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‘TUF 10′ Episode 1 Recap: Halloween Comes Early

The tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter kicked off last night after UFC Fight Night 19, and thank God there are no members of the Browning family involved this time. We won’t bother recapping the first few minutes of the show, which you’ve already seen. Suffice it to say that the trash-talk between coaches Quinton Jackson and Rashad Evans comes early and often. Fighter evaluations begin, with Greg Jackson helping Rashad determine who the mentally toughest fighters are by watching them hit heavy bags. James McSweeney and Brendan Schaub are actually teammates of Evans back in Albuquerque, and Rashad wants them on his TUF squad.

Rampage’s right-hand man during the show is Tiki Ghosn, who you may have seen in Danavlogs giving/receiving surprise slaps to the balls. Rampage thinks the guys need to spar and wrestle with each other to get an accurate sense of their skills. His verdict? "Roy Nelson has a big-ass belly. We checked him out, and he’s fat." Also, he starts calling Darrill Schoonover "titties." "Let’s see whatchu got, titties," he says. "Don’t bounce like that, you’ll distract me with them titties." Come on, man, gynecomastia is no laughing matter.

Interestingly, Kimbo Slice seems to handle Roy Nelson fairly easily in their sparring sessions, though Rampage notices that Kimbo’s ground skills are sub-par. Still, his takedown defense might make up for it.

After the workouts, Greg Jackson runs through the guys he likes, but Rashad already has his mind made up: He’s taking McSweeney first. "Alright, you’re the boss," says Greg, with a note of annoyance in his voice. (Doesn’t feel good to be the one taking orders, does it?) Rashad wins the coin toss and opts for first fighter-pick. The team selections go down like this:

Team Rashad: James McSweeney, Brendan Shaub, Justin Wren, Jon Madsen, Roy Nelson, Darrill "Titties" Schoonover, Matt Mitrione, Mike Wessel
Team Rampage: Kimbo Slice, Abe Wagner, Demico Rogers, Wes Sims, Scott Junk, Wes Shivers, Marcus Jones, Zak Jensen

Notes on the selections: Roy Nelson gets picked ninth overall? These guys must not have been IFL fans. It’s also a suprise that Marcus Jones, who’s by far the most physically imposing member of the cast, is picked 14th — though judging from his near-death during a cardio workout later in the show, that seems about right. Rampage tried to pick the cameraman before Zak Jensen. Wes Sims tells us: "I was the only man to defeat Frank Mir on two separate occasions. And I never let truth get in the way of a good story." Justin Wren wants to take out the "street king," Kimbo Slice. Matt Mitrione wants Marcus because his enormous head provides a big target.

With control of the first matchup, Rampage chooses his second pick, Abe Wagner, to go against Rashad’s fourth pick, Jon Madsen. It seems like Quinton is trying to exploit the size difference. Wagner towers over Madsen, who probably shouldn’t be competing at heavyweight. But Rashad approves of the choice: "You put my #1 wrestler against someone who doesn’t have any ground game at all. Thank you."

Madsen works out at H.I.T. with Robbie Lawler and Matt Hughes, but doesn’t have a lot of heavyweights to train with over there. His gameplan is to take Wagner down and work his ground-and-pound. Wagner is the director of finance and operations at "a fairly large company," so fighting’s not his whole life. He was a mechanical engineering major in college. To prove his intelligence, Rampage asks him what 10 times 2 is, and Wagner nails it. Wagner is also a nervous vomiter, something he does before every fight, including the one against Madsen.

And it’s time to throw down. From across the cage, Wagner asks Madsen if he wants to touch gloves when they come out, and Madsen doesn’t respond. "Touch his face with your fist," Rampage says. They touch gloves anyway.

Round 1: Madsen scores with a left hook and shoots for a takedown. The GnP starts immediately, with Wagner pressed against the fence. Wagner tries to lock Madsen’s body down, and Madsen gets in some shots to body. Wagner tries to set up a triangle choke from from the bottom, but Madsen escapes. Madsen starts landing bigger shots, and Wagner is bloodied. Madsen drops some elbows. The scene turns gory as a pool of blood accumulates under Wagner, pumping out of a nasty gash on his head. The bell finally saves him, and the Octagon looks like a crime scene.

Round 2: Madsen shoots and gets the takedown, but doesn’t do anything with his position so Steve Mazzagatti quickly stands them up. Madsen takes Wagner down again, and pretty much just rests on him. Wagner kicks him off, but Madsen gets right back on top. Another standup. Wagner lands a right hand, and yet another takedown. He swings weakly from the top, gassed. Mazzagatti stands ‘em. Madsen with another takedown, and he lays on top until the final horn. The scores are 20-16, 20-17, 20-17, all for Jon Madsen, who wins, but doesn’t look that impressive. Rashad disagrees: "You looked beautiful." Rampage doesn’t want to see his guys touch gloves with anybody from now on. 1-0, Team Rashad.

On the next episode: Kimbo tries to shore up his ground game, and Rashad chews out Big Country for screwing around.

Cagepotato Comments

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Bootylam- September 21, 2009 at 9:38 am
That bullshit is why you ONLY touch gloves when the ref says its time at the start. This extra stupid touch before each round is risky and unnecessary. Fuck Gamburyan, too.
tallkitchenbags- September 17, 2009 at 3:35 pm
because the game is rigged. kimbo ain't going to fight right away. we tune in to see him lose. no eyeballs no sponsors. this is TV, remember?
Socal Tot- September 17, 2009 at 2:24 pm
@ Randle McMurphy-

Call me a retard all you want if it makes you feel better. You just showed your true character by defending a cheater. Was cheating part of the master game plan? Madsen may be a good wrestler, but he did not display any MMA skills that will help him in a division that has monsters like Lesnar, Carwin and Velasquez. Madsen man handled Abe (cheating aside), but he won't be finishing this season a winner.
macmac- September 17, 2009 at 12:46 pm
@ irishlobo:

Funny as hell and so coincidental as I am reading Christopher Darden's book about the OJ murder trial. What a F*cking piece of shit OJ is! Second time to read the book but I can still get fired up about what an injustice that trial was, how Cochran and Kardashian both got what they had coming to them (Karma) and how many idiots there are in juries pulled out of the ghetto of LA!!!
munche- September 17, 2009 at 11:39 am
I';m not sure why everyone is saying how these guys can't hang with top level UFC talent...of course they can't! They use TUF like a farm team to build up talent. They don't need to hang with Brock Lesnar after this, they need to hang on the undercard of a UFN, then the main card of a UFN, then the undercard of a PPV, etc etc.

For the people saying that homedude won't go anywhere because he's just a wrestler with no other skill, remember Josh "the Blanket" Koscheck on season 1? He sucked at everything other than wrestling, but he seems pretty successful and well rounded these days. These guys are up and comers, is that really hard to understand?
ArmFarmer- September 17, 2009 at 10:18 am
I dont know I just saw it as complete and utter dominance and text book execution of a good game plan, but I guess it's a matter of opinion. He crushed the dude without taking any unecessary risks or any damage which under the TUF circumstances is important so I think he did just fine. The maynard fight though, no way that was a lay n pray.

Also, I completely agree the glove tap takedown was very unsportsmanlike.
MMAMoneyLine- September 17, 2009 at 9:57 am
Why didn't Rashad choose to pick the first 2 fights? Rampage said he was taking Kimbo first (someone Rashad didn't want), so essentially it would have been exactly like a #1 pick for Rashad. I don't get it...
OpShut- September 17, 2009 at 9:39 am
@ kid nickels - Exactly, that was a pussy move right there...F Madsen.
Fight Fan- September 17, 2009 at 9:19 am
@ Farmer

That was one case where it was definitely lay and pray. The aggression from the top ended by the last minute of the first round. Nothing but catching a breath after that. I'm against the "lay and pray" bullshit too when it's used to describe every fight that goes to the ground, but in this case, it is what it is.

Example: Madsen on Wagner = lay and pray
Maynard on Huerta = not lay and pray
Randle McMurphy- September 17, 2009 at 9:03 am
@socal tator tot
Madsen was instructed by his corner to execute a certain gameplan and he did. Most with an iq above the mildly retarded range would consider this smart fighting.
As far as talent the kid is a D2 national champ. I would agree he hasn't displayed any striking or sub skills yet, but as i pointed out earlier he was given a gameplan and he stuck to it.
NateGetsIrate- September 17, 2009 at 9:03 am
Thank you, Kid Nickels! I can't believe CP completely overlooked that cheap-ass move. And I noticed another time in the 2nd when before Mazzagati had a chance to say "fight" (right after one of the stand ups), Madsen was already in mid-pounce. WTF!?

After this episode, it's pretty clear how the rest of the season is gonna go. Let's see... Rampage's coaching versus Greg Jackson's coaching. It's like a Mensa candidate being challenged to a spelling bee by a kid with Down's syndrome.
netterbog- September 17, 2009 at 8:49 am
Is there any place to watch the episodes online? I tried Hulu & Spike, but only got excerpts...
Titos Head- September 17, 2009 at 8:48 am
@jimbonics absolutely right...from what i saw...Rashad is a far better coach.
cdlaforc- September 17, 2009 at 8:34 am
Round 2 was classic lay and pray. It wouldn't be/look so bad if he was actually working for something or if anything besides his wrestling looked technical. It was just a sloppy, boring fight, and anyone with descent striking or bjj would have killed them both at the same time.
Strife- September 17, 2009 at 8:23 am
But in the second round it was just takedowns and no damage....
Socal Tot- September 17, 2009 at 8:20 am
@Kid Nickels- Yes I did see that cheating son of a bitch pull that shit. Madsen is a piece of shit.
Socal Tot- September 17, 2009 at 8:16 am
Madsen- Enjoy your first and last "UFC" victory.

That first fight was weak! Granted, that was one nasty gash opened up on Abe's forehead. I really hope this season is not all about big guys with no ground game getting taken down by undersized wrestlers with no stand up game. As somebody said earlier, neither one of these guys belong in the UFC. I'd like to see Madsen execute that same game plan on any of the existing UFC Heavies. He would get stuffed and knocked the fuck out. So to recap, Abe was worthless and Madsen is too undersized and undertalented to go anywhere.
ArmFarmer- September 17, 2009 at 8:15 am
The dude got put up against a guy twice his size and threw him around like a rag doll and demolished him from the top for 6 minutes.. you guys need to give the lay n pray shit a rest he completely dominated that fight. I could understand if it was just takedowns and no damage or agression, but how can anyone say he wasn't doing damage once it got to the ground? He turned him into a bloody mess.

Seriously a fight goes to the ground and isn't immediately ended with a tko or sub and everyone starts screaming lay n pray. Same thing with the Maynard fight.. Maynard boxed with him for 2 rounds, took him down in the 3rd with a little gnp and position advancing, then damn near broke his arm clean off and everyones still giving gray shit. MMA fans are hard to please..
Hamma Fist Elbow Bam-Bam- September 17, 2009 at 8:06 am
Okay, worst TUF fighter: Andy Wang, Monstuh Lobstuh, Jules Broowhatever his name was, or this guy?
kid nickels- September 17, 2009 at 8:05 am
I think it's worth mentioning that the reason Rampage doesn't want to see his guys touch gloves with anybody from now on, is because at the start of round 2, Madsen went for the glove touch and then immediately shot for the takedown. An incredibly cheap move especially since he was already winning the fight and didn't need an extra advantage. Screw that guy.
Justin- September 17, 2009 at 8:02 am
Doc: "There seems to be a fracture."
Abe: "You can see my skull?" (scared)
Doc: "Affirmative."

It went down something like that but either way, it was hilarious. Head Wound Harry probably won't be replacing any injured fighters.
BigBear145- September 17, 2009 at 7:58 am
That guy shouldnt have been there, end of story. He gave up in the first round and he was one of the worst fighters i have ever seen.
GEE-yuh-TEEN- September 17, 2009 at 7:57 am
I wonder if Abe is going to Finance the Operation needed to close that canyon in his head...
Fight Fan- September 17, 2009 at 7:47 am
There was ground and pound in the first half of the first round (when the cut occured), after that, the fat boy was gassed and it was textbook lay and pray.

C-Bus Allstar- September 17, 2009 at 7:23 am
"It seems like Quinton is trying to exploit the size difference. Wagner towers over Madsen, who probably shouldn't be competing at haveyweight. But Rashad approves of the choice: "You put my #1 roster against somene who doesn't have any ground game at all. Thank you."

That should say "You put my #1 WRESTLER against someone who doesn't have any ground game at all. Thank you."

Just sayin'.