(Josh Koscheck and Marc Stevens run down last night’s episode with host Stephan Bonnar in the latest installment of "The Aftermath." Warning: The editor forgot to bleep out Koscheck’s numerous F-bombs. Props: UltimateFighter.com)
The official title of this episode is "KOS in a Commotion." There’s nothing funny about rape-choking a male nurse, but we’ve always appreciated a good pun.
Dane Sayers is bummed that he was robbed of a wild card spot. After all, he lasted two rounds against Sako Chivitchian, and Marc Stevens didn’t even last 20 seconds against Cody McKenzie. As Jonathan Brookins explains, "It’s supposed to be reserved for the guy that put on the best performance…some people like the cucumber better then the pickle, I don’t know." But Stevens is the "obvious pick" according to Dana, I guess because he knocked some dude out in the elimination round. We’ll see how far that gets him. Coach Koscheck thinks Marc has a lot of "po-tential" that he didn’t get to show, because he got submitted "kind of early." Kind of!
Alex Caceres tweaked his back during his round-of-14 fight against Jeff Lentz, and is unable to train as hard as the other guys. Michael Johnson just thinks he’s lazy. They argue about it at the house, and Caceres explains that he needs to save his body for his next fights, and promises that when it’s time for him to fight MJ, he’ll be training, believe that. The gauntlet has been dropped, son.
The Aaron Wilkinson/Marc Stevens wild card match is a little awkward for Aaron, since they’re Team Koscheck training partners, but sometimes you gotta fight a mate, j’know wot ah mean? Aaron wants to keep it standing, and beat Marc with his cardio. He has some guillotine choke wins on his record, but that doesn’t concern Marc, who doesn’t see himself losing another fight by the same submission. Poor bastard. You never say something like that on a reality show, unless you want it to haunt you later.
Anyway, it’s time for the moment you’ve all been waiting for — when the drama between Coach Kos and Nurse Tate finally boils over. It all starts outside the prep-rooms; Tate needles Kos about his upcoming fight with GSP, asking him if he wants to bet money on it. Kos tries to grab all up on Tate’s neck, Karo-style. A plunger vs. garbage can scuffle ensues, that ends with Tate holed up inside the Team GSP room and Koscheck banging on the door.
As they’re walking out for the wild card weigh-ins, Koscheck depantses Tate like a classic high-school bully. If Tate had been carrying books, they would have definitely been slapped out of his hands. Koscheck gets up in Tate’s face for a little added intimidation, and the two start jawing at each other when they finally reach the bleachers. Koscheck sticks to his "male nurse" talking point. Tate hits Koscheck where it hurts: "You got famous ‘cuz [GSP] beat you…what’s the last thing you accomplished, how to fake a knee?"
Koscheck snaps. He stalks over to Tate and puts his hand around his throat. Tate freaks. It almost turns into a bench-clearing brawl, but Dane Sayers bravely steps in between them. For his troubles, he gets roughly face-palmed by Koscheck. And where is Georges St. Pierre during all of this? Just sitting on the bleachers, doing absolutely nothing. He’s trying to be the bigger man, I guess, but he just let Koscheck put his hands on one of his fighters, as well as his beloved medic.
Dane stalks off. He was trying to help Koscheck, and got straight-up disrespected for his efforts. Koscheck and GSP follow him to the prep-room to smooth the situation over. They find Dane amped up and extremely emotional, near tears. Kos’s "apology" begins with "you were pushing me in the face" and ends with a condescending head-rub.
Koscheck is convinced that GSP hired Tate to do his trash-talking for him and get under Kos’s skin. "Smart move, Georges, cuz it worked," he says. Personally, I don’t buy that theory, but it’s still a mystery why Tate is always around. Even later in the episode, when Team GSP is discussing the quarterfinal picks, Tate is hanging out on a couch, along with Jean-Charles Skarbowsky. How many guest-passes does St. Pierre get, anyway?
After the weigh-ins finally happen, Koscheck turns to Tate, extends his hand and says "Wanna hold hands and walk out?" A simple "I’m sorry" is just not in this dude’s vocabulary.
GSP explains that since there will be five red-shirts and three yellow-shirts after the wild card fight, two Team GSP members will have to fight each other. He has his guys take a secret poll where they write who they’d like to fight. Michael Johnson chooses Alex Caceres, and it’s mutual. Fighter input usually has no bearing on what quarterfinal matchups are actually selected, but maybe it’ll be different this time.
Aaron is allowed a rare phone call, never a good sign. Mum tells him the bad news that Nana’s gone. Mum says he better not even think of coming home, ’cause Nana would kick his ass. Aaron was close to Nana, and has himself a cry. In the end, it only gives him added motivation to succeed. This one’s for you, Nana.
Koscheck decides not to corner either guy; it’s hard for him even to watch the fight. He tells each man "It’s not often you get second chances," wishes them luck, and sits in the bleachers silently.
Round 1: Marc starts with a pair of leg kicks. Aaron jabs. Marc lands a hard leg kick and shoots for a takedown, which he nails, landing in side control. Marc with elbows from the top before passing to full mount. Aaron rolls to his stomach, then returns to his back. Marc punches down at him. Aaron already has a nasty gash under his right eye. He tries to shrimp out but Marc takes his back and starts working for the choke. It’s eerily silent in the gym without the head coaches shouting instructions. Marc can’t get the choke so he transitions to full mount again. Aaron tries to escape and Marc goes for an armbar, which puts him on the bottom for the first time. Aaron pulls out, but Marc transitions to a triangle. Aaron slugs Marc in the ribs. Marc works on the sub, tightening it, but he can’t quite sink it. "You’re on top, you’re winning," shouts guest-cornerman Nam Phan to Aaron, inexplicably. Aaron gets some space and throws down a few punches at Marc’s head until the round ends. Since Aaron was in danger the entire round, you have to give it to Marc, no matter what Nam "Glass Half Full" Phan says. Still, Sevak tells Marc "bottom loses," advising him to stay on top on the ground.
Round 2: Aaron with a jab and leg kicks. Marc appears to be gassed already, and he’s a sitting target as Aaron pops him with an uppercut and cross. Aaron throws a flying knee, which Marc catches. Marc takes Aaron down…again, right into a damn guillotine choke. It’s over. Aaron Wilkinson has re-entered the competition.
"Apparently I need to work on my guillotine defense," Marc says. Better conditioning would have helped, too. After the first round, he caught Carwinitis and couldn’t feel his legs at all. He blames the weight cut. Jeff Lentz and Andy Main aren’t too happy about being passed over for a guy who dropped two fights in such embarrassing fashion. "Maybe he’s not who we thought he was," Dana says. Dana also calls Nam Phan "the worst cornerman in the history of cornermen…[Aaron] was so far from winning the round it’s not even funny."
GSP and Koscheck meet with Dana to decide the quarterfinal matchups, and call in the fighters to get their input. Alex comes in with his kung fu gear and calls out Michael Johnson. MJ says "the guy with the afro, I got my eyes set on him." Kos thinks GSP wants the matchup because Alex is the weakest link and he wants to advance Michael to the semis. As it turns out, everybody calls out Alex. In an attempt to defend the MJ/Alex matchup (which Dana isn’t crazy about either), GSP reveals that Johnson is weak with submissions, and it could be a competitive fight. Koscheck can’t believe he would say that with him sitting right there, but he’s happy to have that bit of inside info, and apologizes to Canadians for having such a lame representative on the show.
After all the arguments are heard, the quarterfinals are arranged like this:
#1: Jonathan Brookins vs. Sako "Psycho" Chivitchian
#2: Cody McKenzie vs. Nam "Gonna Get Guillotine Choked" Phan
#3: Kyle Watson vs. Aaron "England" Wilkinson
#4: Michael Johnson vs. Alex "Bruce LeRoy" Caceres
Koscheck isn’t too happy about GSP getting his way with Johnson vs. Caceres — and overall, it’s a scary-tough draw for the yellow team…