TUF 10 got off to a bang with the bloodiest fight in the shows ten season history. The season is guaranteed to have a splattering of trash talk between the two coaches, Rashad Evans and Rampage Jackson. With the addition of internet legend Kimbo Slice, goofy tall Wes Sims and the round mound of destruction Roy Nelson, the season will have plenty of laughs and drama.
From the get go, Rashad and Jackson begin ribbing each other before the fighters even arrive. Jackson begins by mocking Rashad in his KO loss to Lyoto Machida. Rashad counters describing Jackson's KO loss to Shogun Rua. Each fighter really does have contempt for one another.
When the fighters walk in, the appear to get bigger and bigger. With 15 fighters emerging, Rashad Evans notices two training partners in the mix, former arena player Brendan Schaub and stand-up UK fighter James McSweeney. Rampage doesn't know who most are, with the exception of former UFC fighter Wes Sims, who stands 6'10". Next, in walks Kimbo Slice, and Rampage immediately declares him his first pick.
Each coach gets a chance to evaluate fighters as the break into two groups. While Rashad is looking at technique and the ability to follow direction with master evaluator and coaching legend Greg Jackson, Rampage puts the fighters through sparring and grappling paces. In the end, it really looks like Rashad got the far better team. Here is the breakdown:
TEAM RASHAD - COMBINED RECORD (44-8)
James McSweeney (4-2) - Stand-up Fighter
Brendan Schaub (4-0) - Former AFL Player
Justin Wren (6-1) - Excellent grappler
John Madsen (1-0) - Excellent grappler
Roy Nelson (13-4) - Last IFL HW Champ
Darrill Schoonover (10-0) - XFC LHW Champ
Matt Matrione (0-0) - Former NFL Lineman
Mike Wessel (6-1) - UFC Vet
TEAM RAMPAGE - COMBINED RECORD (48-21)
Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson (3-1) - Elite XC Star
Abe Wagner (6-2) - Wins in small shows
Demico Rogers (0-0) - Excellent amateur wrestler
Wes Sims (22-12) - Veteran fighter, UFC vet
Scott Junk (6-2) - Heavy hands, UFC vet
Wes Shivers (0-0) - Former NFL Lineman
Marcus Jones (4-1) - Former NFL Defensive End
Zak Jensen (7-3) - Former NIU wrestler/football player
After a brief training session, it was time for the first fight of the season. As Rashad got the first pick, Rampage was guaranteed the first two fight picks. In his first pick, Rampage chose his number 2 pick Abe Wagner, a mechanical engineer, against Jon Madsen, a former wrestler getting his MMA career going.
Before the fight started, Abe Wagner asked if Madsen wanted to touch gloves, Madsen didn't really respond. At the bell, Madsen began his takedown and ground and pound parade, as he used the double leg takedown to perfection. Unfortunately for Abe Wagner, he didn't know how to defend a takedown and paid the price.
Madsen unleashed elbows and punches, at times looking a little tired. It was his first fight, so it would be understandable that he had an adrenaline dump. Midway through the first, an elbow struck Wagner above the eye, opening a big cut. The punishment continued as blood flowed from Wagners head. The bell rung, and UFC cutman "Stitch" Duran remarkably patched him up.
At the start of the second, Madsen again went for the takedown executing yet another perfect double leg. This time as Wagner went to try to touch gloves. Soon after the cut was re-opened. Two stand-ups occurred, but Madsen executed perfect double legs again and again.
Near the end of the fight, blood was everywhere. The unanimous decision went to Jon Madsen. The last scene showed the cut, one of the biggest in UFC history. The medic was worried of a potentially fractured skull.
(Jon Madsen pictured)
Lesson one - if you can't wrestle and defend takedowns you will not be good at MMA. After 1 fight - TEAM RASHAD 1, TEAM RAMPAGE 0