Friday, September 30, 2011
Alistair Overeem, Ron Jeremy And Wilmer Valderrama Make Cameos In LMFAO Video Here.
It's week two of "The Ultimate Fighter," the episode where the fighters get their teams, their home for the next six weeks and we figure out which fighters will get the most air time. Who will be in the first quarterfinal fight of the season? What will the house look like? How will Jason "Mayhem" Miller creatively use a heap of tires? Join me for a recap and spoilers, won't you?
Reality TV show cliche of the week: The fighters moved into their house, shocked by the digs and availability of food. Then they eat. A lot. Remember that these are featherweights and bantamweights who will all need to weigh in for their fights soon. Foreshadowing?
Team picks of the week: Michael Bisping won the coin toss and chose the first pick instead of the first fight. The teams are (with some identifiers):
Bantamweights: Louis Gaudinot (the guy with the green hair)
T.J. Dillashaw (Team Alpha Male guy)
John "Prince" Albert
Josh Ferguson (Guy whose brother didn't make the show)
Featherweights: Diego Brandao (Jackson's guy)
Akira Corassani (Best name in the house guy)
Bantamweights: John Dodson (Team Jackson guy)
Johnny Bedford (Texas bro)
Dustin Pague (Heel-clicking dude, A.K.A. Ron Santo)
Roland Delorme (Canadian bro)
Featherweights: Dennis Bermudez (Maury Povich guy)
Bryan Caraway (Miesha Tate's boyfriend)
Bisping claimed that Miller didn't take a single fighter who he wanted. Miller said that he chose based on his coaches' strengths. As they were leaving, Miller remarked that Bisping's fighters didn't look happy to be on his team. To the cameras, Bisping said, "Why wouldn't they be happy? I won the Ultimate Fighter. I've won 17 fights in the UFC. He's the Strikeforce reject."
Technology of the week: Miller stopped by the fighters' house to bring compression suits for each fighter to wear to recover from each practice. Something tells me these pieces of technology will be floating in the pool soon.
Fight pick of the week -- Bryan Caraway (Miller) vs. Brimage (Bisping): Brimage was already concerned about cutting his weight to 145 lbs., as he sat at 157 lbs. Bisping taught Brimage some of his weight cutting tricks, and both fighters made weight on their first try.
Prank of the week: Miller and his boys filled Bisping's room at the training center with tires. When Bisping did get into his room, he had to knock down the door, giving this season its first door casualty. R.I.P, TUF door.
Showtune of the week: As Caraway and Brimage faced off at weigh-ins, Corassani led Team Bisping in a chant that pumped up Brimage, but just made Team Miller laugh. "That was ADORABLE," Miller said.
Fight of the week -- featherweights: Bryan Caraway (Team Miller) vs. Marcus Brimage (Team Bisping)
Round 1: Caraway quickly went to his strength, wrestling, by taking down Brimage. He controlled him on the canvas, took his back and put his legs in. Brimage's active arms made it difficult for Caraway to slap on a choke, as he kept Caraway's hands from his neck and also landed enough punches that Caraway's eye swelled up. This is how the entire round went.
Miller and Bisping traded barbs in the first round. First, Miller laughed at Bisping's instructions in grappling, and when Miller said, "He's panicking," Bisping yelled back, "We're panicking!?!"
Round 2: Brimage came out with fast striking to start the round, but Caraway again answered with a takedown. He took Brmage's back with ease, but this time Brimage could get back to his feet. Caraway shot in a few more times, and when he was able to get him down, Brimage was able to get out. Halfway through the round, Caraway took Brimage down and landed a nasty elbow. He took Brimage's back, and this time was able to finish the rear naked choke.
Caraway is our first winner, but the two gave viewers a fun, active fight. This season is already shaping up to be an upgrade.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Dave Herman was preparing for his UFC 136 bout with Mike Russow when he heard the bad news from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, the group who will oversee the UFC's trip to Houston next week. Herman's drug test came up positive for marijuana, a drug that Herman claims he has never used.
"Texas said they never lost it and the first one [was intended to detect] drugs and the second was for steroids," said Herman, who apparently didn't fail the steroids test. "I don't even smoke. ... I haven't even had a beer in two month."
Herman has been fighting since 2006 and has not failed a single drug test. Before starting with the UFC in June in a TKO of Jon Olav Einemo, Herman has fought in Bellator, Sengoku and EliteXC, putting together a record of 21-2.
Now, Nam Phan's rematch with Leonard Garcia will appear on the pay-per-view card of UFC 136.
"I've always been a big fan of Georges, I've admired his style and kinda of the way he carries himself and I'm honored to get in their and challenge him for the belt and step in the cage with him. With all that aside I think that I'm the best welterweight in the world and I've been trying to prove that every single time I get in their and this fight is going to be no different. It's a great opportunity for me, but I think whether Nick did what he did or he didn't, I still think I deserve the title shot. I didn't get it by default or anything like that. With that being said it's unfortunate for him. At this stage of the game it's not just fighting. It's selling the fights, you got to show up and do the P.R. It's not always fun but it's part of it. So it is unfortunate for Nick, he kind of blew his opportunity and I think he would have been a tough challenge for Georges. But you got to do the footwork and sell the fight."
Larkin, who defeated Nick Rossborough in the evening's main event, earned $5,000 to show and another $5,000 to win. Couture and Johnson each received $10,000 flat. Couture, though, won his fight against Maka Watson, while Johnson was submitted by Shawn Jordan.
Salaries for all 18 fighters on the card are after the jump.
Please keep in mind these salaries are the numbers Strikeforce reported to the Nevada athletic commission and does not necessarily represent a fighter's final earnings.
Lorenz Larkin ($5,000 + $5,000 win = $10,000) def. Nick Rossborough ($3,000)
Shawn Jordan ($4,000 + $4,000 win = $8,000) def. Lavar Johnson ($10,000)
Ryan Couture ($10,000) def. Maka Watson ($2,000)
Jason High ($4,000 + $4,000 = $8,000) def. Todd Moore ($4,000)
Brian Melancon ($3,000 + $3,000 win = $6,000) def. Felipe Portela ($2,000)
James Terry ($4,000 + $4,000 win = $8,000) def. Magno Almeida ($2,000)
Bobby Green ($3,000 + $3,000 = $6,000) def. Charon Spain ($3,000)
Christopher Spang ($3,000 + $2,000 = $5,000) def. Joe Ray ($2,000)
Quinn Mulhern ($2,100 + $2,500 = $4,600) def. Danny Davis Jr. ($2,900)*
Mulhern failed to make weight and forfeited $400 of his purse to Davis Jr.
Dominick Cruz is already back in the Octagon. It seems like Cruz just fought Urijah Faber. After a grinding five round war won by Cruz in early July, the UFC bantamweight champ will defend his title against Demetrious Johnson this weekend at UFC on Versus 6.
It's a bit unusual for a fighter to turn around in three months to take another fight, but that's what the lower level fighters bring to the table. There is no getting out of shape or need for a massive weight cut.
Cruz is facing the diminutive, but super-active Johnson. Thus far in the WEC and UFC, the 25-year-old Johnson (10-1) has completely confused his opponents. Sound familiar? It's exactly what Cruz does with his constant movement.
In the video by Shoot, Cruz says that'll be the difference on Saturday in Washington, D.C.� Johnson will be thrown off by an opponent who is finally dipping and darting.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Johnson knows three of the fighters on "The Ultimate Fighter 14," which is the reality show's first to feature bantamweights.
While he's happy to see his weight class get some extra love on the current season of "TUF," he won't be watching. He's busy.
Jamie Varner and Brett Rogers must've thought a few fights in the minor leagues would be fine on their way back to the bigs. That's not the way it's working out for the former WEC and Strikeforce stars. Both Varner and Rogers lost last night at Titan Fighting Championship 19.
Varner looked sluggish throughout his fight against Dakota Cochrane. He leaned too heavily on his takedown game and couldn't control Cochrane on the ground. Cochrane (11-1) was the much better fighter on the feet taking a unanimous decision, 30-27 on all three cards.
Varner, the former WEC lighweight champ, is now 1-4-1 in his last six. He's only 26, but has battle hand problems and other injuries for the last few years. Before the fight, Varner talked about his goals of a Zuffa return.
"I literally just took some time away from actual competition," Varner told the Kansas City Star. "I was still training and working out often. I took some fights last year that might have been (after) a little too quick of a turnaround. I needed my body to fully heal. I also took some college classes so I can have different opportunities in a few years down the road after my MMA career. For now I am 100 percent committed to MMA and getting to the UFC."
MMAjunkie says Varner was hinting at retirement on Twitter after the fight. It appears he deleted the tweet. Cochrane was� a late replacement on this card. His victory shows just how sick the depth is around the country in all weight classes.
Rogers (11-4) was facing a better known entity in former UFC fighter Eddie Sanchez and result was the same. Rogers was a top-rated heavyweight for Strikeforce and even gave Fedor Emelianenko a run for his money during their 2009 fight.
Against Sanchez, he looked tentative and exhibited little growth in his game. Rogers never put his punches together and appeared unable to check a kick. Sanchez beat up his lead leg for 15 minutes. Sanchez took a split decision, 30-27, 28-29 and 30-27, from Rogers, who's now lost 4-of-5.
The best moment of the night came fromn Andrew Whitney. He and Laramie Shaffer engaged in a slugfest for two-plus rounds, but that all changed when Whitney delivered a picture perfect flying knee.
Enjoy Ramapge fans, in case your wondering that was Kongo
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Quinton Jackson will try to take the UFC light heavyweight belt from Jon Jones this Saturday in Denver, and we finally have the answer to the most important question. What will they wear to the Octagon?
Both fighters have taken into account the changing seasons, which is kind. Among the four choices for Jackson's walkout goods is this long sleeve shirt by MMA Elite, which wins points for being bright and shiny, but is a tad busy. Jones' Form Athletics sweatshirt is made of nice, warm fleece that's perfect for a fall day. The Jackson shirt is $37.99, while Jones' sweatshirt is $65.
Based solely on sartorial factors, who wins the fight? Jackson, as I'm a sucker for anything shiny. You can see my actual fight picks, as well as the rest of the Yahoo! Sports MMA staff, right here.
Win tickets to UFC 135 though Edge Shave Gel and Cagewriter. Click here for more information.
In its last season on Spike, the people behind "The Ultimate Fighter" are making some big promises to viewers. Next season, when it moves to FX, it will feature live fights, which should help make it more interesting.
In the meantime, neither the UFC nor Spike wants to make it a throwaway season. Ratings have taken a nosedive in the past few seasons, and the show just isn't as compelling as it once was.� They've given us a few good reasons to tune in.
-- "Mayhem" Miller and Michael Bisping: Neither of the coaches will be boring, and both are comfortable with cameras. Bisping previously coached on TUF against Dan Henderson, and Miller hosts "Bully Beatdown" on MTV. Miller said that his first priority is coaching his fighters, but knows that his second priority is to make entertaining TV.
"The second [priority] was to make entertaining television," Miller admitted. "I noticed after the first week that I was a bit bored, so I immediately started cranking it up so that there would be some interaction between me and Mike. At the end of the day, we're doing television, and we need to make something happen so that the audience is engaged. Many things happened."
There two know how to trash talk. There's no telling if it will reach Quinton Jackson/Rashad Evans levels, but it should be fun.
-- Fight-in returns: Last season, the fighters under Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos did not have to fight for a spot in the house, unlike in seasons 7-12. Not only will the fight-in bouts return, but the show's premiere episode will show every full fight.
-- Big bonuses: One of the fun changes, both for fighters and fans, is the creation of bonuses for the fighters that fans can vote on. The UFC will award $25,000 bonuses for the season's best fight, submission and knockout, just like they do for every fight card. Fans will get to vote on the bonuses.
The show will premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 9 p.m. ET. Do you plan on tuning in? Tell us in the comments or on Facebook.
UFC 139 Tickets On Sale This Week, Shogun Rua vs. Dan Henderson, Wanderlei Silva vs. Cung Le Official
Monday, September 26, 2011
Will you be in Denver this weekend? Do you want four sweet seats to watch Jon Jones try to defend the UFC light heavyweight championship from Quinton Jackson? Good news: Cagewriter has teamed up with Edge Shave Gel to get you those tickets.
Here's what you have to do: Visit Cagewriter's Facebook page, and like us. Then, post on our wall why you should have the Edge in getting to see the fights. We'll pick a random winner from the wall posts. (And even if you can't get to Denver for the fights, like our Facebook page. We'll have plenty more giveaways, and Facebook fans will be the first to find out about them.)
Get your entry in by Thursday at noon ET. We'll announce the winner Thursday at 4 p.m. ET. You have to be able to pick up tickets at the Pepsi Center Will Call with a picture ID.
Whether you can get to Denver or not, check in with Edge Gel's Team Edge as they try to identify which UFC fighter is on the Edge of the Greatness. You can vote for Phil Davis, Chad Mendes, Michael McDonald or Brian Stann to become Edge's next spokesperson.
Other popular stories on Yahoo! Sports:
? Another Strikeforce defection: Henderson vs. Rua at UFC 139
? Two Giants feign injuries to slow Rams
? Video: Thunder star Durant wears hat of rival team
– It has been reported that from August 27th through September 5th, World champion Randy Orton wrestled every day except for one that was used for ...
Sunday, September 25, 2011
The light heavyweight division should be extremely scared.
Jon Jones is still learning on the job, yet he's putting the division to shame. Jones schooled Quinton "Rampage" Jackson in every area of the game and finished the former champ via rear-naked choke at the 1:14 mark of the fourth round in the main event of UFC 135 in Denver.
This was Jones' first defense of the UFC light heavyweight title, a belt he won back in March by destroying another highly accomplished veteran in Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
The 24-year-old Jones (14-1, 8-1 UFC - only loss via disqualification) has barely been threatened in nine UFC fights. Keep in mind, Jones started his MMA career just three and half years ago. His control of the fight Saturday night was awe-inspiring.
The veteran Jackson (32-9, 7-3 UFC) is still a very good fighter, but he never found a way to ward off the versatile attack coming from Jones.
"The goal was to prove we can strike with Quinton Jackson," Jones said. "He kind of insulted me saying I have no punching power. So my trainer Mike Winkeljohn cleaned up my striking to prove a point."
During the lead up to the fight, Jackson said Jones was all hype. After three-plus rounds of absorbing dozens of nasty kicks, punches and elbows as well as fighting off takedowns, mark down Jackson as a believer.
"I'm in the best shape of my life. I expected to be able to close the distance. I couldn't do it," Jackson said. "He's great guys. I thought it was hype. The kid is good. I have to take my hat off to him."
[Related: Phenom Jones outclasses Jackson at UFC 135]
When Jones references his striking, he's talking about his hands, which are still a work in progress. But there's no denying his kicking game is as dangerous as anyone who's ever stepped into a cage.
Over the first 15 minutes, Jones brutalized Rampage's lead leg with kicks to the inside and outside. By the fourth round, Jackson was limping badly.
In the opening seconds of the round, Jones showed off some of that improvement with his boxing by landing a left hook that hurt Jackson. The 33-year-old backed up to the cage and Jones took him down. Rampage was sitting up against the cage when Jones delivered a big knee to his chest. It had to knock the wind out of Jackson because he slumped to his side. He was there for the taking.
Jones worked him to his back and rolled it over. He slapped on a choke and Jackson tapped six seconds later.
"Before the fourth round, my corner felt he was starting to break a little bit, so we came out and finished the fight," said Jones.
Jones' kicks really set things up over the course of the first three rounds, but Jackson was quick to point out the champion's wrestling pedigree also made him hesitant to attack.
"Jon is a great wrestler so you don't want to take too many chances. Jon keeps his fingers in your face so it's hard to get close to him," Jackson said of Jones, who possesses an incredible 84-inch reach. "Jon is good. I'm telling you, the kid's here to stay. I don't know ... whoever he fights next, I don't know who's going to beat him. He had me mesmerized."
Up next is Jones' former training partner Rashad Evans. Evans, also a former UFC 205-pound champion, had a bitter split with Jones and their gym in Albuquerque, NM. earlier this year. The trash talking between the two has been going on for the better part of nine months. It should make for a dynamite promotion.
The fight itself? Like Rampage said, who knows? If Jones keep improving and adding to his arsenal with each fight, the guy who'll eventually beat him may be in junior high school right now.
Other popular stories on Yahoo! Sports:
? Passan: Red Sox clubhouse is full of confusion
? College football's Week 4 Winners and Losers
? Durant gives teammate Westbrook vote of confidence
All topics - including this weekend's UFC 135, Strikeforce and Bellator events - are open for discussion. The person who sends in the submission we deem the best (based on timeliness of subject, clarity and overall persuasiveness) will be invited onto MMAjunkie.com Radio to discuss the topic.
Each winner also receives a free year's subscription to "Fighters Only," the world's leading MMA and lifestyle magazine.
ROUNDTABLE: How many fights does Jake Ellenberger need to earn a title shot? Who should he fight next? - MMATorch staff and contributors weigh-in
RICH HANSEN, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Title shot?� Whoa camel, whoa, whoa!� Whoa Camel, WHOA!�� Ah c'mon WHOA!� When I say whoa, I mean WHOA!!!
(Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBhlQgvHmQ0 )
Let's slow down here.� Before we go and anoint Jake Ellenberger, let's count the number of wins he has against top 10 opponents.� There was that win against Jake Shields last weekend...� Good night everybody.
I like Ellenberger, of course.� But he's got to win at least two more fights against top 10 guys before he should sniff a shot against GSP.� This is the UFC Welterweight Division (unnecessary caps).� This isn't Middleweight, this isn't Strikeforce.� You don't win one big fight and get in range.� There are way too many good guys ahead of Ellenberger for us to be thinking title shot anytime in the next year, at least.
That said, I think he can win two to four more consecutive fights against top 10 opponents.� But he hasn't done it yet, and his resume shrinks in comparison to several of the fighters in this division.
As for who he should fight next, Josh Koscheck is the logical choice.� As long as Koscheck stays at 170, he's a high end gatekeeper, nothing more.� So since he's keeping the gate, let's see if Ellenberger can break through.� The only other guy I would consider would be Diego Sanchez, but that would be a step down from Shields, frankly.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I think Ellenberger needs to win at least two more fights. He's going to need a few more wins to make himself stand out from the pack. As for his next opponent, I'd go with Diego Sanchez. If he wins that fight, then you put him in there with a Jon Fitch-Josh Koscheck or someone else at that level. The only reason I wouldn't give him a title shot after just one win is that the Nick Diaz vs. B.J. Penn winner is likely to get the title shot after Carlos Condit. That's too long to wait so he might as well fight a few times.�
An alternative is to have Ellenberger fight the Diaz vs. Penn winner, with the winner of that getting the next title shot.
ANWAR PEREZ, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
With Jake Ellengerger getting a surprising win over Jake Shields, it's easy to see that at the most it should only take about one more fight.� Possibly against someone like the winner of the upcoming Hughes-Koscheck bout.� Both are former opponents of Georges St-Pierre, and another big name that would be a nice notch for Ellenberger to put on his resume on his way to a title fight.
ERIC HOBAUGH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
One more win over a top level opponent and he will get his shot. Dana White rewards exciting fighters. He is the total package and finishes fights. �Jon Fitch should be his next opponent. It makes sense and if Ellenberger wins, no one can say he is not worthy of the title shot.
CHRIS PARK, MMATORCH UK SPECIALIST
I think depending on which opponent he faces next; it may just take one more.
The big win over Jake Shields gives him a genuine shout at the next shot but if he can follow that up with a win over say a John Fitch, Thiago Alves, or another of the higher profile welterweights, then that would all but guarantee him a crack at the title. @MMATorchUK
MATT PELKEY, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
It can't be any more than one, and that's only because you don't want a young fighter like Ellenberger to be inactive waiting for GSP to be ready to fight again. St. Pierre fights at UFC 137 at the end of October so he probably wouldn't be ready to fight again until spring of 2012.
Ellenberger can and should squeeze one more fight in the meantime to stay sharp. It doesn't really matter against who as long as its a credible welterweight contender. Assuming Josh Koscheck gets past Matt Hughes at UFC 135, he would be a very appropriate next opponent.
JAMIE PENICK, MMATORCH EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
He's going to need more than likely two fights to get a title shot in the division, though that depends on a couple of things. If B.J. Penn beats Nick Diaz at UFC 137 and the UFC doesn't give him the next shot, Ellenberger could take that spot with a win over either Jon Fitch or Josh Koscheck. If Diaz wins, the UFC is almost assuredly putting him in the next title fight, so Ellenberger will need that win over Fitch or Koscheck, along with one more win, and then he'd likely be next in line.
Luke Rockhold was one-fourth of American Kickboxing Academy's dominant evening at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov. He predicted an AKA sweep, then delivered with a five-round decision win over Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza to win Strikeforce's middleweight belt.
But what does that belt mean? After Strikeforce was purchased by the UFC, the promotion's future is hazy. Some of Strikeforce's biggest stars, like Alistair Overeem, Nick Diaz and Cung Le, have been cherry-picked by the UFC. With a talent pool that gets shallower with every UFC signing, what would you do with Rockhold?
Give him a bout with Tim Kennedy: He lost his last title shot, but since dropping a tight decision to Jacare, Kennedy won a decision over Robbie Lawler. He seems to be the most likely fighter to Rockhold in Strikeforce, and Rockhold told Cagewriter that he would be open to this fight.
Grant Jacare's wish for a rematch: At the post-fight press conference, Souza said he wanted to fight Rockhold again. This is not a surprise, considering how close Saturday's bout was. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker was open to the idea, but wouldn't commit either way. Rockhold said that he would like to see Jacare win another fight before a rematch.
Ship him to the UFC: At 26, Rockhold is young, talented and hasn't lost since 2007. Should he really spend the best years of his career languishing in Strikeforce, the promotion that Mo Lawal called a dying cancer patient? Rockhold told Cagewriter that he isn't quite ready for a fight with Anderson Silva, but he would love to get tested in the UFC.
So what would you do with Rockhold, Cagereaders? Tell us in the comments or on Facebook.
Titan Fighting Championship 20 took place at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan.
The evening's main card aired on HDNet.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Josh Koscheck wouldn't be Josh Koscheck if he didn't dole out some great prefight talk in advance of his UFC 135 fight against Matt Hughes. The welterweight title contender has been on the shelf since his loss to Georges�St-Pierre last December so he's got plenty to say. It started last week on Twitter when he essentially dared Hughes to not take the fight.
In a blog this week for Sportsnet.ca, Koscheck apologized for his one-sided loss to GSP. St-Pierre smashed Kos' orbital bone in the first minute of the fight at UFC 124. The American said the pain was off the charts.
"I had no depth perception and was basically a one-eyed fighter for the next 23 minutes. I can man up but the pain was just horrible. It hurt worse than anything I've ever experienced," wrote Koscheck. "It hurt even more than when I cut my big toe off when I was six -- when I was playing with my grandfather's axe being a little [expletive]. Seriously -- the eye hurt way worse than chopping my big toe off."
"[...]�last week I got word Matt Hughes, who has avoided me for years, needed an opponent for UFC 135 in Denver on Sept. 24. I've called out Hughes for so long but he's always avoided me. When he was on top and one of the top in the division, he used his position to avoid fighting me and all the AKA guys," Koscheck said. "[...] Like I knew he would, he tried to suggest fighting Jon Fitch instead, knowing full well Fitch is still recovering from shoulder surgery. I tweeted that I'd accepted the fight and was ready, just to put pressure on Hughes to quit bitching and take the fight. I wanted to make it so that if he did turn the fight down, all the fans would know that he bitched out."
So Koscheck is staying at 170 after toying with the idea of taking a fight at middleweight. He says he asked for Wanderlei Silva, Chris Leben or Rich Franklin.
While some casual observers may assume the 30-year-old Assuncao is making his UFC debut at Saturday's UFC 135 event, the Brazilian is actually returning to the octagon after a four-year absence.
During that time, Assuncao racked up a six-fight win streak and reinvented himself as a fighter. Now the capoeira and jiu-jitsu stylist has a new goal in mind - to firmly establish himself in the UFC and then have brother Freddy join him and Raphael in the octagon.
The Ultimate Fighter 14 Episode 1 Blog - John Albert breaks down his elimination fight and debut episode on Spike TV
I will start off by saying I was very impressed with the fights in the first episode, with exception for my fight hahaha. The farthest place I had ever gone for a fight was Oregon, so the initial experience of flying Las Vegas was exciting, and staying in a hotel by myself was very unique, especially since there was no contact allowed within the hotel or outside.
The weight cut process was harder for TUF prelims fights than I've ever had to do. We only got two hours of slot time to go to a gym, I ended up having to go back and forth three times to cut my weight because of the transportation of fighters. They didn't want us mingling with other fighters or the residents, so there were shifts of three to five fighters going to the gym and the two hours started as soon as we entered the gym; so the back and forth of not being able to stay and complete the weight cut in one sitting was horrible.
With TV there is always waiting involved, so the weight cut was even harder because our scheduled weigh in was pushed back for production and what not. But, entering Mandalay Bay and seeing Dana in the middle of the Octagon kinda took all the stress and pain away, because I knew that it was finally my time. Seeing all the banners and the tremendous amount of seats that could be filled to watch the fighters fight was pretty astounding.
Then Dana gave us his usual "Do you wanna be a fighter?" speech and I had seen it so many times and figured it would be just like that, another speech. But after he gave it to us it set like a fire inside it was so inspiring, because it was directed to us, you know, it was for me, then we got to weigh in and see our opponent. So in short I was pretty damn excited to be there and fighting in that arena.
I got selected to fight Orville Smith; I didn't know much about him except he had a good amount of experience. He was 11-4, so 15 pro fights, but the number of fights someone has never really bothers me. I knew he already fought Matt Jaggers who has a wealth of experience and went to a decision with him, and actually beat Josh Ferguson so I felt like he wouldn't be a pushover.
The locker rooms were pretty crowded but I got my time to warm up. It was odd preparing for a fight kinda by myself - I didn't know the corners and they didn't know me - so there was a lot of mental preparation on my own to get me ready for my fight. It was pretty cool because a former teammate of mine, Brian Caraway, was in my locker room which eased the tension a bit, but I didn't get much help from him cause he is a nervous nancy and was getting himself ready for his fight.
I got my heart rate up, stretched out and was ready to go. I didn't get to warm up like I usually do but I was ready as it is. I got in the ring and it was like any other fight, I was surprised at how not nervous I was, I was truly ready to win my fight and get into the house. I was very disappointed in how TUF portrayed my fight, also a little butt hurt on what Dana and Bisping had to say during my fight as well. My total fight was only two and a half to three minutes long, but they showed only 50 seconds and they didn't show any of the good stuff.
I can break the fight down pretty easy. I was a little taken aback at how much Orville was backing up and not putting any pressure on - I mean this is TUF 14 I was expecting a lot more from him - so I worked my double jab, right leg kick or right cross quite a bit. I leg kicked him so many times and hard enough that he literally squealed like a little girl and was limping (of course they didn't show that). I also implemented the thai clinch in the fight and was throwing knees like crazy, that moment when Bisping said I picked him up and slammed him confused me. Hopefully the viewers recognized what actually happened. I had Orville in another thai clinch and he was backing out real hard; I held tight but he literally jumped guard from the clinch, so no slam or even real takedown on my part.
Another thing that is frustrating with having corners you don't know or being an unknown fighter is people see I was smashing him on the feet, but don't know I'm a grappler first and a striker second. I'm not gonna force a stand up when I feel I can take him on the ground. I successfully passed his guard, took his back and choked him out, done deal. A win is what was most important to me that fight as I wanted to get into the house first.
I contracted Mersa a week prior to that fight, it was bad and I was on strong antibiotics all the way up to the day of the fight, so anyone that fights knows how antibiotics and Mersa can affect your stamina; maybe I didn't push the pace or wasn't as exciting as they thought. I fought my own fight trying to conserve energy and not gas out because there wasn't much in the tank because of the antibiotics and Mersa, but a win's a win and it didn't go to a decision and I choked his ass out, so I hope the viewers can appreciate that.
As for the other fights they all were pretty amazing; everyone fought their heart's out, and there was some real skill involved in those matches. Bantamweight John Dodson and TJ Dillashaw stood out the most to me as they were confident and crisp, and stopped both their guys in the first round. That body shot from Dodson against Brandon Merkt was amazing and the ground and pound of TJ was a sight. Featherweights Diego Barndao and Akira really stood out with stand up technique, those were some amazing knockouts. The heart of Dennis Bermudez really impressed me because he was hurt and almost out and was completely controlled the first round, and he ended up coming back to win his fight. There was a lot of excitement and stress coming into this, the opportunity to fight and become The Ultimate Fighter is life changing so I felt so lucky just to get that opportunity.
Watch John every Wednesday on The Ultimate Fighter on Spike TV, and check back here each week for his take on each of the episodes after they air.
Check out John's full fight against Orville Smith below:
Video URL: http://www.ultimatefighter.com/fight-videos/14926/tuf-14-john-albert-orville-smith
His first big fight wasn't under the best of circumstances, but now, he gets a second chance to prove he belongs.
Green tonight fights Charon Spain at "Strikeforce Challengers 19: Larkin vs. Rossborough, and with a full training camp behind him, he plans on taking home a W.
You all ready for a great er... morning of fights!?!?!
Will bump when its time.