(The coaches, sans shirts, for “TUF 7″.)
The season premiere of “The Ultimate Fighter 7″ kicked off after UFC Fight Night 13 rocked the shit. If you’re not drunk enough yet, hold on for a full rundown of what happened in the opening show of Team Forrest versus Team Jackson…
After a recap of the past seasons — peppered with Dana’s “you’re gone” speeches — we get underway.
It took a few moments, but the 16 fighters standing around in the gym who think they are the official 16, were soon shown additional fighters. They all soon realized there were a bit more than 16 of them. Turns out, one or two of them can count and there are 32 fighters. Dana comes in and explains that he is tired of the “pussies and the posers” — hence the solution of having 32 fighters. “This season, you’re gonna’ fight your way onto the show,” says Baldy.
Rampage claims to have smelled the shit in the fighters’ pants after Dana’s speech. Meanwhile, Dana was being bleeped more than Ozzy Osbourne.
After some brief “confessional” interviews with some of the cast, the guys weigh-in after only 48 hours to make weight. I think I just saw my brother on the show, but he ran away years ago. Maybe I should call my Mom about that one…
For those keeping track, here are the fighters fighting to get on the show: Paul Bradley, Steve Byrnes, Mike Dolce, Gerald Harris, Dante Rivera, David Baggett, Matt Brown, Erik Charles, John Clarke, Daniel Cramer, Tim Credeur, Clarence Dollaway, John Hall, Nick Klein, David Mewborn, Mike Marrello, Jeremy May, Prince LaDonas Mclean, Aaron Meisner, Reggie Orr, Matthew Riddle, Jeremiah Riggs, David Roberts, Nick Rossborough, Amir Sadollah, Patrick Schultz, Brandon Sene, Dan Simmler, Jesse Taylor, Cale Yarbrough, John Wood, and Luke Zachrich.
Burger King has it their way and sponsors the first elimination fight. It pits Prince McLean (4-5) against Mike Dolce (4-4). Just a couple of sweet kids trying to make their way.
The fight kicks off and Prince — after having earlier mentioned he has been on a losing streak — takes a shot and they hit the ground. Rampage mumbles something about liking Prince, just before he gets taken out via TKO by Dolce. He seems to be okay until the fucking waterworks start. We’re not even officially on the show yet and we have crybaby tears. The sad music tugs at my hearts strings. Not really.
Fight Two is Cal Yarbrough (0-0) against John Clarke (6-2). Seems Cal is kinda’ pals with Forrest Griffin — although Forrest isn’t bettin’ on him. However, his opponent had to drop 17 big L.B.s to make weight. He also says he’s getting too old to keep doing this — fighting in Boston pubs and stuff like that at his age. Um…no comment about the town that lives for St. Patty’s and knocking out teeth for fun.
The fight is on and Clarke scores, prompting Forrest to say it’s “garbage.” Some punishment by Clarke has Yarbrough rolling around and almost getting nailed by a kimura. Some back-of-the-head warnings are given to Clarke — thanks to an audience of back seat refs. They go to their feet for a bit, but it hits the mat again almost as quickly. Clarke almost pulls an armbar, but Cal slips it and almost gets caught in a g’tine. Somehow, the thing gets upright again but it looks like Clarke is whipped — funny how dropping 17 pounds in 48 hours will do that to you. Cal tosses some shitty throws and it’s called due to Clarke being gassed. Clarke really could have won the thing had he been in the shape he needed to be in. Now we should cue the sad music.
No “seeya” for Clarke, but he was probably too tired to do that, too. The next elimination fight sees Steve Byrnes (6-1) against Amir Sadollah (0-0).
The fight starts with Byrnes taking a kick, but then taking Amir against the cage. They head to the floor and I would estimate they spent three hours “jockeying” — give or take. A lot of “marine” was shouted from the crowd and coaches. Rampage gives the sage advice of, “Don’t let him knee you in the ass!” Which are truly words to live by. Dana, Forrest, and Rampage play it up for the camera because the fight spends a lot of boring time on the mat. The round ends and none of them will say who won the round.
However, we do learn that Rampage apparently can’t spell. We never could have predicted that.
The second round of the Amir Sadollah/Steve Byrnes fight begins with a nice high kick from Amir and then a takedown of Byrnes. Byrnes rolls but Amir stays the course. Byrnes does get on his horses again but Amir lands a knee. Byrnes manages a takedown, with Amir just pounding away and somehow slipping Byrnes into an armbar. Byrnes submits and Amir — being the showman that he is — tries to jump and sit on the cage in celebration, but ends up falling on his ass. Someone show this man offstage — oh, but not before he does the fucking robot on live television! This might be the most insane victory celebration ever. God, Rampage should just KO his ass and get him off the show now. Actually, anyone just KO him.
After Amir Sadollah’s embarrassment, we get highlights of the stuff that wasn’t televised. Four fights went down and they go a little something like this:
– CB Dolloway (6-0) over David Baggett (4-2) via strikes TKO
– Dante Rivera (10-2) over Jon Wood (6-3) via kimura
– Nick Klein (3-0) over David Mewborn (4-0) via triangle choke
– Paul Bradley (5-0) over Reggie Orr (5-5-1) via decision
The last fight of the night features Dave Roberts (4-5) — who wrestled with Rampage in high school. Rampage even said they used to tell people that they were brothers with different dads. Sucks for his opponent, Jeremy May (6-5). A side note: Dave has so little personality it can’t even qualify as personality. Jeremy May sees Rampage helping Dave out prior to the fight, but it doesn’t really matter — the fight is dominated by May. He nails Roberts a few times, mainly because Dave can’t keep his hands up — although Roberts does get it to the mat. Almost instantly May nails “Eyebrows” — did I mention Dave Roberts has huge eyebrows? Like Burt eyebrows — with an armbar.
Roberts says he feels he “let Quinton down.” Rampage looks like he was let down. May becomes a little too giddy with glee for Rampage’s tastes and he warns May, reminding him that Dave Roberts is “like, my best friend.” Jeremy May smartly settles down.
All-in-all: the show was pretty fast-paced and aside from the crying Prince, wasn’t too thick on the melodrama. Although I’m sure we’ll get a lot of that when the 16 hit the house, it’s refreshing at this point. So here are the dudes in so far:
– Amir “The Robot” Sadollah
– Mike Dolce
– Cal Yarbrough
– Jeremy May
– CB Dolloway
– Dante Rivera
– Nick Klein
– Paul Bradley
Next week promises even more action and the unveiling of the 16 fighters whom make it in the house. Are. you. jacked?