Nick Ring’s Ultimate Fighter 11 Blog: Episode 11

by Nick Ring

Enter Rich Franklin, Forrest Griffin, Gray Manard, and Tyson Griffin

I was very impressed with Rich Franklin’s technical skills. He has a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (just like me), and his striking is very technical as well – I also noticed immediately that Rich had a really keen eye for detail. Unfortunately for me, I was out of commission at this point so I did not get to work with Rich or any of the new coaches at all, but I would have loved to ask him some questions and gotten to move around with him. I could tell that he really knew what he was talking about and I felt like he would have had a lot to offer me.

One of Rich’s assistant coaches was Forrest Griffin. Forrest was much bigger in person than I thought he would be, and wow is he ever funny – when this guy would talk, he would literally hold all of us captive with his words as he told story after story after story, he would have all of us laughing and wanting to hear what he had to say next. Besides his impeccable story-telling abilities, Forrest was also quite impressive on the mat as well. I watched Forrest do some grappling with Seth, Hammortree, McCray, and Kaycey. I also got to watch Forrest do some striking with Kaycey Uscola on one of the days – I thought Forrest was going too hard with poor Kaycey (he was beating on him like he owed him money). I gotta hand it to Kaycey though, he wasn’t backing down at all even though Forrest was completely gigantic compared to him and was pummelling him, it was awesome watching them scrap.

The other assistant coaches were Tyson Griffin and Gray Manard and I got to admit that I didn’t know anything about them when I first met them. They were both built like pitbulls though and I have heard since then that they both fight like pitbulls too. Gray Manard, apparently, was one of the contestants on a previous season of TUF (and now that I know this, I guess I should probably watch it sometime).

I know it may sound ironic coming from an MMA fighter but I really don’t watch very much of it myself, I love to train and compete but I am not a huge fight-fan so I do miss out on a lot of the news. The only way I ever know anything usually is because I ask my friends who actually do follow the sport.

Anywho… I was very impressed with the new coaches, these guys were all very technical and I really would have liked to participate.

Court Versus Brad

I can definitely see how that situation would be awkward and even knowing this is what you signed up for it would still be hard to fight a guy you have been training with. Oh well, it could be worse – you could be like me and have to sit on the bench with McKinney (just joking McKinney, I fucking love u man – please don’t sucker punch me)


I thought that this payback was fair. The “minority report” had gone out of their way to be obnoxious in the house since day 1 and the payback was good natured and well-deserved. I know that Yager and Tavares did not agree but McCray understood instantly and acknowledged that the retaliation was fair by saying “That was good yo”.

Noke was probably the least deserving of the spraying but he got it bad, and he was only guilty by association. After Noke got sprayed I overheard him complaining to Seth who just matter-of-factly replied “You hang out with garbage, and after a while you start smelling like it”. Seth’s comment made me laugh, it sounded like something that my dad would say.

Brad Tavares Versus Court McGee

I thought both fighters fought well but I would have given Court a slight edge in the first 2 rounds, and it was pretty obvious who had won the fight by the end of the 3rd round but I thought that Brad made a good accounting of himself in this fight – In my opinion Brad can hold his head high.

I also want to say that I think Brad had a really good attitude after the fight and he took the loss like a man. He didn’t whine or complain or feel sorry for himself, and I could tell by the way he was talking afterwards that he was just going to take what he learned from this loss to improve himself for next time – I know he will only get better from here on so watch out for this guy in the future.

More On Brad Tavares

I shared a room with Brad and despite being in the “minority report” he was actually a really good roommate – in fact, he was the perfect roommate. We pretty much just stayed out of each other’s hair and there was never any issue between me and him… In my opinion, a quiet roommate is a good roommate and despite the noise that Brad made in the rest of the house he was always very respectful in the room – he had his stuff and I had my stuff, it was a very easy relationship.

Brad and I didn’t really hang out that much in the house and I wouldn’t say that I know Brad very well but over the days and weeks however I did get to know a little bit about him and the more I learned about him the more I liked.

I learned that Brad comes from a big family and they are all very close, he also has a solid network of friends back home. What I gathered from talking with him is that he is extremely loyal to those people in his life that he is close with and will do anything for them. Brad is very young but he has got a really solid sense of who he is as a person and he does not try to be anybody that he is not – he does what he likes and either you like him for it or you don’t.

It was a pleasure to know Brad and I think he will have a great life ahead of him.