Saturday, May 2, 2009

TUF 9 Episode 5 Review

It was a great two fight episode this week on TUF. The show jumped right into the action as the next fight was announced between Andre Winner and Santino DeFranco.

There were the requisite training montages. They also let Santino tell his whole back story of how he tried out for season two but found out he had two brain aneurysms and had to have brain surgery. Doctors thought he’d never fight again but here he is.

Santino seems like a cool guy. I admire him for all that he had to go through and was finally able to make it back on the show. Unfortunately his run was short lived.

Winner was two much for DeFranco on the feet and couldn’t take Winner down. Finally DeFranco lured Winner close enough to pull guard. Unfortunately Winner was just too strong for DeFranco and was able to posture up and pound Santino out in the first round.

These are the types of quarterfinal fights I’ve come to expect. Most of the time you don’t get competitive fights and that proved to be the case here. Winner doesn’t look amazing by any stretch of the imagination but unfortunately DeFranco looked even worse.

The U.S. was down 2-0 at this point (and of course Bisping had something to say about it) and it was obvious everyone was frustrated. After the fight half the team was saying how they should “man up” and not complain about losing in the house. The other half said “screw that” (or something to that effect) and said that they would do whatever they wanted.

Fortunately there weren’t any big blow ups between teams in the house but it was obvious there was trouble in paradise on the U.S. side. In fact, back at the house we saw how the younger guys (especially Cameron Dollar) were growing stale on the old guys.

Guys like Pierce and Dent professed their love (or like) for the U.K. team compared to their compatriots. Pierce is best buddies with Faulkner (which will become an issue later) and Dent complained about how he didn’t care about anyone else in the house and how he’d rather hang out with the U.K. team.

Then there was this really funny soccer montage with the U.K. guys trying to show their team unity and saying how their team performs better as a group because there aren’t any egos on the team. Unfortunately I can’t really argue with that. At least not with what the producers have chosen to show us about them.

On a brief side note Cameron Dollar has singled himself out as the biggest ass in the house this season. In a disgusting, immature display of machismo he goes into great detail on how many girls he’s “humped” (his word not mine) to show the guys what a big man he is. He then goes on to lower the bar by explaining how he slept with his best friend’s wife but it wasn’t his fault because she “forced herself on him.” To be twenty one and a moron… I don’t miss it.

After this was a training session with the U.S. team that turned in to much more than that. Henderson was talking about his match up preferences and said he’d like to see Pierce fight Faulkner. Of course Pierce balked but wouldn’t tell Henderson the truth as to why because he knew what the backlash would be.

Dollar went on to explain what a cop out that was and this was the only thing I agreed with him on the whole night. There was also a big blow up in the van between Dollar, Dent, and Johnson. Henderson had to step in and make peace but it was obvious that nothing had been resolved no matter how much sense he made.

The next fight was announced between DaMarques Johnson and Dean Amasinger. This was an obvious choice by Henderson picking his best fighter to get a win and get the U.S. on the board with some momentum. The U.K. still felt good about this fight from the roll they had been on but Johnson was the obvious favorite.

In the U.K.’s training montage Bisping warned Dean about Johnson’s triangle. As fight time approached Bisping was nowhere to be found and it obviously threw Dean off. It will be interesting to see what his excuse is as even Dana White had no idea where he was. It better be something serious otherwise there might be a revolt on the U.K. team.

Unfortunately Dean seemed thrown off and was too cocky for his own good. He let Johnson take him down immediately and fell right into, wait for it… wait for it… a triangle choke!

I have no sympathy for him no matter how hard he cries or complains about Bisping. He fell into the one trap his team warned him about. There’s no excuse.

Thank god the U.S. got on the board because it was getting sad there for a little while. Obviously Dean wasn’t much of a test for Johnson but so far Johnson has looked really impressive. I think he may be headed for the finale.

My last thought on this episode is that for the first few episodes I really thought Bisping was the better coach. He seemed more interested in his fighters, created a team atmosphere, and better prepared his team for their fights. However, unless he has a damn good excuse for missing his fighter’s fight (realistically the most important fight in his career so far) then Henderson gets my nod for the better coach this season hands down, no matter what Bisping does the rest of the season.

As always I end with my quote of the week. This week’s honor goes to Jason Dent for his apt description of Cameron Dollar’s facial features and choice of head wear:

“Why don’t you pull your stupid wiggity wack hat down over your dumb [expletive] face”

And a bonus quote this week from referee extraordinaire Steve Mazzagatti:

“You’re winner, Andre” - get it… Andre Winner (insert rim shot here) I’ll be here all week folks, try the steak.

Keep it locked for next week. Until then,

Soccer kicks and head stomps!

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