I truly hate the antics in the house, but once a week for dozens of weeks (well it seems like it), we get to see drunks and punks, hear arguments, watch bloated egos, and witness destruction, practical jokes and disgusting behaviours. Then we get to hear Dana White curse every third word. This season we had the pleasure of watching Junie Browning mess up for at least three episodes and White didn’t evict him. His behaviour was far worse (quite unhinged and dangerous) than others who were evicted in past seasons and, yet, White kept him. He won one fight (not well and displaying poor cardio and mediocre ability against a guy who had even less technique) and lost the next fight, and here we find him at the finale. I had hoped we wouldn’t see him again.
So, I wanted Browning to lose; however, he was against Kaplan (“I’ve never been knocked out; punch me, go ahead….No, I wasn’t out” – or words to that effect), another egomaniac, so I didn’t want either of them to win. Between a rock and a hard place. Once again Kaplan left his face out there – a prime target. Browning was in control from the beginning of the match. He actually had technique and skill. Damn. A competent juji gatame by Browning in the second round.
Marshall’s semi-final match had him on his back for most of the time and he couldn’t get out. Since he’s a BJJ guy, that surprised me. Don’t they teach sweeps and escapes? This match against Bruchez (whom I don’t remember) had Marshall in solid control from the bell. Rear hadaka jime in the first round.
Mir expected Soszynski to be in the final, but Soszynski lost his semi. Last night, in his fight against Primm (once again, ?) Soszynski proved himself to be more than just strong; he showed us some of his many skills. His ude garami was excellent, reefing on the shoulder, leaving Primm in so much pain, that Primm lay on the mat for some time. Technique of the night. Canadian of the night.
In the Burns versus Johnson fight, a re-match, Johnson (wrestling) produced a huge kick to the head of Burns, a taekwondo and BJJ guy. WOW of the night- I said it before Joe Rogan. The wrestling guy got the TKD guy with a kick.
The best fight of the night was between Nover and Escudero. Perhaps because of White’s comments about Nover, I overlooked Escudero. Both guys were likeable on the show, were roommates, and training partners. They knew each other’s abilities well. In order to avoid Nover’s punches, Escudero controlled where the match was going, taking Nover down repeatedly. The match went to a decision, neither guy submitting the other, both showing all their skills, but it was Escudero all the way.
Johnson and both winners of the finale – Bader and Escudero – are wrestlers. Do you suppose the wrestling clubs in North America will see an increase in membership?
December 14, 2008
p.s. Follow-up: Officially the UFC gave Junie Browning the fight of the night. I can’t do that. Much as he seems to have improved from his previous fights during The Ultimte Fighter, I have no desire to reward, financially or otherwise, a guy who could easily have been jailed for assault, more than once, during the filming of the series. A jackass is still a jackass.
If Dana White and the owners of the UFC want to project a cleaner image, appeal to the masses, they can’t showcase drunks, assaults, destruction of the house, and a new levels of grossness. Right now, they appeal to the 18 to 34 year-old males. Basically, that will continue until their approach changes. It has to start from Dana White right on down. ayjay Dec. 30, 2008