It was an Ultimate Fighter first when the cast members exchanged various bodily fluids via warring food pranks on last night’s show. Eliminated lightweight Dave Kaplan talks us through it in this exclusive Cage Potato interview, and claims all was not as it seemed. We also discuss Junie Browning‘s betrayal and what went wrong in the loss to Phillipe Nover, among other things. Enjoy.
CagePotato.com: Now that we’ve all seen last night’s crazy and often gross show, what are your thoughts overall?
I liked the show a lot. That might seem counter-intuitive. Obviously, the end of the show wasn’t the best for me, but I’ve had three months to deal with that. I liked the stuff that they showed. I thought I came off as funny, the type of person that I wanted people to see. I didn’t talk shit about anyone, and I feel good about that. All in all, I thought it was a good show. I might be biased, but I thought it was the most exciting and interesting of the episodes thus far.
It seemed like we spent a lot of time watching these food/bodily fluid pranks unfold.
You know what the funny part about it is? I had nothing to do with any of the pranks that happened. Any of the stuff that Krysztof did with people’s underwear or any of that stuff. I had fish put under my bed, which I thought was a lame prank anyway. But I can’t even tell you where I was when they peed in the fruit. I wasn’t part of any of that. I guess it makes for good television if you like the gross-out factor there.
The semen on the sushi, did you feel that was going too far?
I would say so. Here’s my take on that, and I have to be perfectly honest. I did not eat the sushi. I said that I did, because at that point in the show Kyle Kingsbury was getting on my nerves and I wanted a reason to retaliate, plus Tom Lawlor had actually eaten a piece and I wanted to have his back. So I said that I did it so I could retaliate, which Tom and I did.
The thing with the fruit tray was he would go home every day and they were just brazenly eating his stuff. So he pissed in his own fruit tray. It’s their fault for eating it. I thought that was cool. But the jizz, I think there’s a difference between urine and semen in that context. And I don’t know what Phillipe was saying, but no one was eating his sushi. At least, I wasn’t eating his sushi. We all had a list and you could put on there whatever you wanted. I had my own sushi. I didn’t need to eat his sushi.
So you didn’t eat the sushi at all?
No. That kind of sushi, it’s not even the kind that I like. If there was some that I liked that was in there, then I might have eaten semen. But fortunately that didn’t happen. I can tell you that if I had eaten it, the retaliation would have been immediate.
On a more fight-related topic, what did you think when you saw Junie giving tips about you to Phillipe Nover? Did you know he had done that?
I didn’t. I found out about it last week. Tom Lawlor called me up and told me. He’d seen the episode already to write his blog, so he let me know about it. I’ll tell you two things about that. One, it doesn’t bother me because you can tell someone what somebody else does and it doesn’t necessarily help you that much. All of us who fight at this level, you usually watch tape to get ready for a guy and it still doesn’t prepare you 100%.
Number two, I don’t expect anything else out of Junie. He didn’t care about anyone else. He was consistently saying, ‘This isn’t a team. These aren’t my real coaches.’ There were those of us who really learned a lot and took all the great coaching and used it to get better, but he was always complaining so it didn’t surprise me to see that.
He did seem pretty dissatisfied with the team. Would you say you got a lot out of being on Team Mir?
Definitely. When I found out who the coaches were going to be, I was very happy. I was happy on Mir’s team and would have also been happy on Nogueira’s team. Either way. Both coaches had different styles, but both coaches were awesome. For me, Mir’s style was best. He brought in guys who could help us. If we needed help with grappling, you can’t get better than Demian Maia and Robert Drysdale. As far as striking, Ken Hahn is one of the best coaches there is.
The thing about Junie was he didn’t want to learn. As far as training with him, I was probably the only person who didn’t want him kicked out of the house because he was a decent training partner. But at the same time, there’s only so much you can help a guy who doesn’t want help. It’s funny, I got a lot of calls last night from guys on Team Mir when they showed Junie saying that people didn’t want to train with him. We just laughed. It couldn’t be further from the truth. I trained with him almost every day, as did Shane Nelson and George Roop.
We would submit him and he didn’t ask how we did it or try and figure out how to avoid it, he’d just jump up and throw a tantrum. You can see me grappling with him on the show and telling him he was getting too emotional. That’s why you see Frank and the coaches laughing at him, because he threw tantrums all the time.
Now that you’ve had a chance to see the fight again, what would you do differently? Where do you think you went wrong?
The outcome of the fight was based on me being grossly overconfident. I didn’t have a lot of respect for his skills, and that caused me to drop my hands and let him punch me. In retrospect, I would have a lot more respect for his skills. I didn’t get to see him fight to get into the house. I just heard about it and people made it sound like he was getting beat and Joe Duarte just gassed out and that’s why Phillipe won.
I was also hearing from Frank and the coaches that I was just going to pound him. All that made me overconfident and made me go in there and do something stupid. I’ve never been knocked out, that’s the first time I’ve ever been knocked down, and I’ve trained in Holland with some very good Thai boxers. But it made me better for the experience and I’ll learn from it.
You said after the fight that you felt you were the better fighter. Do you still feel that way?
You know, I do. That might sound like sour grapes, and I told Phillipe afterwards that I hope he wins the whole thing. I definitely want to fight him again and if I’m going to lose I want to lose to the guy who wins. I think I have a better combination of things. I think he does a few things well, but I think overall I do more things better than him. But he’s an exciting guy and I’d love to fight him again. I do feel that I could beat him, and that’s what’s hardest about it. I think I was probably the best fighter in the house.
Not to say anything bad about any of the other guys. Some of him might have better skills than me in one area, but I think I’m the better combination of skills. So that’s why it’s hard to take, but you have to learn a lesson from it.