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Old 04-01-2010, 10:47 AM
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Default TUF 11 Episode 1

Wednesday, March 31, 2010
by Scott Holmes (sholmes@sherdog.com)


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Well, if it isn’t time for another season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Previous coaches Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell are both back for season 11, which means that the series has officially run out of new ideas. Luckily, there is a fresh crop of talent to (hopefully) keep things interesting.

“I honestly don’t have one bad feeling towards Tito,” UFC Dana White begins his opening address to the camera. And if you believe that, I have an official lifetime all-access Sherdog media credential made of solid gold I’d like to sell you.

Wasting no time, all the new fledgling middleweights are brought into the “new and improved” training facility, where they are introduced to the coaches. Then, they’re treated to the time-honored tradition of having White lace into them with a profanity-laden speech, already admonishing the fighters if they leave their fates in the hands of the judges.

White also introduces a new wrinkle to the game, which he calls the “wildcard” fight. After the first 14 fight their way into the house, two losers of White and the coaches’ choosing will get back into the mix with a “wildcard” match to make it into the quarterfinals.

Now, that we’ve settled all of that, it’s on to the fights. Jamie Yager is up first against Ben “Hebrew Hammer” Stark. Stark explains that he grew up Orthodox and once rocked the curly sideburns. It doesn’t seem to help him in his bout, as Yager wilts Stark with five big kicks within twenty seconds.

Next up, is Jordan Smith against Brad Tavares, from Hawaii. It’s another quick finish as Tavares drops Smith with a knee uppercut followed by a right hook. Smith, not completely out of it yet, responds the same way the audience at homes does. “Wow,” says Smith.

Don’t get up to get a soda with these middleweights -- things are rolling. Kris McCray executes a beautiful throw on Cleburn Walker, which slams him into the mat. McCray quickly moves to mount, but Walker verbal submits -- his shoulder dislocated in the slam.

Norman Paraisy meets up with firefighter James Hammortree next. It’s important to Paraisy that he shows all of us that the French aren’t soft. However, after just a round with Hammortree, Paraisy quits, despite the pleading from cornerman John Hackleman and others.

The coaches’ table is universally disgusted by Paraisy’s decision.

“There’s no quitting in MMA,” shouts Ortiz as Paraisy leaves. Liddell takes a moment to point out to Ortiz that it’s akin to “tapping to strikes.” “The Iceman” had bested Ortiz that way in one of their prior fights.

As the one-hour episode winds down, many of the fights are either highlighted or their outcomes announced with commentary from both coaches.

According to Ortiz, Canadian Nick Ring puts the whooping on Woody Weatherby to make it into the house.

“I had my eye on Nick and he pretty much picked Weatherby apart,” Ortiz tells the audience.

In his post-fight interview, Ring, hailing from Calgary, Alberta, puts a “kay” on the end of all his sentences, as in “OK?” That would be awesome if he could keep that up all season.


Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Kyle Noke bloodied his foe.


Kyle Noke and Warren Thompson create a bloody mess during their middleweight contest. After dealing out some good elbows, Noke cuts Thompson and caused a “gusher,” according to White. Blood is pouring out from Thompson’s forehead all over the place, though Noke is able to keep it together and take the decision.

Court McGee and Seth Baczynski had a wild back-and-forth fight that has White and the coaches leaning back in their chairs with did-you-see-that faces.

McGee gets crumpled at the end of the first round after winning most of it. The second round is close, so a third round is ordered. McGee is able to lock up the win with his wrestling, but look for Baczynski to be a frontrunner for the “wildcard” fight with his valiant effort.

Victor O’Donnell is all smiles heading into his fight.

“This is the s--t,” he says before locking horns with Chris Camozzi. The pair wallop each other senseless with some hard shots from all angles that wow the coaches. Camozzi scores 10-9 on all the cards and leaves O’Donnell with a broken orbital bone. A mandatory shot of an ambulance exiting the training center’s parking lot follows.

Kyacey Uscola is worried about how his 18-15 record will look going into his fight with Brent Cooper. Fortunately, brutally knocking out your opponent in 25 seconds is a great way to make the past disappear. Uscola looks nasty and impresses the entire panel.

Joe Henle looks to be losing in his fight with Constantinos Philippou until “Leonidas” (and he looks the part) finds his jiu-jitsu game and slaps on a late armbar to secure his place in the house.

A few more fights we really don’t get to see include:

Rich Attonito dominates with his wrestling, according to Tito Ortiz, and wins a unanimous decision over Lyle Steffens.

• Another wrestler, Josh Bryant, wins a majority decision against Greg Rebello.

Charles Blanchard, the “shortest guy in the room,” is able to put enough damage on Jacen Flynn to force a medical stoppage between rounds.

The last fight of the night is a real doozy. Clayton McKinney and Charley Lynch get about as rough as one fight can. Is there anything more demoralizing to a fighter than to have your opponent be so skeeved out by the injuries he’s given you that he can hardly stand to look at you? Lynch’s nose gets smashed in so far that coach Liddell says he had to go back to an earlier picture of Lynch to remind himself what he looked like. McKinney keeps saying “s--t” every time he looks at Lynch, but his handiwork has secured him a slot in the infamous fighter house.

White is fully impressed with the effort put forth and tells the surviving fighters as much. Next week, the cast of 14 middleweights will find out which legendary coach they will answer to for the next six weeks.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:53 AM
County Mike
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Good first episode. Looks like they actually got some fighters this time instead of a bunch of drama boys. Could be the best crop of fighters since the first couple of seasons.
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:21 AM
Chuck
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I'm with Mike, I thought these guys looked more interested in fighting than TV time. This could be a good season.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:16 PM
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These fighters mean business. worst broken nose I've ever seen.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:29 PM
County Mike
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I like how the two guys are friends. The one guy mentions how he shattered the other guys nose, then leaps in with a strong jab to the NOSE to finish him off.

"Hey, your nose is busted." POW!
"Now it's even worse."
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Old 04-01-2010, 01:57 PM
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Wow! What a way to start the season!!!!! The french guy had me rollin though! No wait, Chuck clownin on the french guy had me rollin!
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Old 04-01-2010, 02:35 PM
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That was the nastiest broken nose ever. It hurts me to even think about it. And yeah the French guy did a really good job at making it seem like France has good fighting talent. France's talent consist of waving a white flag.

I'm really exacited about the cast. Does seem like a lot of good fighters. I looking for the guy with the afro to do well. Those kicks were sick. He must have a strong taekwondo background.
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Old 04-01-2010, 04:26 PM
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Now that everyone knows the sport pretty well it makes sense to have a cast of awesome fighters who are there to fight not be on TV.
I'm sure there will be drama but hopefulyl none of the amateur crappola.
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Old 04-01-2010, 05:56 PM
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I was cracking up over that one too But I like how everyone actually showed up ready to fight this season.

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Originally Posted by County Mike View Post
I like how the two guys are friends. The one guy mentions how he shattered the other guys nose, then leaps in with a strong jab to the NOSE to finish him off.

"Hey, your nose is busted." POW!
"Now it's even worse."
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:20 PM
Bonnie Bonnie is offline
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I only caught the last ten minutes or so and from what I saw, I thought the same thing as Mike....they actually may have the best bunch yet.

As for that broken nose, that was horrible to look at. I heard him ask, "Is it bad?" and the big guy said, "Yes". And then that other guy got his orbital bone shattered or cracked. These guys look like they mean business.

Looks like a good season!
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