Sherdog’s Guide to ‘The Ultimate Fighter’

By Scott Holmes Sep 23, 2010
With the qualifying bouts out of the way, the boys of TUF are thrilled to be moving into the fighters’ house. Mohawks, beards, tattoos and one bright yellow Bruce Lee outfit streak up the stairs to check the place out.

This season the show has moved into a more updated space with stylish decor, sleek lines and a much more minimalist approach. In a word -- fabulous.

Shortly after settling in, Alex “Bruce LeRoy” Caceres walks outside asking who wants shots. This bodes well for fans that like their MMA mixed with hostile-meets-senseless acts.

"Jeff doesn't exude the professional mixed martial artist attitude," says Kyle Watson, talking about N.J. wildman Jeff Lentz. "I don't think smoking and drinking every night is going to really help you in the long run in this sport.”

Cue to footage of Lentz boasting about booze intake while puffing on a cigarette. He's not sweating it though.

“They see me smoking a cigarette, doing whatever...let them think I got no gas in the tank. I got cardio for days," says Lentz.

Several of the fighter’s finger "Bruce LeRoy” and Lentz as two of the more colorful castmates this season. When we see Caceres play the harmonica and bark out nonsensical tall tales about fighting deer and alligators, it offers a glimpse into the world of a young man whose Bruce Lee obsession could just be the tip of a glacier made of crazy.

"I feel sorry for his mom," says Lentz after getting a dose of Cacares.

The next day, it's off to the training facility for the boys to find out if they will be a GSP or Koscheck disciple.

Marc Stevens is hoping to end up on his former coach’s team while Michael Johnson figures GSP could do him the most good. The problem for Koscheck is that he wants them both.

Koscheck ranks all 14 fighters and at the top of the list he has Johnson, calling him the "best athlete" of the bunch.

Listed just after the best athlete is Stevens. With coach wanting student and student needing coach, what could go wrong?

Unfortunately for Koscheck, he forgets the oldest rule in the book: never turn your back on a Quebecer.

St. Pierre strategizes that due to the coaching connection, Koscheck will go for Stevens no matter what and decides to openly wave around his selection list. Koscheck spots Stevens at No.1 on the mock draft and after winning the toss, he chooses to pick the first fighter.

St. Pierre gets what he wants by having first crack at the matchups, but he really gets what he wants when Koscheck takes the bait and chooses Stevens first.

The wily French Canadian allows himself a smile, as he looks back at assistant coach Greg Jackson whispering “It works.”

Koscheck gets a guy he would have probably gotten regardless, GSP takes control of the matchups and Koscheck's No. 1 seed in Johnson falls right into his lap.

"Well played, Georges St. Pierre," says UFC President Dana White, enjoying that one.

Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Georges "Rush" St. Pierre
The rest of the teams are chosen one by one until the runt of the litter, Dane Sayers, goes to St. Pierre.

White introduces the fellas to their new coaching daddies and then dismisses them, but not before stepping over to Sayers and encouraging him to remember that no one wanted to take him.

Each coach gets a moment with the camera to talk about their coaching staff.

"He’s the guy that makes the music play," says St. Pierre of his "maestro" assistant coach Jackson. St. Pierre is taking a more hands-on approach with his coaching style, leaving the bossing around to Jackson while he plans on spending most of his time as a "training partner" for his squad. This will probably have a fun novelty effect on them for about four minutes into their first wrestling session.

Next up, Koscheck talks about his guru "Crazy" Bob Cook and their efforts to provide some "mindless training" that consists of the fighters never thinking and letting Kos and Co. do all the workout decision-making for them.

Koscheck knows he's up against it on television, saying that he's been labeled a heel, which he calls “absurd.” Then he takes it up a notch, assuring the camera that if you just spend time getting to know him that you'll undoubtedly fall in love with him.

Slow down Josh. My friends all say you're bad news.

St. Pierre gets right down to business. He picks Caceres to face Lentz at Bruce LeRoy’s request. He's the consummate coach, the consummate training partner, speaks two languages and is crafty with the bait and switch. I know GSP doesn't drink, but if he did it would be Dos XX.

Much like Hasselhoff getting voted off DWTS, it’s too early for this fight between Lentz and LeRoy to happen. Who couldn’t use another week of Lentz burning heaters before and after training sessions? Caceres’ BLR routine is enjoyable in a more than “meh” way, but when you see that he’s got a Jedi braid jutting out of his afro, you realize that this dude is crazier than Christine O’Donnell’s cat.

While Bruce LeRoy remarks about a hummingbird he sees during the van ride to the fights, Lentz is more focused and boasts of plans to kick the smile off BLR’s face.

Lentz plays the part too, opting to sprint from the opening doors all the way to the Octagon looking ready for business.

LeRoy tries to keep it pretty in the first round, coming out with some fancy kicks with arc while Lentz comes straight forward and smashes Caceres into the fence. Lentz keeps the pressure on most of the round, looking for takedowns from the clinch. Most of the action is tame since neither can force the issue, but Lentz then connects with some big shots and a beautiful judo throw just before the bell.

He’s the guy that
makes the music play.

-- GSP on trainer Greg Jackson.

"I got you buddy," yells Lentz in between rounds, knowing that he is starting to take over.

In the second round, Lentz comes out winging haymakers. Caceres’ coaches have warned him that he’s a step behind during the exchanges. Caceres dodges a flurry, Lentz misses with a toss and Caceres quickly scrambles onto his back. From there, Bruce LeRoy works in a triangle choke attempt that only gets worse once Lentz tries to power his way out.

Caceres tightens the hold and forces the tapout. Lentz gets up disappointed and Caceres gets to do his tribute thing in the center of the cage again.

Team GSP gets its first win and Koscheck is rationally disappointed. White admits his favoritism for Bruce LeRoy and that he’s openly rooting for “the kid.”
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