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Reflections on the Ultimate Fighter Week 6 and no more EliteXC

   So this week was by far my favourite episode of the season thus far. There was very little in the way of house nonsense and shenanigans (some, but much less then previously).

   Following their win from last week Frank Mir comes to celebrate at the house. While there he asks Delgado where he got his black belt. The preview made it seem like Mir was harassing him, and Mir received heat on message boards like Sherdog for it. In reality the question was posed quite casually and in a friendly way. The answer given by Delgado is a bit complicated, and lead to many questioning his black belt’s legitimacy. He said he would post a link of his ceremony and he did (Find part one here)

   This persists into the fight announcement where Junie hands Delgado a black belt and spits on it. Which is an ignorant thing to do, let alone with Frank Mir and Big Nog present. Mir chalks it up to being charismatic, but echoes Nog and Anderson Silva, stating it is disrespectful.

   The episode is indeed all about the fight between Junie and Delgado. Junie doesn’t make weight at first, but manages to cut the additional two pounds in an hour. (Although he seemed on the verge of giving up a couple times.) Mir is right when expressing his anger and frustration with Junie. His mental state and strength are his biggest weakness.

   Junie talks some pre-fight trash stating that Delgado won’t make it out of the first round. Saying he wants to make a deal with Dana that says Delgado wins if he survives round one.

   Well guess what, the fight goes three rounds. It is not a great technical fight, and neither fighter looked incredible. What did stand out is Delgado’s heart and drive, Junie’s punches to the body and Junie’s lack of cardio.

   Junie landed a lot of shots, but Delgado didn’t seem particularly injured. They may have seemed better than they were relative to Delgado’s standup though, which was rough and ineffective. Both men taunted each other in the early rounds, but by the third Delgado was the only one smiling as Junie continued to out point him. For all the trash he talked about Delgado’s credentials Junie would not go to the ground, even while Delgado laid on his back and called Junie to come after him.

   Junie won via split decision, and in a moment of class apologized to Nog about the belt incident, chalking it up to pre-fight hype. Junie also expressed his disappointment with himself for letting Delgado out of the first. Mark it down, Junie managed to not be a complete fool for about 10 minutes, let’s hope it continues.

   Frank Mir stated they picked this fight so Junie could simply destroy their weak link and send a message. Well Delgado didn’t look hurt during the fight, which required a third round, what happens when Junie fights one of Nog’s best?

   In other news, EliteXC folded this week, where their fighters will end up is currently unknown. Hopefully we see Robbie Lawlor back in the Octagon, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kimbo at a Dream event in the near future. If only the UFC would bring Gina in for the fight with Cyborg as a one-time deal to test the reaction to women in the UFC. But I’m sure we can all agree that it is good to have Jared “Why do I call myself $kala?” Shaw out of MMA for the time being.

Reflections on the Ultimate Fighter, Week 4. OR The self-destruction of Junie Browning

What can you say about the Ultimate Fighter this week other than it really didn’t help how the public will perceive the sport of Mixed Martial Arts.

Junie Browning…what a maniac. Dana White had commented that this season would make Chris Leben look like a angel, and he was right. Junie starts by talking trash (drunk) and throwing peanuts at Kyle. Kyle light heartedly tosses some back. Junie responds by throwing a glass that breaks on Kyle’s arm. Right there, toss the cat; he has now endangered another fighter’s career.

Junie assumes he will be tossed from the house, so he goes on a rampage. He talks trash to everyone, especially the light heavyweights. Junie’s partner who is much less interesting, Shane also gets drunk and talks trash. Especially to Efrain, but we will come back to that later.

So Junie and Shane go down and start breaking things and throwing stuff into the pool. Being the children they are, they fing it hilarious. Meanwhile the rest of the house isn’t amused. Eventually Junie picks up a bottle and starts threatening people (2nd time he should be tossed). That is when Krzysztof steps in and tries to calm Junie. This escalates into Junie calling the bigger guys bullies and jumping in the pool.

Now as we learned last week, Krzysztof enjoys a good practical joke, so he puts the clothes Junie had been wearing into the pool. This of course escalates into Junie freaking out and while doing so, Ryan Bader puts his clothes back in the pool. Guess what happens next? That’s right, it escalates and Junie tries to push Badder in the pool. This results in a small tussle where Junie needs to be restrained and throws a front kick (violence, probably a 3rd reason to be tossed). He then pushes Krzysztof again, seems to cry a little bit, then goes back in the house.

SO. The next morning Dana White comes and asks Junie what is wrong with him. Although it’s a bit more colourful since it’s Dana White giving a speech, but I’m trying to keep this column clean. Dana explains there is booze in the house because they are grown men who should be responsible enough to have a drink if they want one. For some reason, maybe ratings, Dana White lets Junie and Shane stay but says that since Shane challenged Efrain in the house like a tough guy, he will fight first. Dana claims to not know why he gave them a second chance, but tells them to not make him look like a fool. Best part was when Dana called Shane “Sparky”.

I understand giving someone a second chance, but maybe don’t do it on television, where the guys are representing a sport with a fragile public image.

The fight is chosen as Shane vs Efrain and immediately Junie is talking trash in the house that Efrain will only win via lay and prey based on his wrestling background.

We finally see the gym about half way through the show, and we see about five minutes of coaching from Mir and Nog.  We only get 15 seconds of Stankey, which is lame.

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