Thursday, May 7, 2009

TUF 9 Episode 6 - Dollar Bills Y'all

This episode featured two fights, the first between lightweights Cameron Dollar and Martin Stapleton and the second between welterweights Frank Lester and James Wilks. The episode featured some surprises and irony.

The episode begins with Bisping explains his absence during the Dean Amisinger v. Damarques Johnson fight. Apparently, Bisping has been dealing with jet lag and overslept. My question is why an alarm wasn't set or a coach banging on his hotel door. Bisping really let down Dean in that fight.

Before the fight with Stapleton, Dollar was again portrayed as an arrogant young guy, telling Dean how to escape from a triangle after his loss. Dollar then shows a more humble side, as he is very scared and nervous about fighting. His stand-up game is also suspect in training, as he routinely misses targets held by striking coach Cyrille Diabate.

Stapleton is portrayed as a battle hardened UK Marine with tremendous cardio. Bisping hypes him up, as does the team. Lester tells Dollar that while Stapes is a tough guy, tough guys have been beaten up before.

As the fight begins, the fighers circle and measure each other. As Stapleton comes forward and exchanges, Dollar nails him in the side of the head with a hook. From there, Stapleton was fazed and looked for a takedown. Dollar was able to get his back, took his time with strikes, then eventually got a rear naked choke. Dollar was humble in his victory, and with a good grappling game, may be a force in the tournament.

Before the second fight, shadow boxer Frank Lester is profiled. Frank is slightly crazy and liked by most of the team. Coach Dan Henderson attempts to clam him down, but Frank can't seem to contain his sudden hatred for Wilks. Wilks meanwhile is pretty calm, boasting a BJJ game and decent stand-up skills. Before the fight a $100 bounty is offered by Team USA for a Wilk's tooth.

The first round was an absolute war, with each fighter landing big shots. Frank is winding up his punches though, and eating too many knees and punches. As they clinch during the end of the round, Wilks nails Frank in the face with a knee. That knee knocked out the front fake teeth of Lester, which he lost as a young kid.

During the break, Henderson tries to pry the teach out of Lester's mouthguard but they don't come easy. After Bisping complains, Lester gets his mouthguard and is a totally different fighter. He drops his hands and has no energy left. Maybe too much shadow-boxing. Wilks takes advantage and brutalizes Lester before getting an armbar. Team UK now has a 3-2 on Team US.
Cameron Dollar
(Cameron Dollar pictured)

Team USA Second Round- LW- Cameron Dollar, WW- Damarques Johnson
Team UK Second Round- LW- Andre Winner, WW's- Nick Osipczak, James Wilks

No comments: