Season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter debuted last night with the top 18 unsigned heavyweight and welterweight fighters in MMA. Dana White kicked things off by announcing that within 48 hours the two weakest links (one HW and one WW) would be cut, and you could sense from the beginning there was a different aura in the house from season 1.
Season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter debuted last night with the top 18 unsigned heavyweight and welterweight fighters in MMA. Dana White kicked things off by announcing that within 48 hours the two weakest links (one HW and one WW) would be cut, and you could sense from the beginning there was a different aura in the house from season 1. There was no one going in search of alcohol and trying to persuade the other fighters to start drinking, it appeared as though this seasons fighters were a little more focused on the challenges that they were about to face.
From the outset it appears welterweight Melvin Guillard is the early candidate for this seasons Chris Leben role. Like Leben, Guillard seems intent on bragging about his previous MMA experiences in the house and found it laughable when it was suggested someone could beat him. Its worth noting Melvins experience is rather impressive, he likely has the best MMA record in the house.
Similar to last season there was an injury related to training but unlike Nate Quarry, heavyweight Kerry Schall injured his knee right from the beginning. Dana advised him of the devastating news that he had a torn meniscus and would require surgery on his knee, thus eliminating him from the show. At 34, Schall was the oldest fighter on the show and if hes fortunate like Quarry he will likely get a chance to showcase his skills on the Finale, obviously depending on the recovery time which can be anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months.
Heavyweight Eli Joslin pulled Dana, Matt Hughes and Rich Franklin into a room and mentioned he was having doubts about continuing on the show. Eli mentioned he was having anxiety as a result of the cameras in the house and questioned his desire to fight. The 3 UFC representatives all reminded Eli of the great opportunity he had before him and urged him to think it over, obviously believing he would show up for training in the morning. This was reminiscent of when Jason Thacker questioned whether he belonged on the show in season 1, however, fighters like Bobby Southworth were able to convince Thacker to stick it out. Unfortunately, Eli had made up his mind and no amount of encouragement from the other fighters was going to change the way he felt and he left the house.
Two heavyweights had now essentially been cut (one voluntarily and one due to injury), therefore there was still a need to eliminate one welterweight. After Danas evaluation of how the fighters had performed in the previous 48 hours of training, he singled out Kenny as the weakest link. Dana then gave Kenny a chance to prove his decision was wrong by allowing him to pick an opponent to fight. He chose Sam Morgan based on the fact he thought Sam was the only fighter that wouldnt look at him when he was sizing up possible opponents. Kenny weighed in at approx. 190lbs for their welterweight fight so he needed to cut about 20 pounds in order to make weight for the fight. Rich Franklin along with a couple of other fighters helped Kenny drop the weight in the sauna, but it was becoming apparent it would not be an easy task. After the first night Kenny weighed 182 lbs, so he still had some more work the following day. With only 5 lbs left to drop Kenny mentally broke and told Franklin that he was going to forfeit his fight with Sam, as he was feeling nauseous and had blurred vision. On the way back from the UFC training Centre, Rich told Kenny to be a fighter you have to be mentally tough as well as physically tough, but Kennys decision had been made and he had accepted the fact he would now be eliminated from the show.
Out of the 3 fighters that were eliminated from the show, 2 had been voluntary. This prompted a heated speech from Dana, along the lines of his famous Do you want to be a fn fighter. Dana certainly had reason to be upset as these guys had the chance of a lifetime and it was obvious some of them were not even close to being in fighting shape. Bobby Southworth was in a similar predicament to Kenny last season, as he came in overweight and needed to cut approx. 20 lbs for his fight with Lodune Sincaid, and he was successful in making the weight and winning the fight. Episode 1 began with the fighters looking much more focused then the previous season, but at the shows conclusion these fighters dont appear to have half the heart of the fighters of season 1.
Next Week: A new heavyweight is brought in and Rich and Matt pick teams.