Last night was a double episode of 'Fight Factory' on Nuvo TV which brought the first series of the mixed martial arts (MMA)-centered show toa conclusion.
And boy, was it a doozy.
'Fight Factory' is a reality TV show which focuses on the renowned MMA gym American Kickboxing Academy (AKA), which houses a wide assortment of world class fighters like Daniel Cormier, Cain Velasquez, Jon Fitch, Mike Swick and Josh Thomson.
With those personalities, comes conflict.
The central theme of this season has been the rift between UFC welterweight Josh Koscheck and AKA head trainer Javier Mendez. Koscheck publicly announced when he left AKA to start up his own gym at Dethrone Base Camp and both men have been building up towards a final showdown all season.
It finally happened last night.
How'd it go?
The feud between him and Mendez goes all the way back to 2008 following "Kos'" loss to Thiago Alves. Following the fight, Mendez had stated in an interview that Koscheck hadn't followed the gameplan. Things escalated from there all the way to the lead-up to his fight against Mike Pierce where Mendez basically ignored Koscheck for the entire training camp.
Afterwards, Koscheck blasted AKA and Mendez, left the gym and started up his own team in his home base of Fresno. Throughout this season, he's discussed building a talented core of fighters to not just rival AKA but surpass it. He'd love nothing more than to grow a team of his own and watch his old gym stagnate.
It's not a surprise that the final showdown between Koscheck and Mendez, which took place in a peaceful public park, didn't go well. Koscheck accused Mendez of turning his former teammates against him, banning them from coming to help him at his own gym. Mendez taunted him about the success of Koscheck's gym, which has not been picking up fighters rapidly (only two on the main roster thus far, although they're solid).
A peace was not brokered and both men left the meeting more angry at each other than they had entered it. The final imagery of the season startling, watching Mendez' wife take down all of Koscheck's posters, pictures, plagues and even his autographed Ultimate Fighter jerseys off the wall and then toss them in the dumpster.
While I'm not giving the other storylines from these episodes enough credit (Ron Keslar and Davin Clark both earned much-needed wins on the local circuit and Daniel Cormier won the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix), this was all about Koscheck and Mendez and deservedly so.
In the end, there was a huge window left open for a season season as nothing was resolved between Mendez and Koscheck and it actually looks like the feud will be escalating, which leaves managers Bob Cook and Dewayne Zinken stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Here's hoping AKA approves more taping because I'm absolutely hooked.