By Jesse Holland
Episode eleven starts with a rather broad recap of episodes past and I found myself a bit bewildered that it was already week eleven.
I also found myself somewhat deflated knowing that Serra and Hughes were no longer fighting - not that I'm ungrateful for Hughes/GSP III but the impending showdown between coaches always adds a little something to the show.
We get right into the prep for the Ben Saunders/Tommy Speer fight and as expected Serra wants Tommy out of the way. Readers will agree that I'm cynical enough to think it has more to do with Tommy resembling a young Matt Hughes than it does Ben winning.
Tommy's future could be in jeopardy however because of the cut he suffered in his fight against Jon Koppenhaver. Jared takes one look at the cut and compares Tommy to the lion from the Chronicles of Narnia. I guess that makes Jared a Marsh-wiggle.
Tommy ends up having his stitches removed and gets cleared to fight. Mac thinks it's the wrong decision but then again Mac thinks that about any decision that's not his own.
Back at the house Troy, Jon and Richie decide to take the day off and relax which somehow translates into getting drunk and taking a dump in the back of the Team Hughes toilet.
Mac returns to the house and wants a piece of the newly shaven Hightower for his incessant giggling. If Mac thinks he's mad now wait until he flushes the toilet and gets a steaming bowl of Koppenhaver's beef stew.
Unfortunately Billy Miles is the unlucky flusher and he figures the best revenge is to tell Mac who is of course known for his rationale and even temper.
As it turns out Jared is the one who takes the news the hardest and he storms their bedroom like an ED-209. He winds up slapping the hat off Koppenhaver's dome who responds by tackling him.
They are quickly separated and surprisingly go unpunished. Koppenhaver justifies his actions with his keen sense of reason: "I was drunk and bored, what else was I gonna do?"
Ladies beware: First dates with Jon Koppenhaver should not include alcohol.
Mac thinks that guys like Richie, Troy and Jon might not make the best representatives for the sport of MMA.
An interesting criticism coming from a contestant on a reality show.
At the weigh-ins Ben and Tommy both make weight but Ben wakes up the next morning a little pasty with a fever and vomiting. No doubt this is going to surface in the post-fight interview.
Serra reassures him with a demonstration of Tommy's striking which is eerily reminiscent of Mike Haggar from Final Fight.
Round one starts with a quick tie-up and clinch. Tommy pushes him to the fence and takes him down. Ben lands a few shots from guard so Tommy picks him up and drops him.
Ben answers with a deep armbar but can't finish it. He quickly transitions to a triangle choke but again can't seal the deal. Tommy still on top looking unbreakable.
Tommy smothering a bloody Ben who is struggling to escape. Lots of energy being expended on both sides. Tommy postures up, avoids a few upkicks and lands a big shot from the top. A listless Ben looks gassed. The round ends with Tommy on top.
Round two opens with another faineant kick from Ben. Tommy shoots and drops him at the base of the cage. Ben gets to his feet but gets pulled right back down. Tommy controlling the fight. A lack of brisk action prompts a warning from Mazzagatti.
Ben rolls over but Tommy's right there. Action again starts to slow and Mazz stands them up. This could be Ben's last chance as he tries to time a flying knee but just misses and ends up on his back.
No action and Mazz uprights them again. An exhausted Ben kicks and swings for the fences and gets taken down for his efforts. Round two ends the same way round one did: Tommy on top scoring points.
Tommy wins by unanimous decision and Ben predictably pulls the sick card.
After the fight we get the semi-final picks with Dana, Serra and Hughes. Just like every other round of picks Serra talks and Hughes smirks.
The semifinals will be:
- Mac Danzig vs. Matt Arroyo
- Tommy Speer vs. George Sotiropoulos
Ah, but they won't be! It's revealed that by some circumstance one of the fighters is unable to continue. Who will bow out? Who will take his place? Who else will defecate on camera?
See you next week!