This week's episode finally started building some drama in the house between Riddle and Dante. However, most of the episode was focused on the training and build up to the fight chosen by Forrest between Riddle and Credeur. It was a tough fight to pick because after watching their first fights Riddle seemed more impressive although he has much less experience. But skills aside I was rooting for Riddle simply because he isn't as big of a jerk as Credeur. Here is the fight breakdown:
I was very impressed with Riddle's wrestling and he obviously has very good punching power but a very underdeveloped striking game. I'm not sure if he got scared and reverted to his primary training or if Credeur's standup was actually that much better. Riddle looked awkward standing up if not impotent while Credeur looked competant although fairly weak. Credeur's Jiu Jitsu saved him from getting pounded out as Riddle landed some good shots on the ground but Creduer was able to maneuver and sweep and land some shots of his own. Credeur probably won the round but not by much.
Again, Riddle's wrestling was impressive but unfortunately he couldn't seem to work much on the ground against Credeur's grappling ability. I thought Riddle had a chance to finish the fight when Credeur gassed. I thought if Riddle could catch him the fight would be over but Riddle made a huge mental error and took him back down where Credeur could catch his breath and use his Jiu Jitsu to finish the fight with an unimpressive armbar that Riddle basically fell into and didn't know how to protect against.
All in all a competitive but not impressive fight for either fighter. Obviously Credeur has to work on his wrestling ability to avoid being taken down because if he gets into a war with a better ground and pound artist he may not survive. Otherwise he is a very skilled fighter but without much finishing ability. In my opinion not a true threat to win the competition. Riddle obviously has holes in his game. He has no Jiu Jitsu but as Rampage mentioned earlier he has no BJJ game but he's still the 205 lb champ so a lack of BJJ skills can be overcome with great wrestling and striking. The former Riddle has in spades but the latter must be improved upon in order to keep the standup in his favor to avoid forcing him to take people down as his biggest threat in the cage. I thought Riddle had more potential with his power, wrestling, and conditioning as often those fighters make it far in this show. However, his inexperience showed and Credeur will live to fight another day. As Forrest told him (and I'm paraphrasing here) "You had a sub par fight but you still won and finished the fight... not a bad day". True, it wasn't a bad day but he'll need to improve his wrestling and stamina in order to survive the next 3 rounds to win this thing.
The most surprising part of the show was Rampage's reaction to losing again. I know all of these fighters are super competitors which makes them great at what they do. However, it always surprises me when the coaches take their losses so seriously. They barely know their fighters and he doesn't know any of them personally so why he takes it so hard (as the preview for next week alludes to) I don't understand. Even Matt Hughes, who's a total douschebag, never reacted like that to losing almost all of his quarterfinal fights. Normally I love Rampage. He's a funny guy who is charismatic and endearing but last night he was acting like a baby and hopefully he can learn to control his whining. That's all for now. I'll be back next week with another update as the season progresses.
Soccer kicks and head stomps...