Episode two of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 gets underway after finalizing its roster of 16 bantamweight and featherweight hopefuls gunning for a "six-figure contract" under middleweight coaches Michael Bisping and Jason Miller.
"I Versus I" begins -- where else -- at the TUF house, with the new recruits getting a look at their new digs. They celebrate with a massive backyard barbecue and eat like a bunch of pigs.
My kind of guys.
At the TUF gym, the coaches have to review the roster sheets and try to make informed decisions based on the few fights they saw in episode one. UFC President Dana White rallies the troops for the coin toss which lands in favor of Team Bisping, who opts for first pick rather than first fight.
That leaves Team Mayhem with the ability to choose first fight. Here's how the talent was divvied up:
Team Bisping (Blue):
Bantamweight (135 lbs.)
Featherweight (145 lbs.)
Team Miller (Orange):
Bantamweight (135 lbs.)
Featherweight (145 lbs.)
Dana reiterates that $25,000 bonuses await fighters who achieve best fight, best knockout and best submission. Bisping says if Miller "had an ounce of intelligence" he would have made better picks and doesn't like the snide remarks coming from the "Strikeforce reject."
Mayhem is "ecstatic" to have the team he ended up with and pulls out a few superhero references in training. Unfortunately he requires his team to shower two-at-a-time to help conserve the Las Vegas water supply. Later in the day, he drops off compression suits to help his fighters recover from training.
Marcus Brimage called Team Bisping's first training session "very technical" and just one little tip from their jiu-jitsu coach "blew his mind."
Time for the fight picks and Bryan Caraway (Team Miller) has been tapped to slug it out with Marcus Brimage (Team Bisping). Mayhem picked it for the "lopsided skill set" between the two fighters while "The Count" says Caraway "didn't impress him" and "lacks a killer instinct."
We shall see.
Marcus Brimage says there are two reasons he got into mixed martial arts: Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Dragonball Z. There seems to be some concern about his ability to make weight so they get the salt bath going.
Sounds like fun.
Bryan Caraway is a "head case" according to Coach Miller and his biggest fight is "against himself." Caraway admits to seeing a sports psychologist and "talks to himself" to help get over the hump. He vows not to let fear overcome him.
Both fighters make weight without incident but during the staredown, Team Bisping breaks out into a chant about how "The Darkness" is going to smash Caraway. Miller counters that it "reeks of insecurity."
Mayhem and the boys round up all the giant tires from the training center and cram them into Bisping's locker room and arrange them so the door won't open. The Brit has to bash the door down and calls it "childish" and vows to get revenge.
Typical pre-fight trash talk and Brimage farts on camera. Stay classy, "Darkness," stay classy.
145 lbs.: Bryan Caraway (15-5) vs. Marcus Brimage (3-1)
Round 1: Brimage comes out with a jab, trying to find his range. Caraway dives in with a Superman punch which draws a counter-punch from Brimage -- but also leaves him exposed for the takedown, which he immediately succumbs to. Caraway all over him jockeying for position and works him into the fence. Brimage tries to turn and scramble but ends up getting flattened out. It's still early and he's still fresh and manages to roll over but Caraway isn't budging and gets the body triangle. Brimage defends, albeit improperly, and rides out the round despite sporadic moments of danger.
Round 2: Brimage comes out the fresher of the two and shucks off a few takedowns before ending up on his back in a mad scramble for position. Caraway rolls him right over and gets the body triangle but Brimage explodes out while his opponent searches for the neck. Fists start flying as they get to their feet but they reset and return to the center of the cage. Caraway looks gassed and eats a knee after a weak shot and Brimage follows him to the ground. Caraway uses that opportunity to lock on a leg and roll himself into top position. Brimage manages to somersault out of it and tries to kick the legs of his downed opponent while Bisping screams at him to back away. In fact, Bisping has been screaming instructions for the past seven minutes and Brimage has ignored him every time. Mazzagatti stands them up and Brimage rushes in and gets popped with a knee in the Thai clinch. Caraway uses the momentum to score a trip takedown and is back on top. He flattens him out against the fence and Brimage has nowhere to go (or is just to tired to try and get there) and taps to the rear naked choke.
Bryan Caraway def. Marcus Brimage via submission (rear naked choke)
Just my two cents: Brimage deserved to lose. He ignored his corner the entire fight and could have capitalized on several opportunities had he followed instructions. May have been the difference maker.
After the fight Bisping is disappointed that Marcus lost -- but even more disappointed that Mayhem will have "a stupid little smirk on his stupid-looking face." As expected, Team Miller is jumping for joy and Miller says "Nervous Nelly broke him."
Stay tuned next week as Team Bisping starts to unravel from the inside, "lines are crossed" inside the TUF house and Team Miller gets to pick the first bantamweight fight.
See you in seven!