Welcome to the TUF Morning After! Here are my fan boy reactions to the most recent TUF episodes the morning after they air, so if you haven’t seen the latest episode this might not make sense to you, and I’m guaranteeing that there will be SPOILERS! If you are looking for a full recap, or the actual episode check out The Ultimate Fighter website. They maintain their site very well since last season committing to have all the episodes available on streaming video.
I’ve been anxiously waiting for this season of The Ultimate Fighter to premier since I found out that it would feature the bantamweights and the featherweights. After thirteen seasons of farming the best out of the other five weight classes, it’s going to be exciting to see the top prospects of the two lightest weight classes have their chance on the show. On top of that, having two of MMA’s most polarizing characters like Michael Bisping and Jason “Mayhem” Miller as your coaches, you don’t even need to see the season trailer to know that they will have altercations outside of the octagon during filming. On top of that, Dana put more money on the table with a fan voted best KO, Submission, and Fight of the season awards which each winner gets $25,000 a piece. I love it when Dana throws money around to get fighters to do their job!
On to the fights…
Even though they only with a two hours to squeeze in Dana’s “Do you wanna be a F**king Fighter” speech, 16 fights and fighter introductions, the Spike editing guys did an awesome job keeping the best full fights, and rushing through the longer drawn out ones. By the end of the 16 elimination fights there were eight knockouts, five submissions, three decisions. Of the three decisions there was only one wrestling lay and pray. Not bad for a card that seemed to be full of fighters coming from a strong wrestling background.
My favorite fight highlights:
– the second fight of the night, we had Diego Brandao show his best Dan Henderson impression when he threw an H-bomb that floored his opponent, Jesse Newell, and followed up for good measure with a diving KO forearm. I’m sure Bisping felt that one, and Meyhem was sure to point it out!
– Louis Gaudinot, a curly green haired bantam weight out of fighting out of Yonkers, NY, threw a sweet reverse elbow while driving his opponent, Paul McVeigh, to the fence and attempting a take down. The elbow rocked McVeigh and eventually lead to a 3rd round stoppage in favor of Gaudinot.
-TJ Dillshaw is truly an Alpha Male product. His stance, footwork, fakes and all around fighting style mirrors Urijah Faber almost exactly. His ground and pound finish would make his team proud.
– Bryson Wailehua-Hansen, The Hawaiian with the Chin, was almost unreal. He has Mark Hunt’s Chin at featherweight. He took so many power punches to the head from Marcus Brimage that each would have KO’d a normal human being, and still kept on swinging and clipping Brimage. Eventually the fight was stopped, and Bryson lost, but he was still on his feet after taking all the abuse. I hope Bryson is high up on the reserve list because I really enjoyed watching him fight.
I think the other interesting part of the season will be the coaches and coaching staff. Bisping’s coaching staff consists of Tiki Ghosn and MMA striking specialists Rob McCullough. Tiki and Mayhem are very familiar with each other as both were part of the early team Punishment with Tito Ortiz and Rampage Jackson. Also, they were often seen hanging out together on the Triumph United youtube videos in the past. I have a feeling that most of the animosity between coaches will stay only between Bisping and Mayhem and hopefully the rest of the coaching staff keeps it professional, but then again, controversy make ratings!
For Mayhem, we have Ryan Parsons. I have a feeling that he will also bring in some of the coaches from the Reign training center including Mark Munoz, where Mayhem is currently training from.