When word first broke that the infamous rivalry between Canada and Australia (?) would take center stage during the next non-Brazilian international season of The Ultimate Fighter, we reacted as we typically do, by turning underwhelming news into a farce. For why would the UFC even bother attempting to promote a rivalry between countries where none such rivalry exists? Not only does it dramatically narrow down their choices for potential participants, but it similarly limits the promotion’s ability to shoehorn in a rivalry between coaches (as they are wont to do) who are both hailing from the countries/nations being represented and are still relevant in today’s MMA landscape.
Look, we get that the point of an international TUF is to, you know, pit foreign nations against one another. But when you start booking coaches from entirely different weight classes, coaches who might not even be able to fight one another at the season’s close, no less, doesn’t that kind of eliminate the point? In any case, that’s what we’ll be privy to during TUF: Canada vs. Australia, which will feature Patrick Cote and Hector Lombard as coaches…sort of (Via FiveOuncesofPain):
According to the MMA Sun, Patrick Cote and Hector Lombard have been targeted as head coaches. An official announcement is expected by week’s end. It also appears the UFC has Kyle Noke lined up just in case Lombard ultimately decides he cannot accept the role based on the expectation of moving down from 185 pounds to compete against Cote as a welterweight.
(NOW we get why Kyle’s friends often refer to him as “The Poke” Noke.)
After collecting three straight stoppage victories in as many UFC contests, EliteXC and TUF 11 veteran Kyle Noke was quickly building up a reputation as one of the top up-and-comers in the middleweight division. Being one of the few successful Australian fighters to grace the UFC (sorry, Elvis), Noke carried a bit more pressure on his shoulders than the average TUF alum, especially when heading into his UFC Live 5 match against resurgent TUF 3 veteran Ed Herman. Unfortunately Noke (and therefore the Australian MMA community), would fall to a first round heel hook in that fight, placing all Aussie UFC hopes in the hands of a man nicknamed after an animal relative to Africa.
But fret not, ye Fosters enthusiasts, for Noke’s path to redemption will begin in the land from which he was birthed. Yes, “KO” recently announced that he will be taking on Jared Hamman at UFC on FX 2, which goes down at the Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia. Hamman, whom we will forever be in debt to for knocking CB Dolloway out of the UFC, will also be looking to build up a win streak; he was most recently flattened in the first round by Constantinos Philippou at UFC 140. This match has yet to be confirmed by the UFC.
Join us after the jump for some juicy featherweight and bantamweight gossip…
Ed “Short Fuse” Herman impressed some of us last night when he went all Paul Harris on poor Kyle Noke, catching Noke with a heel hook and torquing that motherlover until Mario Yamasaki noticed Noke’s “owwie” face and tap simultaneously, stopping it with a minute left in the first round. No official word yet, but expect Noke to be walking gingerly for the next few weeks.
If you’re not familiar with the much-feared heel hook, take a quick peep at this video where the lovely Joanne Spracklen demonstrates the mechanics, and keep in mind that the twisting action at the heel puts a lot of strain on the knee of that leg. And when we say “a lot of strain”, we mean that ligaments pop and tissues tear when you start cranking on this.
Joanne illustrates the standard heel hook, whereas Herman pulled off the inverted variety, moving Noke’s leg to the other side of his hips and twisting the toes out away from the body; the effects are every bit as devastating.
Do NOT try this at home. Seriously, people talk about how kids are resilient and can bounce back from anything, but surgery on knee ligaments will slow even the best of them way down.
Plus, i’m being told that mine is past the manufacturer’s warranty period, and now i have to pay out of pocket to get him fixed. And that’s why we can’t have nice things.
I’m not going near this caption. If you want one, you supply it.
It took nearly two years for Ed Herman to bounce back from the knee injury he sustained in his loss to Aaron Simpson, but following his KO win over Tim Credeur last month he’ll return to the cage in short order. The UFC has announced that “Short Fuse” will step up to replace the injured Tom Lawlor at next month’s “UFC Live: Hardy vs. Lytle”.
Standing across the cage from Herman will be fellow TUF alumnus Kyle Noke. The Australian is on a five-fight tear, stopping all three of his UFC opponents and handing two their walking papers in the process. While Herman was undoubtedly happy with the quick return to the win column against Credeur, we’ll see if 48-seconds was enough to shake off two years of ring rust. This fight will tip Herman toward a winning or losing UFC record; he is currently perched at an uncomfortable 5-5 in his Zuffa career.
Rather than sit out for seven months waiting for his May 14 non-title bout against Falaniko Vitale, Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard will look to defend his other strap later this month in Australia. The highly-touted 27-2 middleweight fighter, will defend his Cage Fighting Championship 185-pound title against UFC and WEC veteran Joe Doerksen Down Under at CFC 16 at Big Top Luna Park in Sydney March 25.
Born in Cuba, Lombard resided in Australia for several years after defecting from the communist country following the 2000 Sydney Olympics. 20 of his 27 wins have come by finish including his record-setting six-second knockout of Jay Silva that earned him the fastest KO in Bellator history. The ATT-trained fighter has not lost since 2006 when he dropped a unanimous decision to Gegard Mousasi at PRIDE Bushido 13 and has never lost a fight in Australia. The closest he came was a draw to Kyle Noke in the inaugural CFC show in 2007. Soon after the fight with Noke, Lombard, who was then a welterweight, was signed by the UFC and was slated to take on Karo Parisyan at UFC 78. Visa issues forced Lombard off the card and prompted the UFC to tear up his contract.
Josh Bryant vs. Kyle Noke: No, Bryant won’t be facing off with fellow semi-finalist Brad Tavares in a third-place match. Instead, he has drawn Kyle Noke, the Australian veteran who was upset by Kris McCray in the TUF 11 quarterfinals.
(Gif of Tavares getting kicked in the "chest," courtesy of smoogy.)
Kris McCray vs. Kyle Noke. Brad Tavares vs. Seth Baczynski. Tito Ortiz vs. Everyone’s Patience. Last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter was a wall-to-wall struggle. Here’s what happened.
After Team Liddell’s Court McGee became the first TUF 11 semi-finalist, following his submission of James Hammortree, it’s time for two more quarterfinal matches. First up is Kris McCray vs. Kyle Noke, two guys who used to be training partners. Dana White cares not for your personal relationships: "One of the things I want these guys to learn early? There are no friends in the UFC."
Tito Ortiz might be looking at neck surgery. There’s a disc pressing on his spinal cord, which is causing numbness in his legs and daily headaches, among other symptoms. He’s not going to let Chuck beat him because he wasn’t 100%. Instead of fighting injured and jeopardizing his health, he wants to get this taken care of. It’s basically the same story we heard last week from Nick Ring, who by the way, is out of the competition for one day and already has a full-on Freddie Mercury ‘stache.
Noke has two inches in height, 4.5 inches in reach, and a hell of a lot more fights under his belt than McCray. It’s time to bang.
After last week’s battle royale, we’re left with 14 middleweight hopefuls, who run up in the TUF house like speed-freaks in a blackout. Is it just me, or is the house nicer than usual this year? It looks like somebody’s actual home, not a reality show barracks. Where are the TapouT bunk beds? Man, is it going to be sweet when they wreck the place.
Not all the fighters survived their qualifying fights completely intact. Chris Camozzi is dealing with a mouth infection from a broken tooth and Clayton McKinney is nursing a jacked shoulder.
It’s time to choose teams, and the coin toss goes Tito Ortiz‘s way. He opts to take the first fighter, which will allow Chuck Liddell to pick the first matchup. The picks go down like this…
Team Punishment: Nick "The Cock" Ring, Kyacey Uscola, Kris McCray, Jamie Yager, James "The Ball Peen" Hammortree, Clayton McKinney, Chris Camozzi Team Liddell: Kyle Noke, Rich Attonito, Charles Blanchard, Josh Bryant, Brad Tavares, Court McGee, Joe Henle