Sherdog’s Guide to ‘The Ultimate Fighter’

By Scott Holmes Apr 16, 2010
Chris Camozzi. Step up front please.”

Oh no. The show hasn’t even started yet and already UFC President Dana White has the boys lined up in firing squad fashion. Everyone looks anxious as poor Camozzi makes his way forward not knowing what White will say.

“You’re talented, you got big balls,” begins White. So far so good, but then he delivers the bad news -- a CAT scan has revealed that Chris’s tooth pain is actually a fracture in his jaw. Camozzi won’t be able to continue and he and his team are naturally bummed out.

White then enlightens the viewers as to why Camozzi can’t continue on his TUF journey while some sad piano music plays underneath. It isn’t so much a doctor’s decision as it is just White being his altruistic self.

“I’m not going to put a kid in a situation where he could possibly break his jaw in half,” says White.

Yes folks, you can almost bleed out like a stuck pig, eat urine soaked sushi or get your nose flattened, but the human jaw will always be safe within these eight walls.

“It took me years to get here and seconds to lose it,” says Camozzi as he makes his way out the door.

White then announces that Ortiz and Co. will get the option of picking from four guys who didn’t make it onto the show. White gives Ortiz the list to ponder over.

After that unfortunate business, we are treated to another Team Liddell training session and the usual “We are gelling as a team” talk. “Our team is awesome; Chuck’s a strict and tactical coach,” and so on.

Back at the house, an achy Nick Ring is lying prone on his stomach while Charles Blanchard leans into his back with his elbow. A little deep tissue massage is in order and Blanchard is just the man for the job.

“I went to school for neuromuscular therapy and massage therapy,” says Blanchard, who doesn’t mind performing remedies on the other team as well.

“Might help the overall aura of the house,” says Blanchard.

Kris McKay and Jamie Yager aren’t convinced it’s the best idea to rub a man’s back at 3:00 a.m.

“You need to be in bed brushing your teeth or something like that,” says McCray before he and Yager gently bust Ring’s balls for accepting the rubdown.

It took me years to get
here and seconds to lose it

-- Chris Camozzi on his sudden departure.

The next morning, it’s time to find out who will be replacing Camozzi. Seth Baczynski is introduced back into the fold.

Baczynski’s battle with Court McGee convinced coach Ortiz to bring him back and admittedly he’s a little overwhelmed at the second chance and is just trying to play catch up.

Liddell still has the conch to choose the battles and it’s time to decide this week’s matchup. Liddell goes with Brad Tavares vs. James Hammortree. It’s a fight that Ortiz calls a “must win.”

Speaking of Ortiz, his team’s training session explodes when teammates Jamie Yager and Nick Ring almost get into it.

Ring is putting too much sting in his kicks and Yager calls him a b----. Tempers flare and without Blanchard around to soothe anyone with a shoulder rub, Ortiz has to step in and settle everyone’s hash. Luckily no one gets hurt, at least not until this week’s fight.

Hammortree fights like they are holding his family hostage. Tavares is the same way. Just about everyone describes these two as “bangers,” and with one guy coming from a fire station and another from Hawaii, you can bet that checks out.

The bout turns out to be a nice, long affair. Neither man can take advantage of superior positions when they get them. Tavares spends a lot of time on Hammortree’s back, but can never sink a choke. Hammortree gets side mount, but finds himself with an arm trapped as Tavares looks for a submission from the bottom.

After two close rounds, it’s announced that they are heading for a “sudden victory” third round. Again, Hammortree is hell-bent on getting a takedown and Tavares gets a few good shots in whenever he can. In the end, Tavares does just enough to take the decision amidst light protesting from Ortiz’s team. Team Tito will have to recoup and regroup.
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