This has been a much aligned season of The Ultimate Fighter… but after a slow start and some bad early fights I think it came on really strong at the end. And I also think the best fighters wound up in the semi’s and eventually the finale (on Saturday).
Kimbo got taken out early, but did anyone expect him to actually get very far? And going against the most experienced and best all-around fighter on the show in Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson he had no shot. But he came off really well on the show and earned a lot of respect from MMA fans in the process.
For me, the person who looked like the biggest chump was James McSweeney. The guy did nothing but run his mouth all show. He gassed early in his first fight and got lucky when he caught Mittrione with a guillotine in their fight. He was one shot away from being put to sleep. Scott Junk, although he seemed like a good dude, claims that fighting was his life and he was the best hope for Team Rampage from the start – but lasted maybe 2 minutes in his first fight before completely gassing and getting owned by Matt Mittrione.
The two people who I think surprised the most were Marcus Davis and Brendan Schaub, both former NFL players. Both were the two guys on the show that seemed that most down-to-earth and had their minds together. Schaub seemed like a regular guy and I found myself rooting for him throughout. It was only fitting that the semi-final bout was between these two. And I think both impressed – but Davis is still learning (although he’s much older than Schaub) – and Schaub put him out.
I know there are a lot of bad stoppages in MMA, but that fight was the exact opposite… Davis looked out cold when he hit the mat and the ref didn’t stop it so Schaub kept pounding. Ouch.
Can’t wait for the finale and there are some good fights on that card as well…