Last week on TUF we were treated to what Dana White called one of the best fights on TUF, ever ever. Well maybe that wasnt a direct quote, but it certainly was along those lines. Now I dont know what Danas been smoking, but I certainly want some of that shit. Nate Diaz and Rob Emerson put on a good show, but their battle was far from the greatest fight to ever grace TUF. A matter of fact, I would say that this weeks brawl was possibly more exciting.
Last week on TUF we were treated to what Dana White called one of the best fights on TUF, ever ever. Well maybe that wasnt a direct quote, but it certainly was along those lines. Now I dont know what Danas been smoking, but I certainly want some of that shit. Nate Diaz and Rob Emerson put on a good show, but their battle was far from the greatest fight to ever grace TUF. A matter of fact, I would say that this weeks brawl was possibly more exciting. Especially for those people who are more satisfied watching two people try to punch each others faces off. Let me take a step back though. Like always, Im getting ahead of myself. Last week Diaz ended up choking out Emerson in the second round, putting Team Pulver up 3-0 with a complete shutdown of Team Penns efforts. Once again, everything is all good for Team Pulver
or is it? Some trouble is brewing in practice, and it directly relates to the god awful Thai kick thrown in the preview for this weeks episode.
Jens Pulver is a hard worker. Hes never had anything given to him in his entire life. Everything he has gained is the direct product of hard work and determination, so naturally he appreciates fellow nose grinders and sleeve roller-uppers. Wayne Weems doesnt appear to be one of those people. Now dont get me wrong, I know a fighters record doesnt always tell the whole story. Honestly though, I would imagine that a fighter with a 9-2 record (that has finished every opponent in the first period) would look a bit better than this. Maybe the show is all smoke and mirrors, merely editing tricks to fool us into believing that Weems doesnt have skills. Maybe all those opponents were merely scabs the promoters picked up off the reservation. Upon further investigation, most of Waynes opponents have been one hitter quitters, or guys who have only had one fight (in this case, a loss to Wayne Weems). The pieces are starting to fall into place. All that aside, Weems isnt looking as good as his other housemates during training, and Jens has a shit fit trying to get Weems to work harder. Wayne responds in kind, and for now the Team Pulver drama has been subdued like your little brother after some noogies.
Word travels fast at the TUF house and the Wayne Weems situation is circulating around the Team Penn camp. Always one to take a handout, Gabe Ruediger makes a bold move and tells BJ that hed like to fight Weems. The TUF house is a place where lions feast on big game. Nate Diaz is big game. Corey Hill is (quite literally) big game. Wayne Weems at this point looks more like a petite filet mignon. Or better yet the Ihop Top Sirloin Steak, 8oz of C-grade meat slathered in cheese, onions, and mushrooms so you cant taste the slight tinge of garbage. Needless to say, in a house full of real men Gabe would be getting treated like the aforementioned little brother for a comment like that. Oh and how he does. Once the team gets home, sparks fly and Emerson gets all up in Gabes grill. Rob accuses Gabe of taking the easy way out, and basically calls him a bitch in the process. Simba didnt become the lion king by eating mice. No matter, Team Penn doesnt have the ball in their court, so all this talk about whos fighting who doesnt amount to anything. Ultimately its up to Jens to figure out who will be stepping into the cage this week.
It would seem that Gabe isnt the only guy in the house with a weight problem, as Brandon Melendez is having trouble making 155 as well. While Gabe is sporting a little bit of a belly, Melendez looks like hes just naturally a weight class above most of the folks in the house. Jens seems to be on a bit of a rampage lately (and his tough coaching style seems to be paying dividends in the octagon), and Melendez is the next recipient of some harsh words from Lil Evil. Melendez has been focusing all his efforts on cutting weight, by doing extra cardio and sweating it out in the sauna, and Pulver isnt quite sure what to make of it. All that is boring compared to what happens next, something that is widely regarded as one of the funniest moments of any season thus far.
Marlon Sims, aka and now infamously Mr. Indestructible, waxes with Gabe about how he got his nickname. The explanation is like fried comedy gold, and Ill give you a hint: it isnt from his respectable 3-1 MMA record. Basically, Marlon states that hes been in over 200 street fights, and that people walk up to him, ask his name, then start bombing him with punches. According to Marlon, he is the most legendary fighter to walk the planet Earth. Forget Fedor Emelianenko (the most legendary fighter to walk the Earth), or even legendary street brawler Igor Vovchanchyn. Forget Lee Murray and his bar alley handbags. When you think legendary street fighter, the first name that comes to mind is Marlon Sims
.that is if your name is Marlon Sims. For once this season I actually liked Gabe, and his remarks were absolutely hilarious. I never thought Id ever hear the word shenanigans uttered outside of the movie Supertroopers. For once Im actually delighted to be wrong.
But I digress. Back to reality
television that is. The fight announcement is made, and Pulver picks the fired up Brandon Melendez to take on Team Penns Andy Wang. Now I gotta say something here. Melendez is one bad mofo, and quite a bit bigger than the slimmed down Wang. BUT, and this is a big but, youve gotta be either crazy or really confident to want to take on a Jujitsu black belt. Andy Wang has several schools around the world, and is also the Jujitsu instructor at the famed R1 Gym in El Segundo, California (which is also where I started out my MMA training, in case youre wondering). He has good standup, and obviously his ground skills are pretty fucking good if hes a black belt. That said, (and Gabe once again calls it right on the money here) Andy has a penchant for trying to stand and bang, even when he could easily outclass his opponents on the mat. Hopefully for all of us R1 alumni and fans Wang will take it to the mat. I guess we just gotta wait and see in the next fifteen minutes of
..wait, what? Why is Melendez wearing a banana hammock to the weigh-ins? And why does Andy have a pair of nun chucks? I think hes taking this whole Asian/Bruce Lee thing too far. Whatever, both guys make weight and now we have a fight on our hands.
Before we get to the fight the TUF producers have one more surprise up their sleeves for this week. Team Pulver gets to the gym to train, and who do they see mopping up the mats but former Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes. Needless to say, the members of Team Pulver are pretty stoked to have Hughes in their midst. The training is tough, but the new coach is all the motivation the guys need to kick it into high gear. Hughes drills some specific things with Melendez to get him ready, but no amount of last minute ground training will help you against a Jujitsu black belt. Unless, that is, the fight never reaches the ground. While Melendez gets to roll around with Matt Hughes, Andy Wang gets to mess around with Tony Desouza. During this little skirmish, Desouza opts to not only wear jeans, but he also free balls it (thanks to a nice little airborne camera angle were let in on this juicy tidbit). I guess thats how Peruvians roll out there in the Hawaiian Islands.
Fight day finally comes and both guys look ready to rock and roll. Andy Wang has a sizable reach disadvantage, with a paltry 63 inches reach compared to Melendezs 72 inches. The first round starts and both fighters come together in the center of the octagon. Andy Wang eats a stiff left cross from the southpaw Melendez and goes down, but gets right back up and starts to fight. Andy eats several more punches in the first minute, but keeps coming with some good left low kicks and overhand rights. Andy wings in a nice overhand right that lands right on the ear, but Melendez looks unfazed. BJ repeatedly calls for the overhand-single leg combo, but Andy does not comply. As the first round wears on it becomes readily apparent that Gabe was right, and Andy wants to brawl instead of take it to the ground. In the last 30 seconds Andy lands another chopping overhand right, but with ten seconds to go ducks right into a left high kick that stands him up. Both fighters took some hard shots in the first round, and other than the flash knockdown in the opening 30 seconds neither fighter looked hurt. Despite his toughness, Andys best bet would be to take the fight to the mat, and hes only got another 5 minutes to do so and tie the score.
Round two begins and Melendez attempts to chase Andy down with straight punches. Andy continues to throw the overhand right, but is being beat to the punch and counterpunched to hell. About a minute and a half in Andy gets a cut under his left eye, but its not bad enough to stop the fight. Andy lands a good right hand-left hook combo, but for every one of his punches Melendez is landing two or three. Andy finally ties the fight up along the fence, but doesnt do anything with it and Melendez punches out. Andys cut has magically stopped bleeding. The boxing match continues and results in a unanimous decision for Brandon Melendez. After the fight, Andy says that once he got knocked down in the first he thought he needed to KO Brandon to win the fight. Everyone else comments that all Andy had to do was go for the takedown, and BJ is seriously displeased. Andy is absolutely crushed, and bawls from the Octagon to the dressing room. BJ doesnt cut him any slack, and thinks that Andy messed up big time by not going for the takedown. Regardless, I think Andy fought his heart out, and you cant take anything away from him for that. Brandons striking looked great, punctuated by some accurate and fast hands. I honestly dont know how his striking will hold up against a guy who doesnt have a nine inch reach disadvantage however. Whatever though, next week weve got a big grudge match to look forward to. Thats right; Corey Hill and Gabe Ruediger are finally going to settle things in the Octagon, unless Godzilla cant make weight. Like always, weve gotta wait until next week to find out on the next episode of
.THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER!!!