'TUF 8' Sherblog: Initiation, Part 2

By Krzysztof Soszynski Sep 25, 2008
Okay, let’s play “The Ultimate Fighter 8” drinking game. Every time Frank Mir says “NIIIIICE!” during a fight, take a shot. You’ll be feeling warm and fuzzy after this episode. I “counted” at least 17 during the first round of the Eliot Marshall-Karn Grigoryan bout and the full fight wasn’t even aired! I love Frank.

We all know that the real mayhem does not start until next week and writing about each remaining fight and giving my opinion will not be a great read, so let’s skip that part. I know most of you want the inside scoop from behind the scenes and I promise you, it just gets better each week.

Let me see what I can remember of that crazy day, as it was over three months ago. I get punched in the head for a living so my memory is not as good as it used to be. Out of 16 fights, I was fight number eight (my wife will be happy), which gave me the opportunity to watch most of the other bouts. It was a great chance for me to check out the competition.

Eliot Marshall was a wreck after his three-round war with Grigoryan. I don’t mean physically, but emotionally. He thought he’d won and most of us watching thought he had won. Shit, Dana and all the staff thought he’d won, so I don’t blame the guy. To this day I don’t know how the judges gave Karn that fight; I honestly did not think it needed a third round. Eliot controlled the whole fight from start to finish. Don’t get me wrong -- Grigoryan put up a great fight, but Eliot was the clear winner in this one. I am not saying this just because we are good friends either.

MM-EH!!?!?! One minute you’re out, the next minute you’re in.

This was a huge opportunity for Eliot (and the rest of us) and despite his best efforts he was being sent home. Eliot definitely learned a big lesson: don’t leave it up to the judges. But it wasn’t over for him yet; Dana told Eliot he would be the first pick into the house if there were any injuries. Imagine the expression on Eliot’s face and the emotional lift he felt when he saw Antwain Britt walk back in with a cast on his hand. It’s like finding out Santa didn’t miss your house after all.

John “Gimme a Hug” Polakowski is a nut. That kid was awesome. Enough said.

Does the mind rule the body or does the body rule the mind? In Ryan Lopez’s case the mind ruled the body. Lopez is a great physical specimen (a.k.a. one scary looking dude), but his mental game was non-existent that day against Tom Lawlor. He lost his fight even before he came out of the locker room. It was really weird to see a guy ask almost everyone for advice on what he should do in his fight. He wanted to know how he should fight his opponent, what he should throw, how he should move, what he should look out for.

If you don’t have a game plan set and it’s 30 minutes till your fight, you’re done. Lopez even asked if his opponent looked better than him. I thought that was funny. Undoubtedly, his nerves got the best of him, as it is not everyday you get a chance to fight in front of the UFC president, a former UFC champ and the current UFC champ, not to mention millions of viewers that will watch you fail or succeed.

Sorry guys -- not much drama this week as there was only one objective: MAKE THE HOUSE. Now that the 16 have been chosen, it’s on. Let the games begin.
<h2>Fight Finder</h2>