TUF 12: Episode Five Recap

Last Week: In last week’s episode of “The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck“, Koscheck’s fighter once again failed to come through with a win. After a close opening round, Kyle Watson and Andy Main battled to advance to the next round, but the latter failed to come up with a victory. Watson submitted Main in the second round, and, as should be expected, Josh Koscheck was very unhappy. However, he realizes that he needs to keep his cool, while lighting a fire under his team. Let’s see if he can get it done.

St Pierre_Koscheck

Team Koscheck is down big entering this episode, and the UFC welterweight contender is ready to make a change.

The episode opens up with Koscheck talking about the system fighters like Cain Velasquez, Jon Fitch, and himself go through. He assures everyone that it works and introduces Jon Fitch to the team. The team seems to immediately appreciate training with a fighter like Jon Fitch.

Drama begins to brew when someone puts bleach into the fabric softener of another fighter. Michael Johnson is unhappy with the situation and says that Bruce Leeroy, who apparently was the culprit, needs to calm down with his pranks. For the record, Michael’s clothes are fine.

The episode switches over to Georges St. Pierres team, and St. Pierre begins talking up the next guy his team is going to get to work with. Jean Charles Skarbowsky is the man St. Pierre has asked to fly over, and we are immediately told that he drinks a lot prior to sparring and training. Bruce Leeroy sums sparring with him as “awesome, but at the same time it sucks”.

The action moves back to Leeroy in the house, and he seems unhappy. He says that he has a love-hate personality, but also says that he is not going to change at all for anybody. Fair enough, Bruce.

The fighters and coaches enter into the same room to determine the next fight, and St. Pierre still has control of the pick. He elects to have Spencer Paige vs. Nam Phan. Koscheck really seems to be excited about the match up, while Team GSP believe that Phan does not seem happy with the match up at all.

The episode moves back to the house, and Phan is running around the yard, while all the other housemates add their two cents on the matter. Most seem to think that he is overworking himself, while Paige feels compelled to go work on something as well.

Back in the gym, Paige begins to work in the cage on his striking. St. Pierre seems to be very confident with Paige’s striking, while Paige feels that he will be able to take him out with a knockout. St. Pierre’s team and St. Pierre himself are really beaming with confidence, but, at 3-0 thus far in the season, who can really blame them?

The action heads back to Phan, who steps into the ring to work on his striking, just as Paige did. Phan explains that he does not come off as a fighter to most people, but he embraces his reputation. Koscheck believes that he is “ready to win his fight” and that in the training session Phan looked the best he has had.

Right after Phan’s time in the cage, Chuck Liddell enters the gym. Literally every fighter loved having Liddell there, throwing compliment after compliment his way. Liddell, however, says that he is disappointed with the outcome of his UFC 115 fight against Rich Franklin and tells all the fighters to enjoy their jobs. He also says that it is a hard decision to hang his gloves up when he loves doing what he does so much. One of the fighters then asks if he would like another fight with Tito Ortiz. Liddell quickly explains how he would love to beat him one more time.

Weigh-Ins: Sitting and waiting for the weigh-ins to begin, Koscheck takes the opportunity to talk trash to St. Pierre. He says if the champion kisses him, he will quit MMA. St. Pierre rejects that offer. Paige weighs in at 154 pounds, while Phan weighs in at 156 pounds. Both fighters made weight and the fight is good to go for the next day.

Spencer Paige vs. Nam Phan

Round 1: Phan comes out the aggressor, but a leg kick from Paige slows his roll. However, he quickly comes back, pressing the action. Nothing notable lands within the first minute, but Paige is scoring kick after kick. Phan presses forward, looking for a combination, but that misses for him. Leg kick scores yet again for Paige, but Phan does not seem to be affected by the shot. Paige begins to work his boxing in with his kicks, landing a few combinations. Head kick for Phan is partially blocked, but Paige continues to move backwards. However, he is landing the better shots. Phan lands a nice pair of shots, followed by a blocked head kick. He pushes forward again, catching a leg kick from Paige and sending him to the floor. Phan looks to land his ground and pound, but Paige is defending decently. However, he is not attempting to improve his position. One minute to go and Paige looks to push Phan away. Phan continues to reign down shots, but nothing significant is getting through. Upkicks are thrown by Paige, and Phan elects to go to the ground. He looks for an armlock, and Paige is in severe pain, but refuses to tap out. The time ticks down, Phan torques his opponent’s arm, and Paige holds on until the bell. Phan takes that round easily with his performance in the last 1:30.

Round 2: The fighters touch gloves to start the second, and Phan lands a nice body shot. He follows it with another and begins to really come after Paige. He dodges a few shots from his opponent, and moves in with even more body shots. Paige could be in trouble here. Phan looks for a punch to the body again, landing a few. Paige begins swinging, but can’t seem to land anything. He misses with a spinning back kick and slips to the canvas. He gets up quickly, and Phan begins pursuing him once again. He lands some nice shots, and Paige crumbles. Phan works some shots to his downed opponent, but Paige works his way back up. Phan continues to be the aggressor, while Paige fails to land anything significant whatsoever. 1:30 to go in the fight, and Paige has some serious work to do. Phan’s head kick is blocked, and Paige sends a body shot his way. Paige looks a bit baffled here, as he throws a spinning back fist that misses. Phan closes in with a solid combination. He lands it. Paige misses with a kick, slips, and Phan is quick to close the distance. 20 seconds to go in the second round. Paige lands a body kick, but it won’t be enough, as he is dominated in the second. Phan should take the decision here.

Nam Phan def. Spencer Paige via unanimous decision.

Next Week: Next Wednesday, four of the final six lightweights get a shot to fight in a two-fight episode. Team GSP seems to be getting a bit frustrated with Koscheck’s trash talk. Also, St. Pierre sustains a cut that he says needs stitches. Tune in next week for all the action.

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