(“No, I’ve never been a male nurse. Why does everybody keep asking me that?”)
At the end of last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Lesnar vs. Team Dos Santos, we saw that tension was about to develop between Junior Dos Santos and his outspoken assistant coach Lew Polley. Reading Lew’s guest-blog for MMA Junkie, you get the sense that the two never really made up — why else would Polley be throwing JDS under the bus in public? Here’s what the Team Dos Santos wrestling specialist wrote about the coaching dynamic on the show:
“Myself and the other coaches were starting to butt heads already. Junior had never coached before, and fights and trains as a heavyweight, which means he doesn’t cut weight, nor has he fought at a pace that isn’t conducive to a heavyweight fight. Junior has a limited understanding of English. This and my wrestling is why I was brought in. In the season opener, Junior said pretty much the same thing. His other coaches felt differently, and the tension was mounting.
Junior decided to bring in a strength coach that was not very good at his job, or at least explaining why he was having the guys train in such a manner. The Brazilian coaches felt I was pushing too hard because I was trying to maximize the time we had in the gym. Before the fight, it became an issue. I would suggest an aggressive yet normal approach to maximize the guys time and skills, trying to be more efficient. Junior and the other staff decided it was a wrestling vs. jiu-jitsu thing.
Honestly, I was ready to join Keon on the way out the door. But I had to remind myself that I was here to help these young men reach their goals. The other coaches in my opinion were there to create an image for themselves to increase their appeal to American fans. So far, they had shown me they wanted to tell the world they were on “TUF” with “JDS.” I am not sure if it was the production or the other coaches, but before long, Junior began to become more concerned with camera time and Americans seeing his face than the objective of helping these young men.
The Brazilian coaches said they felt that wrestling was boring and the way wrestlers trained was stupid. In a short amount of time, I went from “the guy that Junior was glad to have helping” to “the stupid wrestler that Junior felt was getting too much attention.” He even made it clear that he was the coach, this was his team, he was fighting for the belt and this was about him. I told Junior that I was there for the kids, that he invited me here to help these guys become better wrestlers, better fighters, and even more importantly, better men. I wanted Junior’s team to win the show. I think he saw things another way…
After the fight, it seemed like Junior and everyone on the team were content with losing. This Kumbaya moment was fake and for the cameras. I was mad. I felt like we beat ourselves, and it was not OK to be OK with that.”
A wrestling ace who can’t stand losing? Sounds like Lew would be a much better fit on Team Lesnar. Stay tuned to see if the in-fighting on Team Dos Santos puts their fighters at a disadvantage…