LAST WEEK: Jamie Yager throws in the towel against Josh Bryant, causing Tito Ortiz to go ballistic and call Jager all sorts of choice names. Ortiz then throws in the towel against Liddell, prompting Dana White to fire him from the show and bring in Rich Franklin as his replacement coach. The episode ends with a teaser regarding Franklin’s new assistant coaches — and one of them is a former UFC champion.
We’ve got a new intro this week with new coach Rich Franklin. It’s like Tito never existed.
Dana walks Franklin through the UFC gym. It’s been a long time since Rich last coached the show, and he says it’s cool to see how far things have come. Dana and Rich have a discussion about the new treadmills in the gym and how awesome they are.
Rich says that he came to Vegas under the impression that Tito was still going to be involved with coaching, and Rich would just fill in for him on the fight. When he arrived in Vegas, he found out that Tito was completely gone from the show. Dana thanks him for filling in, and then Rich signs the contract to fight Chuck. Well, that was easy.
Team Ort…er…Franklin arrives at the gym to meet their new head coach. Dana tells the team that he wants them to have the best experience they possibly can, and brings in Franklin’s assistant coaches. It’s Forrest Griffin, Gray Maynard and Tyson Griffin. Dana introduces them to the team and then leaves.
We see the Spike crew tear Tito’s picture off the wall and replace it with a poster of Franklin. Like I said, it’s like Tito never existed.
I must also note that Forrest Griffin is sporting a supreme mountain-man beard. Forrest rolls with a few of the non-injured guys, and it’s clear that he hasn’t taken the time to learn anybody’s name at this point. Kris is impressed by how quickly Franklin and the coaches jumped in, broke down his style and started preparing him for the semifinal bout. Tyson Griffin says they’re going to taper down McCray’s training because he’s been working out too hard and needs to let his body rest. That’s completely opposite from how Ortiz ran the team, and I’m sure Kyacey Uscola felt vindicated.
It’s time for a Team Liddell training session. John Hackleman is startled by the sudden appearance of the Rich Franklin poster on the wall and wonders how they changed it out so quickly. Chuck says it’s tough to go from fighting a guy he hates to fighting one of the nicest guys in MMA, but that he’ll be ready when it’s time to get up for the fight.
Brad and Court talk about how awkward it will be to fight each other. Hackleman says they didn’t want to separate their training. They don’t have to partner up, but they’re still training in the same group. Yeah, I can imagine that it was awkward. Chuck says it’ll be hard to watch his guys fight each other, but he figured it would come down to this from the beginning.
The house decides that it’s time for revenge on Noke, Yager, McCray and Tavares for being loud, staying up too late and keeping the rest of the house awake. The team assembles quietly with air horns and silly string. They descend into their room and blast the horns while covering them with silly string. Tavares is furious and says they crossed the line, so he grabs a large chess board and drops it over the railing to the first floor. The chess set shatters into little pieces. Tavares heads back to bed while thinking of ways to get back at everybody else for ruining his sleep, despite the fact that he spent weeks keeping everybody else from sleeping at night.
That was the height of depravity for this season of The Ultimate Fighter. Boring, right?