Nick Ring’s Ultimate Fighter 11 Blog: Episode Three

Chris Camozzi Is Forced To Depart

Dana has an announcement to make for us and we are forced to be at the gym a little bit earlier than usual… I wasn’t sure what this could be about but then again, I didn’t really think too hard about it either – being here in this environment I just kind of do what I am told. Dana White called Chris Camozzi to the center floor and said that he will be forced to pull out of the competition due to a hairline fracture on his jaw.

WOW!!

I didn’t even for a second suspect that is what this was what the announcement was going to be about. I definitely had empathy for Chris at that moment… For him to work this hard and to come this far and to be forced to leave through no fault of his own I just couldn’t help but feel for him.

My memories of training with Chris were good. During the drills I would partner with him often, and I found him very easy to work with. He was the kind of training partner who will cooperate with you and let you work on the things you needed to work on, he would put his ego aside and help you out – no questions asked. He is a good example of what I think a martial artist should be because not only was he a highly skilled fighter, but he had both humility and a willingness to learn.

I felt like it was a huge loss for team Ortiz.

Now That Camozzi Is Gone, Who Gets To Comes Back?

After the announcement was made and the initial shock wore off we still had the matter of who was going to replace Camozzi. Team Ortiz gathered in the locker room and we looked over the list of guys that Dana had given us to bring back from the preliminaries. It was a list of four guys, including Woody Weatherbee (the guy I defeated to get into the house). I was kind of hoping we brought Woody back, he seemed nice and I thought he would have been a good addition to the house. The best part about Woody is he looks just like Mike “the situation” from the reality show Jersey Shore, and I think we all would have had a pretty good time with him there just based on that alone. FUCKIN FIST PUMP MOTHERFUCKER!!!

Anyway the decision on who came back into the house ultimately fell upon Chris Camozzi himself. He was the one leaving the house so he might as well choose his replacement . He decided to give a second chance to his friend Seth Baczinski (spelling??? – long Polish name and I have no fucking idea). Seth was brought back literally the next day and we got to meet him and get acquainted with him briefly before team Ortiz did our early afternoon practice.

Don’t know much about Seth at this point but he seems nice.

Massage Time – Yesssss!!!!!

Charlie Blanchard is a neuro-muscular therapist and for some strange reason he is giving out free massages to the red team (God bless his little Liddel-team, blue-wearing heart). He first massages Kaycey Uscola, then James Hammortree, and now it is my turn. I was a little bit apprehensive at first because I didn’t understand why someone on the other team would offer me a massage in the first place. I mean, I didn’t actually ask him for a massage and I know that typically I don’t like to work for nothing so I wasn’t really sure what the motivation was. He said he could probably work out some of my muscle imbalances, and I thought to myself “My back and hips are quite fucked and it’s not like I got anything better to do so why not? – fuck it”.

The only thing that unnerved me a little bit was that he insisted on giving me the massage, the little bastard just wouldn’t take no for an answer and considering I may actually have to fight Charlie it did cross my mind that he might use some voodoo massage procedure to injure me.

I had this image in my mind of him doing great harm to me and that he would use his evil, little touch to kill the nerves in my femur so that I would get gangrene in my leg and die.

I then got another image in my head that he would make the muscles in my back spasm so that every time I threw a punch I would get this violent, explosive diarrhoea and be forced to wear a diaper for the rest of my adult life.

I know Charlie looks innocent and cute, but I’m pretty sure he is a serial killer when he is not training and behind those beady little predatory eyes lays a stone cold killer with a heart that is capable of nothing but pure evil.

Either way I pushed all those thoughts aside and so I let him work on my back and holy fuck! – it was actually pretty darn good. Don’t get me wrong it was PAINFUL AS FUCK and I couldn’t believe how strong this little dude was. I had my hand ready as I lay there so I could tap out if he put too much pressure on me and believe me, if this were a fight I would have lost due to tapout.

In fact, the little bastard was probably enjoying every minute of watching me squirm, like I said, Charlie is PURE EVIL. But anyway while he was doing the massage he also started to explain things to me about muscle anatomy and then he started telling me some really cool stuff about why imbalances occur. Not only did I get a massage but I got a free course in muscle physiology, he also informed me that I had some slight scoliosis in my spine and he may be able to get it worked out over the duration of the filming of the show – I thought that was pretty fucking awesome.

I started to rethink my position on Charlie and maybe he is not so evil after-all, I mean I don’t have the shits yet and my back does feel way better. Charlie went from being my arch nemesis to being my friend for life in a matter of 23 minutes – this guy kicks ass!!!

When Farm Animals Attack

So here I am, it’s late and I am now happy and feeling good about my massage. My lower back is feeling good and it is definitely thanking me and I go to the washroom to brush my teeth and get ready for bed and McCray and Yager decide it is time for them gang up on me and “have a talk”.

From their bedroom, McCray loudly asks me a loaded question that goes a little bit like “Hey Ring, Why would you get a massage from a dude at 3 AM?” I knew exactly where he was trying to go with this one so I thought fuck it – I’ll play, so I answered “because I’m a big queer”.

They started laughing hard in disbelief at my remark, and I walked into their room and leaned my shoulder up against the doorway while I flossed my teeth.

I knew that my reply would likely take most of the wind out of their sails but being the couple of Neanderthals they are, they relented by saying that I’m standing gay and tried telling me that I need to change my posture blah blah blah. I just thought it was funny so just poured it on more until they dropped it…

I didn’t realize how funny that would actually look on camera, but I was just kind of doing my thang. Me and my friends always joke around like this and I guess some people aren’t used to that, I got labelled a queer in the house pretty fast due to some of the shit that comes out of my mouth hahaha. I wasn’t really too bothered by it though, I know who I am and my friends back home know me and will just laugh about it anyway.

All I can say is that some people look intimidating and some don’t and I guess I fall into the second category. But then again, I don’t spend a lot of time trying to look hardcore like a lot of MMA fighters, I been doing this long enough to realize that there are two types of guys out there. There are the guys who act tough and then there are guys who are tough. Acting tough and being tough are two completely different things and when I got into the house it didn’t take me to long to figure out who was going to be tough and who was just posing.

The Second Fight Announcement – Brad Tavares vs James Hammortree

Chuck calls out Brad Tavares to the centre, and then he calls out James Hammortree. This is a fight of my teammate versus my roommate. Both are great guys and both are my friends, but all friendships aside Hammortree is my teammate and I will do everything I can for him to win.

Team Ortiz Training Sessions

I am on a team of guys who are physically gifted athletes and naturally talented fighters. Tito Ortiz picked each one of us for these attributes, and we have a group of guys that just exude confidence. You could have almost have re-named Team Ortiz to Team Alpha Male. This might almost appear to be good thing on the surface, but it was my observation after a few training sessions that it wasn’t necessarily a good thing.

The problem with dealing with alpha males is they tend to be pretty uncooperative with other people (other males particularly). You get these personality types in a group setting they want to be in charge and unfortunately there was too many of them on our team.

Here is Team Ortiz in a Nutshell

– You have Yager and Casey who are both really outspoken and have very dominant type personalities, and not surprisingly – they don’t seem to click very well. Pretty funny to watch but they posture like crazy whenever they are in a room together.

– Clayton hates Yager and is very vocal about it and takes any pot shot he can at him.

– You have Hammortree. A well-spoken south florida all American boy who is generally pretty easy to get along with but at the same time is definitely no pushover. I have already witnessed him and Yager squabble.

– McCray is part of the Yager gang and doesn’t do much except for be an accessory of crime and an instigator to stirring the pot. I do like the guy but he is a real shit disturber.

– Seth Baczinski. Don’t know him well yet but he is really out-going and seems to get along with everyone, but also no pushover.

– And then there is me Nick Ring, I’m not like some of the guys on the team because I am by nature a pretty cooperative and non-confrontational person. I don’t like to get into arguments or stupid squabbles with people and I am more than willing to put my ego aside for the good of the group – I can get along with just about anybody. I feel like arguing with others and bickering back and forth for dominance is a waste of time that could be spent being productive (I know, not very alpha male at but hey – it’s who I am). I am a person who enjoys to study and I read a lot of books in my spare time. I also like to spend my time learning martial and I like to be very systematic and technical about it whenever I can, I’m not usually inclined to just bang through shit for no rhyme or reason.

Bring these personalities together in a training environment and watch the sparks fly.

Yager Acting Like An Idiot

In my opinion, the training environment should be a safe environment, where you can work with your team and help each other improve your techniques. Not everybody shares my opinion however, take Yager for instance. For Yager training is a chance to try to make others look bad and for himself to look good. He is one of those guys who will try to punk you whenever he can, especially if the camera is around.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes he is alright to work with but then there are other times he is just fucking impossible, inconsistency is the name of his game, he refuses to be predictable ever because he wants to be different.

Instead of just flowing with you and letting you perform your techniques he is more focused on just nullifying you just for the sake of nullifying you – it is actually pretty frustrating and its really unproductive.

Yager is also the type of guy who loves to dish it out, but doesn’t like to take it. He will hit you hard but then immediately after he does it he will tell you that you are hitting him too hard even though you weren’t, just another one of his many manipulation tactics. With this tactic he can get his little pot shots off on you while pretending he didn’t. If you hit him hard back after he just said lighten up then it will make you look like you’re the one being the jerk. You can’t hit him back with the same intensity he used on you, clever isn’t it?

We are in the middle of the training session, Yager and me are sparring under the agreement that we are going to go light and then he cracks me hard with a 3 hit combo that came from nowhere – ‘light sparring my ass’. And before I can say or do anything he says “just easy, just easy – going light, going light”. I just think “Fine” and we start going light again and he then cracks me again with another combo full power and then says “were just going light, easy – just easy”. I’m starting to get a little pissed at him because I know that with Yager it is all just a game of seeing how much he can get away with without getting called on it. Knowing this about my sparring partner I know my options were pretty limited. I said to myself “If he does that one more fucking time, I’m going to murder him”. And of course we are back to “light sparring” and I am waiting for him to do it again – which he does.

I told him to quit acting like a retard and he replies by calling me a bitch (ya nice Yager – very clever)… Things get are getting a little heated and now I’m going to punch him for being an idiot. Everybody breaks us and as there gets to be more space between us he starts getting louder with his taunts and acting like a fuckface. Tito starts yelling at me from the side of the cage and tells me I need to behave and calm down. I was pissed, it was fucking bullshit.

Yager acts like an idiot and I am supposed to calm down…. I don’t like that he just gets to act as stupid as he wants to and gets no consequences, he did not get disciplined in any way or even reprimanded by Tito and as far as I’m concerned it was completely his fault.

All I know is that where I’m from that doesn’t fly, if I saw any of my students act like that they would be booted from my gym quickly. Instead of dealing harshly with Yager like he needs to Tito just says that our ‘tempers are getting flared and we need to chill out and work with each other’.

Fucking bullshit again and it was a really weak response to somebody who is an obvious problem – His statement in fact, completely absolved Yager of any wrong doing and instead placed the blame on the situation. All I know is that if you are going to have a guy like that on your team you had better set some very clear boundaries right away and deal with them harshly if they break the rules, there needs to be consequences.

Tito is right however, I do need to calm down. I never lose my cool and I let this guy break my composure and I hate that, I felt embarrassed for even getting into it with him. I wasn’t going to let that happen again on this training camp.

I Just Said Fuck It

The simple fact is you cannot work with some people. I knew that working with Yager at all would not be a productive for me, I would have to constantly worry about him ‘one-upping’ or even worse trying to injure me (what the fuck would he care if he hurts me in training – he wouldn’t care at all and I would be out of the competition).

I made the decision right then and there (and I think it was a wise one) that I would not train with him anymore at all if I could help it. I knew that I was not going to get any benefit by working with him and that 9 times out of 10 I could probably find someone else to pair with, I decided that avoidance in this situation would probably be smart. I even limited my talking with him in the house as much as I could too, again I don’t like pointless conflict with people and I know that hanging around him would probably end up in some kind of conflict. He just not my kind of guy and I think things would get ugly fast if I spent too much time around him

Sounds a little harsh I know but there is no reason to have some people around you, if they are not there to help you and they are only sabotaging your efforts, you need to quickly rid yourself of them.
Anyway, to make a long story short, that is the last time I trained with old Yager, bye bye bitch.

Hammortree versus Tavares

I don’t really want to go into too much detail into this fight but I will say it was a close one. I thought that rounds one and two were very close and could have gone to either fighter for different reasons. Personally, I thought that round 3 was Hammortree’s round and I was pretty disappointed to see the decision given to the blue team. After the fight I thought that Hammortree took the loss like a man and he handled himself very maturely – I think he is a stand-up guy and I have enjoyed training with him so far. I wish the fight would have gone his way but it is what it is – so be it.

Snake In The Grass

We have a traitor on team Ortiz…. I caught one of our very own team mates cheering against Hammortree and cheering for Tavares instead. I will give you 3 guesses on who it was…

But before I give the details of the situation, I want to gloss over a specific psychological definition because it pertains to this situation perfectly.

A social contract is a non-verbal/non-written agreement that people make with each other that they will behave in a certain way and adopt a certain role in a given particular situation.

For example, if you go into the candy store to buy a chocolate bar you automatically enter into a social contract with the store clerk. You will play the role of the customer and that the store clerk will play the role of the cashier. There is no verbalizing of what these roles are and there is no verbalizing of what the rules are when you assume that role, you just do it because it is plain fucking obvious. You decide which chocolate bar you want and you pay the store clerk and then you leave – the contract in this case has been fulfilled.

The social contract that we entered into when we got chosen by Tito Ortiz to be on the red team was that we were going to do everything we could to try to help the guys on our team win, including cheer them on in the middle of their fight against the blue team, whoever they are.

Yager doesn’t see it that way because during the Hammortree/Tavares fight instead of cheering for Hammortree like he is supposed to be, he was cheering Brad Tavares on. I was sitting in front of Yager and cheering for my team mate Hammortree and over my shoulder I hear the little twerp cheering Tavares on instead. WHAT THE FUCK!!!

I turned around and I angrily said to the little traitor, “Who’s team are you on?!!!” and he replies “I’m on Yager’s team”…

After the fight and after team Ortiz is back in the locker room and things settle down a bit I confront Yager about his infraction. It is just me, Yager, Tito, Saul, Rob, and Cleber in the room and I say “Yager… If I end up having to fight Tavares in one of the later rounds of this tournament, you had better fucking cheer for me and not for him. I think it is fucking bullshit that you would back stab your own team mate while he is fighting”.

Suddenly the Ortiz locker room got very quiet and I could see all of the coaches eyes first go to Yager and then I saw all of them give quick glances of disbelief to each other as they soak in what has just been said. Yager’s look of guilt said it all – We have a snake in the grass and his name is Jamie Yager.

He was very startled to have been confronted at all and was especially surprised to be confronted in front of the coaches. He obviously did not have a response for this contingency and he had to make up one very quickly one the spot, he did his very best to rationalize his bad behaviour he did his very best to make it look acceptable to the coaches, but the damage had clearly been done and he had been exposed thanks to me.

Well I guess that’s what you get for calling me a bitch in training and making me look stupid on national television you fucking jackass. Thank you for making it so easy for me Jamie, you are officially a traitor.

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