(Should’ve worn a neck-condom.)
With their elimination matches behind them, the 16 middleweight finalists moved into the TUF house on last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter 7. Before the hour was over, teams were picked, a herpes carrier was sent home, and the fighter who looks like a meathead Nicolas Cage was 10 G’s richer.
Quinton Jackson won the opening coin toss, meaning he could pick either the first fighter or the first fight. He insisted on first fighter rights and chose early standout C.B. Dollaway, while Forrest took impressive BJJ black belt Tim Credeur for the next pick. Rampage also chose Matthew Riddle, Paul Bradley, Daniel Cramer, Gerald Harris, Mike Dolce, Jesse May, and Brandon Sene, while Forrest got Amir Sadollah, Jesse Taylor, Matt Brown, Cale Yarbrough, Dante Rivera, Nick Klein and Luke Zachrich.
As Rampage was assessing his team’s injuries from the elimination matches, Paul Bradley’s hive-y, shingle-y neck (shown above) was brought to his attention. Bradley was sent to a dermatologist, who determined that the rash was a herpes strain that could potentially spread to the other fighters. After quarantining him on the treadmill for a day, Dana White calls him into his office with some bad news; because of the risk of transmission, he’d have to leave the house. Bradley doesn’t take it well, and breaks into tears talking about the wrestling coaching job he gave up to be there. But that’s the breaks, and he’s sent packing. Rampage doesn’t want to be around someone with “cooties on his neck.” Replacing Bradley will be Patrick Schultz, the elimination round non-standout who was previously choked out by Luke Zachrich.
Forrest chooses the first matchup: Jesse Taylor vs. Mike Dolce.
Dolce, formerly a municipal tax assessor, is now an avid Bible-reader who trains at Portland’s Team Quest. He lives with his wife and brother who, one would hope, are as devout as he is when he’s not around. Not much backstory is given on Taylor, though he does acknowledge that he looks like the love child of Nic Cage and Big John McCarthy.
The night before the fight, Rampage comes to hang out with his fighters in the house. During their conversation, it’s revealed that Rampage was 17 in the 9th grade (so it’s not an act!) and used to wear his brother’s leopard-print drawers with doo-doo stains, while Matt Riddle lives with his mom without a driver’s license or job. The guys on Team Rampage seem to like their coach and note that Forrest didn’t come around to visit his guys.
So now it’s fight time. Jesse Taylor is dominant in the first round, spending most of the five minutes on Mike Dolce’s back. Taylor tries to finish Dolce with a rear-naked choke four separate times, but Dolce slips out of all of them, which doesn’t bode well for Taylor’s submission abilities. Near the end of the round, Taylor gets on top and lands some hard shots, but the horn sounds before significant damage can be done. The fighters go to the ground almost immediately in round two, with Taylor controlling the action again. Dolce appears to be lost on the bottom, and Taylor goes for the RNC again. The fifth time’s a charm, and he gets it. He celebrates his win by barfing into a bucket, which doesn’t bode well for his conditioning. But he picks up $5,000 Burger King Bucks for the win, and $5,000 more from the UFC for winning by stoppage. We’ve thrown up in buckets for much less.