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January 17, 2018

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Episode 4: Road to victory


Spike TV

The cast of The Ultimate Fighter No. 10 poses for a shot for the popular reality show that debuts on Sept. 16 on Spike TV.


Team Rashad rolls, Junie Browning hospitalized

Las Vegas Sun boxing/MMA writers Brett Okamoto and Andy Samuelson talk about Team Rashad's dominance on The Ultimate Fighter and the recent drug overdose of Junie Browning.

Is this really the end for Kimbo?

Even though the backyard brawler lost in last week’s episode to Roy Nelson, we’ve all seen ‘eliminated’ fighters come back in previous seasons. Maybe the tenth season hasn’t seen the last of Mr. Slice.

Also in question: How will big Marcus Jones come back and compete after being accused of wimping out during recent training sessions?

Let’s find out.

The Episode

This week starts with a recap of Kimbo’s second round TKO loss to Nelson. Let’s talk about the controversy of when and if the fight should have been stopped. Referee Herb Dean said this week that he didn’t call the fight in the first round because there was only about 30 seconds remaining when Nelson established that dominant position where he had Kimbo’s arm locked. But when he did it again early in the second round, he had to call the fight. I agree with him. Kimbo wasn’t going to get out of that position, and those punches were probably a little harder than a lot of people are giving Nelson credit for.

‘It’s a competition. If somebody gets hurt we might need you again,” says Kimbo’s camp. The opening line on Kimbo getting back in this competition should open at minus-10,000.

Back in the house, Jones is sweating uncontrollably for no apparent reason. No good explanation is given for why. Weird.

Team Rashad starts to put together the matchups they want for the prelims. One by one, Rashad calls his fighters in and let’s them know their opponents. The proposed matchups are: Matt Mitrione vs. Marcus Jones, Brendan Schaub vs. Demico Rogers and Justin Wren vs. Scott Junk.

Everyone seems to be fine with it except Wren, who says he doesn’t want to fight Junk because they’re close friends. Rashad is sympathetic, but in the UFC it’s best just to not have friends because typically that excuse doesn’t work.

Back at the house, Team Rashad gets into a little riff after Mitrione tells Junk the matchups they just planned. The team is obviously upset and for good reason, the former New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings player just took away the huge advantage of surprise.

Mitrione says he feels bad and doesn’t know what he was thinking. It doesn’t appear like he was doing it with any bad intentions in mind…some people just like to gossip man. “It’s not smart,” Rashad tells him later. “We’ll just have team meetings without you there.”

Next comes a scene where Rampage takes his coaches off into the parking lot and then into some trees and down into what looks like a small washout with birds pecking away in the background. Only Rampage would call a meeting in these settings.

Next fight is announced by Rashad and it is Schaub vs. Rogers. Rampage says he’s happy with the matchup and thinks it favors his team. He better hope so. His team is a whopping 0-3 against Rashad’s and you can tell it’s starting to bother him. “Have you ever thought about punching somebody in the face,” starts Rampage. “And your fist keeps going right through his skull and then you spit on him when he’s down? Why am I thinking about things like that, am I crazy? I’m ashamed of myself.”

On first impression, I’m leaning towards Schaub winning this fight. He’s already trained with Rashad’s camp and Greg Jackson before this show. Rogers may have an advantage on the ground but Schaub’s got experience that should help him defend and takedown attempts.

Moments leading up to the fight: Team Rashad getting Brendan pumped for the fight, Team Rampage sitting around looking like they just need a campfire and ingredients for smores. Oh brother.

Josh Rosenthal gets the fight started and Rogers lands a takes Schaub down fairly quickly on his second attempt to do so. Rogers works out of Schaub’s guard, trying to land shots but Schaub’s doing a pretty effective job of avoiding damage…until Rogers moves into side control. From there he lands some good elbows. Schaub reverses the position and ends up on top. Rogers tries to work out but Schaub sprawls over him and secures an anaconda choke.

Team Rampage doesn’t even come up to Rogers after the fight. Totally abandons him. Rashad says it’s horrible…I tend to agree. Team Rampage is screwed. Bold prediction — Rashad is going to be successful in his quest of 8-0. That even means Jones loses, who was shown accidentally injuring sparring partners this week.

Best Moment

Rampage: “We need to win a fight like a fish needs water.”

Kimbo Watch

Not much attention given to Kimbo in this episode. Here’s what I saw, (and of course, this was only in very short clips.) He looks like he’s still taking advantage of his time, as every clip during training sessions showed him working with competitors who are still in the running. It also looks like he has a coaching mentality, which came up when it showed Team Rampage before the Rogers fight where he was calming the fighter, “the last thing you should do is be worrying right now.”

Commercials of next week show Mitrione with an injured shoulder. Opportunity for Kimbo to come back even though he’d switch teams? Stranger things have happened.

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