With the 10th season of The Ultimate Fighter now in full swing, here’s a quick look at 10 things we’ve learned so far…
1. Kimbo Slice Is Still A Ratings Winner
The first episode drew 4.1 million viewers, a record for the show, and the highest rating ever for a show debut on Spike TV. the third episode brought what the fans had been waiting for – Kimbo Slice’s fight with Roy Nelson.
The episode outdid the previous record, pulling in a mammoth 5.3 million viewers, with a peak of 6.1 million. After his defeat ratings have dropped closer to 3 million viewers – still good numbers when compared to previous seasons.
2. Roy Nelson Is This Seasons Douchebag
A key ingredient of each season of TUF is for one fighter to man up and take on the time honored role of season douchebag. Whilst no Junie Browning, Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson has wasted no time in letting the other cast members know that he is well qualified to take on the role.
After only two episodes he had already infuriated his trainers who branded him “uncoachable” due to his poor attitude. Dana White also appears far from impressed. After a less than stellar win over Kimbo Slice, Nelson strutted around the cage like he’d just defeated a world champion, and confidently declared that he was “glad to put on a show for Dana and Lorenzo.”
Meanwhile Dana had a different opinion. He thought the fight “sucked.”
3. Marcus Jones Is An Unusual Human Being
At 6ft 6 and 265lbs, former NFL star Marcus Jones has an intimidating physique, perfect for a mixed martial artist. In training he appears to be throwing his sparring partners around like ragdolls.
Despite this, when he’s not beating the life out of his opponents, “Big Baby” reveals he likes nothing better than to indulge in his passion for gardening.
That’s not the only revelation he has up his sleeve though. “I used to be very passionate about Dungeons & Dragons,” he admit before sheepishly confessing, “I might be the most boringest [sic] brother at home”.
4. Kimbo Slice’s Ground Game Rivals Cheick Kongo’s
Having been training and fighting professionally as a mixed martial artist for over two years you would have assumed that Kimbo Slice may have at least acquired the basics of the ground game.
If he has then it appears he’s been taking lessons from Cheick Kongo who’s idea of ground defense is to deflect his opponents punches with his head.
Proving himself to be a quick learner however, Slice did manage to nulify the worst of Roy Nelson’s ground and pound by sticking his head into the flabby mass of “Big Country’s” ever-expanding belly.
5. Rampage Jackson Is Possibly The Worst TUF coach Of All Time
…and that’s really saying something considering Ken Shamrock was once a coach on the show. There’s a number of examples to illustrate this point, but really, one will suffice…
“Do what you got to do Abe, do what you got to do” was just one of the pearls of wisdom he shared to team member Abe Wagner in episode one.
In the middle of being beat to a bloody pulp at the time, Abe clearly hadn’t the foggiest idea what he was supposed to be doing.
Not to worry, Rampage was on hand with more helpful advice born from his years of professional fighting experience. “…you got to do something Abe, you got to do something…”
6. Some Of The Heavyweights Have Yet To Discover ‘Cardio’
Despite featuring a number of pro fighters and former NFL football players, most of this seasons heavyweights appear to have the cardio of a 60 year old couch potato. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the James McSweeney Vs Wes Shivers fight.
Shivers appeared to gas somewhere between walking into the cage and touching gloves with McSweeney at the beginning of the first round. Not to be outdone McSweeney threw a couple of kicks before quickly following suit.
By the end of the bout both had essentially dispensed with the notion of fighting and were busy clutching their knees and gasping for breath, occasionally responding to the exasperated pleas of their coaches to fight by shuffling around the cage after each other like a couple of asthmatic geriatrics.
7. Rashad Evans Seems Like A Good Coach
Whilst Rampage Jackson bungles his way through the coaching aspect of the show like a mixed martial arts equivalent of Inspector Clouseau, Rashad Evans couldn’t fail to look like a tactical genius in comparison.
Some of the skills Evan’s appears to have over Jackson in this area include A. Picking his team based on their skills rather than how tall or famous they are. B. Having a strategy and C. Giving his fighters USEFUL advice during their fights.
In all seriousness he does appear to be one of the better coaches we’ve seen on TUF to date, and his methods are working so far as his team is now up 5-0.
8. Kimbo Slice Is A Likable Grafter
There are easier and quicker ways for Kimbo Slice to make money than appearing on The Ultimate Fighter.
He does however appear to be willing to start at the bottom and work his way up. Aware of his weaknesses, Slice remains humble. “I’m a rookie at this” he acknowledged after his defeat, “I’m a street fighter trying to become an ultimate fighter.”
His attitude and willingness to learn may help to silence some of his critics.
9. Rampage And Rashad Really Don’t Like Each Other
Whilst Rampage is clearly the funnier of the two, when it comes to a bit of the old verbal jousting, Rashad has proved more than a match for him so far.
In the last episode after Team Rampage slumped to a fifth consecutive defeat, Rashad critized his ‘hands off’ approach to coaching and, as things escalated, informed him that “I can fight you with your style and still beat your ass.” On the losing end of the exchange, it wasn’t long before Rampage beat a hasty retreat saying, “Conversation over, Imma get to my troops.” Rashad shouted after him, “what you gonna do, just go in there and text? It’s not like your gonna teach them nothing…sorry ass!”
It’s only a matter of time before Rampage punches him in the face, or, if things get really bad, digs out the ‘Yo Momma…‘ jokes.
10. The Best Is Still To Come
…or so Dana White would have us believe. We do have faith though, mainly because it’s hard to imagine things getting much worse than the first three episodes. It’s somewhat ironic that the show had it’s biggest viewing figures ever for some of the worst fights ever seen in 10 series of the show.
The fourth and particularly the fifth episodes were definitely an improvement. There’s still a lot of ground to make up though if this is to meet Dana’s estimation that “by episode 8 your going to be going wild.”
Article By RossC