By Elias Cepeda
This week’s episode essentially begins with Coach Dominick Cruz lambasting last week’s losing fighter Chris Tickle. Faber gloats after his team’s second consecutive win.
“Cruz is trying to hold it together but he’s a poor loser. I know. I beat him before.” Oh snap.
Sure enough, Cruz appears to be losing it. “We had one thing to do; stuff the takedown,” Cruz tells Tickle in the locker room immediately after his submission loss to Joe Proctor. “We were telling you in the corner, turn you back to the mat. He didn’t have the choke in…that loss shouldn’t have happened.”
Then Tickle tries to say something. Cruz responds, “shut up and listen.”
Cruz continues to lecture Tickle outside of their locker room. Faber notices this and shouts out to Chris, “Great job, Tickle. You did good. Don’t let anybody get you down. Don’t let anybody get you down.”
Cruz loses it. “Faber, nobody cares what you have to say. Just get out of here,” he says. Then Cruz proceeds to insult Faber’s fashion sense. Really.
On to this week’s matchup – Team Cruz’ Vinc Pincel vs. Team Faber’s John Cofer. Faber offers simple advice to the former division I wrestler Cofer. “Weather the storm. When he comes in hard, go for the takedown.”
Faber says that he feels that Pincel has terrible takedown defense. Let’s see if Pincel makes him a liar.
Then the time comes when we realize that Andy Ogle is perhaps too earnest for the TUF mansion.
Back at the house, Ogle shadow fights in the yard as Sam Sicilia and Justin Lawrence watch on.
As Ogle throws punches and feints shots, he talks to himself. “There’s tough guys in this house. I’m a tough guy. This house will make me tougher,” he says.
Sam says, “ I feel like some guys are going to start to break down.”
In earlier weeks Ogle shared poetry that he appeared to have written about his girlfriend back home. After a rough night, he decides to share more.
“I decided to stretch and meditate for a bit because I had one of the worst nightmares I’ve ever had,” he tells Sam and Justin. Lawrence, the little shit, replies, “Oh really? Do you wanna share or no?”
Ogle, maybe detecting zero judgment in Lawrence’s obviously caustic words says, “Yeah go on now, I’ll share. I dreamt that my girlfriend had been murdered . It was like these woods and shit, like it was in the papers, police were around and everything and then I just fucking woke up.”
Sam and Justin look like they are about to crack up as Ogle talks. They seem surprised at Ogle’s forthrightness.
It should be noted, though it has gotten little to no air time on TUF telecasts, fighters in the house having reoccurring nightmares while living there during seasons, has been very common over the years, I’ve been told.
“Things build up in this house and sometimes if you think too much your mind can start playing games on you,” Ogle says.
Ogle’s mental state continues to be a factor in practice when he appears to have a panic attack.
“I can’t breathe, mate,” he tells Faber. “Physically I’m breaking down so mentally I’m breaking down,” Ogle later explains.
Faber tells Ogle to take the rest of the day off and rest. Ogle is preoccupied with what people back home in England will think of him.
“I don’t want to look like a little girl,” he tells Faber. To which the uber supportive California Kid responds, “You don’t feel like a little girl. You punched me right in the face, you felt like a man.”
“A man with a mangina,” Ogle laughs back.
Later in Cruz’ practice room, we learn that Pincel got his nickname “From Hell” from his mom. Cruz says that Vinc is an “animal.” The ensuing practice footage backs up that assertion.
Sam Sicilia seems to be having his own stress as well. After a tough practice Cruz goes to him and asks what is wrong. Sam reveals that he is feeling the pressure of being Cruz’ number two pick.
Cruz tells him that’s nonsense. “You’re here to get better. Keep it up. Don’t even stress this,” he says.
Turns out that Sam and Mike’s Team Purple thing is making others nervous. Since they are best friends from back home and on opposite teams now, will they spy for one another in practice?
Ogle , who has yet to fight, is freaking out at the idea that Mike could do just that if he gets paired with Sam. “Trust is a terrible thing. You can end up getting stabbed in the back,” Ogle says in his typical, chin-up, I’m auditioning for a Guy Ritchie film and I don’t even know it, fashion.
When Ogle confronts Mike with his concerns, Mike attempts to quash his fears. “It’s [Sam’s] job to figure it out,” he assures. He will not give his friend inside information on what Team Faber does in practice.
Faber talks of Cofer as a “solid all-around fighter,” and says that the gameplan is for him to “get the hell out of the way [of Pincel’s strikes] and take him down.”
After weigh ins, where both Vinc and John make weight, UFC Prez Dana White comes in and addresses the fighters. This is the long-awaited sequel to Season 1’s “Do you want to be a fucking fighter” speech.
“You guys are one week away from being in the house longer than anyone else ever has,” White says, because of this season’s live format. “This is the time when you start to crack…remember why you are here. Rashad Evans fought on TUF in 2005. Look where he is today. There is a fucking light at the end of the fucking tunnel. There is a fucking pay-off when its all over. But now’s the point where you might say, ‘I want to be a fireman, this shit sucks.’ You’re going to come to the realization that this isn’t what I fucking want to do for a fucking living. And that’s cool, there’s nothing wrong with that. But for the people that know this is exactly what the fuck I want to do, suck it up, stick it out, do your training. And whether you win this fucking thing or you don’t, I promise you that you will be a better fucking fighter when you leave this place. You’ll be a better fucking man. You’ll be a completely different person. Believe me, shit will pay off for you in the end,” White concludes.
The fighters are clearly pumped from White’s pep talk and he all but gets a standing ovation. Gotta hand it to the guy, he knows how to promote and motivate. And curse. Dana White really knows how to curse well.
Cofer throws big first, an overhand left. Pincel counters with an uppercut. Cofer grabs a leg from a knee thrown by Pincel but his takedown attempt gets stuffed. Cofer storms in with another punch combo but Pincel stands him up with a counter left hook. Pincel lands a left jab right uppercut combo. Pincel with another uppercut counter. Inside leg kick from Cofer.
Pincel is swinging big but Cofer is using good footwork to circle out of danger. Cofer with a right uppercut left hand combo that lands. Cofer follows with a straight, uppercut combo that lands. Cofer catches a kick form Pincel, backs him up into the cage but doesn’t get the takedown. Pincel clips Cofer with a punch as a counter to a leg kick. Cofer lands a big uppercut, Pincel doesn’t flinch. Cofer shoots for a high takedown, doesn’t get it. Clinches again with Pincel, pushes against the cage and throws punches on separation, catching Vinc with one. Pincel is bloodied and comes out raging with 5 seconds left – landing a couple of hard punches.
Pincel is amped up strands right in front of Cofer. Cofer then stuns him with two straight punches down the middle. Pincel lands an uppercut that hurts Cofer, follows up with a knee. Cofer gets deep shot for a takedown in but Pincel defends once more. Cofer takes Pincel’s back against the cage standing, with no hooks in. Eventually Pincel circles out and escapes. Cofer lands an uppercut, Pincel rushes in, gets the clinch and throws knees to the body. Vinc pushes Cofer against the fence. Pincel drops down for a takedown and gets a power slam double.
Cofer shoots for a triangle, Pincel passes, lands in a reverse mount on Cofer’s chest but facing his legs. He stays there the rest of the fight, throwing body shots and keeping pressure on.
Draw, sudden victory third round is on!
Pincel comes out firing, Cofer is visibly tired but does a good job of covering up and throwing back. Still, Pincel pushes him backwards against the cage and gets another double leg takedown. From side mount, Pincel secures an arm triangle choke quickly and gets the tap out.
Team Cruz gets the hammer back.
Pincel says that “Cofer is a tough ass dude. I honestly thought I was going to pick him apart with shots but he got me. You can see [points to face]. When the game plan fails you go for broke.”
Anik says that the dream ends here for Cofer for like the second time in 15 seconds. Cofer tells him that is a “tough pill to swallow.”
Fight pick Time!
Sam Sicilia vs. Chris Saunders is on for next week. Ogle can rest easy for a lil more.