Nick Ring’s Ultimate Fighter 11 Blog: Episode Four

Original air date: 04/21/10

I’ll Cheer For My Boy

Friendships have nothing to do with your team. While I do like Tavares and while I think he is a good dude, it is irrelevant how good of friends you are when the red team is facing the blue team. I don’t know why Yager thinks it’s okay to cheer for Tavares, but it’s not okay — It’s wrong, and he knows it. It doesn’t matter how he tries to rationalize it after the fact. He fucked up.

The ironic thing about this situation is when we first got picked for team Ortiz, Yager was the first person on the red team to say that we needed to be loyal to the team. Well, as you can see, he is also the first one to break the rule. At the time it made me angry that I should have to say anything to the guy at all about how he needed to behave but it made me even angrier to see by the smug look on his face. I knew he didn’t give a fuck, and was just agreeing with me to get me off of his back.

So much for loyalty to the team – I knew that for the duration of this training camp I would need to watch old Yager carefully. I knew for a fact that he would stab me in the back if the opportunity suited him.

Rich Attonito vs. Kyacey Uscola

Rich and Kyacey looked like it would be a good match. Kyacey was the more experienced of the two and had already proved that he has knockout power while Rich, despite his few fights, was a very technical and game fighter. It looked to me like this fight had some good potential.

I Don’t Steal, I Kill!

Kyacey’s sweater goes missing and he finds it Yager’s closet. It would have probably been an easy thing to diffuse had it been anybody else but Yager who had been confronted. He becomes overly hostile when questioned about any of his or actions or any of his motives. Even if he looks 100% guilty he will throw a tantrum and act like a kicked puppy. Considering he had already been caught stealing, I didn’t think he really had any right to act like his feelings were hurt.

If it was me and I had something in my possession that didn’t belong to me and it was actually an honest mistake, I would have apologized profusely to the owner and simply returned it. But instead of just giving it back, apologizing, and then returning the hoodie, Yager starts calling Kyacey a “bitch” and a “slut”. Obviously, the situation deteriorated from there. There would be no meeting in the middle from either of these guys.

The fact is that in this case Yager actually was innocent of taking Kacey’s hoodie. McCray had taken it by accident and admitted to it. It was too late though, the insults had already started to fly and the two alpha males trashed talked each other for what seemed like forever.

Like I said before, this stealing thing was not a new theme in the house regarding our teammate. Yager had already been busted stealing Tito’s Punishment gear, and for some reason he also has more Tapout and UFC gear in his closet than everybody in the house combined. Why does he have sooo much more gear than everybody?

Anyway, back to the Tito gear. For those of you who don’t know, Tito has a line of clothing called Punishment Athletics. Tito and his support coaches wear the Punishment gear when they train us and at one point he had some extra gear laying around the red change room. Hammortree, being the big Tito Ortiz fan he is, requested to have some of the Punishment gear for himself. Tito gives Hammortree a very clear “no” and explains to all of us that it is part of his contract with the UFC that nobody in the house get to wear or have possession of the Punishment gear, only coaches. Tito however consoles us by saying that after the show is over that he will send each one of us a box of his gear. We all understand that these are the terms of engagement and we are all satisfied with the situation.

A couple of days later however, somehow Yager has Punishment clothes in his possession. Hammortree asks Yager about it and Yager explains to Hammortree that Tito himself gave Yager the clothes.

The ruse didn’t last very long because Hammortree very directly asks Tito about why Yager got a shirt and he didn’t. Tito had no clue how Yager got his hands on his gear and, in fact, none of the other coaches could explain it either. Hammortree was pretty proud of himself for catching Yager in the lie and we all got to watch Yager squirm as he tried to explain to Tito how he got possession of his gear. He tried to say that he got the gear from one of Tito’s assistant coaches who wasn’t in the room at the time.

I was present when Tito got around to asking Rob and Saul where Yager got the gear and they had no fucking clue either. In fact over the next few days Yager’s story got pretty convoluted and filled with a confusing series of steps which lead to how he got the clothes that didn’t really make sense to anybody.

Yager definitely stuck to his guns over the discrepancies in his story and showed complete unwavering resolve in doing so and I was disappointed to see it work for him. He was very loud and adamant that he did nothing wrong and that the coaches gave him the gear and I watched them cave in and say that they actually did give him the gear – even though they had no recollection of it. WEAK.

I did laugh to myself a little bit watching it that scenario unfold and I must admit, Yager can be really persuasive when he wants to be. Despite whatever you want to say about him, you cannot say that he is not good at dealing with social pressure and handling people when they are coming down on him – he is like a rock. In that regard I am actually pretty envious of him. He will literally argue with you until you get tired of it and just give up. This dude can argue relentlessly forever.

Despite what the coaches are saying on camera, off camera everybody was completely perplexed by what happened with the gear. We are also perplexed by why Yager and McCray’s closet is filled with UFC gear that nobody else has and why they have 3 of everything. They in fact had more clothes than hangers and had to borrow hangers from me at least 2 times from me during the filming of the show.

I don’t think I need to say more than this, I think we all know what was happening.

Foul from Red

The Uscola versus Attonito fight was a barn burner. It had Rich Attonito rocking Kyacey Uscola with some solid punches and dropping him to the canvas. Rich proceeded to try to finish the fight while Kyacey fought hard to recover, getting picked up and spiked on his head in the process and then ending up on top from a kimura attempt. As Rich was turning to get to his feet he took a couple of foul knees – disqualifying Kyacey from the match and putting him out of the competition.

Kyacey was pissed, Hammortree was pissed, Tito was pissed (and destroyed an innocent door), and I don’t want to touch this one with a ten-foot pole – it is what it is.

All bullshit aside, I was thoroughly impressed with both fighters. Rich for his giving a beating skills and Kyacey for his taking a beating skills, I was in disbelief that Kyacey even survived long enough to foul Rich at all. I love Uscola. You can’t fucking kill the guy – you can only piss him off.

Rich Breaks His Hand

Rich broke his hand in the fight and for us on Team Ortiz we don’t know what that means for Kyacey. I just spent a good half-hour trying to convince Kyacey to stay in the house instead of going home to see his brand new baby son and he was on the fence about staying in the house at all. But upon finding out that Rich was hurt and can’t continue, who was going to be going to be taking his place? To me and to some of the others on the red team, it just made sense that Kyacey go back in to take Rich’s place, but we were forced to wait it out and see what the UFC decides to do.

Charlie Blanchard vs Jamie Yager

Blue team is still in control and they choose Blanchard to fight Yager. I don’t know much about Charlie’s skills but just looking at the two athletes it looked like Yager had some clear physical advantages over Charlie. I haven’t trained with Yager since our little argument in the gym but I think that has got a lot of good physical attributes and he learns quite quickly. Charlie is from a good team (American Top Team) and he may be able to bridge the obvious gap using skill (and Charlie is good) but it looked to all of us in the house like it would be a one-sided fight. This looked like it was a positive sign for Team Ortiz. If Yager wins, and it looks like he will, we can finally have control. Despite any differences me and Yager have had up to this point, I was pretty confident in him in this fight.

Tito And Yager Sittin’ In A Tree

I didn’t realize why Yager got away with so much shit until I actually watched the show with Tito’s comments on Yager, but I do understand a little more now. Tito feels that he and Yager have a lot in common, and he feels that Yager lashes out at the world because he had a bad upbringing and didn’t have any opportunity, or good role models, or something to that effect.

Because Yager didn’t have some type of perceived privileges growing up, he feels he can treat people badly in day to day interactions. Only if they are lucky and they can get past his “facade” will he treat them with a common level of courtesy.

I don’t really like this logic, and I don’t really like that Tito had bought into this little romantic badboy fiction with Yager. The fact that somebody may have had a bad life should not excuse them of their bad behaviour. I definitely did notice that Tito never took any steps to punish any bad behaviour from our little hommie-G team mate. He just kind of got to act like a jackass and get away with it with no repercussions. I don’t know what I would have liked to see happen as punishment for his atrocities and I don’t know how I would have actually implemented them but I would have liked to see something happen.

I felt like by not punishing him, Tito enabled him.

Yager vs Charlie

This was a quick one. Charlie’s strengths in this fight were going to lie with his wrestling ability and his ground skills. Charlie has a brown belt and is has a lot of tools to finish an opponent if he can get on top him. Yager has a lot of reach on Charlie and from my experience in training with him is athletic and explosive individual who has really good timing with his strikes and he also has excellent balance in wrestling scrambles.

In practices I found Yager very hard to take down when he doesn’t want to be and if the Charlie’s plan was to take him down, he would have his work cut out for him.

Yager’s speed and balance definitely proved to be the deciding factor in this fight and he made quick work of Charlie. I was sad to see Charlie get hurt, but I was glad that we finally had control of the fights. Yager had definitely came through for Team Ortiz, this was a win that was badly needed.

You will note that we all cheered for our teammate despite what we thought of him. I was glad to give him support for bringing us the W, and even Hammortree was cheering for the guy. I’m glad he was appreciative of our support because it wasn’t easy to cheer for the guy considering there was a good chance he wasn’t going to reciprocate if we were to fight one of his “boys”.

Read Nick’s thoughts on Episode 3 right here.


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