’s Guide to TUF 6

By Scott Holmes Sep 20, 2007
Gather around kids, it's time for "The Ultimate Fighter" recap!

Hard to believe we're on season six of the show that made household names of Diego Sanchez (Pictures), Forrest Griffin (Pictures), Chris Leben (Pictures) and Gabe Ruediger (Pictures).

I'm sure this isn't your first rodeo, so I'll skip filling you in on what to expect: you know, fights, house destruction, Dana White's truck stop language, fights, a few mental breakdowns and, with a little dash of hope, some new names to look forward to seeing in the cage.

The new trend is to introduce some conflict not just between the teams but also between the coaches. Accordingly, this season pits UFC 170-pound titleholder Matt Serra (Pictures) against his personal nemesis, Matt Hughes (Pictures).

I'm billing it as "The Matt and Matt Show," kind of a modern-day "Hart to Hart." If you don't get that reference, ask your mom. She was probably a Bruce Boxleitner fan.

Immediately Dana tells the fighters they will be gearing up and working out for Serra and Hughes. The group responds with the world's least enthusiastic clap. Shortly thereafter a few of the guys are seen puking, strongly suggesting that the Matts threw in a few extra push-ups.

Hughes and Serra discuss whom they like during the evaluations, and Hughes takes a quick shine to Daniel Barrera and Mac Danzig (Pictures). With Danzig's Pride pedigree, what's not to like? Serra points out his boy, Joe Scarola, and George Sotiropoulos (Pictures).

Scarola's one of Serra's black belts and wants no part of Hughes' team. He makes the mistake of telling Hughes this, and of course Hughes turns the information into his advantage, warning him that Serra should take him quickly if he doesn't want to lose him.

Even the last-place finisher in your fantasy football league wouldn't fall for that ruse, but naturally Serra wants his student and picks Scarola first. Hughes fills with glee. Danzig is miffed that he got skipped and vows to make Serra pay later.

During the evaluations we get our first injury. Roman Mitichyan sees a doctor, who informs him that his elbow is broken and he won't be able to continue. Mitichyan, uh, does not take the news well.

He throws a bit of a tantrum, telling the doctor over and over that he doesn't want to hear about the elbow and that he will be fighting no matter what. The doctor reiterates that he can't let him fight, and Mitichyan becomes increasingly agitated and starts kicking things. He even calls the doctor's educational background into question.

I'm paraphrasing, but Mitichyan offers some gems during the exchange:

I don't believe in your diplomas!

You put it [the doctor's recommendation] on a piece of paper, and I rip it up! I'm not a pooosy!

Mitichyan is so distraught, he storms off from the cameras and paces. Then we see him pick a flower and smell it. Twas beauty that soothed the beast.

Of course Mitichyan can't continue, and Serra lets him know that his time on the show is over. Mitichyan is upset and apologizes to his teammates, who are bummed for him.

I miss him already. There are a lot of things this show doesn't need or have any use for, but a hot-blooded Armenian is always of use.

You know that thing that TUF and other reality shows tend to do, where they lead you to believe that things will go one way, but they don't? Well, this episode was not like that.

After Dana White flips a coin, Hughes gets the first pick for match-ups and pairs Danzig, his fighter, against Serra's main guy, Scarola. Serra and Scarola both seem to know the writing is on the wall.

If you need to take your fighter into the octagon and walk him through what he's supposed to do, he might not be ready for prime time just yet. While Scarola is nibbling his fingernails and trying to formulate a plan, his opponent, Mac Danzig (Pictures), is also fretting -- over his hummus missing from the fridge.

Different strokes.

Each fighter's mental approach to the fight is also vastly different. Scarola admits that Danzig has fought more often in bigger shows and against better opponents. Meanwhile Danzig admits that he could lose, if "I slip on a banana peel and catch an overhand right."

Sure enough this fight goes the way it seemed it would go. Scarola and Danzig tie up, and Scarola catches a high knee to the side of the head that drops him. Danzig works for control. After a reversal that had Scarola looking as if he might take control, Danzig prevents him from passing guard and eventually secures a joke of a triangle choke that would have been a gift from a blue belt, much less a black one.

Serra admits that his guy gave up and is extremely disappointed. He chooses, however, to lift up his student rather than break him down.

Next week we'll see how much more strained their relationship can get, as Scarola might be the first to leave the show for personal reasons, a.k.a., "I'm taking my ball and going home."

Stay tuned!
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