Episode seven of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) is now underway and with a title like "Body Bag" one has to wonder what exactly we're in store for before (or perhaps during) tonight's light heavyweight elimination fight.
We get a quick recap of last week's Browning vs. Delgado fight and while Roli gets props for his heart and determination (despite the split-decision loss), Team Blue is running a train on Junie for his inability to finish what most perceived to be the show's weakest link.
Coach Mir said it best:
"Okay let's be realistic, you just went three rounds with Rolando."
Afterward, Team Mir hits practice with an upbeat feeling, having tied things up at two fights apiece and retaining control of the fight picks. That is until Krzysztof Soszynski gets hitchhiker's thumb courtesy of Eliot Marshall's flailing man-bag.
Krystos is convinced it's either broken or fractured, but vows to fight on with no problems or complaints.
We shall see.
Coach Mir has also recruited Rafael Alejarra, Wanderlei Silva's personal trainer to help teach his troops how to train for fight conditioning and not just good gym cardio. With that, out comes the snorkels to restrict oxygen and mimic the effects of being wiped in the later rounds of a grueling fight.
To keep any of the guys from dropping dead, they pay homage to Millvina Dean by dumping them into a garbage pail filled with ice water immediately following their workout to reduce muscle inflammation and restore blood flow.
Mir ends the segment with his second best quote:
"People can take physical pain, people can take mental anguish, but cardio pain crushes everybody."
Then he has to go and ruin my newfound admiration for him by telling Vinny Magalhaes that he (Mags) has better jiu-jitsu than Coach Noguiera. Vinny (who by his own admission is despised in Brazil) just nods in agreement like its common knowledge and says that Nog's jits is "very basic."
We're talking about a guy who has ended 20 professional fights via submission - against some of the worlds best fighters. Can we show a little respect? If there is justice in this world, someone will pay for this heresy.
Speaking of Big Nog, Team Nogueira also hits the gym and starts running back and forth with their arms interlocked like a human coin pusher from the mall arcade. Team Red appreciates the lighthearted approach though Coach Nogueira longs for the days when he had control of the fight picks.
They continue the party-like atmosphere back at the house when Jules and Phillipe bake Nog a cake for his birthday. Jules says baking a cake for Nogueira is a dream come true and one of the best experiences of his life. They cook up a literal feast and chow down while laughing and having fun.
The cynic in me wanted to point my finger and laugh but truth be told I almost wished I was there (I like cake). Though I will admit Nog looked a little Corky-ish sitting there clapping his hands in excitement after blowing out the candles on his cake.
A bitter and jealous Shane Nelson says that Team Red is too close and sucks each other's d*%& too much. Sounds like someone didn't get a piece of cake.
Vinny takes over for Junie in the A-hole department and starts calling Team Nogueira fake for all their camaraderie and admits he's there not for his team but for himself.
Mags is sure to get recruited by a great MMA camp with that attitude.
At the fight announcement, Team Mir chooses Vinny Magalhaes to fight Jules Bruchez because Mir is convinced that Jules will easily be destroyed by the jiu-jitsu black belt.
We get a closer look at Vinny as he prepares for his fight with Jules and he does have an impressive grappling resume but as Mir states, still has a few areas that need attention before he can be considered a complete fighter.
Unfortunately for Vinny, Junie Browning has the verbal restraint of an African Grey Parrot and tells some of the Team Red guys about Vinny's belief that he is equal or superior to Nogueira when it comes to jiu-jitsu.
Nog smiles on the outside and detonates on the inside. He explains to the guys that there is a marked difference between what you can do in training and what you can do inside a locked cage and says Vinny has "little balls."
In addition, Nog finds Vinny in the gym and blacks out on him in Portuguese. After telling him they are now "enemies," Vinny has nothing to say except how he respects Nog and he never said anything of the sort and blah, blah, blah.
Nog also tells him they are not on speaking terms and that Vinny blew his chance of having any contact with him now or in the future. Vinny begs him to check the tape to clear his name and then later in the confessional goes right back to being a tough guy and mouthing off about how he doesn't care if Nog speaks to him or not.
After the dust settles we go to the training of Jules Bruchez. Coach Stankie tells him it would be nice if he was good on top so that he wouldn't have to go down and dirty and smell all those farts. For a moment I felt like I was back in my sex-ed class in high school.
Coach Noguiera likes the power in Jules hands and thinks his heart will be the difference.
Back at the house, Krzysztof decides its time to get his prank on and orders a fake tombstone and body bag for Jules bedroom. I'm still trying to figure out where they got the body bag. Presumably from the supply closet at Stankie's nursing home. Anyway, I get the feeling Krzysztof is picking Vinny in this fight.
Team Red comes home to find the mock-funeral and once again it ends rather anti-climatically for the simple reason that Bruchez was more impressed by the prank then offended by it.
In the locker room before the fight, Vinny admits he had a dream that he was submitted by Jules. Mir vows to quit as a coach if that dream comes true. Jules on the other hand would be content just to knock Vinny's head clean off.
Team Mir's Vinny Magalhaes (2-2) vs. Team Nogueira's Jules Bruchez (0-0)
Round 1: Vinny opens with two high kicks and a right, none of which land. He follows with an inside leg kick that does. Jules answers with one of his own that just gets the shin. A frightened Jules has the head movement of John the Baptiste. Vinny lands another inside leg kick. Jules misses a punch, Vinny misses a kick. Nice body kick by Vinny who follows it with an inside leg kick. Hard body kick by Vinny. And another. Both fighters seem content to do nothing but bob and weave. Jules lands a jab and a front kick, misses with another. A background shot of Dan Henderson has him looking bored. Jules charges with a combo and a Vinny clinch turns into a flying armbar attempt. It's unsuccessful but they go to the ground and Vinny easily mounts. Vinny shows impressive flexibility as he starts with a gogoplata and finishes with an armbar.
Vinny Magalhaes defeats Jules Bruchez via submission (armbar).
Tedious fight. UFC President Dana White was not impressed with the phantom stand-up from either fighter. I can't blame Jules since he owns a professional record of 0-0. Nice finish by Vinny but again his striking could prove to be his downfall in the semis.
Stay tuned next week as the latest prank involves stolen food and one man's retribution, two lightweights square off for a chance to advance and a shocking betrayal by one fighter leaves the house in shock.
See you in seven!