Previously on TUF, the 14 hopefuls arrived at the gym and were quickly put to the test by the coaches. Already, Myles Jury is out due to a knee injury, making the way for his replacement, Chuck O’Neill. And by the show’s end, Team Dos Santos takes the quick lead over Team Jackson when first pick Shamar Bailey ekes out a decision over last pick Nordin Asrih. Who will be the next to fall?
Tonight, Team Dos Santos is off to train with some seriously hardcore workouts that include big cardio and big lifting. The guys are happy with their initial win, but they do not want to rest on their laurels. They continue to work hard, but several teammates and coaches are worried about Keon’s mental state. He just doesn’t seem all there. He admits that his mind just isn’t in it — it’s with his family.
Brock expected Nordin to lose the fight, but still, he hates to lose (as if anyone likes it). He wants to use what little time he has to lead these “kids” (as he calls them) in the right direction. The way he sees them, they all lack wrestling skills and that is going to be their focus. However, as the so pithy Brock puts it, “You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken s**t.” Deep, Brock, real deep.
By the day’s end, Keon approaches Junior and has decided that he wants to give up and go back to his family. Junior tries to convince him to stay, but he still seems on the fence. Shamar makes a good point — he’s a grown man and has to make his own decisions. If he needs to be talked into staying, maybe he just doesn’t belong there. And then Dana shows up at practice looking for Keon — perhaps he will make the decision for him.
Keon has a little heart to heart with Dana, and it doesn’t take much for Dana to convince him to suck it up and do what he’s got to do. So it looks like he’s staying after all.
Now it’s time for Team Dos Santos to pick the next fight. The choose Javier Torres (one of Team Dos Santos’s best) to fight Chris Cope (Lesnar’s next to last pick). One advantage that Javier has over Chris is in the coaching — one of JDS’s coaches actually trained with Chris for a year and knows his weaknesses well. As long as he sticks to the plan, he should win.
With Keon’s decision to stay, he continues with practice, but it seems as though the pressure has gotten to him again. Apparently we spoke too soon earlier. He talks to Junior and wants to go home. Who is Junior to stop him? So he lets him go. Keon admits that he might not get a chance like this again, but he needs to be with his family now. Really? Has he not seen the show before? How do you not know what you’re getting into?
At Team Lesnar’s training, Chris admits that he’s a “part-time fighter” because he’s got an 8-hour-a-day job. But he’s not letting that hold him back. To give his team a morale boost, Brock gives them a speech about not letting the underdog mentality get to them. As he says, “any given Sunday.” Anyone can win, at any time. Even the greatest champions have had losing moments (a moment of humility for Brock? Touching.). It’s entirely up to Chris to make the decision once he steps in the cage.
Both dance a bit, but finally Torres strikes first with a series of short jabs. He gets Cope against the cage and tries to work his body, alternating between knees and jabs. Cope counters while Torres maintains control. After much of nothing, they return to the center and exchange several short shots. Torres gets Cope against the cage again and manages to sweep a leg for the take down. Cope rolls and briefly allows Torres to take his back. But Cope is able to get back up and they clinch again. A big swinging right separates them and leads to a few misplaced throws. Cope gets Torres backing up this time and controls him against the cage. He starts looking for the sweep while keeping control. The clinching continues, with control alternating, but neither advancing their position. The round ends with the guys on their feet and a last second leg kick from Cope.
Cope attacks first and with a nice jab combo. The briefly clinch, but return to standing quickly. A nice leg kick from Torres sounds painful. Torres checks a body kick from Cope. And they are back against the cage with Torres in control. Torres seems to be “resting” a lot, while Cope throws some knees and elbows. Cope seems to have more control and Torres seems more gassed. Torres attempts a superman punch that fails. Cope keeps at Torres with several kicks, and has Torres backing up a lot. A big swing from Cope pushes Torres back to the cage where he can’t keep Torres pinned long. Back away, Torres lands a sweeping leg kick that gets Cope off balance, but he regains it quickly. Torres charges forward and clinches, but can’t do much and the round ends with Cope in control.
No surprise that the judges have called the fight a draw; there will be another (boring) round.
The round starts with a several uncountered leg kicks from Cope. A failed superman punch leads to a leg kick for Torres that doesn’t connect. (And another superman punch…really?). Cope gets control on the cage and it starts to look like he’s getting him down, but they’re back up quickly. A glancing shot to Torres’s family jewels breaks them up for a second, but once they restart Cope is pumped to keep going. This round is truly a repeat of Round 2. Cope is doing all the work and Torres is backpedaling a lot. Torres is completely gassed. Cope lands a few leg kicks, backs Torres up against the cage and lands a nice uppercut. The round ends unimpressively.
Winner: Chris Cope via Decision
A completely unimpressive fight (especially given the hype behind Javier). Javier had virtually no game. And like Brock said, there was nothing pretty about Chris’s win. The only thing Chris had going for him was that he clearly had more stamina — Javier’s cardio gave out after the first round and that is why Chris was able to win.
Javier is disappointed that he lost control for the team, though Coach Lou seems to take it the hardest and doesn’t let Javier forget it. But Team
Chicken Shit Lesnar is elated to finally have it. And their excitement is felt all over the gym.
Two weeks in and two very dreadful fights. Please tell me there is some talent hiding in that house somewhere. Or else this is going to be a long season.
Next week: Team Dos Santos welcomes a new fighter to replace Keon. Coach Lou takes training too far. Household drama spills over into the gym. Oh and there’s another fight too…