The new season of The Ultimate Fighter begins in earnest.
They said he didn’t belong in the UFC, but then he became the undisputed world heavyweight champion. And then he cursed out Frank Mir while spitting all over the camera, and at some point he got his ass beaten half to death by Cain Velasquez. He’s Brock Lesnar, and he’s not here to make friends or win fans – he’s here to win the heavyweight championship. Oh, and he’s still the most popular mixed martial artist on the planet.
It’s the Ultimate Fighter 13. Let’s do this.
The 14 lucky kids comprising the cast this season enter the gym with a bunch of whooping and hollerin’. Coach Lesnar isn’t going to like those loud voices at all. Myles Jury says he feels lucky just to be here, while Nordin Asrih – the first German-born guy to enter the TUF house – says he’s happy to be the first German-born guy to enter the TUF house. Chris Cope isn’t here for the fame or the money.
Dana White welcomes everybody to the UFC training center. He reveals that they don’t have to fight their way into the house this season, which is very pleasing to almost everyone. They’re bringing back the wildcard this season, which means that the winner of that fight gets the 8th spot in the quarterfinals.
It’s time to meet the coaches. You know who they are. Dana gives a brief overview of each coach. Well, Junior’s bio is brief. Lesnar’s biography is quite extensive. Dana says the next two hours will be devoted to evaluations and then wishes them luck.
Brock says they aren’t looking for guys who have been sitting on the couch eating pizza and drinking beer. He proceeds to put them through an intense cardio evaluation, while Junior dedicates his evaluation to actual fighting in the cage. We already see a difference in their coaching styles and philosophies.
Junior introduces Lew Polley, who serves as assistant coach/translator for Team Dos Santos. Junior explains that Brock cares more about cardio than fight training. This might be true. Brock wonders how many of the guys in the house are wrestlers.
Brock calls everybody buddy. This is going to be a seriously funny aspect of this season. He asks if they’re here to be a TV star or a fighter. He also talks to them like they are six years old, which is awesome.
Brock says that Len Bentley is at the top of his list and that he can possibly win the show.
Junior pairs up Ryan and Shamar for some pure wrestling action. They marvel at Shamar’s wrestling skills and strength as he schools Ryan on the mat. Junior says the pair are the best in the house. They also talk about Myles Jury’s skill. Which of course leads to Myles immediately injuring his knee. Myles hopes it’s not injured too badly and says he’ll be ready to go.
Junior and Brock enter Dana’s office to pick teams. Brock wins the coin toss and chooses to pick the first fighter, so Junior gets to pick the first fight. Brock says his goal is to get the best guys, and even if he doesn’t get the best guys, he’ll have to make chicken salad outta chicken sh*t. Brock sure loves his phrases. The coaches pick the teams as we go into a commercial break.
Dana announces the picks.
TEAM LESNAR: Len, Charles, Tony, Clay, Myles, Chris, Nordin
TEAM DOS SANTOS: Shamar, Ryan, Javier, Ramsey, Zack, Mick, Keon
Chris says his coach is the biggest alpha male in the world. Forget about Chuck Norris – it’s all about Brock Lesnar.
And now we come to the moment when the fighters realize they’re staying in a gigantic house. They quickly claim rooms, and that’s all we see of the TUF house for this episode.
Time for a Team Dos Santos training session. Junior says it’s better for him to pick the first fight than to pick the first fighter. His team goes through a training session. Junior says he’s very happy with his guys and that he’s gonna win the show. Well, on paper, he definitely has a much better collection of talent.
Team Lesnar goes through a training session. Meanwhile, Myles meets with Brock and a doctor, who reveals that Myles has completely blown out his knee. He has a completely torn ACL and PCL, which means he’s not fighting. Not a good start for Team Lesnar.
Myles is off the show before it even begins. Brock consoles him and says it happens to a lot of athletes. Wait, Brock consoled him? What kind of bizarro world do we live in? Dana tells him he has to leave the house. Sucks for that guy. Dana tells him he’ll be back. We’ll see that guy on the TUF Finale, I’m sure.
His replacement is Chuck O’Neil, who is welcomed by Brock. Brock says Myles was one of the stronger guys on his team but he’s still happy to have Chuck. Team Lesnar goes back through a training session that consists of a lot of cardio. I suspect this will be a theme this season.
It’s time to make the Dodge Fight Announcement. Junior picks Shamar Bailey to take on Nordin Asrih, so it’s his top pick against Brock’s last pick. That’s probably a good way to start. Shamar says he doesn’t want to give Brock a chance to “lose it and maybe throw a metal chair or something.” Oh, a pro wrestling reference. I get it.
We get a profiles on Nordin and Shamar. Nordin sounds like he could be an evil mastermind in a James Bond movie if he plays his cards correctly. Shamar says there’s a difference between European fighting and American fighting. Yes, it’s called WRESTLING. Learn to love it, Nordin!
Junior is seriously one of the most likable dudes in the world and comes off very well on this show.
After the break: it’s Shamar Bailey taking on Nordin Asrih in our first fight of the season.