By Jesse Holland
Episode 7 begins with a recap of last week's fights and Jens gets overly excited about being 5-1 against Team Penn. Dana has a pow-wow with BJ and tells him he's losing control of his team and that he needs to be a general.
As if BJ wasn't feeling bad already Dana then hits him below the belt, and I mean way below by warning him not to become this season's Ken Shamrock.
BJ must have really stewed over the comparison because by the time he got back to the gym he blew a gasket and kicked Andy Wang off the team for not listening to him all season.
Not since Lee Majors has there been a bigger fall guy as a stunned Wang pleads with BJ to keep him on the team. We get a shot of BJ on the treadmill and he has trouble giving Wang any kind of explanation as to why he was removed.
I'm not sure if it had more to do with the fact that he was fed up with Wang and had nothing else to add or that it was his first time on a treadmill in two years and couldn't find the strength to speak.
Wang tries to get philosophical and calls himself a Ronin. I'm sure somewhere out there Carlos Newton is shaking his head in disgust.
Wang refuses to go quietly and Dana is called to the gym. Dana explains that Wang needs to be there in case they need an alternate fighter and asks Team Pulver to adopt the outcast.
Jens and Co. agree and actually look forward to the new addition but when Wang gets the news he hangs his head like a scolded dog. He tries to tell Dana that he's from Hawaii and so is BJ, and it wasn't supposed to go down like this.
Dana cannot comprehend anything Wang is saying and soon goes ballistic. He drops about 20 F-bombs and tells Wang he should be on his hands and knees thanking Jens for even considering taking him.
For the first time all season I was yelling at the TV, just hoping that Dana would tell Wang to pack his bags and GTFO.
No such luck. Wang reluctantly joins his new team and I was beginning to think that BJ wasn't so irrational for booting him in the first place.
Moving on, we get to the last preliminary fight picks and Weems calls out Gray which surprised me sinceÃ‚Â Matt (at least on paper)Ã‚Â seemed like the lesser of two evils. That leavesÃ‚Â Sims and Wiman as the final bout and we'll finally get to see just how indestructible Marlon is.
At the next training session Jens praises Weems, calling him this season's most improved fighter. He also refers to him as a black sheep in a white field. And while I can appreciate the analogy, I'm not sure how flattering it is as a fighter to be compared to a sheep.
Prior to the fight, Weems proclaims his ability to take a punch to the head and when I see his record is 16-2 I try to convince myself that you can't judge a book by its cover.
Then Weems disrobes and I decide that in this case I can probably get away with it. Color me judgmental but a shirtless Weems does not look like a guy who trains MMA.
The fight begins and Weems gets clocked by Gray with an overhand right and then taken down with ease. He instinctively holds on to Gray's head but eventually lets go. Gray is working the guillotine until Weems rolls onto his belly leaving his head exposed.
Gray pops up and starts pummeling him ala Hughes/Gracie. Weems makes no effort to defend or escape and seems content to just get bludgeoned into unconsciousness. Gray pounds away for what seems like an eternity until Herb Dean (surprise) jumps in and calls it a fight.
Early stoppage, late stoppage, no stoppage, Herb just can't seem to get it right lately.
After the fight Weems storms to the back and goes apeshit. He then explains that he'll never quit or give up but from where I stand just covering up and taking punishment is pretty much the same thing. Gray and the rest of Team Penn have a good laugh but the focus quickly shifts to the next fight.
Back at the house Marlon adds to his legendary reputation by claiming to have been rundown by a speeding Oldsmobile and knocked unconscious for more than two hours. I'm not sure if that was before he discovered the Ark of the Covenant but it was definitely after he stormed the beach at Normandy.
Marlon also claims that no fight of his has lasted more than 90 seconds and he's on a mission to show the MMA world that Muay Thai is back. Hopefully, he'll fare a little better than Kit Cope did -- who professed the same thing a few years back.
On the other hand Matt is spending his time before the fight arguing with himself over which nickname best suits his devastating good looks. Apparently, Marlon isn't the only one with delusions of grandeur.
During the commercial we get the results of the Amp'd Mobile poll that asked whether or not Wang deserved to be booted from Team Penn.
The results were 0% yes and 0% no.
Now it was either a technical glitch that wasn't caught, or the ratings are so bad that not one remaining viewer cared enough to make the call. If I were Dana I might want to get the answer to that one before signing off on the budget for TUF 6.
Five minutes left in the show as the fight begins and Marlon comes out with some kind of bizarre King Tut stance and absolutely no head movement. Not surprisingly he takes one square on the chin because of it.
Marlon collapses faster than Larsen B and Matt quickly takes his back and works for the choke. He eventually secures it and puts Marlon to sleep. Afterwards Marlon is wonderfully jovial and as strange as it might sound, comes off almost normal.
To his credit, he was right about one thing. This match (like all his others) didn't go more than 90 seconds.
Well that wraps up the preliminary matches and if we're lucky, also the mediocrity. While Gray and Matt both looked strong, neither of their opponents provided much resistance and a one-sided beat down is entertaining only to a point.
Stay tuned next week as we start the quarterfinals, BJ and Jens get hot and bothered, and two eliminated fighters duke it out in the backyard.
See you then!