TUF 14.02 blog:
Seeing the place where I would be staying for the next six weeks was amazing. The house was redone and, more importantly, it was huge. First thing was first: I wanted to make sure that I got the bed that I wanted. I know some of the others wanted to look around first, but knowing that I was gonna be stuck there, I was looking for a room where I could get along with my roommates and be with people who were there for the same thing: just having fun.
Being in this house was a once-in-a-lifetime thing, so I didn’t want to always be around people who just talked about training, fights, missing people, home or anything else like that. There’s more to life than that, and I was going to enjoy every moment I was there.
We had a daily schedule that was posted up every week, and since we saw that we had a while before the first fight was picked, we thought we should celebrate with a barbecue. I just didn’t know that Louis Gaudinot and I were gonna be the ones cooking the whole time. We’ll see how long that lasts.
On the day teams were picked, I was sweating hard. Honestly, I was trying not to be on Michael Bisping’s team. I know that he won “TUF” and that two guys he coached won “TUF,” too, but I was trying to have fun. Being on Mayhem’s team seemed like more fun, and it seemed like I would learn a lot from him and his coaching staff, too. They were picking teams and Bisping wanted first pick. Immediately, I was thinking in my head, “Oh, crap, he’s gonna pick me first.”
Then, Bisping call Louis’ name.
I’m not gonna lie: I was a little offended that I wasn’t first pick. But I was Mayhem’s first pick and I was on the team that I wanted to be on, so I can’t really complain too much. I got basically what I wanted.
Louis and I were staring at each other, saying, “A flyweight finale, let’s make it happen.” We even talked about, if we were both to make it to the final, cutting down to the lowest weight for bantamweight, 126 pounds, and making it an unofficial flyweight fight. Now that would be a fight to see and remember, so it’s up to us to make it happen.
My friend and teammate Diego Brandao was the first pick for the featherweights, but he wound up on Bisping’s team. I knew things were gonna be interesting because Diego and I both have the goal of getting to the finals, no matter what. I just knew that there was gonna be some leaked info between us to try to get us to the end of this, even if we weren’t on the same team. Keep an eye on me and Diego.
Practice with Team Mayhem was cool because he brought with him some world-class guys who would be able to help us out in any areas that we were weak in. Kamaru “Kush” Usman was an NCAA Division II wrestling champion and is now chasing the dream of becoming an Olympic champion, working out at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado. We also got to work with Danny Perez, a professional boxer and one of the few men to knock down Antonio Margarito.
For muay Thai, I knew it’d be great when I saw Melchor Menor, who has had an awesome career and was even featured on “Sports Science” to test out his kicking power. Mayhem, of course, is well-versed with his grappling skills, having the majority of his wins by submission. Lastly, Dr. Ryan Parsons was the mastermind to help out with the overall game, really making sure we were flowing between positions and breaking down our opponents.
Mayhem’s coaches and team showed me that he wasn’t just there to win and look better than Bisping, but also to get us the right kind of help that allowed us to get better at our own craft. He knew that we only had a few weeks, so he couldn’t change us as fighters entirely, but he could tweak the things we were good at to make us great at them.
The pranks, the pranks, the pranks. The pranks have just begun, people. It’s a snowflake before the blizzard. With Mayhem and the rest of us putting all the tires in Bisping’s dressing room, we were ensuring it would be a long and funny six weeks together.
For the fight, we called out Marcus Brimage to fight Brian Caraway. Caraway knew he had more fights than Brimage did, so he thought it wasn’t gonna be that tough of a fight. At weigh-ins, though, Bisping’s team had a different feeling about the fight, and came up with a song that expressed how they felt about Caraway.
At the end of the song, Brimage let out this cry. It was a battle cry, but a little high-pitched, so I would say that he let out a Gotenks scream. In case y’all don't know who Gotenks is, he’s a character from “Dragon Ball Z.” Brimage was right there with him.
The fight was one-sided in the first round, as Caraway took him down, took his back and stayed there the whole time. Brimage did land a good shot that puffed up Caraway’s eye, but that was it for that round. Second round came and Brimage was the fresher of the two, landing strikes and stopping some takedowns. Just when the fight looked like it was gonna turn, Caraway got that final takedown and it was over. 1-0 for Team Mayhem.
Now, we gotta wait and see who will be the first bantamweight to step up and get in the Octagon