Like Gerald Harris and Efrain Escudero before him, Team USA lightweight Santino Defranco has the great honor of blogging his reactions to each episode of The Ultimate Fighter: U.S. vs. U.K. every Thursday right here on CagePotato.com. Here’s what he had to say about last night’s episode, in which Santino first met Dana White (aka Lord Humungus), and dug waaaay deep to get his first victory on the show. Enjoy.
I was completely at peace with the fact that I was about to go through with the most tumultuous event in my life — fighting to get into a house, where I would be cut off from the rest of the world (no TV, music, magazines, books, correspondence with my wife and family) for six weeks, all the while being filmed 24 hours a day to be broadcast on national television. Then Dana White came in, and all that calmness I spent weeks preparing went out the window.
When Dana White walks into a room he’s noticed. Not only is he a physically imposing figure being around 6’2" and probably 250lbs, but he is a man of power. The latter is by far more intimidating than the former. Knowing that this bald human basically holds my future in the palm of his hand, turns me from an "Ultimate Fighter" to a child waiting to see if he is going to be praised or punished for whatever questionable deed has been done.
As Dana lined us up the nervousness that embodied that room was something fantastic. You could see people smiling, laughing, biting their cheeks, fidgeting, and even in Pierce’s case…fainting. Don’t be fooled by those swash-buckling tricksters, all was done out of nervousness, including my own silence, which, as the show continues you will see is a rarity.
Getting to Pierce and his little fainting spell. First, I must preface any words spoken about him with the fact that, when referring to Pierce, his last name must, and I repeat MUST be spoken with a British accent. Even if you are only reading to yourself and nothing is actually verbalized, this rule still applies. These and other secrets will be revealed in due course. Now, back to Parce (that is how it is spelled in my head while using the British form of the word, please bear with me). I was cutting weight with him and Cameron Dollar, and let me tell you, the cantankerous attitude is by no means an act for television. Parce had to tip the scales at an even 171lbs which he finally made. It wasn’t the hardest cut I’ve seen people perform, but it didn’t seem easy by any stretch of the word.
Now rears the creepy ugly head of confusion. Parce decides he is going to cut more than needed so he can drink a little fluids while waiting for the scale. One might think a "little" would be 1/4lb? 1/2lb? 1lb? Not even close. Parce cuts 2 extra pounds of weight! That’s 32 ounces of liquid! I was hoping the broadcast would do justice to how pale and plastic he looked as he fainted. It was close, but I’m not sure the viewers got to see the stiffness of rigor mortis and the glazed synthetic look generally reserved for embalming the dead that we got to see in person. It was really nuts seeing him go down like that…But! He made weight.
Some of those that didn’t make weight included Christian, which the viewers saw, and 2-3 others that the Spike TV audience didn’t have the privilege of being able to recognize for a good ridiculing if seen in an open market. We were all in shock that so many people were unable to make weight. We had also heard rumors that the guy with the serial-killer-esque name John David Shackleford (be wary of anyone who uses three names to describe themselves) didn’t make weight. To my surprise while watching the show he just had a mild case of HOLY DISGUSTING MAT HERPES BATMAN!! That was quite unsightly.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to pay too much attention to the fights as they were going on as I was getting ready to receive multiple hooves to the face by a mini-pony.
I was told that Waylon i.e. "mini pony" was a good wrestler. If you are deaf, dumb and blind you would be able to figure that out. I did not, however, believe that he could hold me down and proceed to use his stubby legs with attached hoofs to beat my skull in until I lay on the canvas like a dead carcass awaiting my turn to be eaten by the vultures. I was completely wrong with my assumption of the little fella. I am not so sure whether it was an elbow or punch that rocked me, but I didn’t know what planet I was waking up on when Gustavo (bless his Brazilian heart) dragged me back to my corner. I do owe my coming back in that 2nd round to win the fight 100% to Gustavo though. It wasn’t aired, but his pep talk between rounds was the sole reason I was able to function after such a beating. He told me something along the lines of, "This is your chance man! God gave you a second chance at this and you are doing this for your wife, man! You go out there and fight. Don’t give up! FIGHT MAN!"
I went out in that second round and, although the camera angle didn’t do it justice, threw a flying knee. After taking down the 3x NCAA Division ll wrestling champion a short struggle found my arms around his neck squeezing with every muscle in my body.
There is something about someone with an accent yelling at you that just makes you react. I had been beaten as badly as one could be and I was still there. The only thing left to do was fight.
Ninja Vanish (copyright Drew Fickett enterprises)
Please check out my gym and some of the athletes I train/train with at http://www.southwestmma.com.
See you next week!