By Jesse Holland
Special to UFCmania
Episode 2 of The Ultimate Fighter 5 is underway and we start with a quick recap of Cole's win over Allen from last week. The fighters weigh-in with their analysis of the fight and they're breaking it down like it was Griffin/Bonnar 1.
Cole openly weeps as he explains that his eight-year plan to be in the UFC was accomplished in three years. He then exclaims, "I'm in the UFC!" and weeps some more. Some part of me really hopes he makes it all the way because if this is how he reacts to winning then God help us when he loses.
Team Pulver decides to create a belt and title for Cole that will be passed around to each winner from Team Pulver after every victory. I'm all for positive reinforcement but this is getting a little weird.
Back at the house Allen returns from defeat and calls a meeting. After rallying the troops (who think they're gathered to say adieu) he stands up and declares that despite his loss he will remain in the house to train and hang out for the remainder of the season. Not surprisingly, his announcement is met with a lukewarm response. Who wants a house full of eliminated fighters partying all night while you're trying to sleep?
Gabe continues to endear himself to everyone by starting trouble with Matt over ... well, I'm not sure what it's over. I guess the cameras started rolling on a slow day at the house. Matt responds by calling Gabe a fat pig that's 22 pounds overweight. Hard to argue with those numbers.
At the fight selection BJ realizes he hasn't been doing enough to annoy Jens and gives Emerson a script that calls out Corey. Emerson does his part as Corey starts to get rattled but Jens is onto BJ at this point and instructs Manny to call out Noah amidst the proliferation of badgering.
Next we see some of the guys out back talking shop when one of them spots two girls on horseback. They start hootin' and hollerin' like a couple of Unionites at a construction site and miraculously the girls agree to stop by. Does anyone else smell a plant? Well whatever the circumstances are nobody is prepared for the effect a paved driveway has on horseshoes.
One of the horses collapses and can't move so the gang gets a carpet and they cautiously get the horse to stand up and get back to the street. All that was missing was the fast-forward and goofy British music and we could have had a Benny Hill skit. I start to realize at this point that if this is the stuff that's making the air then we must have a very quick fight later on.
I'm relieved when we get to the training session for Team Penn but instead of seeing how Noah prepares for his fight with Manny we get more of the Gabe/Matt saga. BJ has to intervene and expresses his frustration and disappointment that two fighters are acting this way.
Hey BJ, try being on this end.
They kick it over to the training session for Team Pulver and what can only be referred to as the most uncomfortable moment in TUF history, Manny is performing sit-ups Kama Sutra style as he straddles Corey who is standing up. Each rep brings them face to face while Manny's gear mashes against ... oh nevermind.
But let it be known they finish with a hug – while straddled.
In fact, I haven't been this suspicious since Season 3 when Tito wore a prom dress to a sparring session (he later claimed it was a Rashie but no Rashie I've ever seen had glitter woven into the fabric).
At the fighter weigh-ins Noah talks about his Marine Corps training and how he has more than 40 professional fights. I half expected a big, smoky green head to tell me to pay no attention to the 10-4 record behind the curtain. Noah defiantly steps on the scales eating a Dagwood.
Manny is not amused.
The next day we see Team Penn lazing around the house after BJ gives them the day off. Emerson channels the New Age Outlaws and scribbles "Suck It" on the wall and adds "Team Pulver" so that the boys in yellow feel welcome after a hard day at the gym.
Upon arrival Nate decides that's all the excuse he needs (that and a camera in the same room) to take his shirt off and hulk-up. Refusing to be upstaged by a Diaz, Manny rips his shirt off and starts screaming, and screaming, and screaming ad nauseam. Did I mention that Manny was screaming? I think Matt summed it up best by saying, "It was a sad day for humans".
Manny finally cools down and meets Corey by the pool out back. Apparently the sit-ups were still on his mind because Corey said "I love you" (I'm not kidding) and that Manny let the Penn boys beat him emotionally. Once again they end with a hug. Not to keep hearkening back to Season 3 so much but one more hug and Corey is going to be delivering peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to Manny in bed.
Fight day finally rolls around and once again it's 10:54pm. I'm starting to wonder when those awesome fights we were promised are going to show up. Round 1 begins and Manny comes out ferociously. He drops Noah right away but Noah is able to recover. Manny pushes him into the fence and throws him to the ground. He starts to pound away and finds an arm to crank. Manny wins by kimura and looks good in the process.
Noah was dead on arrival.
That's a wrap and overall I was disappointed. This episode was more "Real World" than UFC and to be honest I tune in for the fights -- not the drama. And where was Dana? I know it's only Episode 2 but with the Episode 1 ratings on life support I hope it gets better in a hurry.
Check us out next week for a Team Penn meltdown and a visit from Jeremy Horn. Gabe goes colonic and Corey unravels yet again. See you then!