What's up, everyone? I'm back here on SB Nation to give a recap of last night's episode of 'The Ultimate Fighter'. If you missed my recap from last week, be sure to check it out.
I still didn't get much TV time this episode. I know my time will come, so this is no criticism. It's just interesting how things plays out. If you notice they get a shot of my back in almost every scene! That was also me doing that Granby Roll on Matt Hughes in the tease for next week, so maybe I'll talk more about that later.
What can really be said about Keon Caldwell? He threw away the opportunity of a lifetime. What was weird for me was that one day he was gone. The teams were segregated more than people realize. We trained at different times of the day and lived on different schedules. So when he left there was no announcement. He was just gone.
Keon had a great MMA record and had done well at the TUF trials. I wonder if he was in shape, though. I don't think he was prepared for some of those workouts. My hunch is that was the hardest he'd worked out, realized this was too much for him and decided to use missing his daughter as an excuse. But like Dana White said, at least this happened early in the show. It's always better to give that opportunity to someone who wants it and loses than someone who is talented and doesn't want it.
We haven't seen a lot of the action in the house so far and that makes sense. At this point everyone is mostly getting along. Like I said, the teams live on different schedules, but up to this point when both teams are in the house most everyone is making an effort to get along. I won't say people are hanging out with the enemy, just more being cool with each other.
Speaking of hanging out with the enemy, some of us weren't sure what to make of of Chris Cope early on. I'll explain more of that in a moment.
Fight selection time came and because Shamar Bailey won his first fight, Team dos Santos was able to pick the next fight. They put their Javier Torres against our Chris Cope. At the staredown Michael Bowman said Cope's hands were shaking because he was afraid. I don't think that's true. When the fighters do those pose offs, they have to do them for a really long time. It's not five seconds. Cope might've been nervous about fighting, but not about fighting Torres. I think his arms were tired from being up there for so long.
Back to Chris. Before his fight with Javier you saw him training upstairs doing defensive drills and other stuff. I even helped out a little with that. But he was doing so much of it and was practicing for so long we wondered if he was hanging out with the other team like a double agent. Maybe we were a little too paranoid.
Chris talked about being a part-time fighter and training when he could. All that is true, but what people may not realize is that he had excellent cardio. We knew he could go the distance. He lacked some other stuff, maybe more refined technical skills, but he wasn't going to get tired. Javier had good conditioning too, but you could tell Chris' was better.
We, as a team, also didn't think the match-up with Chris against Javier was that much of a mismatch. Javier had good judo and some other skills, but he wasn't head and shoulders above Chris. Not by a long shot. Both guys were way more evenly matched than Team dos Santos ever realized.
No one wanted Chris to clinch, except maybe Junior dos Santos. Coach dos Santos was telling him to clinch, maybe to get a trip takedown or a throw. We were screaming to him to push off, use hand and kicking combinations.
It was kind of a weird fight. I think both guys had a lot of nerves going into it. There was a moment where in the second round both guys are talking to each other. Herb Dean and Dana White were telling them to stop talking and fight. Maybe the pressure was a lot for both to handle and the fight could've gone differently. Either way, I know both guys are talented and can do much better.
The mood in the 'locker room' after Chris won was awesome. We were all amped up. We were just so excited to get control. The aura in the room was amazing, definitely a lot better than the last time when we had that loss. Brock Lesnar gave his 'any given sunday' speech. The other coaches also talked to us and gave us feedback, not just that day but throughout the show, but coach Lesnar was the one who did most of the mentoring. After the speech we went back to the house, ate good food and enjoyed the rest of the night together.
I won't spoil anything, but tune in next week and I'll tell you about what I saw from coach Lew Polley and the nasty cut you see on Shamar Bailey in the teaser for next week's episode.
That's all for right now. Thanks for watching the show and keep tuning in to see more of me! 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!