Sherdog’s Guide to ‘The Ultimate Fighter’

By Scott Holmes Nov 10, 2010
Jonathan Brookins file photo: Spike TV

This week, we begin with two Armenian best friends sitting around in the backyard, plotting revenge: Sevak Magakian and Sako Chivitchyan are hoping to settle a score against one Jonathan Brookins.

“Sak, you got to do this bro,” implores Sevak. “Whatever it takes.”

Sevak would love to see his BFF exact revenge for the all-too-quick departure he received from the competition from Brookins via rear-naked choke.

“You might get away with it once but you won’t get away with it twice,” agrees Sako.

Sevak gives “Psycho” one last thought: “There’s not going to be two Armenians that lose to the same guy, bro. Not me, not you, bro.”

While Brookins prepares for battle, he’s aware of the risks in this fight with Sako.

“Anytime you go and fight somebody after you fought their friends, they’re going to come at you with a ferociousness,” says Brookins.

Georges St. Pierre is confident in his pupil, saying that Brookins always looks good and possesses an “amazing skill set.” No special plan is needed for Brookins; GSP lets him ease up on the heavy training going into the bout.

Josh Koscheck, however, saw what Brookins was capable of on the ground and his student Sako sees it too.

“It’s not a math question,” Sako says flatly. “You don’t let him take your back.” Josh and Sako spend most of their fight prep drilling maneuvers that will keep Brookins in front of Chivitchyan.

Meanwhile, at the house, twice-defeated Marc Stevens is parading around in his underpants to the delight and horror of those around the pool table. Outside, Brookins and Nam Phan are sitting under a shade tree watching Stevens ape around. Brookins points out that nobody in the house has fought in the UFC yet, making his castmates’ behavior senseless to him.

Brookins tells the camera that he’d rather stay in touch with the version of himself that had to travel on foot and claims to pray to God that he’d allow him to stay true to himself.

“Just let me ride my bike and go to the library like I used to and if you let me pay my rent on time, that’d be cool,” he says, paraphrasing his prayers.

He might want to pray one last time after seeing how serious Sako is. “Psycho” gives his final, intense pre-fight warning: “Be ready to get down and dirty because I’m down to fight til round 30.”

When the action starts, Chivitchyan presses Brookins against the fence, but once again it’s Brookins that lands the first throw against the judo expert. In a blink, Brookins is on Sako’s back, the precise scenario Koscheck had Chivitchyan working to avoid all week. The Armenian has a really hard math problem on his hands now.

Chivitchyan fights him off as long as he can but Brookins is silky smooth and squeezes Sako into submission not quite halfway through the first round, just as he did to his friend Sevak.

“That kid is nasty,” says UFC boss Dana White. “I’m still blown away by how fast Brookins choked him out. This guy’s the real deal.”

To Kosheck, it was like déjà vu.

“It was kind of like, ‘Oh s--t, did that just happen again?’” he comments, before consoling Sako on his first loss.

Sako hates the loss and “feels stupid for not sticking to the game plan.” Normally that statement is spot-on, but even with the game plan, he might not have beaten Brookins, who is starting to separate from the pack. Chivitchyan seems the sort to be hardened by a loss like this and will come back better.

File Photo

Nam Phan
Next up on the docket is Cody McKenzie against Phan. McKenzie is the goofy Alaskan that just keeps guillotining people; he breaks down the technical aspects of his unorthodoxy by simply saying, “I throw different things.”

McKenzie has no shortage of self-confidence and it has his coach GSP left in wonder.

“He believes it so much it would be the same thing if I told you the sun would rise tomorrow, that’s how much he believes in himself,” St. Pierre comments.

McKenzie may be unorthodox but his devotion to the guillotine has been sacred so far; that’s what Koscheck and company are planning for in their training.

“Everybody today will be attacking the s--t out of your neck,” Koscheck tells his charge Phan, who will be facing the man who has lopped more heads than a French tyrant.

“We’re not getting guillotined in this fight and if Nam does, I’m going to hit him over the head with a chair,” Koscheck tells the camera.

When he’s not threatening him, Koscheck adores Phan calling him a “true fighter” and saying that Phan “eats it, breathes it, sleeps it,” making the match-up with renegade McKenzie all the more irksome to him.

The first round is a shock to Phan and Koscheck. McKenzie throws a few kicks and then runs Nam against the fence, immediately taking control. Phan fights off a takedown while McKenzie works some knees to his legs before dropping low and taking the fight to the mat.

Phan gets back to his feet but is unable to get his hands going as McKenzie continues to pin him against the fence and control position. Koscheck is left yelling “Come on Nam!” repeatedly as even he is at a loss as to how to handle McKenzie.

Phan finally gets some separation and peppers McKenzie with punches toward the end of the round but the Alaskan’s pressure and control gives him the first frame.

The second round is much different. McKenzie is exhausted, wading in too slow, giving Phan the opportunity to swing away. He punishes McKenzie with body shots and crisp strikes.

The shots take their toll on McKenzie and after a few flush connects, Phan drops him with a nasty left to the liver. McKenzie is forced to cover up helplessly and the fight is stopped.

“Feels like s--t,” says McKenzie, feeling the sting of his first loss. “Life goes on, but it sucks.”

“Down goes McKenzie, down goes McKenzie!” yells Koscheck, his face glowing.

Koscheck goes bonkers following Phan’s win, bouncing around the cage with glee. Once again throwing sportsmanship out the window, Koscheck is like the girl in the office that embarrasses you because she’s more excited about your birthday than you are. In fact, Koscheck can’t get enough of this win, saying that seeing Cody “get his ass whipped” was the “best day of the show” and that it was “personal.”

It’s a little sad that one of the better fighters in the world would take such delight in a young fighter’s first loss. GSP fans must be licking their chops to see if St. Pierre will have the last word and unplug the Koscheck sound machine.
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