An action-packed montage of UFC events introduces Season 11 coaches Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz. Dana explains that he and Tito are on good terms, but Tito and Chuck still have beef. But first, 28 Middleweights must fight their way into the house.
The fighters enter the new and much larger training center. Joe Henle and Woody Weatherby are especially impressed. Dana walks in flanked by Tito and Chuck. As the guys line up, Kris McCray says, “I’m ready to go. Put me in a canon and shoot me.” Dana introduces the coaches and then explains the Wildcard twist for the season, in which 2 lucky losers will be selected to fight each other for the 8th spot in the Quarterfinals. Dana urges the guys to not leave it in the hands of the judges and fight hard so that they are not riding home on the bus tomorrow with regrets.
Fight Day arrives and the competitors return to the training center to prepare for battle. First up is Jamie Yager from Pasadena, whose huge, wild afro is surpassed only by his ego, evident in his assertion that he will be in the final. Dana comments on his cockiness and Tito says, “Cockiness is always good.” Taking on Yager is Ben “The Hebrew Hammer” Stark who speculates that he is the only fighter in the group to have been raised Orthodox Jew. Dana explains the rules, the ref starts the fight, and 26 seconds and 3 head kicks later, Yager has a KO victory. Dana admits that Yager backed up his talk and Tito is impressed with Yager’s power and confidence.
Next out is Jordan Smith of Utah, a teacher for whom fighting is a way to keep his rage in check. His opponent is Hawaiian Brad Tavares who grew up fighting because, “Fighting is fun.” The fight starts, and soon Tavares has Smith against the cage. Smith tries to break free but gets dropped with a lightning quick knee to the chin that forces the ref to stop the fight. Chuck and Tito are both impressed with Tavares’ knockout.
Cleburn Walker, Texas cager, comes out and says he has sacrificed more than he’ll ever admit for his fighting career. Kris “The Savage” McCray fesses up to not being the most technical of fighters, but he makes up for it with his “ferociousness,” adding that he’s “tamed but off the chain.”
The fight starts with Walker and McCray meeting in center-cage and when McCray executes a brutal hip throw, Walker verbally taps out. Dana thinks that Walker’s shoulder popped out in the takedown. McCray calls himself a “Swamp Thing,” because he’s both a savage and a superhero.
Frenchman Norman Paraisy enters the gym with the intent of changing the opinions of those who think French people are soft. Floridian firefighter James Hammortree has no problem saving people for a living and then beating them up in the cage. The fight starts and Paraisy shoots in to get the early takedown. Hammortree gets to his feet, they trade shots, and then it goes back to the mat where Hammortree takes the top position. Paraisy struggles to get up, but Hammortree keeps control with a barrage of leather and elbows. The horn sounds and a battered Paraisy goes to his corner, saying “I’m done.” Chuck looks shocked, “He’s quittin!”
Paraisy sits in his corner as assistant coaches Howard Davis and John Hackleman urge him to get up. Paraisy spews forth multiple complaints expressing both numbness in his body and pain in his wrists. Herb Dean comes over and Paraisy waves him off, giving the win to Hammortree, who’s so excited he hugs the ref. Dana and the coaches are outraged, and Chuck makes the comment that quitting is the same as tapping to strikes – something Tito has done in the past. Paraisy’s excuse is that he wasn’t himself today. Dana says Paraisy was here to change opinions about the French, but instead he should look for another job.
In a montage of fight highlights we see MMA moosehead Nick Ring win a 2 round decision after dismantling Woody Weatherby. Tito thinks Nick has a chance of winning it all. In the next fight, kangaroo kid Kyle Noke takes Warren Thompson to the ground and drops elbows until blood gushes from Thompson’s forehead. Noke says it got slippery for a while, but he hung in there to get the win by decision. Then bushy-bearded bruiser Court McGee goes to war against Seth Baczynski, as both men come out blasting. Dana is impressed that McGee was able to keep his wits after taking a big shot in the first round. Round 2 could have gone either way, but Dana thinks the third belonged to McGee due to his superior wrestling. At the end, McGee’s hand is raised in a unanimous decision.
Into the Octagon next is Cincinnati banger Victor O’Donnell, who says being here makes the hair on his neck stand up. Chris Camozzi of Colorado can’t see the fight going any other way than him winning.
An extended cutdown of the fight begins as the opponents tap gloves and Camozzi goes in for a guillotine, but instead gets a spin lift from O’Donnell. They get back to their feet and proceed to clobber each other with big punches and knees, in the process getting big reactions the coaches table. The round ends and Dana debates with Chuck and Tito over which fighter did more damage. Round Two is more of the same with each man fearlessly dishing out and absorbing incredible punishment. Camozzi takes O’Donnell down with a nice hip throw, but soon they’re back up and it’s O’Donnell who has an impressive takedown that lifts Camozzi off his feet and slams him into the cage. Tito shouts for Camozzi to get a triangle, but O’Donnell fights it off until the horn sounds. Dana applauds and says “Good fight!” After some tabulating from the judges, Dana announces a third Sudden Victory round. The action continues with more solid shots to faces and hard takedowns. Camozzi attempts a rear naked choke, but O’Donnell rolls out and they get back to their feet and swing a few more times before the horn blows. The fighters walk to the corners as Dana, Chuck and Tito give them a standing ovation. Dana says they showed a lot of heart, and while no one should be considered a loser, only one man gets to go on to live his dream.
O’Donnell and Camozzi stand with the ref as Dana reads the decision in favor of Chris Camozzi, who is happy to be going into the house, despite some soreness in his face region. O’Donnell expresses regret over missing out on the chance of a lifetime.
Sacramento’s Kyacey Uscola considers himself a dark horse, despite his poor – albeit experienced – record. Brent Cooper of Irvine steps into the cage and makes no bones about his love for punching people in the face. The Californians collide with swift kicks and quick fists, one of which catches Cooper on the button and he drops like a ragdoll. Uscola pounces for some finishing shots before the ref intervenes. “Don’t blink when I fight,” warns Uscola, “Pretty fast knockout.” Dana thinks Uscola displayed killer instinct by ending the fight “quick and nasty.”
Another montage begins with Jesusian Joe Henle fighting Constantinos Philippou. Dana observes that Henle’s getting killed for all of Round One, but then he pulls off an armbar for the win in Round Two. Henle is happy that his jujitsu came through when he needed it. Next up, a chrome-domed Rich Attonito attacks Lyle Steffens with an aggressive double-leg takedown. Tito sees that Rich dominates, which leads to a decision in his favor after Round Two. Two more fighters take the cage, and Tito comments on how chin-strapped Josh Bryant took a lot of shots but used his wrestling to pull out the 2-round decision over Greg Rebello. Bryant says he’s ready to win the whole thing. Finally, as Charles Blanchard pounds on Jacen Flynn, Chuck says Blanchard is short and stocky, but strong. After Round One, the ref stands by as Flynn tells the doctor he can’t see from one eye, and the fight is handed to Blanchard. Blanchard is eager to bang, despite being the shortest guy in the room.
Minneapolis middleweight Charley Lynch walks out, his greasy bangs converging to a point over his brow. Even though he’s fighting his buddy, Lynch wants most to put on a good show, preferably with one of them getting knocked the “F” out. Not to be outdone in the crazy-hair category, Clayton McKinney strolls out with half of his head dyed bright Joker green. McKinney wishes the best for his friend in the future, but plans to put a stop to his dreams for now. “The greatest feeling in the world is to knock somebody out,” says McKinney, “Raw, real, nasty.”
Round One opens with McKinney driving Lynch to the mat with a nice double. Lynch powers his way up, eating a knee in the process. They get in the clinch and McKinney flips Lynch with a judo throw, only to have Lynch get right back up. McKinney stays on the offense, firing off hard strikes punctuated by a knee that causes him to fall back. Lynch seizes the opportunity to get in the guard and deliver big shots to the head and body. Lynch backs off, and McKinney gets a chance to stand up and move in with a flurry of punches and knees. When they separate, McKinney sees that Lynch’s nose has essentially collapsed and he says, “Your nose is smashed up.” He drives one final punch to the face that drops Lynch and the fight is stopped. Dana says, “That is a broken nose.” In the replay, Dana says the fight was entertaining because Lynch is so tough, adding “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a broken nose that nasty.” McKinney hugs his friend and apologizes for shattering his nose. After getting his hand raised, McKinney says his shoulder hurts but he’s ready to go again right now if need be.
All of the day’s winners assemble before the coaches and Dana, who congratulates them for not being the guys riding home on the bus. Ring, Noke and Uscola are all impressed by the group of talent on the show. Dana knows the competition between the coaches will be fierce, and then he wishes everyone luck and welcomes them to The Ultimate Fighter.
In a tease of the upcoming season, we are privy to a montage of tough training, bad mouthing and hilarious hijinx, all culminating with teams and coaches screaming outside the cage and the now obligatory coach-smashing-a-door shot.
Team Rashad. The lonely warriors come to fight against one another. The bigger question in the beginning of this episode is whether Matt Mitrione is going to fight or not. He complained that his brain was swollen in the last episode and that rant has brought itself into this episode. Rashad is worried about Matt “Meathead” Mitrione and asks him how he’s feeling. From the point of view of the fighters and the coaches, it looks like his head just isn’t in the game at this point.
The question still remains, if not Matt, who will fight McSweeney? Kimbo begins to prepare. Kimbo is consulted by an orthopedic surgeon, and it seems that he is missing some cartilage in his knee. Throughout the episode Kimbo prepares for the fight with McSweeney while icing and heating his knee. McSweeney is a kicker, or as Kimbo calls him, a ‘tree chopper’. If Kimbo does fight him then he’ll have to watch for those kicks to the knee. We will find out if Matt is going to fight McSweeney in the next episode.
In Rashad’s training camp Brendan Schaub and Jon Madsen prepare for the matchup in this episode. After they do all the fighters and coaches go to the Palm’s to watch the Coaches challenge. It’s Rampage and his Asst Coach vs. Rashad and his helping coach. They battle it out in volleyball. The best 2 out of 3 wins 10k for the coach, and an additional 1500 for each fighter on the winning team. The first match goes to Team Rampage, and Rashad comes back hard and wins the last 2 rounds.
The battle still continues with the coaches and fighters trying to figure out whether Matt Mitrione is going to fight. Dana comes in and gives a pep talk to the entire group of fighters. ”If you didn’t come here to fight, then you came to the wrong place.” Rashad gets the feeling that Matt is making it seem like he is being forced to fight. That isn’t the case, and Dana mentions it in the talk. He gives Matt another day. The doctor’s are going to have their recommendations within the following day, and then Matt can decide. If he decides not to fight, then someone will go in as an alternate.
For now its time to focus on the current matchup. Brendan Schaub vs. Jon Madsen. The weigh in makes it official, and it’s now fight day. Round 1. Jon comes out with his strong wrestling skills and takes down Brendan a couple times in the matchup. He doesn’t advance his position so the fight is brought to a standup by the referee. Both fighters survive the first round and it’s off to the second. The fighters come out again and Jon tries to take down Brendan again. Only this time he’s completely tired. Brendan comes in swinging and knocks him 2 in the jaw, sending him to a knockout. Brendan was grabbing the fence a lot during the matchup while he was on the ground, and maybe should have even got a point taken away. Regardless he finished the fight with a knock out.
Now it’s on to the next episode to find out whether Matt Mitrione will step into the octagon once again.
I don’t know if the title of the show is referring to Matt Mitrione’s brain being rattled in the last episode, or the detrimental 7 to 1 victory that Team Rashad has displayed. It’s safe to say that Team Rampage is probably feeling the rattle from that record. In fact, Team Rashad has 2 of his guys fighting against one another in this episode; Roy Nelson vs. Justin Wren.
Matt Mitrione is definitely feeling a little rattled, but some of the guys feel like he’s milking his injury just a little bit. On the car ride home, he’s passing out a little, and coughing. He complains of having headaches that he never gets. The UFC doesn’t mess around when it comes to head trauma so he gets checked out. The question now is, well if Matt doesn’t fight, who will? Kimbo Slice? A lot of people are banking on him being the returning alternate. Rampage feels that he has made the greatest improvement and the assistant coaches like his attitude in the ring.
That’s not going to happen before Dana White finds out first hand whether or not Matt is going to fight. Dana heads straight for the source, and goes to the house to talk to Matt. Point blank he asks, “If the doctor clears you, are you going to fight?” How can you refuse when you have the President of the UFC is asking for your commitment? He doesn’t refuse point blank, but he does seem to leave himself an out when he mentions his fear of having his brain rattled? You can always count of Scott Junk’s return though, and he makes that very clear to Dana White; while wearing a shiny black eye on his right eye. Now that’s commitment.
Team Rampage has to find a way to strike back. They’ve lost most of the fights, but don’t count Rampage out on the pranks. After practice Rashad comes out of the gym to a car full of chickens. Live chickens that have defecated all over his car! Don’t worry it’s a rental, and this just sets him up for getting an even better rental car. The guys have fun with their chickens, and Team Rampage is let down once again. We’ll have to tune in again to see if he’s capable of pulling another prank.
Justin and Roy (Big Country) are weighed in and ready to go. It’s fight day. The two are friends, and it’s going to be two 5 minute rounds for the taking. Both cancel each other out on the ground so the coaches and fighters are banking on a standup battle. They don’t disappoint. Justin comes out banging in the first round while Roy is barely swinging his hands. Justin manages to land some sharp punches, but it doesn’t seem to be fazing Big Country. He keeps on advancing forward while Justin seems to be trying to finish the fight by knockout. Justin’s punches are coming out fast and powerful. The round is over.
In the second round Justin comes out gassed. He’s throwing punches into the air, and his body is asking for oxygen. You can see it in his face. It’s a perfect opportunity for Roy to pick him apart and he does. He lands some detrimental blows, and for the last couple minutes it looks as if Justin is just walking into Roy’s punches. He drops his hands, and advances, leaving the perfect chance for Roy to work on a knockout. The round ends.
The fight is up in the air. Is it going to go to the third? It looks like each fighter may have won a round each, but from the judges perspective it goes 20-18, 19-19, 20-18 for Roy Nelson.
Roy asks Dana White if he made it exciting for him this time. Dana mentions that the excitement was half in Roy getting destroyed by Justin in the first round! ”Don’t worry Roy, when you’re in a fight that YOU make exciting, I’ll give you props”, Dana says in a post interview as he shakes his head in disbelief.