Sherdog’s Guide to ‘The Ultimate Fighter’

By Scott Holmes Oct 7, 2010
Things begin with a recap of last week’s fight between Aaron Wilkinson and Michael Johnson. That fight turned out to be a tasty morsel of a surprise with Wilkinson showing up and giving MJ two tough rounds that could have gone the Brit's way. The Michael Johnson the coaches had been looking for showed in the third round, calling himself “Menace” and putting Wilkinson away for good.

Johnson really wanted to put on a show for cage-side guest Mike Tyson. Back in Team GSP’s locker-room, Mike is busy doing that demure, hand-on-face, soft-spoken thing he does that makes him more intimidating than a yeller or a screamer. Tyson is sincere in dispensing advice with a focus on confidence breeding success. Then he spoke about always conducting oneself properly, because ring behavior echoes out into the real world.

GSP calls him “deep.” Dane Sayers is enthralled. “This guy is like seriously my hero,” says Sayers. “And what was tripping me out about it was that everything he was saying right then and there applied to me so much.”

It’s always good to get your decision making advice from one of the world’s all-time worst deciders.

While GSP's team watches “Tyson Wars: The Fan of The Menace,” Koscheck’s been watching “The Shawshank Redemption,” and his team is feeling the pressure of needing a victory. “It’s time to get busy living or get busy dying,” says Koscheck. His team is down 2-0, and he’s desperate to turn things around. Koscheck puts the boys through a punishing workout and a rambling motivational speech afterward that ends with an inspiring: “The harder you work now, the later you’ll get rewarded.”

Hopefully he meant “the more you will be rewarded later,” because just extending the reward doesn’t sound beneficial at all. It was probably just a long day for Josh. No need to bring in Leon Spinks to talk to his boys just yet.

Back at the house, Alex Caceres is still beating his chest regarding his win over Jeff Lentz. Maybe it’s his attitude, his antics, his Afro or just all of the above, but “Bruce Lee Roy” has managed to get teammate Sevak Magakian’s blood boiling.

While Sevak expresses disgust for BLR’s behavior, Alex rolls up onto the porch to egg it on. It doesn’t take long before the shouting begins. This continues back and forth until someone’s balls are mentioned, at which point the conversation devolves into a “who can yell louder about the other guy's balls” competition, as most male arguments tend to do.

Sevak finally explodes, hurling a napkin as violently as one possibly can and must be restrained as he races over to a smiling Bruce Lee Roy. Nam Phan catches Sevak just before impact, and the two swing around like waltz partners as Phan’s glasses fly off. All the while, Carceres just keeps on barking.

Alex shrugs it off and chalks up the aggression against him to the idea that any group of people always needs someone to hate on. Of course, it doesn’t help when you are practically wearing a flashing HE HATE ME sign on your gi, but still.

File Photo: Spike TV

Kyle Watson
After being blocked in last week, GSP is forced to park his car next to a fire hydrant in the hopes that he’ll remain shenanigan-proof and avoid whatever else Koscheck might have planned. Almost, Georges.

“I don’t mind losing, but to a nerd? Come on boys. Get your s--t together. We’re losing to a bunch of nerds,” laughs Koscheck before skipping into the training facility wearing the same tight shorts GSP prefers to fight in. Koscheck tells Georges that the shorts must be the key to his victories. GSP smiles as Koscheck asks him if he looks good.

“Do I look good in mine?” asks Josh.

“Not my thing” replies Georges.

“So why do you fight in those?” asks Koscheck. “All those guys in the stands -- you like them looking at you?” Again, GSP doesn't bite.

Time for the fight picks, and GSP picks his elder statesman Kyle Watson to take on the youngest fighter on the show in Andy Main.

Main readies for his fight by having Koscheck in his ear trying to get him psyched up. Josh is starting to get a little manic with his training speeches. As much as Koscheck wants to get under GSP’s skin, it’s the losses that are bothering him. “I don’t like losing...” says Josh. “...especially to a French guy.” He’s about a week away from starting to froth at the mouth.

Watson comes from a strong jiu-jitsu background and is heralded as Matt Hughes’s JJ guy. However, his coaches are worried about him getting in his own way mentally. Asst. coach John Danaher speaks about this being the first fight with psychological warfare involved. Both Main and Watson have different types of pressure on their shoulders, and Danaher explains it all in his wondrous New Zealand accent. He always sounds like he’s discussing antiquities with Indiana Jones, and as such he should be hosting an MMA show on PBS.

Fight time. Andy Main’s a young gunslinger who can sub his whole team, while Kyle’s the old ground hound. About 10 years and as many fights separate the two in experience.

Main starts off well, catching Kyle with a one-two before climbing onto Kyle’s back. Watson ends up spending a few minutes standing while wearing Main like a man-sweater that’s tastefully tied around the shoulders. Main takes the few punching opportunities he receives, while Watson fends off chokes and tries not to waste too much energy. Eventually the two go to the ground and Kyle slips away. Andy lands a few up kicks, but Kyle finds his way into the half guard, where he's comfortable. Kyle stays on top for the last minute or so.

While prepping Main for this fight, assistant coach Dave Camarillo looked at film of Watson and spotted Kyle’s tendency to post up with one knee to anchor his ground-and-pound. Camarillo and Koscheck worked out a plan of “sweep, submit or get up,” and Koscheck is yelling it at Main repeatedly as he fights.

In the second round Watson sets up shop just as Camarillo predicted, happy to be in the half guard and in control. Main fails too sweep, submit or get up, instead content to die a slow death by allowing Watson to pepper him with punches and deny him any chance to get away.

Eventually Kyle works his way around Main’s back. It doesn't take long for Kyle to lock up the body triangle and find the rear-naked choke, submitting the younger fighter.

Team GSP is 3-0 and cruising. Koscheck kicks a stool in frustration, and Andy hangs his head, knowing that he didn’t stick to the game-plan. He'll be kicking himself for a while about that one.
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