Monday, May 31, 2010


The human body is an incredible piece of precision machinery; and, like an automobile, for example, it needs to be regularly maintained. Your muscles need to be regularly utilized in order for them not to weaken and to stay at their peak capacities. If you don't maintain them and if you choose to simply slack off the majority of your life in front of the TV set, well, then you're unfortunately going to suffer a couple of consequences.

1. Cardiovascular Diseases - When the human body is relatively inactive for a very long time, the heart becomes weaker and less efficient than it should normally be, and is more susceptible to life-threatening diseases that can cause heart attack.

2. Obesity - Like gasoline is to an average car, food is fuel to human beings. It is our energy source. Unfortunately, if people maintain (or even increase) their eating habits from their youth, yet become more and more sedentary as they grow older, they use less and less energy as they simultaneously take in more and more. The body then stores this excess enhergy as fat,and obesity occurs in no time. Obese people are even more susceptible to cardiovascualr diseases, so it's really no laughing matter. Read more about managing the body's energy consumption on my article about Energy Balance.

3. Backache - If you don't maintain your muscles, they atrophy, and become weaker and weaker over time. Thus, weak back muscles commonly cannot maintain proper posture for long periods of time, whether standing or sitting. This causes the myriad of people you see on the street with a hunchbacked posture, which is incredibly bad in the long term. Placing the spinal column outside of its natural curve for long periods of time puts additional pressure on areas of the body that weren't meant to maintain that sort of stress, thus resulting in back pain. And you don't want that.

4. Chronic Tiredness - Again, if your body's inactive, your muscles atrophy. Not only that, but the rest of your physiological systems weaken over time as well. Your body's not as efficient as its supposed to be, causing you to not function as well as you should be. This results in the feeling of chronic tiredness. People wake up tired, they go through the day tired, and when they go to bed, they can't sleep for some reason, despite the fact that they're still tired. So they turn on late night TV until they doze off, and wake up tired once again. Why? Their internal systems aren't function very efficiently.

5. Anxiety - This is actually directly related to the above. Studies have shown that people who have been inactive for long periods of time often suffer from constant anxiety. When your body's not functioning very effectively and very efficiently, you just don't feel right throughout the day, which can actually cause you mental stress, resulting in constant anxiety.

6. Depression - Depression is another observed mental side effect of constant inactivity that studies have confirmed throughout the years. Combined with such things as obesity, back pain, and so on, it's really no wonder that very inactive people are usually depressed.

Still want to remain inactive? Hopefully not.


The main card for UFC 114 wasn’t the best that the organization has ever seen, but it’s pretty good nonetheless. It has its ups and downs, but what probably most sets it apart from the other events the organization has held is the number of surprises it created.

The first fight on the main card was between Diego Sanchez and John Hathaway. Diego was the big favorite here, despite coming off a huge loss to former Lightweight champ BJ Penn. Diego is one of the winners of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter and has had many memorable matchups where he wound up dominating his opponent. John Hathaway, a relatively new face to the sport, needed to step up his game in order to beat this fan favorite.

During the match, color commentator Joe Rogan wondered how much the loss against Penn affected Sanchez mentally. Diego has always been known to be a very strong willed and mentally tough competitor, and though he has had losses in the past, none of them were as bad as his loss to Penn was. In that match at UFC 107, Diego was completely dominated by Penn, something that no other fighter had ever been able to do to him.

The fight against Hathaway was actually very similar to the Penn fight. Diego was hit early on with a knee strike and went down. Though he managed to recover, he would look sluggish and slow throughout the rest of the fight. Hathaway thus became the more aggressive fighter throughout the match, and, with his much larger frame, manage to overpower Diego in almost every situation. John Hathaway wins the bout with a very convincing unanimous decision.

The first surprise of the night: Diego Sanchez becomes mentally weak, causing him to become much less aggressive and powerful than usual, and loses the second straight time in the UFC.

Did the early hit bring back terrible memories of the Penn encounter that would haunt Diego the rest of the round? Or did he simply never conquer the fact that he was dominated so badly by another fighter? Whatever the case, this is the second straight loss for Diego, so if he doesn’t do something soon to adjust his game, his career with the UFC might be in jeopardy. After seeing him be constantly overpowered by a much larger opponent, Dana White suggested that Diego Sanchez move back down to the Lightweight division.

The next fight was between Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Jason Brilz. Nogueira, known by fans worldwide as “Little Nog” is the twin brother of UFC heavyweight fighter Antonio Minotauro Nogueira. He has a very illustrious fighting career, from PRIDE to the Pan Am Games, to the UFC. Jason “The Hitman” Brilz, on the other hand, despite having been involved in the sport for ten years now, has yet to really make a name for himself, and is up against a strong fan favorite.

Nogueira was originally scheduled to fight Forrest Griffin, but Griffin had to pull out because of an injury suffered during training. Brilz thus stepped up and took the fight on short notice. Taking that and his opponent’s well known skills into account, pretty much no one gave Brilz a chance and almost everyone predicted that Nogueira would dominate the matchup.

The second surprise of the night: Jason Brilz, a relative newcomer to the sport who took the fight on short notice, dominates veteran Rogerio Nogueira during much of the fight.

The fight was incredibly exciting because of Brilz’s immensely improved stand up and ground games. He would manage to counter and outmaneuver Nogueira throughout almost every turn, and almost wound up finishing him on some occasions. Despite this, Nogueira still tried his best to become more aggressive than his opponent, and even came close to finishing at times as well. People were on the edge of their seat for this one. Would this be another Rocky moment where a severe underdog would beat a dominant favorite?

Unfortunately for Brilz, the answer was no. Nogueira won the fight via split decision, but even he was surprised by the result. Brilz could be seen smiling throughout the match, as he was very pleased with himself for being able to easily stand toe to toe with a legend of the sport. Even he thought he was going to win. Despite the loss, though, Brilz succeeded very well in elevating his name throughout the rankings, which is definitely more than most people ever expected.

A heavyweight matchup between Todd Duffee vs. Mike Russow was next on the card. Both fighters were known to have extreme punching power, and so most people thought this match to be more or less even. If one of these monsters ever landed a clean hit on the other throughout the matchup, he would win via knockout. Duffee, though, looked to be the more impressive one going in the Octagon because of his bodybuilder – like build. Color commentator Joe Rogan even joked that the two were like a “before and after picture”.

Duffee was, predictably, the faster and more aggressive of the two during the first round. Predictions were wrong, though, as he managed to hit his opponent cleanly a few times, but Russow always survived. Duffee clearly slowed down during the second and third rounds, though, and Rogan attributes this to his very muscular frame. All those muscles have to be constantly fueled, and if you’re fighting a 15 – round MMA bout, they can actually hinder you by making you tired more quickly.

Russow, though, fulfilled all of expectations of him and almost defied logic by knocking out the much more dominant fighter during the middle of the third round. Despite slowing down during the second and third rounds, Duffee was still the clear aggressor, and still managed to hurt Russow throughout the fight. Russow, however, needed only one clear shot to put his opponent away. Duffee crumples to the floor, earning Russow the win.

Third surprise of the night: Mike Russow defies all odds by not only surviving all of Todd Duffee’s extremely powerful punches, but manages to knock out his opponent near the end of the fight despite being dominated throughout most of the match.

The final match before the main event was Michael Bisping vs. Dan Miller. A classic striker vs. grappler matchup, everyone expected Miller to take Bisping to the ground very early on and utilize his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Wizardry to dominate his opponent. Everyone, that is, except Dan Miller.

Fourth surprise of the night: Dan Miller, a very talented Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, chooses to stand with opponent Michael Bisping throughout the entire fight.

No surprise, he lost the match. Bisping, though, never capitalized on any opening because he was tentative for literally the entire matchup. He, as well as everyone else, was prepared for Miller to shoot out at any moment. This, however, never happened. If Bisping knew all along that this was going to happen, he would have most probably become much more aggressive and dominated Miller early on, earning him a finish of some sort. As it stands, he played it safe throughout the entire matchup, to be sure that he could defend against Miller’s takedown attempts. This was the smarter move for “The Count”, especially after his loss to Wanderlei Silva at UFC 110.

It really is very odd that Miller chose to stand with Bisping throughout the entire fight, especially considering that Bisping was the more dominant striker and Miller didn’t seem to have improved on his standup game very much. Very weird, but whatever. I’m happy: my pick won.

Even the main event had its own surprise for the evening: In what many considered a very even and close matchup, “Sugar” Rashad Evans dominates Quinton “Rampage” Jackson throughout most of their fight, earning him a very convincing unanimous decision win.

I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure that's the most surprises in a single UFC card I've ever seen. Again, though, not the most exciting card, because of various reasons. Sanchez lacked pep in his fight, Duffee and Russow slowed down throughout much of their matchup (though Russow ended the fight with a very extraordinary knockout), and Bisping was tentative throughout his. The Nogueira / Brilz fight and the main event were both spectacular, though, and making this UFC event a winner for me.

Check out part one of my review of UFC 114 where I delve into the main event of the night: Rampage vs.Rashad, and part three for my review of the preliminary fights!

And take a look at more outstanding photos of UFC 114 over at the official UFC website!

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Rampage vs. Rashad. Oh,yeah! I’m a huge fan of The Ultimate Fighter, so, naturally, after The Ultimate Fighter 10, I was incredibly hyped for this fight. Now, the Ultimate Fighter series has had some great rivalries between the coaches, including Ortiz and Shamrock, Hughes and Serra, Penn and Pulver, and currently, Liddell and Ortiz. Jackson and Evans was no different, and is possibly one of the biggest rivalries the show has ever showcased. Rampage has coached on the Ultimate Fighter before, opposite Forrest Griffin, and their rivalry then, while huge, was literally nothing compared to Rampage’s rivalry with Rashad on season 10. The verbal sparring they did against each other and the tempers lost throughout the show were just outrageous. It kept the tension building, made the season more exciting, and hyped up what would be an extraordinarily epic fight. Unfortunately, I, and UFC fans around the globe, were greatly disappointed when Rampage pulled out of his match against Rashad at UFC 108 to film the theatrical version of the A-Team instead.

But now the wait is over. Now we get to see it actually happen. I previously called this fight and mentioned that, while I liked Rampage more than Rashad and thought he was the more powerful of the two, I honestly thought that Rashad would take the fight because of his superior speed and skill. My prediction about Machida beating Shogun during their rematch may have been off, but I hit the money on this one. Rashad finally beat Rampage.

The win was very convincing as well. While Rashad failed to finish Rampage during the match and wound up getting a unanimous decision victory in the end, he dominated a good majority of the fight. Rashad had a classic Randy Couture strategy going into this fight. He would explode off his feet during an opportune moment and drive his opponent toward the cage walls, pinning him there with every ounce of his body weight at all times, while performing dirty boxing and other short strikes. Rashad was very effective with this and was able to pin Rampage almost at will. Rampage never seemed to have an answer for this, which I found a bit odd because I figured that he would be the better wrestler among the two. Rampage obviously went in thinking Rashad would stand with him the entire match, but I still thought his great wrestling background would see him through against Rashad’s attempts. Rashad even managed to take Rampage down on several occasions.

This, combined with what Joe Rogan mentioned as something he learned from the Machida fight, was the winning combination for Rashad in this fight. Not only was he able to dominate Rampage in terms of wrestling ability, but his footwork, speed, and agility were off the charts for this one. Definitely looking like a mirror image of his past opponent, Rashad would dart in and out, almost invisibly, past Rampage’s offense and defense, and perform whatever techniques he needed to in a flash. It was amazing to witness the difference in speed between the two competitors.

After performing this tactic for all of their three rounds, Rampage was visibly exhausted. Rashad couldn’t perform the strategy as well as Randy would have, though, as referee Herb Dean separated them more times than Rashad probably would have wanted. It was more than enough, though, and even saved him from certain defeat near the end. Early in the third round, Rampage managed to clip his opponent during one of Rashad’s attempts to take Rampage down. Rashad goes down and almost looks to have been knocked out and Rampage manages to deliver some severe ground and pound. Now, I mentioned previously that if Rampage manages to clip Rashad with one of those dynamite knuckles of his, then he would win this fight. I might have predicted the ultimate outcome of this matchup, but I sure was wrong on that one. A lot of people were doubting Rashad’s chin against Rampage’s attacks after witnessing him get knocked out badly against Lyoto Machida. All the credit in the world to Rashad, though, as not only did he somehow manage to stay conscious after one of Rampage’s knockout hits, he even survived his opponent’s ground and pound, and ultimately escape Rampage’s dominant ground position.

As I mentioned, despite thinking that Rashad would ultimately win this matchup, I liked Rampage better. When Rashad went down,I had flashes of the Machida fight and literally jumped out of my seat yelling “Yeah! Kill him!” But, man, Rashad’s resiliency in this one was nothing short of uncanny. Not only that, but his Randy Couture tactic saved his life by completely exhausting Rampage. After Rashad got back onto his feet, he was still visibly wobbly and weak from the previous attack,but Rampage did not at all capitalize. He was obviously gassed out, and that made all the difference. If Rampage had charged in, guns blazing, and managed to land at least another one of his meathooks on Rashad’s head, then he would have won that fight easy. As it was, Rashad managed to recover, take Rampage down, nearly finish him with some ground and pound of his own and finish the fight in style.

I have all the respect to Rampage, though. I have no idea if any of the speculations that he was too distracted after filming the A-Team to train properly and be a hundred for this fight are true, (EDIT: it's apparently very true).but he’s a former champion and will definitely be back. I wish him the best in the future.

Up next, though, will be Rashad’s attempt to reclaim the Light Heavyweight championship belt from Shogun. Because of how impressive Shogun looked against Machida the last time around, I give this fight to him. He knows Rashad’s a great fighter, so he’ll definitely prepare his best against him, but if Rashad manages to out-wrestle Shogun somehow, he may win the fight the same way he just beat Rampage. Either way, it’s going to be another exciting matchup!

Check out part two of my review of UFC 114 to see me tackle the rest of the main card and part three for my review of the preliminary fights!

And take a look at some more amazing UFC 114 photos over at!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Yeah, um, wow, that was a very interesting episode. Did I mean that in a good way? Yes, absolutely, but others may not agree.

The episode almost immediately goes to the first match, which is between Kyle Noke (16-4-1) and Kris McCray (5-0), which is something I have always wanted the series to do. What with Noke’s record and the fact that his first fight against Clayton McKinney really impressed me, had me rooting for him all the way.

At least 90% of the match takes place on the ground. Tito’s gameplan for this fight is clear: take advantage of what he surmises is Noke’s weak wrestling game, and have McCray, a very experienced wrestler himself, take full advantage of it. And guess what? It works; totally. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make for the most exciting match in the history of the sport.

McCray easily takes Noke down every time he wants to, and keeps him there for as long as he wanted to. Now, many MMA fans, have been known to widely criticize fighters for “lay and pray” strategies. Lay and pray basically means that the more experienced wrestler among the two fighters lays on top of the other until the referee stands them up or, preferably, until the bell rings. If the former occurs, then the wrestler takes the other guy down again and repeats the strategy ad nauseum. This is actually a valid complaint, and some fighters have been known to use this exact strategy, to rest, to re-evaluate their game plans, or to just plain be lazy. This was actually pretty commonly seen in the UFC’s early days in the 90’s and is the reason why the referees can stand people up if they sense total inactivity.

Unfortunately, some of the fans I mention criticize even extremely skilled and popular fighters for using this strategy. Recent targets of such criticisms include UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and welterweight top contender Josh Koscheck. St-Pierre was criticized for utilizing the strategy recently against Dan Hardy, and Koscheck, against Paul Daley. These two absolutely did not lay and pray during these fights. They remained active and tried to finish their matches on several occasions. This is especially true of St-Pierre who, if not for Hardy’s extraordinarily admirable heart, would have finished his fight early with his submission attempts. If this is true, then why all the hate? Why all the unnecessary criticisms? Because a good majority of UFC fans out there still don’t appreciate the intricacies of the ground game if it goes on for two long without clear switching of positions, submissions, ground and pound, and whatnot. These things are easily achieved if one fighter is more skilled than the other, but if their levels of ability are much closer to each, they tend to neutralize each other for much of the time, resulting in people getting bored there isn’t any clear action occurring, and that one of them is conducting “lay and pray”. Such criticisms that result from lack of technical appreciation rather than objective evidence is what makes people such as UFC color commentator Joe Rogan and UFC president Dana White openly call these people “uneducated fans”.

With all that said, did McCray utilize the “lay and pray” strategy? Absolutely not; the primary proof being that referee Herb Dean, who has been called, and literally is, one of the best referees in the business, never stood the fight up. However, a good majority of the entire fight was composed of a primarily unexciting ground game. Both fighters pretty much tried to stay active enough just to not stand up. Sure, transitions and submission attempts were made, but literally nothing occurred that could make this fight genuinely exciting, especially if you consider that the fight went to the third round and the exact same thing kept occurring. So, yes, it was 15 minutes of nearly “lay and pray”. And this is exactly what the “uneducated” fans like to hate. And you thought the GSP vs. Hardy fight was boring? Boy, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

But, wait! If McCray did indeed control Noke the entire time, then why did the fight go to a third round? Why didn’t Tito’s strategy propel him to a decision win after the second? The answer is simple: he got tired. McCray lost his first fight after getting into the house because he lacked cardio. This guy gasses out after every first round, and Tito has been shown to shake his head because of this. Why is he still gassing out? He trains the same way the other fighters do and they don’t gas out as easily. Whatever the case, he at least showed some clear improvement here, because he seemed to have gotten a second wind during the third round.

Since McCray was tired in the second round, Noke was able to become more active, earning him the decision for that round, but because of McCray’s second wind in the third, a repeat of the first round domination occurred, and he earned the victory.

Okay, fight’s over, now back to the melodrama. What’s on the plate this week? Why another injury that needs to be addressed! I swear, this season has by far the most on-air injuries than literally any other. But, wait! This time it’s a bit different! This time Tito’s injured! Tito goes back to his doctor for some sort of checkup and returns with the news that his neck needs to be operated upon. He takes the doctor’s advice and, yes, pulls out of his post – season brawl with Chuck.

Alright, this is really, really bad for Tito’s image. A lot of the time when Tito loses, he complains that it’s because of some sort of injury he had, the most recent of which was after his loss against former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin at UFC 106. Now, I respect MMA fighters tremendously, and understand what they go through during training, so I almost never complain when fighters speak out about their injuries (though I do get very disappointed when fights I want get cancelled because of injuries, such as the Forrest Griffin vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 114). But, even I was really annoyed when Tito complained about his back directly after losing the fight. The crowd boo-ed him aplenty for it, and Forrest stepped up to defend him, but, in my eyes, the boos were necessary. Why? Well, in the UFC 106 Countdown special, Tito addressed his past injuries and stated that all were okay and that he firing on all cylinders, better than ever, and not an ounce under 100%. So, after all that hype, one can understand when the fans don’t like it if he complains that he lost the fight because of an injury. He should have just gave Forrest his props and admitted that he was simply the better warrior that night like so many other fighters do. But, no, his favorite excuse has to rear its ugly head again, and once again on this episode of the show.

So, am I complaining or even annoyed because of this? Frankly, no. I honestly rolled my eyes a bit when Tito conveyed the news about his neck, but I wasn’t shocked because I knew some sort of news was coming because the preview for the last episode stated so, and we already knew for some time now that Tito would be replaced as a coach and as Chuck’s opponent for quite some time now. So, the shock of him pulling out was really blunted there. But of his favorite excuse? Well, Tito has had a bad history of spine surgery, so it’s really not surprising that such a thing could occur. Then again, I’m more understanding than a lot of other MMA fans about this sort of thing, so my reaction isn’t nearly as entertaining as it probably should be.

In any case, the show must go on, and the second quarter final matchup is underway. Yes, as the last episode preview also promised us, we have a double dose of fights on our hands! The second quarter final matchup is between Brad Tavares (4-0) and Seth Baczynski (11-5). This is a very good matchup, as both are very good standup fighters and were pretty impressive in their last bouts. Still, if I had to pick one, I’d have to agree with Dana and go with Tavares. He seems more aggressive and devastating on his feet, despite his lack of experience compared to his opponent.

The fight starts and is pretty exciting. Tavares, again, is a good standup fighter, so the obvious strategy is to get him to the ground, which is what Baczynski does very early on in the first round. I can honestly hear the groans now. “Oh, God! Not another boring ground game?” Fear not, good reader, as the ground game this time is actually very exciting this time around. Baczynski looks to be the more skilled fighter on the ground, as he manages to get dominant positions early and even almost finishes Tavares with his submission attempts.

 Tavares, though, shows that his ground game is nothing to be taken for granted, as he not only manages to escape all of Baczynski’s submission attempts, but also manages to reverse positions and deliver some devastating ground and pound. Nice.

 Both fighters stand up during the last five seconds of the fight, and Tavares slips on a knee strike attempt. Baczynski capitalizes by planting a solid soccer kick to his downed opponent’s face. Not nice.

Yes, that’s how the second fight ended: by disqualification. Kicking a downed opponent to the head is illegal in the UFC. Baczynski shows immediate compassion by saying “sorry” to his opponent several times and does not, for one second, seem to regret the loss. He clearly looked more worried about his opponent’s well-being than his own fight career. Tavares was clearly knocked out the moment the kick hit him, and his whole body went limp and his face fell completely flat on the floor. The first time Baczynski says “sorry” to him, Tavares oddly says “for what?” The doctor examines him, notices the memory loss, and declares that he was indeed knocked out. Herb Dean stops the fight based on the doctor’s analysis, and Seth Baczynski goes on to check up on Tavares’ health.

All well and good, since everyone acknowledges that it was an accident, Tavares was immediately brought to the doctor’s attention, and the rules were followed to the letter. The End.

Wait, what? Not everyone showed sportsmanlike conduct during the event? Yup, as clear as TV can show it, the Team Ortiz coaches become extraordinarily furious at the decision, spouting such nonsense that “the kick hit him in the chest”, “the kick hit him in the armpit”, “he’s faking it”. Man, that’s just really inhuman. Sure, it sucks really bad that your team lost the match, but you can clearly see Tavares’ head react violent to the force of the soccer kick. Even if it didn’t hit squarely on his face, his brain was still jarred plenty good. And if his brain was a soccer ball? It would have wound up in the parking lot.

But, wait, there’s more! The Team Ortiz coaches then add “they already had one gift!” They were clearly mentioning the match between Rich Attonito and Kyacey Uscola, where their fighter, Uscola, was disqualified for kneeing the then-downed Attonito in the head. Attonito hears this, and becomes enraged at the coaches themselves? A gift? Damn crappy gift these pair of events turned out to be. The shouting matches become increasingly absurd, and Tito even walks up to the Liddel’s fighters. Chuck sees this and runs up to Tito to defend his guys, and both teams have to struggle to keep both their head coaches apart.

Dana White looks on at the whole thing and is completely dumbstruck. Man, the Team Ortiz people are really being set up as the “bad guys” this season, huh?

Anyway, Dana pulls Chuck aside, and spills the beans that Tito pulled out of their fight. Chuck stands up in rage and Dana utters the best line of the episode: “don’t break your phone”. Roll next episode preview.

Next episode continues the fun! Wheee! Chuck and Dana continue their conversation about Tito not fighting, and Dana talks to Tito about the odd situation. No coach has ever been “kicked off” the show before for whatever reason, and Tito probably should be because of him backing out of the promised post-season match. What’s to be done? All this plus the last quarter-final matchup between Jamie Yager and Josh Bryant, and the announcement of the semi-final matchups.

So, why do I mention in my first paragraph that others may not like this episode? Well, I’ve been an MMA fan for almost a decade now, and I can appreciate a lot about this sport, but the casual newcomer, of course, does not have the same viewpoint. If a viewer who has never seen MMA before tunes in to this particular episode to finally check out what all the fuss is about, he’s in for a lot of negativity. A boring first matchup, fighters pulling out of their fights, disqualifications, and unsportsmanlike behavior are what await him. Definitely not a good way to sell a sport.

Check out my reviews of the other episodes of The Ultimate Fighter season 11 here!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Very excellent episode we have this week, with plenty going on every step of the way to keep the viewers excited. It starts off almost immediately with the wild card fight, featuring Kyacey Uscola and Kris McCray. Now, Uscola really impressed in his fight against Rich Attonito. He was showing a very good stand up game until he got disqualified for that illegal knee. McCray, on the other hand, didn’t impress me at all. His skills didn’t seem sharpened enough and he gassed way too early in the fight. So, needless to say, I was for Uscola all the way in this fight.

The first round was pretty darn incredible. Both fighters came out very aggressive but Uscola seemed to have the advantage early on when he caught McCray with that stomp kick to the knee. It hit dead on and looked to have twisted McCray’s knee a little bit. Needless to say, he was hurt. Unfortunately, Uscola fails to immediately capitalize on this and simply watches on for a few seconds while his opponent literally drops his hands to wince in pain. Even when he does wise up and charge for the attack, he does so way too cautiously. Instead of bolting and jumping on his opponent with punches in bunches, he comes forward slowly, tentatively, almost in fear that the person whose leg was almost taken out just a second posed an incredibly large threat. McCray was wide open and Uscola didn’t take the opening, plain and simple.

Even odder is, Uscola seemed to slow down after that initial bout of aggressiveness and McCray seemed to pick up the pace even more, which is pretty much the complete opposite of what one would have expected after that first minute or so. McCray’s leg was obviously hurt as the spring in his step was partly lost and he slightly limped on it from time to time. Still, Uscola never became aggressive ever again and was just tentative much of the time. That didn’t stop the rest of the round from being fairly exciting, though. Both fighters still threw punches and kicks back and forth, and it wound up close near the end, with McCray getting Uscola’s back on the ground.

Alright, this is where Uscola pays for his early mistake. McCray takes down his opponent very early ion the second round and submits him within the first minute. What? Really? Yes, it was that fast. I was stunned, to be perfectly honest. Uscola’s record of 18-15 isn’t exactly impressive, but he has 33 professional fights under his belt. 33! McCray, on the other hand, only has a record of 5-0. 5 Only 5 professional fights, plus a lackluster showing in his last one, which cost him the match. Uscola had the obvious advantage in terms of experience, but still lost very easily to a hurt opponent. I honestly can’t believe it until now, but really, hands down to McCray on this one. He obviously wanted it way more, showed the heart of a champion, gutted it out until the end, and improved way more from his last fight. I was perfectly honest when I mentioned he didn’t impress me at all in his last match, but he went all out here and fought like a champion.

The quarterfinal matches then need to be decided so Dana gets Chuck and Tito in a room to discuss who fights who. Needless to say, all three of them bicker for a few minutes until Dana gets tired of wasting time and sends them out, leaving him to sort everything out by himself.

The first fight will be the rematch everyone wanted to see: Nick Ring vs. Court McGee. I was personally very happy about this, since I was very happy about their performances during the last fight and felt that McGee was indeed robbed when the fight went straight to a decision instead of a third round. The stare down was intense this time around, instead of being slightly comical like before.

The second fight is Kyle Noke vs. Kris McCray, the third is Brad Tavares vs. Seth Baczynski, and the fourth is Jamie Yager vs. Bryant. My predictions for these ones are Noke, Tavares, and Yager.

After the fighters have settled back into the house, a surprise pops in to say hi. Forrest Griffin comes in the door looking like Andrei Arlovski and pulls out an Xbox 360 game. It was really great to see Forrest on the show again. He was part of what made The Ultimate Fighter a successful franchise in the first place and is a former champion.

I really like the guy and he’s still one of my favorites, but I was pretty annoyed when I reliazed he was there to devote an entire segment of the episode to marketing UFC Undisputed 2010. Granted, I’m not one to criticize, since I’ve inserted products into my articles before, but I didn’t want to waste too much time with people telling me how great the latest UFC product is.

Thankfully, the segment didn’t take very long and was actually very enlightening in a way. Forrest was there for only 2 hours and the guys seemed to have the greatest fun in the world. As Rich Attonito said, it was the fastest two hours of his entire stay in the house. Everyone seemed to have genuine fun at the 2 hour break they got, what with being cooped up with potential opponents for months on end with very limited forms of entertainment available. Plus, in the end, Forrest got to reenact his fight against Tito, with James Hammortree controlling his coach. Hammortree knocks Forrest out and “avenges” Tito, in a way; really fun stuff.

To be quite honest, though, and yes, I’m being extremely hypocritical here, but I have played the demo of the game on my PS3 and, from what I’ve seen of what was shown on this episode, it really does seem to be a very cool game, what with the awesome graphics, animation, controls, fighter choices, and everything, so check it out if you like. There’s an Amazon link at the bottom the article for the gaming unit of your choice.

Unfortunately, after all the hilarity dies down, bad news come crashing back in. Nick Ring goes to the doctor to get his ailing knee checked and finds out that it’s as bad as he and Tito think. The doctor basically says that he Ring can still fight if he really needs to but, he can screw it up even worse if he does, which may lead to all sorts of serious, and permanent, damage.

Dana drops by the house that evening and talks one on one with Ring. Dana doesn’t say it out loud, but he’s obviously very concerned about the injury and doesn’t want Ring to suffer in the long term for it. He asks Nick if he still wants to fight. Nick says no. Flat out no. He realizes that he’s dropping the opportunity of a lifetime, but doesn’t think it’s worth it if it means he might never be able to walk again afterward. Choosing to back down and fight another day, he shakes hands with Dana and they walk back into the house to make the big announcement.

All the fighters are stunned by the news, of course. Dana says that he’ll discuss it with the coaches to see who’s replacing Ring and tell them the results as soon as possible, but before he can make it back to his van, James Hammortree steps up and demands he get the spot. Dana, as everyone knows, loves this kind of attitude, and grants him the fight right then and there.

He announces it back at the house and Joseph Henle is pissed. He’s been campaigning to get back in the competition since his loss, and getting his possibly chance taken away just kills him. He at least makes this known to Dana, which might bear positive fruit in the future.

Alright, enough drama! It’s fight time! Court McGee vs. James Hammortree, round one! It’s an excellent round, with both fighters coming and staying very aggressive until the end. It wasn’t the most brutal stand up war ever seen, with both fighters coming out of it pretty much uninjured, but it was a war nonetheless.

The second round is all déjà vu, though, as Court McGee submits James Hammortree within the very first minute; with a standing guillotine, no less. Very, very impressive, to say the least.

I am absolutely pleased with this episode, and my wish about the series continuing to be awesome every episode most probably will come true, as the preview reveals that we’ll not just have two fights again, but the whole Tito drama piece that winds up with Rich Franklin replacing him as a coach and as Chuck’s next opponent finally takes place!

Check out my reviews of the other episodes of The Ultimate Fighter season 11 here!