(The Stevens vs. McKenzie "fight," if you can call it that. Props: TheMMAResource)
Still giddy from his squad’s first victory, Josh Koscheck starts picking on Team GSP’s Michael Johnson, telling him he looks heavy, he gassed out in his fight against Aaron Wilkinson, and he would have lost if not for that beast-like surge at the end. Kos’s entire team is equally assholish, continuing their celebration into the night, screaming in the house like complete jackasses. Koscheck shows up with burgers and Johnson asks him why he has to be such a dick. Josh denies he’s a dick; he just loves yellow. You can’t really fault a man for that.
Koscheck also loves being in the power-position for the first time in the season. He finally has control of the matchups, and during a team discussion, the idea of Marc Stevens (his #1 pick) vs. Cody McKenzie (GSP’s #6 pick) is floated. They figure that as long as they stay away from Cody’s famous guillotine choke, it’s a good matchup for them. Since this is one of those two-fight episodes, we know that whatever happens, it’s not gonna last long.
Kos announces Stevens vs. McKenzie as his match selection, and the two lightweights face off for the first time. "You don’t have to puff your chest out like that," Stevens says to McKenzie. "Exhale…it’s not very friendly." Cody mean-mugs Stevens, but then grins and chin-checks Koscheck again before walking off, just like he did last episode. Koscheck has to be reminded that this should piss him off. "Cut his fingers off the next time he does that to you," Sako says. "We can’t even understand you," Cody deadpans to the Armenian. It’s personal now. Yellow doesn’t like Cody McKenzie, no sir.
GSP tells his team to rise above the Team Koscheck bullshit. He’s not a coward — he used to take on five guys at once when he was younger, no homo — but he doesn’t respond to trash talk, unless his well-being is "jeopratized," in which case, "boom, it’s gonna be a disaster."
Cody’s style is unorthodox and funky. He’s not an athletic guy, but he likes good times and he likes fighting. And his custom-guillotine is death; his 11-0 pro record includes nine wins by the technique, and he won his elimination fight on the show by putting Amir Killah to sleep with it. "I don’t give two shits about a decision to be honest," Cody says. "I’m here to finish him, I’m here to get paid…and that’s that."
Koscheck sets his attention on Mr. McKenzie. "I’d love to get my hands on you, it would be so nice," Kos says, like a hard-up boyfriend. "Could you fight at 170?"
"I’d fight wherever they pay me," Cody replies.
"Maybe I’ll come in for the wild card," Koscheck offers.
"Maybe, but then I’d have to lose first," Cody says. And then he walks off like a BAWSS. Koscheck appreciates the kid’s balls.
Marc Stevens got in the house with that quick knockout of TJ O’Brien. Dana White thinks Stevens will try to stand with McKenzie, because of Cody’s fearsome guillotine-rep. McKenzie admits that Stevens is better than him at everything…but he’s going to win anyway. He’s also the shit-stirrer that Team GSP needs; not everybody can turn the other cheek like St. Pierre. Stevens calls McKenzie ignorant, uneducated, a punk, an asshole. Cody says, "For how little he is, he sure walks tall."
Before the fight, Team Kos assistant coach Dave Camarillo warns Marc: "No lucky punches, no guillotines. Head stays away from your opponent in the clinch…He’s coming wild"
"He’s been sitting down in the back deck with his drawings and his crown royal and his chew," Marc says. "That’s not a fighter’s lifestyle. This is going to be a learning experience for him."
It’s time to bang. Cody refuses Marc’s offer to tap gloves at the beginning of the fight. Marc’s like "whatever." Cody rushes in with a sloppy punch right off the bell. He throws a high kick; Marc catches it, shoves Cody down to the mat…and falls directly into that freaking guillotine. Marc Stevens is out cold in 16 seconds. The yellow team is deathly silent. Kos applies lip balm, angrily. Basically, Stevens reverted back to wrestling when he was caught off guard by the gong-and-dash. That might have been the fastest abandonment of a game-plan in MMA history. Koscheck says it was "like a sick feeling, an ooey feeling" watching it go down. Stevens hopes he can come back in and win the whole thing. LOL bro, 16 seconds!
Team GSP goes up 4-1 and regains control of the matchups. They have good reason to rub Team Koscheck’s noses in it, but GSP doesn’t want bullies on his team. As he explains, they expect you to come at them aggressive. You have to be a nice guy and catch them off guard. Georges won’t respond when Kos fucks with him, but when they fight, well, he won’t be so nice.
"Wow," Nam Phan says, breaking the silence in the Yellow room. Only the Aremenians are left to avenge their honor.
GSP selects his #2 pick Jonathan Brookins to go against Team Koscheck’s #2 pick Sevak Magakian. "Nobody knows how good he is," Georges says about Brookins. "Not even Jonathan Brookins knows how good he is." GSP likes that Brookins is a sponge in the gym, and he has a philisophical mind that fits in perfectly with the St. Pierre/Danaher vibe. "You discover yourself through competition," Brookins says. "I want to do like the plants do and go up towards the sun."
"He’s gonna go hard, I’m gonna go hard, and I’m gonna be on his face," Sevak says. I really wish I hadn’t already blown my "no homo" quota for this recap.
Brookins and GSP clash heads while rolling, and Coach Georges gets gashed up over his eye. While GSP is looking for his sandals, which Koscheck has hidden like the child he is, Kos notices the cut and needles him about it. "Don’t worry, I’ll be fine in December," St. Pierre says. "I’m not gonna hit you there, I’m gonna hit you right here," Koscheck says, and chucks GSP’s chin, paying Cody’s insult forward.
Sevak and Sako Chivitchian have been training partners for eight years. Sako vouches for his buddy’s heart. Sevak moved to the States when he was a teenager, and fights for the memory of his father. In sparring, he just sticks his face out, collecting blows. But he’s an experienced grappler, and he’s strong.
Brookins explains that he doesn’t know if the universe wants him to win, but the universe allowed him to be here, which is pretty amazing considering all the possibilites of things that could have happened in his life, etc. Sevak is more succinct: "This is win or die, man." It’s time for fight #2…
Magakian throws an overhand right, then a head kick. Brookins lunges for a leg, then shoots in with a knee and takes Magakian down from a clinch. Brookins first works for an armlock, then takes Magakian’s back standing when the Armenian rolls and gets to his feet. Brookins has his legs sunk and hangs out in mid-air for a bit. After some jockeying for position, Brookins slips in the rear-naked choke and secures it. Magakian collapses to the mat and enters dreamworld. Another quick submission victory for Team GSP, who go up 5-1. Poor Sevak will not get his date with Bruce Leroy.
On the next episode: The final round-of-14 fight between Dane and Sako, the coaches’ challenge (home run derby!), and the wild card matchup is selected. Aaron Wilkinson seems like a shoe-in for one of the spots. Andy Main is the other front-runner at this point, unless the loser of Dane/Sako manages to lose more impressively. Though we’re still hoping that Koscheck keeps his word and enters the competition…