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TUF 12.2 Recap: A Sucker Born Every Minute

(Crappy, TV-shot video of the Alex Caceres vs. Jeff Lentz fight, courtesy of TheMMAResource.)

After last week’s trial by fire, it’s time for the 14 UFC hopefuls to move into the house and get comfy. And boy is the new TUF house classy. The dining room has a chandelier in it and everything.

Alex "Bruce Leroy" Caceres and Jeff Lentz down some shots right away. They’re both characters. Jeff’s a chain-smoker from Jersey with a dye-job, and says he’ll never tap, not even to an armbar. (Pay attention! This will be important later!) The guys are apprehensive about the cigs and booze that Lentz is constantly consuming, but Jeff says he’s just playing with them, and he actually has gas for days. I mean, he’s clearly a nicotine addict and probably has a drinking problem on top of that, but it’s all just a persona, y’know? As for Alex, he can play the harmonica, he once killed a gator with his bare hands, and he nearly murdered a deer, too. But as they say, man is the most dangerous game.

In advance of the team selections, Coach Josh Koscheck has every guy in the house ranked, 1-14. He’s got Michael Johnson at #1, Marc Stevens at #2, Sako "Psycho" Chivitchian and Sevak Magakian at 3 and 4. Koscheck loves those Armenians, bro.

Greg Jackson has been here before with Rashad Evans on TUF 10, and now he’s Georges St. Pierre‘s consigliere. He advises Georges to go after the first matchup rather than the first fighter, if possible. GSP knows that Koscheck likes Michael Johnson, so he gets an idea to try a little gamesmanship. "We’ll see if he’s smart," GSP says. Koscheck, as it turns out, is not smart.

GSP prepares a fake list of his top picks, with Marc Stevens at #1. When it’s time for everybody to congregate for fighter-selections, Georges has his list hanging out, completely exposed to Koscheck. Kos notices the list and scans it, thinking he’s getting some inside info.

Koscheck wins the coin-flip, and opts to pick the first fighter. Obviously, he chooses Marc, in an attempt to screw St. Pierre. LOL, what a maroon! GSP and Greg grin at each other. GSP takes Michael Johnson for his own first pick. Kos looks at his notes, confused, perhaps realizing that he’d just been masterfully trolled. Yep, that was the dude you wanted, genius. GSP raises the roof in celebration. Classic.

The teams shake out like this…

Team Koscheck: Marc Stevens, Sevak Magakian, Psycho Chivitchian, Andrew Main, Nam Phan, Aaron Wilkinson, Jeff Lentz

Team GSP:
  Michael Johnson, Jonathan Brookins, Spencer Paige, Alex Caceres, Kyle Watson, Cody McKenzie, Dane Sayers

Phan’s a big-show veteran, and nobody on Earth can defend McKenzie’s guillotine choke, so it’s a little surprising that they didn’t get picked earlier.

GSP considers himself more of a training partner to his guys than a coach. The actual coaching will be done by Greg Jackson, the strategist, the maestro. "He’s the guy that make the music play," GSP explains. Also in GSP’s camp is kiwi BJJ ace John Danaher, who GSP describes as "the smartest guy I’ve ever met in my life. He’s like a dictionary of knowledge." He speaks like a philosopher, expounding on the goal of the "beautiful victory." GSP promises his guys that he’ll make them better fighters.

Meanwhile, on Team Death Star, Koscheck thinks he has the edge because he’s been on the show as a contestant. "I believe in mindless training," he says. Basically, his guys show up, he tells them what to do, and they do it. They’ll be doing a lot of wrestling, because wrestling wins fights. (Ugh.) He’s got AKA’s Bob Cook as head trainer, plus boxing coach Teddy Lucio and two-time Olympian wrestler turned MMA fighter Daniel Cormier. Koscheck knows he’s the heel of the UFC, but "labeling me is absurd. If you meet me and have a conversation with me, you’ll fall in love with me, guaranteed."

With his first fight selection, GSP chooses his fourth pick Alex Caceres to go against Team Koscheck’s last pick Jeff Lentz. Alex wanted the fight, so GSP gave it to him. "He likes to keep it standing up, and that’s where my world is," Alex says. Dana’s not sure about letting the fighters choose their matchups. Koscheck thinks Jeff’s ground-and-pound will win the day.

Alex and Dane spar outside while Jeff watches, smoking. Jeff doesn’t think much of Alex. He notices that Alex taps his foot before every attack. It’s a "tell" that he could take advantage of. "My gameplan is to hurt him so bad he wants to go home tomorrow," Jeff says. But he’s antsy the night before the fight. It’s the first time he’ll fight without his mom there watching, and he’s a little nervous about that. "She motivates me…nobody wants to lose in front of their mom."

The day of the fight, Bruce Leroy suits up in full kung fu regalia. Jeff is not impressed by the gimmick. (Dyeing your hair isn’t a gimmick, by the way, it’s a lifestyle.) Alex explains that the proper mindset is "as if you’re sleeping but not dreaming…ready but not tense…calm but not asleep. In between." He gets in a sparring/visualization session with GSP before the fight. GSP raises Alex’s hand in the Octagon. Alex used to get smacked around by his parents a lot because every time he got in trouble he would smile. He’s just a smiley dude.

Lentz shows up to the cage with his hair dyed blonde instead of red. Both Alex and Jeff are 21 years old, both stand 5’10", and both sport a 68" reach. They should be best friends, not enemies.

Round 1: Alex throws high kick, then a body kick that catches Jeff coming in. Alex tries a reverse kick that misses. Jeff springs forward with a high kick of his own, then clinches. He foot-stomps against the fence. Alex throws a knee in the clinch, but Jeff has him stuck against the fence. Jeff tries a trip takedown, but Alex stays upright and gets in a knee from a thai clinch. Jeff tries the trip again, but Alex defends. Jeff puts him back against the fence. Jeff tries for a double leg and Alex sets up a guillotine standing. Jeff puts him down and escapes. Jeff scores a takedown, Alex gets up. Jeff works for the single-leg, but botches it and Alex almost gets on top of him. They get back to their feet and clinch some more. Herb Dean separates them with 30 seconds left. They trade kicks. Alex with a wild punch/kick attack, Jeff returns kicks. They brawl and Jeff nails a great judo toss at the end of the round, probably securing the 10-9 on the scorecards. "I got you buddy!" Jeff shouts from the stool between rounds.

Round 2: Alex with a teep. Lentz with a head kick, and another. Alex teeps again, then throws a body kick, and grabs on when Jeff starts firing his hands. Alex tries a guillotine, Jeff slips out. Alex drags Jeff to the mat and has his back, but Jeff spins around and gets on top. He lands a couple elbows. Alex establishes guard and sets up a triangle choke. Jeff tries to slam out of it, but Alex hangs on, makes some adjustments, and locks it. Jeff taps. He TAPS, guys. The one thing he said he’d never do. Oh my God, it’s the very definition of irony!

Dana is happy to see Bruce Leroy win. He likes the kid, and digs his personality. Alex is amped. "I feel sorry for whoever I get in the next round…you better be ready for a gooddamn fight ’cause I ain’t handin’ out no free tickets."

On the next episode: Alex gets drunk and rubs in his victory to poor Jeff, Josh Koscheck chews out his team for losing focus, and Mike Tyson stops by to teach the TUF guys the importance of staying the fuck away from Don King.


Cagepotato Comments

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Naked Rear Poke- September 23, 2010 at 8:24 pm
Are we not noticing the fact that BG is in topsy-turvy facts land. Jackson actually advised to go for the first fighter and not pick the fight. I quote, "I would go for person rather than fight, in my opinion. That's the way we did it with Rashad, and we were able to win the fights and get control anyway".
I can be your volunteer editor if you want, and by volunteer I mean "give me some money", and by "give me some money" I mean "USD, as I'm Australian and this would work out better for me".
I'll be expecting my first cheque in the mail, thanks!
Under Banga- September 23, 2010 at 6:48 pm
Ha " I got you bro " Lentz. As Nick Ring would say "Oh no you don`t "
nickyroose- September 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm
Fuckin' hi-larious.

Bruce Leeroy Cult of Personality checking in. Herb Dean needs to hop in on the fence laying.
Mr_Misanthropy- September 23, 2010 at 11:41 am
Josh Koshceck's head has apparently been carved from a gigantic lump of gelatinized meat-protein by-products. Then some industrious individual affixed the world's most hideous hair piece firmly in place with super glue and hat pins.
Mr_Misanthropy- September 23, 2010 at 11:36 am
GSP's impression of Gunnery Sergeant Hartmann needs work, but for a French Canadien he's making progress.

He may not yet be "A Minister of Death Praying For War" but I think he has achieved the level of grabasstic disorganized amphibian shit.
DiazBrotherFromAnotherMother- September 23, 2010 at 10:53 am
that was a quick highlight of the whole season. a koscheck rape choke on rubben studdard and a random sucker punch by the pool
KarmaAteMyCat- September 23, 2010 at 10:50 am
Very little going to sleep was done to. What a pussy.
ThrashingMad- September 23, 2010 at 10:38 am
Bruce Leeroy's gonna be one of those gay cult of personality fighters even though he's really not very good. Seriously, every one of those fancy kicks were completely telegraphed.
KidDinomite- September 23, 2010 at 10:35 am
GSP's impression of a drill instructor was actually better than his normal english. I could clearly understand what he was saying.

OK, I must admit, I actually like GSP after this show. I wasn't a hater, I just question his ability to stand and bang with other fighters in the division. But he actually comes off as a cool, humble guy who really takes the time out to help his team grow as martial artists. Much respect for that.

The only thing is Bruce Leroy really needs to learn how to block and needs serious help with his standup. And he even said his strength is in his standup. He just looked sloppy in his fight and instead of trying to be flashy, should have taken a page out of Bruce Lee's book and tried to finish the fight as fast as possible. If he wasn't able to lock on that triangle, he would have lost to a guy who smokes like a chimney and drinks booze like water.
Shrigs- September 23, 2010 at 10:23 am
Considering how much those two said they wanted to stand and trade, very little standing and trading actually happened.
BryanF- September 23, 2010 at 9:54 am
@ 9:31

I kept expecting Bruce Leeroy to bring his 4 other brothers out in matching sequin jackets and go through a rendition of "ABC/I Want You Back"
Kimbos Bread- September 23, 2010 at 9:48 am
I just don't like Alex C. Dunno why.
Blackleg- September 23, 2010 at 9:28 am
"Um, are we NOT addressing GSP's impression of a hard-nosed Drill Instructor with a southern drawl? Are we really not addressing that??? Really? Really?"

That was in no way a southern drawl, that might have been where he wanted to go but he drove right past there and landed squarely on Geri Jewell. I had to look away lest I lose some amount of respect for the man.
KarmaAteMyCat- September 23, 2010 at 9:27 am
Anyone else notice on Lentz Ride to the arena that the guy behind him (I forgot his name) in the van, just picked his nose and ate it? I MEAN COME ON GUYS THAT'S FORESHADOWING.
Sudos KFC- September 23, 2010 at 9:13 am
nice to know I was 1000% wrong about Leeroy. I have really started to like this guys style and how much he clearly enjoys fighting
danomite- September 23, 2010 at 8:45 am
does everybody at "team batman" dye their hair a stupid color or is it just this guy and kurt pelligrino? both of those guys looked like they didn't belong anywhere near an octagon at times in that fight. I've seen more technical striking at a toughman competition. when i first saw Bruce Leroy in the game of death outfit i immediately didn't like him, but now that they've shown more of him he seems like a nice guy. I probably shouldn't have labeled him a douche so quickly.
J-Dog- September 23, 2010 at 8:44 am
The trainer on GSP's team with the long-ish bangs and huge bald spot needs to do something about that shit. Time to shave it off. Don't be scared, homey.
Ballkick- September 23, 2010 at 8:15 am
I was actually surprised that Jersey Boi was in this fight as much as he was, if it hadn't been for the Sonnen Kryptonite move Bruce Leroy used he could have won that fight.
Oh well, go have a smoke and a fifth of Jack and fo'gedabodit!

Kosh Jokecheck,..... knows he's the heel of the UFC, but "labeling me is absurd. If you meet me and have a conversation with me, you'll fall in love with me, guaranteed."
Holy Fucking Shit!.....I don't think I would ever want to have a conversation with you, you are a major shit stain on the MMA underwear Josh, don't you get it?
Most MMA fans hate you for the cocksucker you prove yourself to be every time your interviewed and whenever you get in the ring. "NOT" labeling you would be ABSURD!
Sorry Fucker no chance I'll ever "fall" out of hate with you. Guaranteed!
Almost North- September 23, 2010 at 7:54 am
@deathb4slaptap I am BJ Penn and I endorse this message.

Good episode to start the series off with. I don't think anybody was shocked when the guy who looks like a muppet got fooled by that loony tunes style scheme.

I like Lentz's tapping style, which looks exactly like those little limp-wristed top control strikes wrestlers throw to avoid a stand-up (see Fitch, Shields). There is absolutely NO way that could result in controversial stoppages. None.
Bill Clinton- September 23, 2010 at 7:51 am
So much for not tapping and just going to sleep. LOL!
Deathb4tapout- September 23, 2010 at 7:39 am
maybe next time GSP should greasy his throat when he does that impression..
Jersey Shua- September 23, 2010 at 6:23 am
"Um, are we NOT addressing GSP's impression of a hard-nosed Drill Instructor with a southern drawl? Are we really not addressing that??? Really? Really?"

This really does need to be addressed. I was at the same time laughing and incredibly uncomfortable
O Chan- September 23, 2010 at 6:08 am
Um, are we NOT addressing GSP's impression of a hard-nosed Drill Instructor with a southern drawl? Are we really not addressing that??? Really? Really?
MadOnionSlicer- September 23, 2010 at 5:51 am
Did that part where Kos grabbed some dude's throat not air? It was on the end of the last episode.
Crap Factory- September 23, 2010 at 5:32 am
Jersey Shore was a douche any way. Now he's crying to Mommy.

"Koscheck, as it turns out, is not smart." - Really?