Len Bentley can’t wrap his head around the fact that he was passed over for the wild card spot in favor of Chuck O’Neil and Javier Torres. “At no point in the wild card were any names called that were superior to mine,” he says, humbly. He tracks down Dana White in the gym, grips his hand in a bro-shake, and will not let that sucker go.
“If Ryan [McGillivray] doesn’t make it to the finals, I would do anything to fight him in the finale,” Len tells Dana, squeezing the boss’s hand desperately. Len figured his performance would be enough, and that he didn’t need to beg for it during the wild card meeting with the coaches last week. Well, it wasn’t, and he did. Dana is a little taken aback, and doesn’t appreciate guys trying to do matchmaking for the finale. Also, we can probably assume that he went back to his office and went through an entire bottle of hand sanitizer.
Back in the Team Lesnar locker room, Brock tries to put the whole wild card thing in perspective: “Don’t hang your head, you’re a part of something great…everybody got their chance to fight.” Or, as he tells the camera later: “Tough shit, that’s life.”
But Len won’t let it go. “I fought harder than the two people that got a second shot,” he says back at the house, to Chuck of all people. (“You’re my boy, and I respect you…” he clarifies.) Right. Len’s probably barking up the wrong if he’s looking for sympathy.
In a bit of intentional shit-stirring, Ryan tells Len that he heard (via Coach Dos Santos) that Brock said Len’s knee wasn’t ready, and that’s why he was overlooked. “I wanted you to know because I knew you were confused,” Ryan says. Len hulks up and vows to kick Brock’s ass. Says Ramsey: “I think Len thinks he’s like this 6’5 , 300-pound, big scary guy, and I don’t think he realizes he’s a little dude who’s not very intimidating; he’s a ginger…”
Len sums up his feelings toward Brock: “I think you’re selfish, you’re rude, and you need to learn how to talk to grown men who have more fights than you…I gave him a chance when I got here, but he was blowing smoke up my butt. I thought he was going to fight for me…Brock only coaches when the camera’s on him, and he doesn’t give two craps about me.” It’s cool, buddy, help is on the way.
Finally, Len confronts Brock personally, and demands to know why he wasn’t picked. (Ed. note: Holy shit, I just realized that I’ve already written six paragraphs on this one goddamned plot point. Screw you, Len.) Brock deflects responsibility: “Probably because of [your knee]…there were three guys in there, it wasn’t my decision. Dana wants healthy fighters, and that’s what we came up with. I think Dana was stoked from those two fights Saturday.”
Lesnar manages to escape the situation without getting his hand stroked, but he has other problems to deal with. All of a sudden, Chuck looks like he doesn’t want to be there. Not sure what his deal is. He’s got a real sour-puss on that exercise bike. But maybe it’s just his new, more mature attitude. Chuck says that he’s been treating the show like a summer camp and joking too much. It’s time to shave the beard and get serious — no more Trash Bag Charlie, picked up out of a dumpster. Brock and his coaches give Chuck a lot of personal attention to get him motivated again, and it seems to work. “I wish this was the Brock we got since day one, but better late than never,” Chuck says.
Chris Cope likes to wake up every day with some nice hearty screams. Shamar Bailey — who wanders around the kitchen with a sleep-mask on his head, suggesting that the man takes his rest very, very seriously — can’t take it anymore, and has to make his feelings known. “It’s gotten to a point where I want to fight you just to shut that scream up.” Oh, you’ll get your chance, Shamar. You’ll get your chance soon enough. Mu-hu-hu-ha-ha…
Yeah baby, it’s time for the coaches’ challenge! We open on a football field, with all three Octagon Girls bouncing around in cheerleader uniforms. This is going to be a great day. And it’s not just any football field — they’re at Bishop Gorman High School’s Fertitta Field, where Dana, Lorenzo, and their wives all went to school.
It’s basically a skills/agility test. The coaches have to do some high-knees and side steps, push a training sled, kick a field goal, complete a pass through an Octagon-shaped ring, then catch a pass and run it back 100 yards to the end zone. The first person to make it back wins $10,000, plus $1,500 for each of their guys. Says Dana: “Lesnar tried out for the Minnesota Vikings, and from what I hear he did very well, so…poor Dos Santos.”
“I never played them!” Junior says about the, how you say, footballs.
Brock and Junior make it through the running obstacles, and Brock is a beast on the sled, picking up a short lead. But they both start shanking the field goals. JDS makes one and advances to the passing stage. Brock finally boots one through the uprights and catches up. Junior whips a pass through the Octagon as Brock struggles. JDS catches the pass in the final leg and runs it back for the victory.
“I think we both sucked,” Brock says, “he just got luckier than I did.” JDS gives a taste of his winnings to the Team Lesnar fighters and Brock’s assistant coaches. “Everybody got paid except for Brock,” Junior says. “He doesn’t deserve, he lost.”
At the weigh-ins, Javier in his black belt undies and baggy team jersey looks like “a girl who just got out of a guy’s house,” according to an alarmingly well-groomed Chuck. Not to be outdone, Chuck drops his pants. “So we handled business like men,” he says, and then does the gunslinger thing at us. (Unless you’ve been to prison yourself, you have no business judging these people.) Chuck leaves us with a final thought before the fight: “Hopefully the real Chuck shows up, not that shitbag that showed up the other day.”
Wild card fight, Chuck O’Neil vs. Javier Torres
Round 1: Javier opens with a teep. Chuck returns with head kick, then dashes forward with punches. Javier clinches. Chuck puts his back against the cage. Javier reverses him and starts throwing knees, abusing Chuck’s legs. Chuck frees himself. Javier lands a left and clinches again. Chuck tries to drag Javier down from the clinch, but Javier stays on his feet. Javier turns Chuck around and they trade knees. Chuck gets kneed low and the action is paused. Javier launches a big left when the action is restarted. Chuck tries the high kick again, then a spinning back kick. Kick to the body from Javi. Chuck returns one of his own. Javier flashes in and blasts two punches before exiting. Body kick Chuck. Chuck with a solid counter-punch, catching Javi’s face coming in. Javier advances, Chuck clinches and tries to take him down, but has to settle for a knee. Javier gives back one of his own and slugs out of the clinch. He comes in swinging in the last ten seconds, and both guys throw knees and punches to close. Close, fast-paced round. Torres might have a slight edge, but it could go either way.
Round 2: Leg kick Chuck. And a left hand. Brock yells for Chuck to control the center of the Octagon, which he’s doing nicely. Body kick Chuck, and a nice 1-2. Javier is getting lit up, so he comes in to clinch, takes Chuck down and gets on top. Chuck esapes, gets to his feet, and lands a takedown of his own. He starts with punches to the body, in half-guard. Chuck looks for a kimura, slugging Javi in the ribs to soften him up. Chuck adjusts his position, but loses the hold. More punches to the ribs. Chuck attempts the armlock again, and loses it again. He lies flat on Javi, and nearly passes to mount. Javier manages to slip out and re-establish half guard. Chuck goes for that kimura once again. The third time is not the charm. Chuck settles for those dependable punches to the ribs. Finally, Javier flips him over, but Chuck immediately grabs a d’arce choke and sinks it in the closing minute of the round.
Says Dana: “Javier has this not-so-appealing style where he just presses guys against the cage and holds him there.” It’s true. The last thing this sport needs is another Randy Couture.
After a shaky start for Team Lesnar, the score is an even 4-4 going into the quarterfinals. The matchups are…
1. Clay Harvison (Team Lesnar, defeated Mick Bowman via decision in the opening round) vs. Ramsey Nijem (Team Dos Santos, submitted Charlie Rader)
2. Chris Cope (Team Lesnar, def. Javier Torres via decision) vs. Shamar Bailey (Team Dos Santos, def. Nordin Asrih via decision). Well, well, well. A classic matchup of screamer vs. sleeper.
3. In a rematch from last week, it’s Chuck O’Neil (Team Lesnar, wild card) vs. Zach Davis (Team Dos Santos, submitted Chuck O’Neil)
4. Tony Ferguson (Team Lesnar, KO’d Justin Edwards) vs. Ryan McGillivray (Team Dos Santos, def. Len Bentley via decision)
The first two matchups will go down on next week’s episode. Any predictions?
(LOKI, this one’s for you…)