The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Season 12, featuring welterweight coaches (and division rivals) Josh Koscheck and Georges St. Pierre, is now underway featuring 28 lightweight fighters duking it out to see who gets a "six-figure contract" and a career with the world's largest fight promotion.
Dana White greets the starstruck new recruits and gives them the welcome speech and news that the wildcard spot will return for this season. Now it's on to the elimination fights to see who gets a spot in the house and who gets a plane ticket home.
Marc Stevens, riding the coattails of Coach Kos (possibly without permission), is first up against TJ "The Spider" O'Brien. Spidey got squished in a record-setting 13 seconds. Thanks for coming.
Spencer Paige is up next against Steve Magdaleno. They say all the right things and fight a pretty close fight while the camera choppily cuts to Dana and Kos making contorted faces, almost like that last close-up before the money shot in a bad porno.
Ten minutes in and Coach St. Pierre has apparently taken the vow of silence.
Paige wins and "Rush" approves!
Regional veteran Nam Phan gets his shot against Mike Budnik, who's left his career as a skateboarder to try his hand at fisticuffs. Unfortunately it's time for Mike to go back to the rolling board as (Viet)Nam is the better fighter this day.
I knew that before they even fought since the network carelessly aired a Marines/UFC crossover commercial with Phan talking up the military men right before the bout.
The fight was still worth watching for the inadvertent Rikishi stink-face administered during the opening seconds. GSP was impressed with his performance (seriously).
Next up is the patented crunch time fast-forward highlight reel that speeds us through a bunch of fights the network doesn't want to subject us to.
Andy Main, Jonathan Brookins, Sako Chivitchian, and Jeffrey Lentz all advance. GSP had a big X through Lentz before the fight, possibly for his resemblance to past victim Jason "Mayhem" Miller.
Paul "The Wheel" Barrow (har har) next fights Alex Caceres, who we already know considers himself the next "Bruce Leroy" -- and wears a yellow jumpsuit as a homage to "Game of Death." (If you said "Kill Bill" you have no business following this sport).
The yellow suit is a bold statement, though I was kind of hoping to see Abdul-Jabbar's giant footprint on his chest. Sigh, kids today have no respect for the classics.
Anyway, Taimak, I mean uh, Caceres, didn't exactly have the glow but still did 'Nuff to submit the "Barrow." Dana was eating up the shtick from start to finish.
That whole dog-and-pony show forces us into another highlight reel that produces Michael Johnson, Aaron Wilkinson (who gets subtitled for being a Brit), Kyle Watson, and Sevak Magakian.
Cody McKenzie sailed in from a commercial fishing boat in Alaska to try his luck against Egypt's Amir Khillah, who wants to be the "Michael Bisping of the Middle East." Now that my friends is a gift, take it and run with it.
I can just imagine what it's like for a middle eastern guy trying to get through a Las Vegas airport with a last name like Khillah. The man must have the patience of a Saint, which is good, since he's already on his way back to the terminal courtesy of a McKenzie guillotine -- which GSP called just before the fight.
Next is Dane Sayers representing the Native Americans and plans on blasting Ariel Sexton. Sayers warns him he doesn't plan on touching gloves. I guess he didn't plan on losing either but Sexton didn't make it easy. From a conditioning perspective, things got ugly in the second round but "Mohawk" gutted it out for the submission win
Now we have our season twelve contestants and the hi-jinx can begin. Stay tuned next week as the coaches pick teams, the liquor cabinet gets opened and the first fight gets underway.
See you next week!