's Guide to 'The Ultimate Fighter 10'

By Scott Holmes Oct 22, 2009
“Darrill is a drunk,” says James McSweeney early into this episode of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

We find Darrill Schoonover knocking back a beer at the breakfast table. Literally the breakfast table, since it is 8 a.m., but the boy still makes it to practice, where Rashad Evans has brought in standup specialist Phil Nurse to work with the team’s hands.

Then again, once practice gets going, Evans becomes worried about Schoonover. Evans thinks Schoonover might have hit the wall and worries that his conditioning isn’t up to snuff. Evans gets an earful from his pupils and learns that it’s not that Schoonover needs more cardio; it’s that he needs less Bacardi-o. During a discussion with Evans and the coaches about his potential, Schoonover agrees that he needs to curb his drinking.

At this point, Quinton Jackson’s team is getting straight smoked, and he’s reduced himself to bullying the much younger and less experienced contestants. Schoonover’s drama isn’t finished, as this week Jackson has turned his sights on him. He doesn’t have a poster physique, and Rampage has been calling him “titties” all season.

In fact Rampage says the word so many times in this episode, it isn’t worth counting. Every three words he is able to squeeze it in, and it is all because of an early confrontation with Schoonover. It started with Rampage constantly joking about Schoonover’s "titties." Then it got old and then jokes turned into threats and then threats into near violence. Then there’s Dana White chuckling at Schoonover’s situation, telling the fighter that he should “take the titties thing on the chin.”

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Darrill Schoonover
Dana’s apparently unaware of what a joke it is to have one of your former champions feel the need to bully a contestant on his entry-level TV contest. It’s a classy move. I’m sure Derek Jeter backs every high school shortstop he meets into a corner just to remind them he can throw hard.

During the fight selection, Rashad chooses Schoonover to face Zak Jensen. Two quiet guys trying to prove themselves to each other and their teams and of course Rampage chirping in with “Got Milk?” as the two knuckle up for their staredown picture. Rampage repeats the phrase until he gets a reaction, and once again it’s pointless peacocking.

“Walk up on me again, and your ass is in trouble,” is Jackson’s final threat to Schoonover before Evans steps in to defuse -- something he has to do often.

But it wouldn’t be TUF if just one grown man were being belittled; now there’s the matter of Schoonover’s opponent, Jensen. Luckily, he’s on Rampage’s team, so he’s spared menace from that angle. It’s his team and housemates he has to worry about.

Last week Wes Sims was on him about the shower surprises he allegedly left behind. This week Sims has started a calendar-based pool so people can try and pick which day Jensen will go bananas and mentally snap. Sims calls him a puppy that won’t leave, and Kimbo describes Jensen this way: “If Shrek had a little brother.”

“Whoever makes Zak break gets some sort of a care package from Wes,” says Brendan Schaub.

Of course Jensen is lying on his top bunk, scribbling in his journal all the while they prognosticate on his mental demise. Both Schoonover and Jensen prepare for their fights and work on their respective game plans. A minor cut to Jensen has Kimbo thinking he might be getting back in, but Jensen shrugs it off. His team is worried about what his mental resolve will be in the cage, though. Meanwhile, Schoonover’s team isn’t worried about a thing. Rashad is convinced that Schoonover’s deceptive power will play a big role.

Walk up on me again, and
your ass is in trouble.

-- Quinton "Rampage" Jackson

Rampage and coaching staff have commissioned a painting of Team Rashad in caricature form. Of course it’s complete with Schoonover sporting a tasteful brassiere. When Evans and his coaches spot the masterpiece, they are quick to hide it to keep Schoonover peaceful instead of postal.

More fun coaching contrast moments before the fight: Rashad motivates Schoonover with a Rocky-like speech and affirmations while Jackson talks about titties and his coaches bet each other over their pupil’s possible outcome. Can anyone guess how this one turned out?

Jensen collides with Schoonover in the middle of the ring, and the two big boys tussle until Schoonover lands some knees. Once separated, Schoonover lets his hands fly, and Jensen absorbs a bunch of jarring punches. Jensen looks in real trouble, but he drops low, snags a leg and surprises Schoonover with a takedown.

Schoonover then slaps on a lazy triangle that Jensen neglects to address. Jensen tries to smash his way out, hammer fisting his opponent’s head a few times and stacking him. Jensen holds on until Schoonover tightens the submission and slowly puts him to sleep.

“I doubt Rampage is going to quit talking s---, but he’s an idiot,” said Schoonover after the fight, hoping that his effort might garner him some respect.
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