(Hick-Jitsu is no match for Drunken French Muay Thai.)
Alex Caceres has gone full heel. For some reason, he decides to put bleach in Nam Phan‘s fabric softener. Michael Johnson borrows it to do a load of delicates, and freaks out when he learns the truth. "Why would you run the risk of fuckin’ up someone’s whole wardrobe like that?" he asks. Caceres explains that it was meant for Nam, which begs the question — what the hell did Nam Phan ever do to you, bro? "I got a love/hate personality," Caceres says later. "That’s why I don’t have many friends."
As Team GSP rides to practice, Cody McKenzie spits dip-juice into an empty Red Bull can. It’s the most country thing I’ve ever seen in my life.
GSP brings in another special guest for his guys. Very special. Jean Charles Skarbowsky is a French kickboxing savant who sleeps three hours a night and gets drunk before every practice. Georges advises the guys that if you respect him, he’ll respect you; if you go hard to prove a point, he’ll kill you. "Please be careful, he had a long ride from Paris to get here," GSP says. Hmm, he doesn’t look like much. But there he is, tossing around the entire team and dropping everybody with liver shots. "You cannot have the same lifestyle as Jean Charles and be an MMA fighter. In Thailand they smoke and drink and fight every day." And let’s not even get into the transsexual thing…
For the next fight, GSP chooses Spencer Paige (his #3 pick) vs. Nam Phan (Koscheck’s #5 pick). This is a tough one. John Danaher calls Paige one of their most talented athletes, particularly on the feet. But Phan’s a seasoned vet who’s tangled with the likes of Josh Thomson, Gesias Cavalcante, Rob McCullough, and Michihiro Omigawa. He lost to all those guys, but still.
Phan runs laps around the backyard for an hour every morning; he thinks it’ll give him the extra cardio boost he needs to win. The other guys don’t really get it, and are content to just chill and watch him.
Cody "Dip" McKenzie has some balls on him. He tweaks Koscheck’s chin as he leaves practice one day, and announces that "Josh is about to get beat up." When you’re the #2 guillotine choker in the world, you can get away with stuff like that.
It’s time for Team Koscheck to get a visitor. (Not that you don’t count, Fitch.) Chuck Liddell — Josh Koscheck‘s coach on TUF 1 — saunters in and gets an ovation from the team. His eye is still bruised up from his fight against Rich Franklin. The Armenians are particularly star-struck. "You were kicking ass, I saw old Chuck coming back," one says. "I wish I could be like you when I’m your age." Chuck is asked for advice on the fight game and says "If you don’t enjoy it, it’s not for you…don’t forget, this is a hell of a lot better than a real job." Chuck tells the guys that it’s hard to walk away from his old life, and he still wants a shot at Tito.
Josh Koscheck continues to fuck with St. Pierre every chance he gets, in increasingly homo-erotic ways. "French kiss me now, and I’ll leave MMA," he says. "You know you love yellow." GSP wants to say something in return, but won’t allow himself to drop to that level. Later, Kos stops by GSP’s team-room and starts messing with Jean Charles. Uh oh. "How was rehab, you went to rehab today?" he says. Damn…Skarbowsky isn’t a man to be trifled with, but luckily he keeps grinning through his afternoon hangover.
Something that Paige and Phan have in common? They both get pretty scared before fights, but once they enter the cage, a switch flips and it’s time to bang.
Round 1: Paige comes out very aggressive, setting a hard pace. He throws kick in bunches, stumbling Phan with a leg kick and landing sharply to the body. He gets in two more kicks, but Phan drops him with a counter punch. Paige bounces up. Paige kicks to Phan’s leg and body. Another leg kick. Phan responds with punches, Paige gets in another body kick…Phan needs to start blocking those. Phan stalking, but misses his strikes. Paige works the jab, and goes back to the body kick. He lands a 1-2 and a leg kick. Paige jabs. He’s completely owning the striking battle. Phan launches a high kick, but Paige returns fire. Paige with more punches. Paige lands yet another body kick, but his pace is slowing down. A body punch and kick from Paige. Phan catches a body kick, tosses Paige down, and starts swarming with punches. Paige tries to kick off and get some distance. He throws some upkicks, but Phan doesn’t back off. More punches from the top. Phan gets into side control with 30 seconds left. Phan grabs a kimura and cranks it. Paige’s arm is bent behind his back in a horribly painful-looking angle. It seems like the fight is over, but Paige guts out the last agonizing seconds and survives until the bell. But he’s not out of the woods. Back in his corner, Paige tells GSP that his foot is broken.
Round 2: Phan lands a body kick after Paige throws some punches. Phan goes to the body with strikes and pours it on when Paige retreats against the cage. Paige throws more kicks but he’s wobbly on his broken foot. He stays in the fight, though, snapping punches at Phan. Paige falls throwing a reverse kick. Nice hook to the body from Phan. Paige falls again throwing a kick, and Phan pounces, throwing knees to Paige’s body against the cage. Paige escapes, and misses a spinning backfist then a reverse kick. Nam attacks with punches. Leg kick Phan. High kick Phan. Paige returns a leg kick, and throws a body kick. Phan fires off more punches and a high kick. Paige falls on his ass yet again throwing a reverse kick. Paige pops the jab. GSP begs for a takedown as the round draws to a close, hoping Paige can somehow steal the round, but he keeps it standing as the round ends. Nam Phan wins the decision, putting Team Koscheck on the board for the first time.
Paige might have broken his hand and his leg in the fight. Koscheck says it’s a sweet feeling to see Paige get his ass kicked like that. Phan says he "showed America that little Asian boys can scrap." Koscheck gets his gloat on. As Spencer gets his wraps peeled off, broken in body and spirit, the yellow team pounds on the wall, howling in victory.
Next week: Team Koscheck remains cocky, GSP gets cut in training, and we get two fights. At this point, Koscheck still has his #1 (Stevens), #2 (Magakian), and #3 (Chivitchian) picks remaining, while St. Pierre is left with his #2 (Brookins), #6 (McKenzie) and #7 (Sayers). That’s what happens when you let your fighters make the matchups.