Last Night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter treated us to two quarterfinal matches — as well as a total breakdown within Team U.S. and the mysterious disappearance of Michael Bisping. "Wiggity Wack" (the episode’s actual title, according to my DVR) began by showing us just how fractured the Americans were becoming. Jason Dent implores his team to be mature after their first loss in episode 4, and Cameron Dollar basically tells him to stuff it, then tells the team about the 70-80 girls he’s humped, including his friend’s wife. (Hope your friend knew about that before the show, player.) Meanwhile, Team U.S.’s Jason Pierce and Team U.K.’s David Faulkner bond in the hot tub over their shared nerdiness, with Pierce predicting they’ll be friends after the show.
With the fight selections now in the hands of the Brits, Bisping chooses Andre Winner to go against our very own Santino Defranco. Bisping thinks Santino can’t hang with Andre in the standup department. And Winner’s wrestling ain’t too bad either, as we see when he takes down Bisping during practice.
Santino tells us that he tried out for the second season of TUF in 2005 and made it to the interview stage, but he was forced to leave when it was discovered that he had two brain aneurysms. After brain surgery, he thought he wouldn’t fight again, but was eventually cleared by a doctor. And here he is, four years later. We get a taste of his positive approach to life; he strives for excellence at all times, and vows to "be like water" during the match. He thinks his experience and well-roundedness will give him the edge over Winner.
And it’s fight day for the two lightweights already…
Round 1: Defranco feels Winner out with a leg kick. He shoots, but is stuffed. They trade kicks, and Winner stuffs another one of Defranco’s takedown attempts. Winner sticks his jab but has trouble finding his punch range in general. Another leg kick from Defranco, who then shoots and falls to guard. Defranco seems to be working for a gogoplata from the bottom, and actually does get his foot under Winner’s chin, but Winner frees himself and starts landing heavy shots from the top. Defranco turtles like he did in his elimination fight, but Mazzagatti doesn’t give him the benefit of the doubt this time, and ‘Dre is awarded the TKO. Maybe the stoppage was a little premature, but Defranco had a long way to go before the bell.
So that’s 2-0 for the Brits, who are ecstatic. Dan Henderson moans that he can’t teach mental toughness.
The second-consecutive loss puts the Americans in "don’t fuck with me" mode. Cameron Dollar is really getting under Jason Dent’s skin; Dent threatens to pull a Junie Browning and smash his head with a glass. Dent complains about the Team U.S. infighting and bad attitudes, leading to this classic exchange…
JD: "It’s more enjoyable to hang out with the UK guys than it is half the fuckin’ Americans."
CD: "Well go fuckin’ hang out with them."
JD: "Why don’t you pull your stupid fuckin’ wiggidy wack hat right over your dumb face?"
Hendo wants to see Demarques Johnson against Dean Amasinger, Frank Lester vs. James Wilks, and Jason Pierce vs. Dave Faulkner. "I don’t do well with the short, stocky guys…I’m not strong enough to manipulate their arms," Pierce says, trying to back out of a fight against his friend. Cameron tells us "I got no respect for that guy, the dude is a frickin’ joke."
Team USA nearly gets into a full-on Royal Rumble in the van after practice; Mark Miller sees red after Cameron Dollar gives him an unwelcome slap on the ass, while Dent and Demarques fight over who can be a whinier bitch. ("Turn to the camera and talk some more, showboater," Dent says. Man, I’m really starting to dislike that guy.) Hendo does his best to talk them all down from the ledge.
Meanwhile, the Brits are having the time of their life. Team U.S. watches bitterly from the balcony as Team U.K. screw around on the trampoline and play some footie. Martin Stapleton credits the lack of egos on his team for their strong team bond.
As expected, Henderson picks Demarques Johnson to go against Dean Amasinger. "There’s gonna be some black on black crime!" shouts Amasinger, who’s clearly a Rampage fan. In a bit of ominous foreshadowing, Bisping warns Dean of Demarques’s triangle choke prowess.
Demarques visualizes his victory. He shadowboxes in the Octagon, then prays to God that he fights to best of his ability. Dean gets his back shaved.
It’s fight day again, and Michael Bisping is AWOL. Dana White informs us that in nine seasons of TUF, there’s never been a situation where the coach didn’t show up for a fight. Dean is clearly upset, and says this wouldn’t happen if he was a Wolfslair guy.
Round 1: Amasinger starts with some leg kicks, and Johnson catches the second one, and gets on top when Amasinger slips to the mat. Amasinger gets up and scores his own takedown. Johnson immediately tries to set up a kimura, but loses it. Johnson transitions to a triangle attempt. Amasinger tries to slam out of it, but Johnson hangs on and taps the Brit, putting Team U.S. on the board for the first time.
Johnson feels pretty damn good. $5,000 richer, he can pay some child support and throw back a few beers that night. Amasinger, of course, is devastated, and feels that he let his team down. The Brits all try to console him, but the same thing is on everyone’s mind: Where the fuck was their coach? Would things have turned out differently if Bisping had been there, showing support and shouting instructions? He’d better have a good excuse for this one…