Reflection on The Ultimate Fighter, Week 3

   Week three of The Ultimate Fighter begins with the information that two of the contestants, Brian and Karn, have fractured their noses and have been suspended for 180 days by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. As a result Kyle Kingsbury and Roli Delgado (one of the lankiest lightweights ever) got to come back.

   Teams were picked with Roli’s identity being unknown and going to whomever had the last pick of the lightweights. Mir won the coin-toss and chose to pick first, giving Nogueira control over the first fight.

   Mir feels that as individuals none of his fighters can be beat. Nog on the other hand took the Couture route and chose a group of guys he thinks will bond as a team. Which we see happen in this episode, with Nog going over to his team’s house for a meal, and being really excited about their ability to cook.

   John Polakowski (the cat who loves to hug people) is simply stoked about everything and gives Dana White a hug. I am so glad this guy is on the show. John comes from The Pitt, and reminds me a lot of Pitt alumni Jason Von Flue. He isn’t as obviously strange, but he seems to have suppressed his crazy and simply lets it out in hug form.

   Both Nog and Mir bring in competent assistant coaches (no Shamrock fiasco this season) including Mir’s assistant coach, former Abu Dhabi champion Robert Drysdale. The standout however is Nog’s assistant boxing coach Al “Stankie” Stankiewicz. Stankie is 67 and awesome, it’s like Burgess Meredith is on the show. If he calls someone “a wrecking machine” this will officially be my favourite season. How do you not love a guy named Stankie?

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Reflection on The Ultimate Fighter, Week 2 (There is no Week 1)

   Hello On Deck Circle folk this is the first of what I am planning to be a weekly column. The intended focus will be the episode of The Ultimate Fighter from the night prior, but could degenerate into my personal thoughts on MMA events that have occurred that week. Hopefully I find a nice balance between the two.

   Since I didn’t write an article about the first episode I will start by saying that my favorite moments were the NSAC guy saying, “I’m not Doc, but no” in response to Guida asking to be allowed to continue cutting weight. The man new the opportunity ahead of him, he should have come in better prepared. The other was Junie ridding us all of the fighter who thought it was badass to liken himself to Hitler…dawg. Junie reminds me of a cocky Mayhem Miller, and seems to have the skills to back up his talk.

   As for this week, I wanted to start with a pun and call them a bunch of choke artists, but it seemed lame. But I must say, there were a lot of chokes, and it seems like this season may do a great job of educating people on how entertaining a ground war is.

   I also love that this season will give Nogueira exposure to the American audience. We’ve already learned one new thing about him; the man likes a good hug. Much more than Frank Mir, who was really uncomfortable with John Polakowski’s chosen display of affection. I wonder if he will choose him and institute his 3-second hug rule.

   Anyone else thing that it was funny when they paired up the two lankiest lightweights in the world in the fight between Roli Delgado and George Roop? Dana wasn’t joking when he called it the battle of the beanpoles. George won by decision and the audience learned that Frank likes guys who are coachable.

   Ryan Bader has some fantastic wrestling credentials as a two time all American and winner of 3 pac-10 championships. Won with a triangle and according to Nog has the “eye of the tiger” and according to Apollo Creed, that is essential for a fighter. I think Bader has a chance at taking the competition.

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