect your lead leg.

Unanimous decision in Georges-St-Pierre’s favour. GSP was gracious, saying that Alves was strong and young and would become dangerous.

This was GSP’s first fight since “greasegate”, so it was interesting to see how his corner reacted to everything, whether they would change their behaviours. They had maintained that the rubbing of his back was one of the ways they got him to calm down between rounds. That is in fact what they still did. His corner rubbed his upper back, talked to him, forced him to focus his breathing, talked about what they expected him to do in the next round, had him repeat it. When, after round four, he told his corner that he had pulled a groin, they talked him out of focussing on the groin pull. Fascinating psychological aspects to this fighting business.

The main event was between heavyweights Frank Mir and Brock Lesnar. Mir’s background is in jiu jitsu, with most of his fights ending in submissions in the first round. Lesnar is a college wrestling champion and a former WWE guy. Lesnar is also the biggest guy in the UFC right now, weighing in at 265; he might have been 285 on fight night. Mir weighed in at 245. Mir had a haematoma on his right forehead, acquired during practice, and had his left knee wrapped up completely, as well as both ankles.

Lesnar was there to avenge his only loss in the UFC, which was to Mir. He refused to touch gloves to begin the match and, from the bell, attacked Mir. He used an inside leg kick and straight punch, took Mir down, employing all his massive weight chest-to-chest. He held Mir down by grabbing Mir’s neck with his left hand, thumb applying pressure. He then wrapped his left arm around Mir’s head, controlling his head off the mat and punched short shots to Mir’s face and ribs with his right hand.

Round two had Mir on the attack with a flying knee, a variety of punches and a low kick. He was taken down again, though, the same as in round one. This time, however,  he was at the fence and Mir could not protect himself from the onslaught of Lesnar’s punches to the head and face. TKO referee stoppage.

The audience does not like Lesnar and showed their disdain. Lesnar then gave them two one-finger salutes and went around the octagon screaming, spitting and cursing. There was no need for this behaviour. It is not the WWE. He’s rude and obnoxious in the ring.

The final broadcast fight was between Jon Fitch and Paulo Thiago. Fitch is a jiu jitsu guy with wrestling and submissions as a specialty, whereas Thiago is a jiu jitsu guy with strong boxing skills. Thiago also came into the match undefeated.

This match was very technical, mostly on the ground. Fitch took Thiago down multiple times; Thaigo tried front guillotine chokes while Fitch was in his guard. Fitch seemed not to care about the chokes and at one point actually put his head back IN to the choke. Fitch took Thiago’s back with hooks in, applying many punches to Thiago’s face and ribs. In the third round, Thiago was in Fitch’s guard for some seconds, but ended up on the bottom again with another guillotine attempt. Fitch took Thiago’s back, got the hooks in and rolled with him.

Fitch dominated the match and won by unanimous decision. Unlike Lesnar’s fight against Mir, Fitch offered his hand to Thiago to help him up.

As for Fight of the Night, I can’t decide. Akiyama and Belcher’s fight was exciting and busy. It definitely wasn’t Henderson versus Bisping because Bisping didn’t accomplish anything. GSP versus Alves showed St-Pierre’s dominance in all aspects, including stamina. Lesnar versus Mir showed Lesnar’s strength and size mainly. He put his 900 pound body on Mir’s chest and pounded Mir’s face to mush. Then he was an obnoxious buffoon. Definitely NOT Lesnar versus Mir. I think Fitch versus Thiago had more Fitch than Thiago, so that fight is out.

So it could be GSP versus Alves or Akiyama versus Belcher and I’m leaning toward Akiyama and Belcher.


July 13, 2009

p.s. The Fight of the Night was given to Akiyama and Belcher.

UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 Finale TUF9

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 Finale (TUF9) was one of the best events the UFC has put on.  Not only was it free (yay), the fights got better and better, from one fight to the next. Even Joe Rogan changed his mind about which fight was the Fight of the Night.

The first broadcast fight was between Nate Diaz and Joe Stevenson. You’ll recall that in his bout with Diego Sanchez, Stevenson kept the fight standing and lost. In this battle, he and Diaz spent a great deal of time on the ground, trading guillotine choke attempts. Stevenson had Diaz at the fence several times applying knees. To avoid knees to the head, Diaz put one knee on the ground, but Stevenson was in control each time.

The best segment of round one had Stevenson trapping both of Diaz’s arms, one with his legs and the other with his arm. Diaz was at the fence and rolled over, but his arms were still trapped, with Diaz on the bottom. Diaz managed to escape, but then got put in a very tight guillotine, which came close to ending the fight.

Round two was more of the same, guillotine attempt by Diaz, Stevenson in Diaz’s half guard, Diaz turtling and Stevenson’s applying knees. Stevenson controlled the round while standing and on the ground.

Round three had Stevenson attempting a single leg take down, but Diaz did an harai goshi, ending up in Stevenson’s half guard and then full guard at the fence. Diaz managed to pass the guard.

Stevenson then did his own take down and kneed Diaz’s side at the fence.

Standing again, Diaz tried a take down and many, wild strikes, but little was connecting.

Unanimous decision in Stevenson’s favour.

The Ultimate Fighter lightweights were up next – Ross Pearson versus Andre Winner. I must admit, I thought Pearson had a wider range of skillsets than Winner, and would completely dominate Winner, who is mostly a stand-up guy.

Almost the entire match was standing, with many clinches at the fence as the men worked for superior positions. (I heard no booing here and this fight was not much different from the UFC 99 fight between Spencer Fisher and Caol Uno in which the audience booed throughout as the fighters jockeyed for position.) They traded knees, used dirty boxing, with Pearson throwing huge overhand looping strikes and Winner a flurry of body strikes just before the end of round one.

Round two had Pearson kicking to the head and body, trying a take own, and connecting with knees, while Winner managed a strong uppercut and knees of his own. The round ended with Winner’s flurry of strikes again.

Round three had the men in the clinch for a good portion again, trading strikes and knees. Pearson’s uppercuts were effective as was his take down of Winner. Winner went down to one knee and up again. While in the clinch, Winner had some shoulder strikes and short jabs. Pearson had a straight jab which rocked Winner.

Unanimous decision in Pearson’s favour, but Winner was not easily dismissed.

Chris Lytle and Kevin Burns came up next. Lytle had fifty-seven professional matches coming in to this fight.  Burns came in with ten. Lytle wanted to have fight of the night and knock out of the night, so we expected big things.

Lylte came out with huge punches, big looping strikes, and big kicks. Burns applied leg kicks, high kicks, body kicks, knees and strikes. He rocked Lytle with an uppercut, tried to deal with him on the floor, but Lytle came to. Burns followed up with many strikes and knees up to the buzzer.

Round two had Lytle rocking Burns with his overhand shots. Burns managed a take down, ending in half guard.

While standing Lytle kept striking Burns’s left side, doing combinations, one strike to the head, the other to the ribs. Burns backed up throughout most of the round, half turning his body as he went.

Round three began with a huge overhand right by Lytle which produced an enormous cut over Burns’ left eyebrow, with blood pouring down his face and chest immediately. That did not stop Burns, though, as he answered with a knee and body kick.

Lytle punched Burns’ left temple again, causing him to stumble. Burns tried head kicks and strikes, but he was exhausted.

Unanimous decision in Lytle’s favour.

The Ultimate Fighter welterweights Damarques Johnson and James Wilks fought next. Johnson mouthed off a great deal during season 9, opinionated, and expressing real hate toward Wilks.  Johnson was also regarded as the U.S. team’s best chance.

What we saw from start to finish of this fight was complete domination by Wilks. He began with strong jabs and knees, such that Johnson was protecting himself at the fence, unable to reciprocate.

Wilks took Johnson down and while in Johnson’s guard, tried a heel hook. Johnson slipped out of it, but a few seconds later Wilks tried it again.  Wilks then trapped one of Johnson’s legs and compressed it, while Johnson struck Wilks on the head many times as he tried to extricate from the leg compression.

While in Johnson’s guard, Wilks tried an oma plata, and as Johnson moved around, the arm got more and more trapped, such that people on our boat were groaning, imagining the worst.

Wilks grapevined Johnson and tried for the choke, but Johnson’s chin was down. For some seconds they fought this until Wilks trapped one of Johnson’s arms with his leg and tried for the choke again. Tapout at six seconds before the buzzer in round one. Technique of the Night.

Wilks’s battle with Johnson had the potential to be fight of the night until Diego Sanchez came out against Clay Guida. Both these fighters have at least two dozen professional fights. Sanchez is a BJJ black belt with one school and brown with his current school. Guida is a wrestler wth fantastic cardio, who came out singing and jumping.

The match went the full three rounds with both men succeeding in take downs and ground and pound. In round one, Sanchez connected with a head kick to Guida and Guida hit the dirt. We thought it was a knock out as his head bounced, but amazingly, Guida got up straight away.

Round two had Guida in Sanchez’s full guard and Sanchez elbowing the top of Guida’s head. Now Guida had blood from his nose and from the top of his head. Sanchez tried a Kimura, but Guida freed the arm and did some ground and pound. He then trapped Sanchez’s arm behind his back (we’d just mentioned it as a possibility).

Round three had Guida chasing Sanchez with strikes and combos. Sanchez really had slowed down by this point, even though he wasn’t the one bleeding profusely everywhere. Guida attempted a take down and Sanchez, an arm triangle, which Guida spun out of. While in Sanchez’s full guard again, Sanchez attempted the Kimura again. Blood was everywhere and Guida was slick, resulting in his avoiding all the arm bars.

Split decision in Sanchez’s favour. Fight of the Night. In the post-fight interview, Guida was still jumping around as he’d been before this brutal match. He’s amazing.


June 21,1 2009

UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 TUF9 – Episode 12

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

The last semi-final of The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 (TUF9) aired last night.  Frank Lester fought in the three-round semi against James Wilks, who had defeated Lester in a previous bout (Lester took a knee to the mouth and left several teeth, real and fake, in his mouth guard in that fight).

Dan Henderson stated that he felt that Lester knew he could do better than in the previous match-up; Lester said  that if “Henderson believes in me, then I believe in me.” Lester also talked about feeling far more calm in the octagon, having fought several times already. Henderson’s direction to Lester was to throw straight punches and more of them, Lester having a tendency to throw looping punches.

Wilks said he thought he was a technically better striker than Lester and better on the ground. Bisping‘s analysis of the previous fight was that the two men were close when on their feet, but on the ground, Wilks was better than Lester.

The funniest segment of the episode was the coin to the forehead scenario: the premise is that you push a coin strongly onto your forehead, such that it sticks to your skin. Then you hit the back of your head until the coin comes off. The higher the number of hits, the smarter you are. In reality, after you demonstrate the technique, you push it on your friend’s head and instead of leaving the coin there, you surreptitiously remove it, and your friend bashes himself on the head for a long time, sometimes never grasping that there is no coin there.

They tried the game on Bisping and he actually hit himself a goodly number of times, until he realized that there was no coin and he’d been had.

We did that years ago in a restaurant and it really is funny. Eventually you have to say something, though, as the guy does bash himself.

Round one: The two men traded strikes and kicks. Henderson kept yelling for Lester to jab and go first, not wait for Wilks to do something. In fact, most of the time, Lester did not follow direction.

Wilks had his left hand very low throughout most of the match and Bisping was yelling at him to raise his hand. Lester had a couple of strong jabs and Wilks attempted a  take down, which Lester stuffed.

While in the clinch, Lester connected strongly with a couple of strikes while Wilks kept trying for a take down.

Round 2: Lester came out with strong jabs, but Wilks had some huge kicks. Wilks then tried another take down, which Lester again stuffed. While in the clinch, Wilks tried knees to the head and short strikes.

Lester had a huge jab right down the center, but Wilks rocked Lester with a head kick. While tied up, Lester attempted a take down of his own, unsuccessfully. Wilks applied knees to the head and jabs.

Round 3: Lester came out breathing heavily. Wilks struck Lester with some hard punches and a knee to the head.

When in the clinch, Wilks used the knees again, although this time, Lester went down to the floor on his knees. Wilks followed suit with several more knee strikes until the referee stepped in for TKO.

Lester’s face was a mess after all those knees. Dana White paid him a great compliment by stating that Wilks was the better fighter, but Lester was one of the toughest. Lester had had four fights in thirty-four days and was just tired and worn out. He went into the fight with a black eye and probably numerous other injuries which weren’t visible or talked about.

The U.K. has three of the four fighters in the finale this Saturday, which Bisping gloated about. Damarques Johnson will be fighting James Wilks for the welterweight final and Ross Pearson will fight Andre Winner for the lightweight final.

Johnson seems to hate Wilks, the reasons for that being unclear, except for the fact that Wilks has lived in the U.S. for some years, training and teaching various martial arts and weaponry. Perhaps Johnson feels that Wilks should not have been allowed to compete for the U.K. team while living in the U.S.

After the finale, the next bout for TUF9 is the coaches’ fight in UFC 100. Henderson and Bisping will be one of the main events that night. Bisping feels that Henderson’s time is past and Henderson thinks Bisping is a douche bag, whatever that means to him. Certainly, Henderson was more mature during TUF9, but Bisping’s coaching style worked, with his team members becoming close to each other and to him. It’ll be interesting.

The UFC The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 (TUF9) finale is June 20, 2009 on Spike.


June 18, 2009

UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 TUF9 – Episode 8

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

For the second week in a row on UFC‘s The Ultimate Fighter TUF9, we had drama with the proposed Pierce and Faulkner match.

Pierce now had a staph infection on his leg, the infection having progressed from cellulitis. He spent the entire episode all wrapped up in a hoodie. When Dana White called him into a meeting, Pierce’s comments sounded as though he had a fever; he stated that his leg was sore and that one of the doctors suggested that he could get a bone infection if the leg were injured. White gave him a few days to decide whether he wanted to fight. Pierce’s responses to all White’s questions were in monotone.

This episode no longer mentioned Faulkner’s leg injury (in which he whacked his leg with a sledgehammer, causing a massive lump and infection). His problem during training was taking out his mouthguard: he has a strong gag reflex and can’t seem to function with the mouthguard in. Bisping said that the referee might deduct points for removing the mouthguard, so Faulkner would have to learn to deal with it.

In addition to his being ill, Pierce, a major complainer, had Henderson saying he had “negative energy”. Santino talked about Pierce as being the most negative guy in the house. In all the scenes, Pierce is all covered up, morose and grumpy-looking.

The fight of the night was between Jason Dent and Jeff Lawson. Lawson, according to Bisping, is fantastic on the ground, has great take downs and will submit his opponents quickly. Lawson has 21 wins by arm bar and joked that he would throw four or five punches, do a throw, and apply an arm bar. He also admitted that no one was going to get knocked out by him. His attitudes were lighthearted and refreshing. His main issue was that he had had bronchitis for the first nine days in the house, during which time he was unable to train at all. He wanted Dent to “lie down and let me get the arm bar”.

Dent, per Henderson, is “surprisingly technical” on his feet and the ground. Unfortunately, he “irritates” Henderson, is “tough to coach” because he doesn’t want to get better, to look at his weaknesses. When your coach says that you are tough to coach, you have problems.

Before the fight, Dana White called Pierce in again and told him that he wasn’t going to fight. What he wanted was a reaction from Pierce, an indication that he really wanted to fight, to please let him fight. Pierce looked upset afterward, but White’s feeling was that once Pierce got into the house, he realized he was not a fighter. Henderson said that if Pierce had fought, he would have lost.

The match between Dent and Lawson started out strongly: after a couple of leg kicks from Dent, Lawson threw Dent with harai makikomi, taking him to the ground. Lawson then tried what looked like a heel hook, but was unsuccessful. While in Dent’s guard, Lawson got on his feet and threw a number of punches. He then picked Dent up (Dent’s legs were wrapped around Lawson’s waist) and dropped him to his back (daki age).  Dent was on the bottom for almost the entire round.

Round 2 had Dent throw some leg kicks while Lawson looked exhausted, turtling a couple of times.  Lawson would bend forward from the waist, hands on legs, and then do something astounding like a flying knee.  He has lots of skills, but this was not to be his day. The match ended with Dent applying a rear naked choke on the ground, not even in a grapevine. Lawson tapped out very quickly despite the fact that the choke and the hold were weak.

The comments at the end of the episode blamed Lawson’s loss on the chest infection, which  impacted his cardio and gave the poor result. Dana White commented that the win was very weak. I would like to see Lawson when he is healthy: he has some strong throws and ground skills. His stand up needs work and he has problems with his posture when his legs are kicked (actually moves such that he is off-balance and the leg kicks hit harder), but he seems like a good guy who has potential.

Earlier in this episode Lawson, Faulkner and Amasinger entertained themselves and the other members of the UK team with professional wrestling skits complete with masks and donkey ears. Right at the bell for Round 1 someone on the UK team yelled, “Release the Hate!”, causing Lawson to look over and laugh. There’s a guy who is relaxed and happy to be doing what he’s there for.

The UFC‘s The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 TUF9 is on Spike on Wednesdays at 10 p.m.

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 1

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 2

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 3

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 4

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 5

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 6

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 7

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 9


UFC TUF9 US vs UK – Episode 4

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Episode 4 of The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 (TUF9) US vs UK aired last night, resulting in the elimination of one of the fighters. The US had won the coin toss, so Dan Henderson, the US coach, picked Mark Miller (US) to fight Nick Osipczak (UK) in the welterweight division.

The overriding theme of the night was one of the problems when making assumptions:

In a previous episode, Henderson had mentioned that the UK fighters had limited experience on the ground. In reality, one of Bisping’s assistant coaches (actually one of his own coaches) is a grappling guy.

Dana White was impressed by Mark Miller and thought that in the preliminary eliminations Nick Osipczak didn’t look very strong, so guessed that Miller was going to win.

Michael Bisping and his coaches analysed Mark Miller’s preliminary elimination fight in great detail. Bisping saw a one-dimensional stand-up fighter with no ground skills if he were on his back. Their approach when training Osipczak was based on those assumptions.

In the actual fight, we had two strong fighters with a myriad of skills on the ground and standing. Round 1 had Osipczak doing an harai goshi on Miller almost immediately, taking him to the ground near the fence. When in Miller’s guard, Osipczak accomplished nothing, resulting in Miller’s turning over and being in Osipczak’s guard. When the bottom, Osipczak actually did some elbows and in future ground fighting, Osipczak was far more effective from the bottom than the top.

When standing again, Miller punched Osipczak, causing his opponent to hit the floor. Again from standing, they traded punches, most of them connecting.  Osipczak took Miller down again and applied elbows and then punches to the ribs. The next take down was by Miller with Osipczak on the bottom holding Miller in a guillotine. It sure looked like Miller tapped out twice, but he managed to get his head out.

There was another take down by Osipczak just at the buzzer. A very busy round with both fighters working their full game.

Round 2 had Miller coming in with big punches, but being taken down again with Osipczak in side mount applying elbows, doing yoko shiho gatame (!), and knees to Miller’s ribs. Osipczak had his head caught in a guillotine choke many times, a couple of which looked strong. Miller rolled to the wrong side while holding Osipczak in the choke and Osipczak didn’t manage to stop the roll even though his arm was posted to that side. Weird. On the bottom, Osipczak tried ground and pound, elbows, and a figure of four, causing Miller to cover up from the top!

The referee had them stand up at this point. Osipzcak looked down and did a head kick that knocked Miller out.

UK 1; US 0.

This was a big win for the UK team, partially because the US guys had done a couple of pranks (how old are these people?!), irritating the UK guys. Bisping wisely told them to be big about it and not retaliate. I hope the rest of the fights are as entertaining as this one was.

UFC‘s The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 (TUF9) is on Wednesdays on Spike at 10:00 p.m. EST.

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 1

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 2

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 3

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 5

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 6

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 7

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 8

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 9


April 23, 2009

UFC TUF9 The Ultimate Fighter US vs UK – Season 9 – Episode 3

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 – US versus UK episode 3 aired last night. As much as I don’t want to dislike someone from the beginning, really it’s important to be mature and give the other person a chance to prove his worth, I couldn’t stand Rob Browning from the first instant. He was seriously drunk the first night in the house. The guys were just starting to settle in and get to know one another (even though they each had problems with one another’s accents) and there was Junie’s kid brother snockered. He lobbed raw eggs at the guys who were on the basketball court, had an altercation with a Brit in the house, urinated in the shower, and had an altercation with an American (an equal opportunity drunk) before smashing that guy in the chest with an egg. All this on the first night. I guess we shouldn’t have expected a smarter Browning kid.

Interestingly, both teams were disgusted by his behaviour and agreed about what they DID NOT want to have happen in the house - food incidents, bodily fluid incidents, etc. Browning’s antics solidified the house all in one night; I doubt if that’s what he intended.

This episode showed the two groups training with their coaches, Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson. (A note about Bisping – it looks like he’s going to be playing mind games with the Americans to psych them out.) Henderson thinks that the UK guys have limited experience on the ground, although we saw some solid techniques in the first episode. Bisping plans on training exactly the way he does at home and his guys were not holding back when sparring.

The two remaining places for the US team had still to be determined, so Kiel Reid was to fight Frank Lester for the welterweight position. Reid is a wrestler with a laid-back appearance, speaking in a monotone. Lester is a former armed forces guy and stand up fighter.

Reid started by punching Lester, causing Lester to drop. While on the ground, with Lester on the bottom just holding on, Reid didn’t manage anything. When standing again, Lester landed a solid punch. While Lester was attempting an arm bar from standing, Reid (his arm still tied up) did a take down, driving his own head into the mat and knocking himself out. Lester still had the arm bar and was reefing on it, probably not aware that Reid was out. Luckily the referee came in to stop the match.

Reid refused to acknowledge that he’d lost and went away saying multiple times that Lester couldn’t beat him. (His arm was in a sling at the final interview, so Lester did some damage.) This reminds me of Frank Mir and Kaplan, both of whom said the Kaplan was the better fighter in his match against Junie Browning, when Kaplan LOST. Accept that on that day you lost, the other guy won.

The second fight was between Rob Browning and Jason Dent. Dent has had many fights, but the numbers he said and those on the screen didn’t match up, so I’m saying somewhere between 18 and 22 wins and eight or nine losses. Browning had a record of 4 and 0 going in to this match.

Browning was the aggressor from the bell, with punches and kicks, most with no combinations. Dent seemed to do very little, just some sporadic kicks and then tried to stay out of the way. Browning attempted a take down and then started the combos. Dent then applied some strong inside and outside leg kicks. Browning failed at another take down attempt and ended up on the bottom with Dent kneeing his side, doing some ground and pound and elbows. Browning covered up and eventually did nothing to stop the onslaught. TKO – referee stoppage.

We now have the entire contingent of sixteen fighters and will start the elimination process next week. UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 TUF9 US versus UK airs on Spike Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST.

Click here to go to The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 Episode 1

Click here to go to The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 Episode 2

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 3

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 4

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 5

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 6

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 7

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 8

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 9


April 16, 2009

TUF Season 9 UK vs USA – Episode 1 – UK Candidates

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Episode 1 of The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 came up after the Ultimate Fight Night Live. Luckily, I enjoy watching fights, because this makes for a long night of fights.

Dana White travelled to England for this episode. Sixteen of Britain’s finest MMA guys were fighting for the eight positions which would get them to Las Vegas and The Ultimate Fighter show. The day after White met the guys, they all fought for the eight positions, giving us eight fights in just over an hour. This certainly shows us an immediate and wide range of skillsets and techniques.

A few things occurred to me while watching fight after fight: if your coach is yelling at you to do something or not to something else and you pay no attention, chances are you’ll lose. This happened in at least two matches in which Bisping shouted instructions to his guys and they paid no heed. In the first case, Bisping’s guy was knocked out. (This reminds me of an old Pancrase show in which Frank Shamrock was attempting a manoeuvre and Ken Shamrock shouted instructions to not do that but this, and Frank immediately followed the instructions and won.) Also, if you come in shouting that you’re the “Reidinator”, you really should win, or attempt to. Egomaniacal behaviour is unsightly and irritating at the best of times, but to be on the bottom holding someone in your guard and shouting at him to hit you (as you don’t try to get out from under), well, you’re asking to be hit. He complied with your wishes. In this case, the winner was a guy whom Dana White said was inexperienced and nervous.  He won, though.

Two heel hooks ended two different matches. The guys tapped out very quickly. I spoke with Dave about heel hooks: when he’s practicing them, he locks them on and holds the heel securely, but doesn’t apply any pressure. He’s just showing his opponent that it’s there. He then lets go. He never practices heel hooks with a guy new to our class or to martial arts and never lets them get him in a heel hook. New guys tend to have no control and end up hurting us. In order to fight heel hooks, other than being hyper-aware of your body placement, a guy might be able to use his other leg to free the trapped foot or a sweaty guy might be able to roll out of one; if you can’t roll out, tap out. Knees are blasted very easily.

Another thing which occurred to me: Dana White’s language has reached new lows and based on the previews for next week, he uses the same offensive phrase in the next episode.

I sincerely hope that this season of The Ultimate Fighter is less gag-inducing than last season, but I have my doubts. Any bets on how much the guys will be drinking, fighting, destroying the house, etc.? The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 TUF9 is on Wednesdays on Spike.

Click here to go to The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 Episode 2

Click here to go to The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 Episode 3

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 4

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 5

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 6

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 7

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 8

Click here to go to TUF9 Episode 9


April 2, 2009