Previously on TUF, Alex Caceres continued to run his mouth at the house, until Sevak had heard enough. Desperate for a win, Team Koscheck focused on strategy and put all their hopes on Andy Main, who was eventually submitted by veteran Kyle Watson. Can Team Koscheck pull their act together or will Team GSP continue to dominate?
To start the show, Kos talks about how he took advantage of the perks of being on the show — learning from the coaches, in particular, his coach Chuck Liddell. To help the guys out, he brings Jon Fitch for a visit in the hopes of some inspiration. Fitch is impressed the attitude of the guys, and their willingness to learn. You can’t coach someone who thinks they know everything. Training ends as they chant, “Hard work. Pays off.”
Back at the house, Mike is doing his laundry as Alex is deciding how he’s going to formulate more pranks. Unfortunately, Alex’s latest prank doesn’t hit the intended target (Nam), but nearly nails Mike instead. Alex had replaced Nam’s fabric softener with bleach… which Mike had just thrown in the washer with his darks! The guys are growing weary of Alex’s pranks…
GSP brings in a special guest trainer from France to help the guys. He basically warns them that this could be the best experience of their lives — or the worst. Jean-Charles Skarbowsky, a former Muay Thai champ lives his life his own way. Despite being a smoker and a heavy drinker, he is still known for literally picking opponents apart. Each guy gets in the ring with Skarbowsky, and each of them is easily thrown to the floor. And he was drunk!
Alex is running is mouth. Again. Even his own teammates are sick of him.
Finally, we move on to GSP’s next fight pick. They choose Spencer Paige to take on Nam Phan. According to Coach Danaher, Paige is one of their more skilled fighters and calls a win — if he can keep it standing. Kos doesn’t want to jinx it, but he is very happy with the matchup and has high hopes for Phan.
After the picks are made, Nam discusses his training regimen. He runs for an hour, daily, which leaves many of the other fighters dumbfounded and confused. But will they be so dumbfounded when Nam is the one who isn’t gassed after 2 rounds? Maybe they could learn a thing or two from him.
As far as GSP is concerned, Paige is one of the more dedicated, better trained fighters on Team GSP. He has good striking which will be his advantage. But, of course, Paige feels the pressure of keeping the win streak going.
As Team Kos arrives at the gym, Cody and Kos exchange a few barbs, leaving Kos scratching his head. Cody is certainly an odd duck.
Nam talks about peoples’ perceptions they have of him – the mistaken perceptions. He doesn’t look like a stereotypical fighter, and generally people think he’s just some college student. He likes this and wants to use it to his advantage. As practice is winding down, Chuck Liddell comes strolling in and each of the guys is star struck. This is just after his loss to Rich Franklin, but the team just feels boosted by his presence. Sevak asks him for just one piece of advice. He boils it down easily: Love what you do. They better be doing this because they love it. His hardest decision is whether or not to hang it up and retire. Though of course he jokes that he might just have one more fight left in him for Tito.
At the weigh-ins, Kos tries to poke fun at GSP, offering to leave MMA right then if he kisses him. But GSP is smart and doesn’t play into the game.
Regarding the fight, Dana is impressed with Paige’s stand up. However, he also sees that Phan is well-rounded, with decent striking. It should be a fairly even fight. Kos makes a visit to Team GSP and again tries to pick on him. Cody comes to GSP’s defense, which surprisingly irks GSP who is a grown man and needs no defending.
Immediately Paige comes out with a big body kick. Paige is far more aggressive, though Phan is checking some of his shots. Paige keeps landing solid body kicks. Finally, Phan counters with a right that rocks Paige. Paige lands a few nice shots, but he is not being selective with what he throws. Phan has Paige backing up though and lands a couple shots himself. A nice couple jabs from Paige followed by a body kick and a leg kicks. Paige’s shots are landing 3:1 over Phan’s. Phan finally lands a couple solid jabs to Paige’s back. A spinning kick from Paige misses. Paige loses balance a little after a nice body kick from Phan. Good combos from Paige. Phan catches one of Paige’s kicks and throws Paige onto his back. Phan pounces and rains down several unanswered punches from up high. Paige is covering up, but Phan is not letting him up. Paige tries to push him off, but many of Phan’s punches are getting through. Phan finally gets down on Paige and has side control. Phan tries to swing around for north-south position and is looking for Paige’s arm as the round ends.
Paige is first to strike again with several jabs, but Phan counters with a body kick. Again, Phan has Paige backpedaling and gets him into a corner. Phan lands several solid shots that clearly have Paige hurt. Paige attempts a spinning back kick that barely grazes Phan. Paige’s shots are looking weak and careless. Phan with a couple strong body shots. Paige with another spinning kick that sets him off balance and he falls. Immediately back up. After a short exchange, the same thing happens. Howver this time, Phan doesn’t let him up and Paige tries to take him down from the ground. Phan just punches him from there and Paige realizes he can’t do much. They return to standing where Paige once again tries the spinning kick and the spinning backfist — both fail. Paige is starting to look angry. Nice combo from Phan. Great head kick from Phan, but it is mostly checked. Paige, stop with the spinning kicks! The round ends with a whole lotta nothing.
Winner: Nam Phan via Decision
Spencer was definitely winning the first round…until maybe the last minute of it. Then he fell apart around the time that Nam caught his kick. Spencer claims he broke his hand at some point (guess that explains all the kicks).
Team Kos finally gets a win, and the boys go ape-shit. Hey, at least Kos won’t go 0-7 for the season. Initially, Kos’s bragging is only directed at GSP, who can take it. But as Spencer is having his hand checked out, Team Kos begins banging on the walls, rubbing in their victory. Spencer simply hangs his head.
Next week: 6 lightweights have yet to fight; 4 will get the chance in a 2-fight episode. Team GSP is fed up with Kos’s mouth. One hour. Two fights. Who will move on?