Episode 1 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Season 11 "Team Liddell vs. Team Ortiz" gets underway with a new crop of hopefuls wandering wide-eyed and star-struck into the new and improved Zuffa training center. Dana quickly rounds up the contestants and Joe Henle looks like he just climbed down from the cross to see if he can make it as a UFC fighter.
Speaking of Jews resurrecting their careers, "The Hebrew Hammer" Ben Stark gets paired up with Jamie Yager right out of the gate. Obviously someone forgot to rub lambs blood on the Octagon door because the afro of death puts him away in the first frame.
Next up is Jordan Smith, who bills himself as a crazy person trying to act normal. He probably should have tried to act conscious after getting turned inside out by Brad Tavares.
Cleburn Walker is this season's "Dad" while Kris McCray says he makes up for his technical deficiencies with pure savagery. 30 seconds later and Walker is back on diaper detail after McCray taps him out with a nicely executed throw that bungles Poppa's shoulder.
Norman Paraisy doesn't like when people say Frenchmen are soft. Then he goes and quits on the stool after a rough first round against James Hammertree. Open mouth, insert croissant.
Au revoir, Sargeant Doo Doo.
Miller Lite busts out a replay that zips by faster than I can type so here is a list of the next three fighters who make it.
The highlights come out of hyperspeed for Victor O'Donnell and Chris Camozzi and they deliver with a hard-hitting, back-and-forth slugfest. After two rounds it's a draw so they send it to "sudden victory." They keep it going until the final bell and deliver a fight that would shame a lot of recently televised bouts.
Unfortunately someone has to go and it's O'Donnell, but don't be surprised to see him return as an alternate later in the season if he can get his eye injury cleared.
Kyacey Uscola claims he's going to smash his way through the house and starts by turning Brent Cooper into something that resembles Roy Neary's mashed potato rendition of the Devil's Tower.
Okay, back to fast-forward. Getting into the house are:
Charley Lynch and Clayton Mckinney, who aren't just friends but also look like the second coming of Skank and Gutterboy, throw hands but it's Clayton McKinney who looks to be the more refined fighter, especially after he obliterates his opponent's nose for the victory.
But even with a severly broken nose, Lynch never quit. Take notes, Frenchie.
After the opening ceremonies Dana gives his usual pep talk and I actually found myself intrigued by what appears to be a higher level of talent than season's past. Maybe it's going to be the first season to actually live up to the hype?
Welcome to the Ultimate Fighter -- where no door made of balsa wood is safe.
See you next week!