Tuesday, November 16, 2010


John Fitch, who actually appeared in the last episode, is recognized only this time around. He shares that attitude is the most important thing in fighting. It's much better to be an out of shape fighter who listens and has a great attitude, than the best athlete in the world who doesn't listen and has a bad attitude.

Back at the house, the annoying pranks continue. Alex Caceres places bleach in Nam Phan's fabric softener in order to prank Team Koscheck, but his teammate, Micheal Johnson, uses it first and gets seriously pissed off.

Jean Charles Skarbowsky. Note the beaten fighter to the left.
GSP brings in Jean Charles Skarbowsky to help with the team's Muay Thai training. Skarbowsky is a world ranked Muay Thai kickboxer who apparently only sleeps 3 hours a day and gets wasted before training sessions. He effortlessly beat up every single member of Team GSP during sparring, which was incredibly fun to watch.


GSP picks Spencer Paige to fight Nam Phan.

Paige has excellent Muay Thai, so GSP wants to capitalize on that and keep the fight standing. He figures that Paige's heightened aggressiveness might get the better of Phan. Koscheck, though, doesn't share a definite game plan for Phan, other than he's clearly well rounded and can deal with most situations either standing up or on the ground.


In the house, it is revealed that Nam Phan likes to run every day, primarily because he believes that it will help him become a better fighter. Oddly enough, the guys lounging around have the better idea. Running, or more specifically, jogging, which is what Phan is really doing, does not really help one become better as a Mixed Martial Artist.

If one were to run, then it would be better if one were to engage in a sort of interval type running activity that is similar to the behavior a fighter exhibits inside a cage. During stand up exchanges, for example, a fighter would typically move closer to an opponent and quickly throw strikes, then back away and use footwork to open up the next opportunity, unless the opponent gets hurt and crumples to the ground. An interval type of running such as Tabata Intervals would better suit this sort of behavior, since it features 20 seconds of maximal effort and 10 seconds of minimal effort.

Jogging exhibits a long and slow pace, which is not at all how a fight in the cage goes, and thus is not beneficial for mixed martial arts development. In this case, less is more since the fighters already train long and hard at the TUF gym, so Phan would benefit more from resting inside the house, which they're supposed to do in the first place, and just train hard at the gym.


Chuck Liddell offers some advice to Team Koscheck 
After some quick verbal exchanges with Team GSP member Cody McKenzie, Koscheck introduces his team to a special guest: former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell. Liddell had just come out of his knockout loss to Rich Franklin, and greatly regrets the outcome of that fight. He shares that this is still the greatest job in the world and that, in order for any fighter to stay in the game at least as long as he has, he has to genuinely love what he does. Though he feels plenty down from that fight, he still wants that rematch with Tito. Everyone else may have already said that Chuck Liddell is retired, but that's obviously not the case for The Iceman himself.


Paige predictably comes out as the more aggressive fighter and mixes up his kicks very well, throwing them in combinations and at various levels. He drops Phan early with a leg kick, but Phan's no slouch standing up himself and drops Paige with a straight right soon after. Both fighters exchange back and forth for most of the round after this, with Paige still being the more aggressive.

Spencer Paige executes a head kick
Oddly enough, though, at around the 2-minute mark, Paige began to fight while continuously backing up, though he was still throwing more strikes. He loses his balance at one point because of a caught body kick and Phan just continuously rains down some extraordinarily vicious ground and pound on him for almost a whole minute, and even locks in a very tight Kimura. Paige impressively survives all of this though, and makes it to the second round.


Nam Phan administers some brutal ground and pound on Spencer Paige
The tables have clearly turned as Spencer Paige comes out of the round obviously weakened from the first. Nam Phan comes out like a bolt of lightning and is the clear aggressor this time. He catches Paige with a body shot early in the round, and things are pretty much downhill from there.

Close to the 1-minute mark, Paige swears out loud and it's very apparent from this point that something terrible is bothering him, and it's most probably a broken hand. He's clearly not gassed, but something's holding back his previous aggressiveness, and is greatly costing him the round. Definitely not good for Team GSP since Phan definitely won the first.

This trend continues until the end and Nam Phan wins by decision.


Paige admitted after the fight that he broke his hand sometime in the second round, which really shows how much heart the guy has. He fought through the entire second round, and though he lost all of his aggressiveness, he survived the entire fight despite the fact that Phan was increasing his offense by the second.

I actually really enjoyed this episode. Skarbowsky was an utter joy to watch, I love Chuck Liddell's guest appearance, and the fight was truly awesome, despite the fact that no one finished. The only thing that I didn't like in the episode was Alex Caceres' bleach prank, just because I'm genuinely sick of all the TUF House pranks by now.


The next episode promises to be special as it features two fights! Aside from that, Team Koscheck continues to look like idiots by hamming up their win and just genuinely act annoying, and GSP suffers an injury in training. All this and more on the next Ultimate Fighter!

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