The first seven matches of this season of the Ultimate Fighter has wrapped, an assistant coach has been fired and Brock Lesnar has been riding an emotional roller coaster.
In the last episode, coach Junior Dos Santos was trying to console fighter Mick Bowman following his decision loss. Bowman fought hard in an entertaining bout, but just seemed to be holding back a little, not letting his full arsenal fly. Assistant coach Lew Polley next states that he isn't happy, that you should win at all costs, and doesn't care if the fight is boring.
(Dos Santos landing a body blow on Cro Cop)
The dissention continues, as Lew has seemingly undermined many things that Dos Santos has said throughout the season. After a conference with his coach Luiz Dorea, Dos Santos kicks Lew Polley off the show, marking the first time an assistant coach has been fired.
Brock Lesnar has been an interesting character throughout the season. He seems to be a no nonsense guy who wants the best for his fighters. However, Lesnar's fighters don't always seem to understand the message in his speeches and seem easily offended. It is obvious that Lesnar is emotionally invested in his fighters, expressing joy in the wins and dissapointment in losses.
(Lesnar punching Frank Mir)
Injuries have played a critical role in this season, as in every season of the show. Before the show started, Myles Jury, the fighter I pegged as the favorite, went down with a ACL injury during the evaluations. Clay Harvison, who defeated Mick Bowman suffered a dislocated finger. Keep in mind it was the most disgusting dislocation I've seen, as the finger popped through the skin.
Len Bentley is a very interesting character. The military veteran fought a very tough and entertaining bout with Ryan McGillivray. Before the bout, he accused teammate Chris Cope of spying on him. He has been offended by Lesnar's speach about turning his fighters from chicken sh!t into chicken salad. He also dislocated his knee cap in training.
When the wild card selection was going on, Len nonchalantly said it was obvious that he wanted the spot. Len mentioned he had some setbacks with the knee, but that he could fight. Anyone who has watched TUF knows that Dana wants fighters to beg for that spot. He was very upset when it was announced that Chuck O'Neil would fight Javier Torres for the wild card.
Dos Santos now has 4 fighters in the 2nd round, with Lesnar having 3. Here is a look at the fighters:
Tony Ferguson (10-2)- Tony is a tall and lanky fighter with solid hands and decent wrestling. In his first bout, he stood toe to toe with Justin Edwards in a slugfest. After giving up a takedown, Tony landed a vicious upkick on the button with the heel, knocking out Edwards immediately. Tony's signature wins outside TUF were over Brock Jardine (6-1) and James Fanshier (17-11).
Clay Harvison (6-1 or 8-3)- Fighting out of Georgia, Clay likes to brawl and use his hands while fighting. Clay used his striking to defeat Mick Bowman in his first bout, landing overhand rights and other combinations throughout the fight. He did seem to gas near the end of the second round and had his pinky gruesomely dislocated when blocking a high kick. He is a tough SOB.
Chris Cope (4-1)- Fighting out of California, Cope fights with heart and seems to never say die. He defeated Javier Torres in the first round of the tournament in a grind it out type fight that went into the sudden victory round. Chris will try to sprawl and brawl. His signature win outside of TUF was a head kick win over Ron Keslar in Strikeforce.
Shamar Bailey (11-3)- Shamar is a power wrestler with excellent takedowns. He is a Strikeforce veteran with career wins over John Kolosci, Matt Delanoit and Waachiim Spiritwolf. In his first match against Nordin Asrih (15-6), Bailey used an array of takedowns, ground and pound and position to win a unanimous decision.
Ryan McGillivray (11-4)- McGillivray is a tall Canadian fighter who used pinpoint striking to defeat Team Lesnar's first pick, Len Bentley in the first round of competition. Despite getting knocked down by a shot by Len, McGillivray rallied, taking the end of the first round and narrowly taking the second to win a majority decision.
Ramsey Nijem (4-1)- Ramsey is the most interesting character on Team Dos Santos, with an odd love of the show Glee and goofy antics. Looks can be decieving, as Ramsey is a former collegiate wrestler and is very strong. In the first round of the tournament, Nijem won via rear naked choke over Bellator veteran Charlie Rader. Using his wrestling game, Nijem broke the will of Radar.
Zach Davis (4-1)- Davis has three submission wins, with two triangle choke victories. He busted out his triangle again in the first round of the tournament, using it to coax a tap out of Chuck O'Neil. Davis will look to continue to use his submission skills in the tournament.