Season 14 of The Ultimate Fighter continues…
Previously on The Ultimate Fighter: Fourteen welterweights arrived at the UFC training center. Coaches Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos picked their teams, and Lesnar called everyone “buddy.” A knee injury forces Myles Jury out of the competition before it even begins, allowing Chuck O’Neill to take his place. Shamar Bailey scores the first win for Team Dos Santos over Nordin Asrih, who confirms the popular notion that European fighters are just not very good at the wrestling.
And now: episode 2.
Time for a Team Dos Santos training session. Juniors makes everyone wear a mask while doing cardio. He says nobody has ever died from being tired, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been close. Junior is happy about controlling the next fight pick.
Keon is “mentally struggling,” which is code for “trying to get out of training.” Junior has a heart to heart with Keon, who says he’s about to vomit when JDS asks him to train. Junior tells him to go to the bathroom and vomit quickly so he can train.
Keon says it’s hard to be away from his family without being able to talk to them.
Team Lesnar assumes the position. Brock says he expected to lose the first fight because of the pick, but it doesn’t mean he has to like it. He works his guys on the mat. Brock is coming off as a very likable dude here, which is a huge change from the old Brock. Brock says you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken shit. I’m pretty sure I heard him saying last week, in fact, that he wanted to make chicken salad out of chicken shit. It sounded gross to me at the time, but whatever. Brock can’t help but smile when he talks about polishing turds and making them pretty.
Brock works on wrestling with his team. He says that jiu-jitsu can’t help you now.
Keon tells Junior that he wants to go home and be with his daughter. Junior cannot comprehend why Keon would want to give up this opportunity and tells him he’ll be way better if he stays in the house.
And of course, Dana shows up right on cue, and he’s looking for Keon. This situation almost never ends well but it’s almost always fun.
Keon tells Dana he’s decided that he wants to stay in the house. I don’t think Dana is convinced. He’s just worried about his daughter. Dana gives him a condensed version of the “Do You Want To Be A F*CKING FIGHTER” speech and Keon says he wants to stay. Dana leaves.
Junior picks the next fight, and it’s Javier Torres taking on Chris Cope. Brock says Junior is doing the right thing by taking his best fighters and pitting them against Brock’s worst guys. Chris says that Javier is probably the second best fighter on Team Dos Santos, if not the absolute best. I’ll tell you one thing: he does have the best accent, and that’s saying something in a house full of awesome accents.
Lew Polley breaks down Chris Cope for his team. It’s a bit unfair when you consider that Polley is a training partner of Cope, but if he doesn’t have any problems with running him down, why should we? He continues burying Chris. I suspect Chris won’t be happy once he finally sees this show.
Javier goes through the story of seeing his first UFC event. He was at a Mexican market and saw a UFC DVD. He turned to his mom and said he’d be doing that someday, and she slapped the piss out of him. Junior runs Javier through training in the cage and says he’s going to beat Chris fairly easily.
In the meantime, Keon is working with Lew. After they finish, Keon goes to Junior and tells him he wants to leave the house. Junior says okay and gives him a hug.
And with that, Keon leaves the house without making any kind of impact whatsoever. What he doesn’t realize is that he just doomed himself to a lifetime of fighting on independent cards, because he’s never going to get a shot in the UFC after pulling this stunt.
Chris works out in the cage with Erik Paulson. Says that Team Dos Santos is probably underestimating him a little bit, but recognizes that Lew knows what he’s good at what he’s not good at.
Brock gives a speech to his team. Says he was pushed as being indestructible and non-human, but that everyone is human and everyone can lose at any given time. This is actually a pretty great speech that humanizes Brock.
Back at the house, it’s late at night and Chris is a bundle of nervous energy. His teammates think he should save the energy for the fight the next day, but he can’t do it.
FIGHT 2: JAVIER TORRES vs. CHRIS COPE
Round 1: Lots of Greco action here. And by “lots of greco,” I mean that the round consists nearly entirely of greco clinch work against the cage. Just not much to it. Javier reminds me of a Mexican Clay Guida with his frenetic and bouncy style in the cage. Javier takes the round on my scorecard.
Round 2: Both guys stand and trade to start out. Chris is bleeding from the area near his left eye after being kneed. Chris lands a few nice shots, but Javier clinches him against the cage and they stay that way for a couple of minutes. Chris is getting more reversals in this time, so that’s an improvement from the first round, and he also gets a couple of knees in before they separate. Javier’s biggest move of the entire round was a superman punch, but Chris quickly rebounded and landed two nice, partially-deflected head kicks before Javier clinched him again. Chris takes the round for being active and for his strikes. The judges agree with me, so they’re going to a third and final round.
Round 3: Neither guy really gets that much of an advantage here, and the result is a close round (and an even closer fight). Chris did a much better job of stifling Javier’s game along the cage, but didn’t really do too much with his own game. He did knee Javier in the nuts, but Herb Dean didn’t believe him and made him continue. Chris, having received a second lease on life, decided to knee Javier in the nuts again. Herb believes Javier this time. The judges give Chris the win nonetheless, so Team Lesnar is back in the action.
Winner: Chris Cope
Chris didn’t really execute the game plan that Brock wanted, but he still won the fight and Brock is happy enough about the win to make another chicken salad and any given Sunday reference. Meanwhile, Team Dos Santos is bummed out about the loss, and doubly so after they hear Team Lesnar celebrating in the next room.
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