This weeks TUF episode was about the last two spots on the USA team being filled.
It starts basically with the fighters walking into the house and noticing that there are sections designated for each team. All the fighters get pretty comfortable with each other, joking around, playing basketball, etc. until someone started throwing eggs. That someone of course is Rob Browning (Junie Browning’s little brother). He was pushing fighters and causing problems the entire time he was inside the house. Soon after these incidents happened though, both teams were praying that Jason Dent would finish him and stop “Junie Browning Jr.” from causing any problems in the house, because he would never officially make it in the house.
The fighters this year made a pact that they would not do anything perverted, humiliating or vile tricks to each other. This could make for bad reality television, but it could finally give us more of a detailed look at who these fighters are, how they got there, and how hard they work to achieve their goals.
The training sessions for each team were different looking to say the least. Team USA had the idea from their coach (Dan Henderson) that they would be working a lot on wrestling, ground and pound (GNP) and control (both on the ground, and standing up in the Greco-Roman wrestling clinch). Henderson saw this as a major advantage against Team UK because wrestling is not a strong suit of the UK fighters.
Team UK though, had a rounded skill level training session. What I mean by this is that they practiced many things including striking, wrestling, ground control, clinch work, and basically everything you would need inside the octagon. This could play to their advantage if they can prevent the USA guys from taking them down. With a coach like Dan fighting against them though, this could be a challenging problem to say the least.
Now to the fights
Kyle Reid (8-1, welterweight) vs. Frank Lester (3-2, welterweight)
This fight, from the intro, looked to be a classic “Striker vs Grappler” match up. The grappler was Kyle Reid, and the striker was Frank Lester.
The match of course starts out with the striker looking for some striking, and the wrestler looking for the takedown. In this case though, Kyle scores a takedown rather easily and starts a bit of body and head ground and pound. Kyle then moved from Frank’s full guard to his half guard, than landed a little bit more damage, but still nothing serious. Eventually though, Frank got back to his feet, and delivered a punch and a knee combo to Kyle, stunning him and making him go for another takedown. His shot was blocked though, so he pinned Frank against the cage. This caused him to eventually lose his double leg attempt and try a single leg from his side. Since he left his arm exposed to a Kimura attempt, Frank snatched it and pulled. Kyle though, not thinking of the consequences of only having one arm for a takedown, left his head entirely exposed, and when both men fell to the ground, Kyle landed on his temple and forehead. He was immediately unconscious, but Frank kept on twisting the Kimura until Mazzagatti stepped in to declare the contest over.
Frank Lester wins via Knockout at 1:44 of the first round.
The worst part about this whole experience was the fact that Lester only one because of Kyle’s stupidity. Kyle, was definitely winning this fight because he was pushing the pace the entire time and controlling Frank. It was a terrible way for a match to end, especially without a truly decisive win.
Rob Browning (4-0, lightweight) vs. Jason Dent (18-9, lightweight)
In this fight, Rob Browning had a clear disadvantage going in. He weighed in at less then Dent, and also had less fight experience. If Rob was going to win, it would be a long, hard and tough battle.
This match started off differently then I had anticipated. Browning came out using technical Thai Boxing strikes such as push kicks, leg kicks, and an effective jab from good angles to keep the distance between him and Dent. He was out pointing Dent pretty easily during this time, but soon became over confident in his takedown attempts. His first one was easily stuffed, and when the second one came in a little later, Dent took complete control of this mistake, and grounded Browning. This left Browning’s sides opened to knee strikes and punches. Dent was coming in with a constant barrage of knees to the body, strikes to the body and head, and a serious sprawl that was preventing Browning from doing anything at all. In the end, Browning was against the cage eating punches and heavy elbows, forcing Mazzagatti to end the match.
Jason Dent wins via Technical Knock Out at 1:24 in the first round.
After the fights on this episode, I am happy to see that Jason Dent is another very tough individual for Team USA. He will be a very tough guy to beat for anyone in the house and maybe even top 2 on the USA team lightweight division.
I expect some very good match ups by the end of this show. I am getting more excited with each episode this year, because the competition is very strong. I also feel that the semi finals and finals this year will be very intense, especially for the US and UK fans.