What's up, everyone? I'm back here at SBNation.com with another recap of this season of Spike TV's 'The Ultimate Fighter'. Before we get into this week's show, there's week 4, week 3, week 2 and week 1 that you have to check out first. Now, onto this week.
The episode again starts off with Len Bentley complaining about how coach Brock Lesnar talked to us. I covered this last week. Len's a cool guy. Don't get me wrong. I like him and he can fight, but he was being butt hurt here. I don't think anyone bigger than him had ever told him what to do or to get in line. Coach Lesnar's words weren't fun, but they weren't supposed to be. Like Clay said later, It was time to get down to brass tacks, right?
It was time for fight selection. As you saw, Coach Junior dos Santos picked Mick Bowman from his team and Clay Harvison from ours. The first thought that went through my head when he did that was "Damn, I wanted to fight." It's hard to be in a place to fight and not know when that fight is coming. It's constant anxiety and I was looking to relieve some pressure.
I didn't know Mick well, but he was always friendly. He's got good jiu-jitsu and is a patient striker. I knew Clay had what it took to win, but I respected his game. More on this later.
You've heard me talk about Chris Cope and how no one trusted him. It's still going on, which should tell you what a big issue this was in the house. This time it was about the message in the sand: "Chris Cope, Double Agent."
You saw it. I didn't write it. Mick Bowman copped to it. So why did Cope single me out? I'm not really sure. My parents used to let me write on the walls as a kid, so it's true I was always writing in the sand pit in the house. To me, that isn't exactly strong evidence, but whatever. My other guess is that I was first in the doorway when you walk in. Maybe he heard everyone talking and pointed to me because I was the first person he saw. I don't know and I don't care.
What the cameras didn't show was that I initially tried to walk away from it all. When Cope got in the room and started badgering everyone, I left. I went downstairs and tried to play pool. Cope followed me. I kept telling him to give me a minute, leave me alone. He just couldn't get it through his head. So when he accused me of lying after all of that, I didn't take it too well. Could I have handled it differently? Maybe, but I'm not embarrassed about it. Cope's a nice guy, but he's also a weird guy.
Cope would do weird things. He'd start conversations with "How are the Muppets today?" or "Who would win in a fight: Chuck Norris or Godzilla?" Sometimes we'd all play along, but it was corny and hard to deal with every day. When he eventually chilled out, I found out about his family and what kind of guy he really was. He's a likable dude, but when he's trying to break the ice? Not as fun to be around.
Before the fight they show the tattoo on Clay's side with his brother's ashes in it. I thought that thing was awesome. Clay is like a lot of fighters. He brings into the cage a lot of demons with him. Not the same demons as everyone else. People have their own problems or things they have to deal with. But a lot of fighters bring that with them to the cage when they fight.
What was the game plan for Clay? To win. That's it. There was no need to overthink it. We knew he could overpower Mick with his strikes. He was bigger, a better athlete and was a damager on his feet. As long as he kept the fight where it should've been, he was good to go.
You saw coach Lesnar in the back getting amped for Clay's fight when he was holding pads. That didn't happen at first, but when he setlled into his coaching role he did this more and more. Lesnar became part of the team and as part of the team, wanted to win. He was into it and you could see it.
I scored both rounds for Clay. He gassed a little in the second, but that was more an adrenaline dump than anything else. He trained hard and was in good shape, I can vouch for him myself.
You saw him parry that kick from Bowman that broke his finger. He said it just went numb in the fight and didn't really bother him. Like I said before, the adrenaline had really kicked in. When he took off the glove it looked pretty nasty. Believe it or not, we didn't think he was out of the competition at that point. We all thought he could pop it back in, stitch it up and put duct tape on it. He'd be good. We were none the wiser in that locker room. As you all saw, UFC had other impressions of the finger.
Most importantly, we had control and could pick our fights. More on that next week. Thanks for watching the show and reading these blog posts. If you want to contact me, get at me on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks again to SB Nation and I'll talk to you guys next week!