“The grass is always greener on the other side”– Dramatic moments aside; the second episode of the southern Florida shake-up was everything that fans of the series hoped to be rid of… Non-competitive fights. Well, spoiler alert. They aren’t quite out of the woods yet.
TUF 21 Recap: Episode 2
Welcoming the viewer back into the fold for episode two of The Ultimate Fighter: ATT vs Blackzilians was the face of defeat. A humbled Michael Graves (4-0) sat before his team and gave what was supposed to be a pep-talk (It really didn’t sound that way with the negativity in his voice and the dreary look on his face). In a somber tone, he expressed his concerns about both his performance and the impact the loss could have on the team. Michael seemed to believe that he had initiated some kind of curse that now hung over his team. After the veterans Nathan Coy (14-5) and Steve Carl (21-4) reassure him; it’s Kardashian time.Resident trouble maker Hayden Hassan (6-1) of American Top Team decides that he has some head games to play. His target; Kamaru Usman (5-1). The two exchanged words last episode–which the director reminds the viewer about with a small vignette eluding to the silliness.
Next on the docket was another patented round table discussion with the best team, ATT, discussing who the likely pick from the Blackzilians camp would be. Dan Lambert and the boys had a few ideas of how it would be, but no concrete idea. They game-planned for a minute and floated the idea of having Steve Carl fight next. But ultimately they had a younger guy in mind. They seemed to favor the idea of having Uros Jurisic (4-0) represent for the team while Hayden Hassan rested on his pre-show hand injury. High praise was heaped on Jurisic by Dan Lambert about his ever-improving skills. Only time will tell, though. At 21, you make mistakes ALL the time. Even if you have all the energy in the world.
At this point, the viewer is presented with the Blackzilians selection process. The coaching staff seems more united in their belief that they have the perfect weapon for a 2-0 fight advantage. Glenn Robinson gleefully announced to the audience that the Blackzilians had selected Luis “Buscape” Firmino (18-6). “The Flea”. Glenn Robinson gave a run down of Buscape’s skills, highlighting his top game strength on the ground. Cut to a character building vignette on Firmino. We see his clinch range back takes on display while he describes what drives him the most. In broken English; Buscape didn’t forget to mention his drive to fight for welterweight gold. A friendly and likable guy by nature. From a small town in Brazil that most people couldn’t find on map. Kind of a story we’ve heard before… 21 times. Don’t worry, though. Things are about to degenerate into a Kardashian moment again.
Now for the spectacle! Twice!– Just before the weigh-ins go down; Testosterone poisoning takes over. A regular face at this point, Kamaru Usman reacts poorly to the performance of Jason Jackson (4-2) during a stand-up drill. He erupts with unnecessary shouting. Jackson provokes him with taunts. Usman storms off after shoving off his teammates and kicks a door. A hyper-masculine hissy fit that Kamaru Usman was quick to dismiss as a tidal waves of emotion that overwhelmed him. The flames are fueled with a series of “backstage” monologues in which both men criticize each other. Some dissention building in the team? But the antics don’t stop there either. As the weigh-ins come to fruition; both fighters step forward accompanied by each head coach. In predictable fashion, Dan Lambert took the first shot at Glenn Robinson. More Machismo is exchanged with verbal jabs, leading to the “Go F**K Yourself” moment when Glenn Robinson decides he’s had enough of the banter. Are you proud to be a fan of the show yet?
All of the silliness aside– Fans are tuning in to see a fight. And a fight break down you shall see:
Round 1: The opening bell rings and Jurisic comes out swinging. He lunged forward with a long and looping one-two punch combo, followed up with a front leg high kick. None of the shots landed flush but the aggression forced Buscape backward. The crowd is totally un-spooled at this point. As Dan Lambert put it, “They are cheering like this is a f**kin’ soccer game”. Buscape then gets his fight legs under him and counters with a left hook. Uros Jurisic tried sever check left hooks but is pushed backwards with a right hook by Buscape. Eros managed to lunge forward and catch Buscape with a left hook that stunned him, but couldn’t follow up. After this point, Jurisic produced no substantive offence in the first round. Buscape secured a double leg takedown after Eros again swung for the fences. Eros attempted a guillotine choke from guard but had it shrugged off by Buscape. The smothering top game of Buscape allowed him to rain down hammer fists on Eros for most of the round. Eros Jurisic scrambled briefly but nearly had an anaconda choke put on him from the sprawl position. Round over. Buscape swallowed him
Round 2: Not a whole lot different from the first. Eros attempts some kind of spinning heel kick that looks ridiculously easy to time. He also went for some kind of flying crescent kick. Epic fail. A couple wild combinations for Eros before he drives in for a double leg of his own. DEEEEEEE-NIED! Eros ends up getting flipped over onto his back with Buscape on top once again. Buscape literally just kept his head against the chest of Eros for another few minutes before Eros is able to kick him off. Couple of up kicks attempted, with one looking like it landed (Possibly in a upward motion with the heel…definitely an illegal blow under UFC rules). Eros Jurisic again swings away wildly at Buscape before getting clinched and taken down again. With Buscape on his back, Eros crawled along the cage and was able to stand up… But wouldn’t let go of the reverse head lock that he had on Buscape. Dan Lambert was absolutely losing his mind in the corner about the head lock. After about 20 seconds of awkward against the fence clinching, back down to the mat Jurisic went. Buscape continued to smother him with virtually no offense before blocking a transition and sitting in side mount. Literally… doing nothing. Buscape attempted several half-hearted elbows before the bell for round 2 expired.
That fight was awful… Yet Dana White’s post fight criticism wasn’t nearly as strong as the first fight… Strange considering the last fight was actually exciting at some point.
After all is said and done, the Blackzilians took home the unanimous decision victory, with all three judges scoring the fight 20-18 for Buscape. No surprise there. Although, neither guy did very much to win the fight. If anyone was still watching at this point, they got to see both fighters express their emotions post-fight. While Eros being downtrodden is understandable; it`s hard to grasp Buscapes happiness. He did virtually no damage to Eros. He had virtually no offence. There is nothing to be proud of in his performance. With the win, the Blackzilians score another 25 points on the ridiculous scoring system that will be used to determine the winner of the show. 50 points up with 10 fights to go isn`t a bad place to be, though.
Stay tuned for next week`s recap of the show! Maybe something like weight kerfuffle will happen!