Episode 7: “The Bash Room”
In last week’s episode, some expected and unexpected things happened. Pierce and Faulkner bonded. Fight wise, Cameron Dollar pulled an upset win over Martin Stapleton while Frank Lester lost the fight and his teeth to James Wilks, putting the UK up 3-2. Now there are only two welterweights left — Pierce and Faulkner. Will the friends be forced to fight?
Tonight’s show starts out with the UK guys training, with some VERY unorthodox styles. Bisping is happy to be leading again and equally as happy to choose the next match-up. At this point it seems obvious that it’s going to be Faulkner, so Bisping is trying to get him to get past his friendship with Pierce. The rest of the guys talk about Faulkner like he’s the next coming of Christ — awesome standup, great grappling, yada yada yada.
Back at the house, the Americans are making fun of Shaun White’s (Richie Whitson’s) “herpes face” (I know, I know…it’s really impetigo which is a bacterial infection that is contagious. But either way it’s just gross looking!). None of the guys wanna be around him, nor do they want to fight him. The guys’ advice? He better be washing his hands a lot! Then out comes the disinfectant. Pierce seems to take it to another level with the Lysol spraying every surface in sight (his pillow? Really?).
To make health matters worse for the USA, apparently Pierce broke blood vessels in his foot, and it’s causing him pain. At training, Hendo yells at him not to kick with that foot, but it’s hard not to (well, duh!). He is clearly frustrated. Hendo’s worried that he won’t be 100% – he’s got a sore ankle against someone who’s a known ankle lock guy.
In the same day, the UK continues with their unorthodox training techniques. This time they are swinging and slamming sledgehammers on tires which is supposedly good for building core strength and explosiveness. For the most part, it went as planned…until Andre misses the tire completely and hits the brand new, VERY expensive mats (and more than once!). Bisping says maybe next time they won’t do this (gee, ya think?).
Team US is motivated during training, well all but Pierce that is. The coach tells the guys they are going to spar for 5 minute rounds, but Pierce didn’t even bring a cup. He’s not entirely prepared for this and doesn’t really agree with the training methods. This attitude is a mystery to Hendo, and even the rest of the coaches say that Pierce is a pain in the neck with his negative vibes. The coaches try to get the guys’ thoughts focused on the next move as opposed to thinking so negatively. Most of the guys stay for one more round, but Pierce mysteriously disappears. In all seriousness, why be on the show if you don’t want to fight?
Well, Lester thinks Pierce is afraid of Faulkner and is going to try to get out of fighting him. Demarques doesn’t like Pierce because he’s so negative (as if Demarques is a ray of f***ing sunshine). Who wants to hang out with someone so depressing? Dent finds this anti-Pierce group and doesn’t like what he’s hearing. He dubs the downstairs room as the “Bash Room” — where the guys go to bash whoever it is they don’t like at the moment. Pierce claims that he doesn’t care, though, as he’s not there to make friends, but he thanks Dent for pointing out who his friends are.
And at least the Americans aren’t the only ones with bad luck. Apparently the UK’s unconventional methods may have backfired. As most of the guys are weightlifting, it is discovered that Faulkner somehow managed to hit himself with the sledgehammer during their previous exercises. Now, the bruising and damage to the tissue may have become infected. The infection is localized as a lump on his shin and they’ve given him antibiotics to combat it from spreading. It looks like Pierce might get his wish after all.
Yup, it’s that time of the season now: Coach’s Challenge Time! This year’s event is tennis. Though Bisping says he’s never played, he still guarantees that he’ll beat Hendo. As per previous seasons, the winning coach gets $10K and the winning team gets $1,500 each. They are to play six games and the winner must win by 2 (he even gives them more serving area to guarantee “in” serves). Watching them “practice” is even funny, if you can call it that. The match finally begins: Hendo is confused to start and catches Bisping’s serve. Thankfully, Hendo recovers and wins the first game. And just keeps winning. He’s up 2-0. Bisping complains that all he can hear is Demarques running his mouth (though once it was Cameron — with a quite funny bandaid comment). Bisping starts to come back and wins a game, making it 4-1. Bisping gets another one close and it’s 5-2, at which point Hendo needs only one to win…. And he gets it! Bisping takes his loss in stride and tells them to stick tennis up their ass. He’d rather prove himself on July 11.
Back at the gym, the guys gather for the fight announcement. Team UK chooses Ross Pearson and Richie Whitson (wha???). Bisping says they picked this fight because they expect Richie to play right into Ross’s fighting style. Ross wants to hit him hard and fast. Hendo is concerned that Richie hasn’t been able to train all week because of his skin issues.
At Team US Training, Richie’s face is looking much better so he’s back to training. In his back story, Richie grew up boxing in a fishing town in Alaska — he even went to Thailand to train. He does seem like a tough kid, a brawler. Uh oh…during sparring, he backs up into the cage door and falls out. But he gets right back in it. He’s a scrapper.
Back at the house it’s Richie’s birthday, so the guys get him a cake and they all celebrate. Suddenly we hear whimpering off screen — it’s Cameron. He’s tired of the house. He just wants to fight, win and go home. Cyrille and Lester try to calm him down, but he’s not holding it together well (wow, not who I would have expected to crack). Hendo comes out and tries to help, but it’s Lester who breaks the tension with a joke about his teeth. Who knew men were capable of such drama?
But the drama passes. At the next day’s weigh-in, both guys weigh in fine and a banging battle is predicted by all. Even Dana can’t pick a winner.
On fight day both guys seem really amped up for the battle. They both expect a slugfest and are all too happy to duke it out.
(On the way to the van, Frank Lester kisses his bicep — I officially can’t stand this guy!)
Round 1: Starts out with a bit of dancing, and finally some good leg kicks from Whitson and both are extremely aggressive. They exchange jabs and clinch against the cage. A good knee from Whitson lands, which he follows with a great elbow and he backs off. They get back to the center and both deliver huge head kicks that go clear over each others’ heads. Pearson pins Whitson against the fence and on their feet has Whitson’s back. Whitson gets out and they’re striking again. They exchange several solid jabs and Pearson delivers a great knee that gets Whitson on the run. Whitson is down on his knees and Pearson attacks with a barrage of fists. Pearson slips in the hooks for a guillotine, but Whitson gets out. Pearson then knees him in the head while Whitson is still grounded. He has one point deducted. They get back to the center and more shots are exchanged. More kicks go over Pearson’s head and they clinch. Lots of knees and elbows are exchanged. Whitson delivers some great shots to Pearson’s face and he shoots and slams Whitson to the mat. He gets Whitson’s back, wraps his legs around and tries to get the hooks in, but switches around and pulls out Whitson’s arm instead. Pearson stretches it far and hard for the arm bar and Whitson taps.
Winner: Ross Pearson via Submission (arm bar)
Next week isn’t looking better for anyone. With the UK up 4-2, American morale is at an all-time low. But illness and injuries could spell defeat for the UK. And in another twist, Pierce claims he doesn’t want to take himself out of any fights, but his fate seems unclear.
What can I say? Things are just NOT looking good for the U.S.