(The end of Schaub vs. Rogers.)
Last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights opened with some analysis of the Kimbo Slice vs. Roy Nelson fight, which was described rather generously as a "classic striker vs. wrestler/grappler matchup" by Scott Junk, who gives props to Slice for not gassing out. Titties Schoonover was also very impressed by Kimbo’s performance. Roy Nelson was impressed by Roy Nelson’s performance. After the fight, we see Big Country needling Rampage, thanking him for helping Roy count strikes to Kimbo’s dome. "I lost count after ten," Roy says, coming in for a bro-clinch. "Get the fuck off me," says Jackson. "I can’t stand that fat motherfucker," he tells Tiki.
Rampage and his assistants do their best to encourage Kimbo after the fight. Rampage vows to keep working with Slice and turn him into one of the best fighters out there. Kimbo doesn’t feel he’s out of the competition yet, and that with another two or three weeks of instruction, he’ll be untouchable. Abe Wagner tells him — to his face, amazingly — that he’s using denial as a coping mechanism. But for a moment, it does look like Kimbo might return. Marcus Jones has a "sweat attack," and has to sit down for a while after getting lightheaded back at the house. His teammates think he’s physically cracking under the demands of the show. Kimbo sees it as his opportunity to squeeze his way back in, but Marcus quickly recovers.
With control of the fight-picks still in Rashad‘s hands, Sugar starts planning for the future, figuring out how the rest of the matchups should go. Rashad likes Matt Mitroine‘s athleticism, Justin Wren‘s attitude, and Mike Wessel‘s power, but his homeboy Brendan Schaub is peaking right now, and it might be best if he fights next. Rashad and his assistants call the guys in one by one and tell them who they’ll be fighting. They want to see Wren against Junk, Schaub against Demico Rogers ("I will beat the piss out of him, it’ll be highlight reel," Schaub says), and Mitrione against Marcus Jones. Mitrione isn’t sure if he can handle Marcus’s power, but he doesn’t protest. And yes, despite the sweat attack, Marcus is a powerful guy, as we see in a montage where he wrecks several of his teammates in practice. Going 110% in sparring sessions isn’t a great way to win friends, but it’s earned him a fearsome reputation.
Shortly after, Wren comes back to Rashad and tells him that he’s unconfortable with the Junk matchup, because they’re boys from way back, and roommates in the house. Rashad, who comes from the tight-knit Jackson camp, can relate, and tells him that they’ll figure out something else.
When Wren comes back to the house, Junk tells him that he heard they’d be fighting. Apparently, Mitrione spilled the beans on all of Rashad’s fight picks, God knows why. The Team Evans guys are pissed, and start referring to him as "snitch" and "rat." James McSweeney and Jon Madsen think Mitrione tried to leak the info to avoid fighting Marcus. "We’ll just switch it up, it’s not a big deal," says simple-ass Mitrione. So, it’s back to the drawing board, but Schaub tells Rashad that he doesn’t want Scott Junk for his first fight because it would be a battle, and the whole thing becomes so confusing that Rashad decides that maybe he’ll just stick with the original plan.
Team Rampage thinks that nobody could beat Junk, Schaub could maybe beat Demico, and Marcus is going to freak out and kill somebody.
Rashad chooses Brendan Schaub vs. Demico Rogers for the next fight. Dana White thinks that Demico could take this one because of his tremendous size advantage. Cut to the faceoff, where they’re exactly the same height. Conveniently, their weights are never mentioned.
Rampage wants to punch through Rashad’s face, pull out his brain, throw it on the ground, spit on it, then kick Rashad in the nuts. "Why am I thinking that?" Rampage asks. "Am I crazy, man? I’m ashamed of myself."
Team Rashad assistant Trevor Wittman walks Brendan around the cage before the fight, giving him an overblown pep talk: "You are the best in the world, and I know you know that. I want you to go to bed tonight and dream of how good you are…I believe that you’re the best I’ve ever worked with. Do you believe that? I believe it." He really wants Brendan to work his jab.
The problem with focusing the first three episodes of TUF 10 on Kimbo Slice is that we don’t know shit about Demico Rogers, and last night’s episode didn’t do much to change that. Tiki knows that Brendan wants to stick to his kickboxing, so Demico’s gameplan is to set up his takedowns with punches, and beat him up with ground-and-pound or submit him. Tiki wants Demico to explode on Brendan’s face (PAUSE).
But when it’s time to get ready for the fight, Demico’s coaches are literally out to lunch. Demico sits in his quiet dressing room with a few of his teammates, waiting for somebody to wrap his hands and hold pads for him, while Schaub’s team is next door whipping him into a frenzy. Rampage and Tiki finally show up, minutes before showtime, but Rogers is already at a psychological disadvantage.
Round 1: Rogers starts with a leg kick, then shoots from a mile away. Schaub easily stuffs the takedown, and tries to set up a choke on the ground. Rogers gets back up and they begin to trade strikes. Rogers takes Schaub down after a missed kick from Brendan, and throws some punches down in Schaub’s guard. Schaub kicks him off. Rogers jumps back on. Schaub grabs the cage to adjust his position. Rogers leapfrogs to half guard, and drops some hard elbows. Then, he tries to jump to mount but botches it and Schaub reverses, getting on top. Rogers tries to roll out and Schaub easily locks on an anaconda choke, forcing Rogers to tap. It’s 4-0, Team Rashad.
Disgusted, Rampage refuses to bring Demico a stool. With no members of Team Rampage to console him, Rashad and Trevor come in to give Rogers some words of encouragement. Rashad says that a coach should always be there for his fighter, whether he wins or loses. After a loss, a fighter "feels alone, embarassed, sad…and you’re just going to leave him by himself, just to feel like he isn’t worth anything because he didn’t win? That’s horrible." When Demico makes his way out of the cage and back to his coach, Rampage says "You really got tapped out by an anaconda choke?" Christ, what an asshole.
Rampage takes his coaches aside for a venting session. He thinks that they’re confusing the fighters with high-level instruction, and the guys shouldn’t be doing things like passing guard when they’re in a good position to drop punches. He’s pretty much inconsolable at this point. "I can’t deal with that stuff," he says. "It’s too much for me, man." Schaub, for some reason, is disappointed with the fight. Kudos for having high standards, I guess.
On the next episode: Matt "The Rat" Mitrione injures his shoulder but his team doesn’t believe him, and Rashad calls out Rampage for not supporting his fighter.
(Would you buy headphones from this man?)