Sherdog's Guide to 'The Ultimate Fighter 11'

By Scott Holmes Mar 31, 2010
Well, if it isn’t time for another season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Previous coaches Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell are both back for season 11, which means that the series has officially run out of new ideas. Luckily, there is a fresh crop of talent to (hopefully) keep things interesting.

“I honestly don’t have one bad feeling towards Tito,” UFC Dana White begins his opening address to the camera. And if you believe that, I have an official lifetime all-access Sherdog media credential made of solid gold I’d like to sell you.

Wasting no time, all the new fledgling middleweights are brought into the “new and improved” training facility, where they are introduced to the coaches. Then, they’re treated to the time-honored tradition of having White lace into them with a profanity-laden speech, already admonishing the fighters if they leave their fates in the hands of the judges.

White also introduces a new wrinkle to the game, which he calls the “wildcard” fight. After the first 14 fight their way into the house, two losers of White and the coaches’ choosing will get back into the mix with a “wildcard” match to make it into the quarterfinals.

Now, that we’ve settled all of that, it’s on to the fights. Jamie Yager is up first against Ben “Hebrew Hammer” Stark. Stark explains that he grew up Orthodox and once rocked the curly sideburns. It doesn’t seem to help him in his bout, as Yager wilts Stark with five big kicks within twenty seconds.

Next up, is Jordan Smith against Brad Tavares, from Hawaii. It’s another quick finish as Tavares drops Smith with a knee uppercut followed by a right hook. Smith, not completely out of it yet, responds the same way the audience at homes does. “Wow,” says Smith.

Don’t get up to get a soda with these middleweights -- things are rolling. Kris McCray executes a beautiful throw on Cleburn Walker, which slams him into the mat. McCray quickly moves to mount, but Walker verbal submits -- his shoulder dislocated in the slam.

Norman Paraisy meets up with firefighter James Hammortree next. It’s important to Paraisy that he shows all of us that the French aren’t soft. However, after just a round with Hammortree, Paraisy quits, despite the pleading from cornerman John Hackleman and others.

The coaches’ table is universally disgusted by Paraisy’s decision.

“There’s no quitting in MMA,” shouts Ortiz as Paraisy leaves. Liddell takes a moment to point out to Ortiz that it’s akin to “tapping to strikes.” “The Iceman” had bested Ortiz that way in one of their prior fights.

As the one-hour episode winds down, many of the fights are either highlighted or their outcomes announced with commentary from both coaches.

According to Ortiz, Canadian Nick Ring puts the whooping on Woody Weatherby to make it into the house.

“I had my eye on Nick and he pretty much picked Weatherby apart,” Ortiz tells the audience.

In his post-fight interview, Ring, hailing from Calgary, Alberta, puts a “kay” on the end of all his sentences, as in “OK?” That would be awesome if he could keep that up all season.

Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Kyle Noke bloodied his foe.
Kyle Noke and Warren Thompson create a bloody mess during their middleweight contest. After dealing out some good elbows, Noke cuts Thompson and caused a “gusher,” according to White. Blood is pouring out from Thompson’s forehead all over the place, though Noke is able to keep it together and take the decision.

Court McGee and Seth Baczynski had a wild back-and-forth fight that has White and the coaches leaning back in their chairs with did-you-see-that faces.

McGee gets crumpled at the end of the first round after winning most of it. The second round is close, so a third round is ordered. McGee is able to lock up the win with his wrestling, but look for Baczynski to be a frontrunner for the “wildcard” fight with his valiant effort.

Victor O’Donnell is all smiles heading into his fight.

“This is the s--t,” he says before locking horns with Chris Camozzi. The pair wallop each other senseless with some hard shots from all angles that wow the coaches. Camozzi scores 10-9 on all the cards and leaves O’Donnell with a broken orbital bone. A mandatory shot of an ambulance exiting the training center’s parking lot follows.

Kyacey Uscola is worried about how his 18-15 record will look going into his fight with Brent Cooper. Fortunately, brutally knocking out your opponent in 25 seconds is a great way to make the past disappear. Uscola looks nasty and impresses the entire panel.

Joe Henle looks to be losing in his fight with Constantinos Philippou until “Leonidas” (and he looks the part) finds his jiu-jitsu game and slaps on a late armbar to secure his place in the house.

A few more fights we really don’t get to see include:

Rich Attonito dominates with his wrestling, according to Tito Ortiz, and wins a unanimous decision over Lyle Steffens.

• Another wrestler, Josh Bryant, wins a majority decision against Greg Rebello.

Charles Blanchard, the “shortest guy in the room,” is able to put enough damage on Jacen Flynn to force a medical stoppage between rounds.

The last fight of the night is a real doozy. Clayton McKinney and Charley Lynch get about as rough as one fight can. Is there anything more demoralizing to a fighter than to have your opponent be so skeeved out by the injuries he’s given you that he can hardly stand to look at you? Lynch’s nose gets smashed in so far that coach Liddell says he had to go back to an earlier picture of Lynch to remind himself what he looked like. McKinney keeps saying “s--t” every time he looks at Lynch, but his handiwork has secured him a slot in the infamous fighter house.

White is fully impressed with the effort put forth and tells the surviving fighters as much. Next week, the cast of 14 middleweights will find out which legendary coach they will answer to for the next six weeks.
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