Last week, there was a lot drama and Team Rashad won their fifth straight. Will their winning streak continue?
At the house, Darrill is drinking at 8am, and not just a little bit with breakfast. In a very short time, he’s had probably a couple beers and several shots of whiskey. And somehow he still makes it to practice.
Come practice time, Rashad brings in Phil Nurse to help the guys train. Rashad is still enjoying the high of 5 wins, but it doesn’t last long. He’s watching Darrill spar, and sees that he’s hit a wall. Wondering what’s wrong, he asks James and is told that he’s drunk! This does not make Rashad happy. He pulls Darrill aside, reprimanding him, as the drinking is affecting his conditioning (which he denies doing that day). He is told to keep his drinking to a minimum (or none) until the show’s over or until after he fights. Rashad is still hopeful for him, referring to him as the diamond in the rough who gets no respect from Rampage. This is proven as Rampage continually refers to him as “Titties.” This spurs Darrill to come back at Rampage with a challenge — he promises to win the show, then drop to 205 and knock out Rampage….Wooo!!! It sure was fun to see him gettin’ ol’ Rampage all riled up!
Later, at the fight announcement, it is determined that Darrill Schoonover will fight Zak Jensen. And then the s**t hits the fan! The “Titties” start flying which causes Darrill to get in Rampage’s face and they start exchanging some FU’s. Rampage threatens serious bodily injury on Darrill if he ever “walks up on” him again. Thankfully, Justin helps to keep Darrill back. But Rashad feels the need to defend Darrill and threaten to call Rampage “dick face” everyday. Priceless…
In the van home, Kimbo decides that if Shrek had a little brother, it’d be Zak, and he’d be called Linderman. Sims continues the analogy, calling him the little dog you kick, and then kick some more. The apparently literate Abe dubs him Piggy from Lord of the Flies. Wes even goes so far as to start a pool, betting on when Zak is going to flip out on everyone. They plan on continuing to push on him. With all this crap, I’m actually starting to feel bad for the guy. Can’t they just believe that there’s someone in the house that wants to stay out of the drama?
The next discussion at the house is Darrill’s tattoo choices, and the reasons behind them. Shocker, all his stories seem to start with “I was drunk and…” Rashad calls him serial-killer weird. Can’t say I disagree! But at training, Rashad says he sees a fire in him, like he can’t wait to fight. The strategy for Darrill is to keep the fighting on their feet and to stand and bang. Darrill has heavy hands, and hopes to wear Zak out with power and dirty boxing. He’s definitely hungry for it.
At Rampage training, the coaches unveil a present for the guys: a collage of “Team Cocky” featuring caricatures of Rashad’s team. In talking about the upcoming fight, Rampage realizes that Zak was a last pick, but he feels like this fight is winnable for him. The problem is Zak doesn’t have a lot of confidence (I love how Rampage offers to call his momma for him…). What Zak needs is more mental coaching than physical. Then the big uh oh…. as Zak is rolling around, Zak gets cut. BAD. Blood is all running down his face. And all we see is Kimbo’s face light up like a Christmas tree. *sigh*
After the commercial, Kimbo is told to keep training, but Zak’s status is unknown yet. He might be fine. The coaches discuss the potential of him getting hit on the cut during the fight, and slap him to see how he and the cut react. Both are all good and Zak still wants to fight. (Now I’m sighing…in relief!) During Zak’s sparring session, he looks like a new man, doing really well. Zak just might give Darrill a run for his money.
Uh oh. Rashad and Phil show up at the gym early to get in a workout. Suddenly, they look up and see the “Team Cocky” collage. While Rashad actually finds it funny, he decides it’s best to take it down before Darrill can see it. God only knows how Darrill would flip out if he saw it, and he just needs to focus on his fight. He tells the team about the drawings, but tells them to not let it get to them, because they’d win. He reminds them to keep focused, and they may end up on the wall like him.
(I like the clip during the commercials where Wes Sims says that Zak isn’t “all there”…well isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black!)
Back at the house, the guys are all discussing the fight. It basically comes down to which one of them is just going to flip and go nuts in the cage. Regardless, it’s gonna be a good fight.
*Insert eye roll* Next we see Rampage, et al, sneaking over to Schoonover’s room, defacing his sign, filling in the O’s with dots and scribbling “titties” underneath. Seriously, how old are these guys? It is quickly covered up with tape.
The best advice from Rashad — the best way to get back at Rampage is for Darrill to whoop Zak’s ass and help him to quit. Rampage’s advice? “The guy has titties. That’s enough.” And that helps Zak to win how?
(New Rampage-ism “I couldn’t fight no guy with titties.” Does this guy have an edit button in his head? Guess not…and it’s getting really hard to write out these Rampage-isms. My spell check is getting annoyed.)
(P.S. It’s 10:50EST and the fight hasn’t started yet. Good. I love short fights.)
Schoonover strikes first and they exchange several head shots. Then they clinch and Schoonover has Jensen against the cage. Jensen tries to get in around Schoonover’s neck but can’t. Their positions are then reversed and they separate. Schoonover starts raining serious punches on Z’s head as well as some serious knees. After many painful shots, Jensen finally goes for the takedown and gets Schoonover on his back. Soon after, Schoonover swings his legs up, wrapping them around Jensen’s neck for the triangle. From the top, Jensen nails Schoonover with some solid punches to the face, but Schoonover is finally able to wrap his legs tighter, crossing them. Jensen tries punching more but his shots are getting weaker as Schoonover pulls tighter and tighter. Eventually Jensen’s face turns purple and the ref stops it just as he passes out.
Winner: Darrill Schoonover via Submission (triangle)
The general consensus from Dana and everyone else is that Darrill looked really good, but Zak showed he can fight too. Just when it looked like Zak was gonna get knocked out, he was up and going. The kid can take a hit, that’s for sure. Personally, I feel like this has been the best fight of the season thus far.
To end the show, Team Rampage then decides to bestow their gift to Team Rashad — the lovely caricature poster. But they didn’t quite get the rise out of them that they expected. Ha!
Next week: Team Rashad finally turns on Matt Mitrione, but Mitrione snaps. The final two prelim fights are announced. Will the coaches finally come to blows? And we have the penultimate preliminary fight. This looks like it might be the best episode yet.