Sherdog’s Guide to ‘The Ultimate Fighter’

By Scott Holmes Oct 15, 2009
Things aren’t getting any better for Matt Mitrione on this week’s episode of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Last week, the former NFL player ratted out his coach’s plans for future fight matchups with rival team member Scott Junk. This week, Mitrione’s shoulder is still giving him trouble, which irks his coach Rashad Evans.

“Come on, meathead,” says Evans, after hearing of Mitrione’s self-prescribed need for a cortisone shot.

Mitrione admits that he’s still thinking like a football player and is trying to play through the pain. Evans points out that cortisone is a short-term solution that won’t help in the long run.

Meanwhile, coach Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is dealing with his own team issues. It’s time for us to learn about the last man chosen for Jackson’s team, Zak Jensen, as Rampage believes he’s next on the chopping block.

“Zak was the last one picked and he’s probably the guy on the team with the least skills,” says Jackson.

Jackson then tries to list those skills.

“He’s a big guy and he’s got wrestling,” says Jackson after a long pause. “Yeah, that’s all he’s got going for him.”

Teammate Scott Junk says he enjoys Jensen as a person, but also recalls how Jensen ran his mouth early on, bragging about his skills. Jensen has yet to live up to the bill, according to Junk.

“He’s a turd at practice,” states Junk.

While having trouble with some of the drills, Jensen’s repeated “I can’t” wears at Rampage’s ear.

Jensen has been busy at the house though, much to the dismay of his roommates. Wes Sims issues a stern warning to Jenson while he lounges by the pool, disgusted by what he’s found in the shower after Jensen has allegedly used it.

“If I ever step on a family of Jensen’s when I get in the shower… don’t tell me you didn’t jerk Mr. Happy,” says Sims.

Jensen denies Sims’ accusation and spends the rest of the night writing in his diary in his room, while the rest of the group bags on him in the living room.

“He just doesn’t belong, period,” says Brendan Schaub.

“Drama King” is the title coach Evans has given Mitrione thanks to his constant wants and needs. And Evans and his coaches think they smell a skunk when it comes to Mitrione’s shoulder injury.

Sure enough, the next day Mitrione is out popping shots with the basketball and using that same sore shoulder. His teammates suspect he’s holding out for an easier opponent to come along.

After Mitrione seems to move fine in grappling, then asks to be excused from the rest of practice to ice his hand, a baffled Evans asks the camera, “Do you need attention? Do you need a hug?”

Mitrione voices his resolve to fight through the pain during a one-on-one with the camera, namedropping the He-Man character “Battle Cat” in his address.

Once again, TUF has led us one way, only to jerk us in another direction. After all the Jensen and Mitrione talk, coach Evans chooses team stud Justin Wren to take Sims from Rampage’s squad.

Wren takes the honest and direct approach when breaking down his upcoming fight with the UFC veteran.

“Seasoned, but hasn’t evolved” is the description Wren has of Sims.

Sims is a little more optimistic of his talents.

“I train with world-class wrestlers. Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman. The Hammer House, we’re an elite group,” says Sims, before clowning it up for the camera by showing off his belly and flexing. No one in the history of the series has been more camera-aware than Mr. Sims.

“I want to win viciously or lose devastatingly and I’d go for the first one, dummy,” says Sims, as the camera pans to the “As real as it gets” slogan ironically plastered on the wall behind him.

It’s weigh-in time and the usually quiet and reserved Wren gets on the scale wearing some purple leopard-print short shorts that raises a few eyebrows. Not to be outdone, Sims steps on the scale in bikini briefs and claims he is “bigger.” Rampage says he’s never seen men so excited to see other men in their “panties” and wonders what kind of show he’s gotten himself onto.

Fight time arrives, and while Sims might be the silliest fighter this season, his size is no laughing matter. At 6-foot-10, Sims presents a host of problems for almost any mortal. As such, Wren looks to eliminate the reach advantage and rushes Sims to close the distance immediately.

Sims gets some foot stomps in along the cage and Wren responds in kind. The two men separate and Sims lands a great front kick before Wren forces him to the ground. Once the two hit the mat, Sims’ “elite wrestling” can’t save him. Wren wastes no time looking for the finish, setting up an arm-triangle choke from side control.

Referee Herb Dean prolongs the punishment by deeming Sims still awake after jostling one of his arms, but the appendage goes lifeless a few seconds later and the Dean steps back in.

Wren wins quickly and convincingly, choking his opponent fully unconscious just a few minutes into the fight. He leaves the cage happy as a clam and celebrates with a Buddha belly bump with teammate Roy Nelson.

Once again, Rampage and his coaches fail to check on their defeated fighter in the cage. Rampage and his staff reconvene in the locker room following the fight scratching their heads, which leads to a talk with rival coach Evans in the hallway.

Evans pulls no punches in criticizing Rampage’s coaching techniques. Evans sums things up by telling Rampage that he is selfish, leaving Rampage momentarily at a loss for words -- the rarest of accomplishments.
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