Things are not looking good for Team No Love on the sixth episode of The Ultimate Fighter Season 25. Down 0-5, Cody Garbrandt and company look to Julian Lane to be their unlikely hero and take home the team’s first win. Standing in his way, on Team Killashaw, is Ramsey Nijem. Will things go any better for Garbrandt and his crew? Or will TJ Dillashaw and company continue their victorious ways? Well, let’s take a look.
The Big Three
1) The Drama Returns – It was nice while it lasted, but the coaching drama returned this episode. The coaches assisting Cody Garbrandt from Team Alpha Male are coming off like a group of high school bullies. Seriously, I was having flashbacks! I was getting reminded how there was a group who would take turns going after me to try and get me to fight back and get ever-increasing punishment while they’d get a day or two’s suspension. This time, it was Justin Bucholz picking at Team Killashaw by going after Duane Ludwig, TAM’s former head coach. Ludwig handled it with class and aplomb, which seemed to infuriate the Alpha Male wrestling coach even more.
#2) The Hardcore Child – This brings us to Team No Love’s head coach, Cody Garbrandt. The more I see him go on about how people keeping their emotions in check are fake, and calling people sell-outs, the more I’m reminded of young elitists in the hardcore scene – which Garbrandt happens to have links to. They take the punk rock mindset to angsty extremes, and anything that clashes even a little bit with their mindset is to be shouted down and beaten down at all costs with as much posturing as possible. If this were a concert, Garbrandt would be the kid targeting any perceived posers with the spin kicks and windmills associated with modern hardcore dancing. And he’d be doing it while complaining about bands getting too big to play VFW halls.
#3) Stay Apart for the Kids – After the extended TAM display of testosterone toxicity, two uncredited people were heard – and subtitled. The first remarked, “It’s like watching your parents fight.” The second responded, “Yeah… So who gets the kids?” Kind of sums it up nicely, doesn’t it?
The Stock Report
Stock Up – Julian Lane. Honestly, of all the fighters on Team No Love, Julian Lane looks to have spent the most time getting his life together after his initial TUF stint. His skills looked vastly better too, as he had Ramsey Nijem in trouble with a solid jab and a pair of deep guillotine choke attempts. Kudos to Lane for evolving past “Just let me bang!”
Stock Hold – Ramsey Nijem. Now don’t get me wrong, Nijem looked decent against Julian Lane, but his win was not without flaws. Ramsey’s time away from the cage did rust his skills a bit, as he left his neck precariously exposed on a pair of takedown attempts. These led to Lane nearly getting the guillotine chokes I alluded to above. It was a good effort for his first fight in nearly two years, but there are issues he’ll need to overcome before the semi-finals.
Stock Down – Team No Love Coaches. From Cody Garbrandt to Justin Bucholz, it’s not a good look to be constantly picking a fight with the opposing coaches. It’s also not a good look to repeatedly scream “He’s tapping! He’s tapping!” from the corner like Joe Rogan experiencing premature jiujitsu-culation. It’s a pretty transparent attempt at trying to influence the ref that had no success. However, the worst look of all is talking about your opposing head coach the same way a bitter ex would. It’s time for Team Alpha Male to grow up and become Team Alpha Men.
This was a one round affair, with Julian Lane taking control of the striking early with solid jobs. This led Ramsey Nijem to shoot for a takedown. Lane capitalized on Nijem’s cage rust and sunk in a deep guillotine choke that looked, at times, to be fight ending. Nijem was patient, though, and listened to his corner en rotue to an escape. Another Nijem takedown attempt soon followed, with another Lane guillotine choke attempt meeting it. This time, Nijem was able to escape out the back door and finally take down “Freight Train” Lane, where he proceeded to smoothly take mount and start unleashing ground and pound. As Lane rolled over and gave up his back, he lost his mouthpiece and the ref stopped the fight, awarding a TKO victory to Ramsey Nijem. Admittedly, the stoppage was early, but hopefully Julian Lane will get a second chance in the wildcard bout.
Next week, TUF neophytes will finally get the answer to the question, “Who’s Joe Daddy?” Joe Stephenson, TUF 2 winner and member of Team Killashaw, will step into the cage with Team No Love’s Justin Edwards. The fighters for the wildcard bout will also be selected. Keep it locked to MMASucka.com for more TUF 25 TUFtermaths and other MMA news!