Shamar Bailey’s TUF 13 Blog
Here we go again with another installment of my blog. Feels kind of strange that we’re already talking getting down to picking the wild cards and we’re only six episodes in, but whatever.
We don’t waste much time in this episode, getting right into the tension between Junior and Lew yet again. It’s been a reoccurring theme throughout the season, but it won’t be any more, as Junior asked Lew to leave.
To be honest with you, I was real disappointed. We didn’t know that Lew had been asked to leave until he was gone. Junior didn’t give us a chance to say goodbye to him or anything; we were just done with practice one night and he was gone. That was kind of a shocker. I thought it was something they could definitely work through, and that Lew wouldn’t get axed.
In this case, I really don’t feel like there was too much more to it than what was shown on TV; sometimes you have to wonder with reality shows and whatnot, but honestly, the only thing we couldn’t see was how Junior was handling not being in control all the time.
You’ve gotta understand, Junior came in they saying, telling all the rest of his fighters that he was going to have Lew run the practices for him because he wasn’t as comfortable speaking English. In my mind, Lew did everything that Junior asked him to do; he was running wrestling practice, he was communicating for Junior, and as we saw, there were times where Junior just wasn’t happy that Lew was running practice.
To me, it was almost like a control struggle. Yes, there were probably times where Lew ran practices in ways that Junior didn’t like as far as the intensity level goes, but those are things that you work out. It’s a fight business; you’re gonna hurt people’s feelings, people are going to get upset, but you work it out. You don’t just tell somebody to leave, you know what I mean? I was pretty surprised by how all that went down.
After getting over the shock factor of Lew leaving, it still didn’t make any sense; I thought we had everything down to a good science where Junior and Lew balanced each other out really well. The long and short of it is that when we were fighting, Lew’s voice is the one that I heard and understood, not Junior’s.
Junior was a great coach for getting us ready for the fights, but so was Lew. This was a huge loss, and it was not something that we really needed to have happen heading into a tough next round.
Those fight picks were the same ones we would have selected if we were in control, and we didn’t expect that. We thought they were going to have Justin fight Chuck, and Zach fight Tony; most of the time you don’t put wrestler vs. wrestler unless you want a tough fight. Those were fights we were really happy about.
As for the outcomes, Justin’s fight was definitely how Junior wanted it. Had Lew been there, Justin might have fought a little bit more conservative. This is MMA and you can’t control everything. I definitely thought Justin was winning that fight until he got caught with that upkick, and that’s unfortunate because I feel like the better fighter did not advance to the next round.
Chuck is the embodiment of something we’ve been talking about all season with Brock’s guys; they all talk a lot about how tough they are and what they’re going to do when they get in the cage, but they haven’t really back that up.
From the first day Chuck arrived he was always talking about how bad he was and that we all better watch out. If you’re talking about it, you’re usually trying to make up for a lack of confidence in another area. It was funny to me that as soon as the fight was over, he’s in the back talking about how he never gets caught and never gets beat by triangles.
I expected Zach to finish him; whether it was on the ground or on the feet. Zach’s a pretty well-rounded guy. I was happy to see him win, not only because he’s a good fighter and a teammate, but also because he’s pretty humble about it.
With the wild cards, the only person that really seemed like he wanted it was Justin, and unfortunately he wasn’t denied that opportunity. (Note: the Nevada State Athletic Commission issued Edwards a 90-day suspension after being knocked out against Tony Ferguson.)
Those other guys, I think it really goes back to what a lot of people are complaining about, how you didn’t have to fight to get into the house. I think a lot of guys are just happy with being on TV, trying to look cool, and trying to look tough. I didn’t see anybody that really wanted it, and I think that shows in some of the performances during the season.
Next week we kick off the second round, and you might find out who I’m fighting in the quarterfinals. Expect a little drama associated with that pick too, so be sure to tune in and check back here next Thursday.