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Recap: The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 5 episode 6

Joe vs. Brian, Corey vs. Emerson

By Jesse Holland

Episode 6 starts with the ubiquitous Ruediger flashback and I was thanking a higher power for both the ability to mute the television and for dumping that clown from the show once and for all.

I was excited about this week's episode and I'm not sure if it was the rum and coke I pounded during the opening credits or the tease of having two fights but either way things were starting to look up.

We begin with a brief look at the standings and move right into fight prep. The first contest is Joe versus Brian and BJ remarks that Joe looks a little like a psychopath. Maybe life in Hawaii has made him soft but until you've seen Marcelo Rodrigues fight you don't know what a psychopath looks like.

Joe admits he can be out working on computers and not getting hit but that fighting is a lot more fun. We get another look at his upset win over Coach Pulver and Jens mans up and admits it had nothing to do with luck, rather he forgot to bring his fight.

Brian's strategy is to keep the fight going and hope that Joe wears himself out. He even advises Joe to bring clean underwear to the fight, kind of like the old gag where Mom tells you to wear clean underpants in case you get into a car wreck and the police find you.

I find it ironic that Brian would use that reference considering the only way he can win this fight is if Joe's van has an accident on the way to the gym.

In any event the fight starts and round one sees Joe start off with a devastating slam. Somewhere Rampage is smiling. Joe starts reigning down vicious blows from the top and a bewildered Brian can barely defend himself from the onslaught.

Joe goes for a fight-ending elbow and Brian rolls out of the way but as he stands up Joe clings to him like one of those face-hugging parasites from the Alien movies. Within seconds Brian is tapping out to the rear naked choke and it's cemented that Joe is indeed for real.

Team Pulver may have their first loss but Jens was all smiles as he explained: "I'm glad I didn't get knocked out by a bitch". A suddenly humble Brian sums up the fight quite eloquently: "I got cremated."

Don't worry Brian, at least you're in good company.

Team Penn is riding high as they get back to the gym and prepare Emerson for his fight against Corey. It seems Emerson is now being trained by Scotty 2 Hotty as he does the worm from one side of the mat to the other.

The boys in yellow get some fresh air and Corey has a heart-to-heart with Jens telling him that he's been padding his record since day one in an effort to get on (and stay on) the show. Part of me wonders if Corey were a foot shorter, would he have even made it past the first round of auditions?

The tale of the tape has Corey's win/loss record at 0-0 and I found myself unusually apathetic. I don't mind if they want to have a reality show, I just wish they didn't do it under the guise of combat sports.

Round one begins and Corey steps into the cage looking eerily reminiscent of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Game of Death. That is of course until he starts doing some weird fusion of capoeira and drunken kung-fu. Maybe that was his homage to Shun Di?

The first exchange is all Corey. A confused Emerson continually backpedals as he tries to figure out a way to overcome Corey's reach. They continue with brief exchanges but most of the round is spent listening to BJ scream directly into the microphone.

Round one ends and I had it going to Corey by the slimmest of margins. The leg kick did not make an appearance and my biggest gripe was the pacing. The feeling-out process should not last an entire round.

Round two starts off with Corey grabbing Emerson's gristle missile in a bizarre takedown attempt that did nothing but make a lot of male viewers wince in agony. Emerson stays on his feet and starts to push the action, finally utilizing the leg kick.

Corey on the other hand, is content to throw a few sporadic jabs and fails to capitalize when Emerson stumbles during a bumrush. Instead, Corey finishes the round caught in a heel hook.

I had round two of a spiritless contest going to Emerson. The judges had the fight too close to call and ordered a third round. I know this recap isn't exactly bleeding enthusiasm but you can blame Joe Lauzon for that.

The first fight was an absolute mugging. The second fight was more like West Side Story without the singing. And now we get another round of it.

Round three features two exhausted fighters trying hard not to lose. Corey throws a few jabs just to let us know he's still in it and Emerson answers with some hard leg kicks. Not much else happens and the round ends with both fighters on their feet.

The fight was all stand-up but still had very little action and I was disappointed in the lack of jiu-jitsu from both sides. Some people praise striking and complain about the lay ‘n pray but what about the bob and weave?

The post-fight interviews all have Emerson in front, as did I, so naturally the judges unanimously give it to Corey. Emerson was disappointed but he fought a little too tepidly to have a genuine argument.

This morning on the Turnpike I saw a bumper sticker that read "A bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work". I think that same logic can be applied to my feelings for this week's episode: "A mediocre day of fighting is still better than a good day of reality TV".

Stay tuned next week as an irate BJ kicks a fighter off his team and we get treated to another two-fight episode. See you then!

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