(Incidentally, apologies for lack of recent posts — been “on assignment,” as it were. In a related note, next week’s recap will be one day late.)
A quick reminder: Javier Torres and Chuck O’Neil are in the wild card, and Len Bentley is not happy.
Len chases Dana White, eager to get a rematch with Ryan McGillivray after their close decision. Dana says Len should’ve showed that spirit when they were talking to guys about the wild card, saying if he had, they wouldn’t be having this conversation. Len is rather perplexed, wondering what else he could’ve/should’ve said.
And so, let’s present this Memo To Future TUF Contenders: When asked if you want to take a fight, respond with this: “BLEEP YEAH! I’LL FIGHT RIGHT NOW! I’LL FIGHT BROCK LESNAR, GSP AND ANDERSON SILVA SIMULTANEOUSLY JUST SO I CAN GET IN THE CAGE AGAIN! I’LL CUT FROM 230 TO BANTAMWEIGHT IN THREE HOURS! PLEASE, PLEASE, DANA, JUST GIVE ME ONE MORE BLEEPING SHOT IN THE BLEEPING CAGE!!!!!”
Back in the house, we get the Len complaint montage, complete with scenes from the outdoor hot tub and the kitchen. Charlie Rader: “Len’s being a little dramatic about the situation.”
Ryan tells Len that Junior said Brock said Brock was worried about Len’s knee. In elementary school, that’s called “telephone” or “gossip.”
Someone else calls Len a ginger. His hair seems rather black to me, and I have high-def.
Back from break, Len walks in to confront Brock. “Brock only coaches when the camera’s on him” is one of his accusations. Why didn’t I get it? Brock turns to see if a camera is on him. It is. He points to Len’s knee: “Probably because of that.”
Meanwhile, Brock notices that Chuck doesn’t look particularly intense in practice.
Back in the house, Chuck decides to trim the mountain man beard to something more manageable. He and Charlie have an awkward conversation, with Chuck joking, “We’re the 2011 Bert and Ernie, bro.” That conversation is somehow spliced in with some comments about Chuck vowing to take the competition more seriously now.
Brock steps up the coaching with Chuck. He gets in the cage for no-nonsense demonstrations, with his giant corps of assistants helping out. “I wish this is the Brock we’d got since Day 1,” Chuck says.
We switch abruptly to a new house conflict. Chris Cope, channeling Matt Hamill from Season 3, constantly shouts “Whoo!” Shamar Bailey has had it.
Off to the coaches’ challenge, which is some sort of football thing at Fertitta Field at Bishop Gorman High School, alma mater of Dana White and the Fertitta brothers. The UFC Octagon Girls are dressed as cheerleaders.
Dana says it’s more fair than it looks on the surface because it’s more of an obstacle course testing agility. Not sure if Junior dos Santos is as prepared to deal with the blocking sled as one-time Minnesota Vikings preseason player Brock Lesnar, though. And indeed, Lesnar plows through the sled while Junior tries to carry it.
The bad news for Brock — he’s not much of a kicker. Or a passer. Dos Santos is close enough after the sleds to pass him after kicking a field goal and heaving a ball, softball-style, through an Octagon. Junior does a nice somersault into the end zone to punctuate the win. He then splits the money with everyone except Brock. And, presumably, fired assistant Lew Poller.
During the ad break, we get a terrific promo for the Edgar-Maynard fight. Which, unfortunately, has been canceled.
Weigh-in for our wild-card fight, and Dana admits he thought Javier looked like (bleep) in his first fight, but he’ll defer to Junior.
Fight: Herb Dean is our ref, and we have just enough time in the show for a full two rounds. Barely.
Chuck dominates the first 30 seconds, throwing everything but the kitchen sink and landing a good bit of it. They go to another clinch dance, the theme of the season for some reason (next season on Spike: The Ultimate Greco-Roman Wrestler), and Javier holds his own, landing a couple of knees. They break, and Javier lands a punch and smiles. As is so often the case when people trade knees in the clinch, one lands on the cup, and Chuck is the unlucky one. Herb calls time, and Javier sportingly apologizes. When they resume, Chuck looks sharp, trying a spinning kick for good measure. But Javier returns with a combo. They clinch, and Chuck tries a takedown. I’ll say 10-9 Chuck, but it’s close enough that I’m going to check other opinions. … Yeah, 10-9 Chuck is the consensus.
Chuck’s corner tells him he’s doing fine but needs to be a little busier. Round 2 starts as Round 1 did, with Chuck throwing and landing. Javier lands one in return, and Chuck has a stream of blood down his cheek. Then a possible turning point, as Javier gets a trip takedown and lands in side control while Chuck looks flustered. But Chuck recovers quickly, gets to his feet and returns the favor. And Chuck gets aggressive, alternating kimura attempts with hard shots to Javier’s body. As much as people at Bloody Elbow are complaining about the fights in this season, Chuck could teach a lot of UFC main-card fighters about how to be busy on the ground. Javier is desperately defending. He finally starts to roll out, but he rolls into a choke. Tap tap tap, and Chuck has a well-deserved victory.
Quarterfinal time, and we have four fighters per team. No wasted time:
Clay Harvison (Lesnar) vs. Ramsey Nijem (Dos Santos)
Chris Cope (Lesnar) vs. Shamar Bailey (Dos Santos) – grudge match!
Chuck O’Neil (Lesnar) vs. Zach Davis (Dos Santos) – rematch!
Tony Ferguson (Lesnar) vs. Ryan McGillivray (Dos Santos)
I’ll pick Clay by KO, Shamar by boredom, Chuck by submission and Tony by whatever. Overall favorite at this point: Tony Ferguson.