This week, Matt Serra decided not to corner any of his team members in their quarterfinal fights against each other. I thought that was a total lack of respect for his fighters and somewhat for the sport. He’s on that show to coach. No matter who’s on his team, no matter who he’s told to coach, I think you should coach. In any sport, you never know who’s gonna get hurt, who’s gonna get traded – you never know. To me, it was very obvious that he did that because he didn’t want to corner against George (Sotiropoulos) or Matt (Arroyo) – his two favorite guys. That just showed a big lack of respect for the other guys that were on his team.
I had to corner two of Serra’s guys, Matt and Richie (Hightower), and when you’re in that role, you just do the best you can. What does your opponent like to do, what are his favorite moves? Find out as much about your opponent as you possibly can, find out what they’ve already worked on for a game plan, and either build off that, or give your fighter instruction on the same game plan. There’s a lot more to being a cornerman than just telling people to breathe, which is about all I hear out of Serra. I just think he could have helped those guys, and that’s why I wanted Richie and Troy (Mandaloniz) with me. I wanted to corner those guys because I knew that Matt (Serra) wasn’t gonna help those guys out. But I didn’t get my way. I think I could have come up with a game plan where at least they had a coach on their side. Against Matt (Arroyo), Troy didn’t have a coach on his side and actually, Matt (Serra) was going over game plans with Matt (Arroyo) instead of Troy, which was terrible.
The coaches’ challenge was this week, and in the match with Serra, I didn’t have fun with it. Number one, I’m a terrible bowler. I’ve tried bowling like five times in my life and I’m terrible every time, so it wasn’t any fun for me – it was just a competition, and they
forced me to bowl. I would have never picked bowling with Serra.
As for the strike I threw before the match, that was one hundred percent luck, and I just did that for the guys. I didn’t want any more money whatsoever for me, but Dana’s a gambler, and I thought I could talk him into doubling the guys’ money somehow. I was on him for quite a few minutes, trying to talk him into it, and he came up with the strike thing. I was trying to find another way, because I just don’t bowl, but I had to try and throw a strike and I just got lucky, no doubt about it.
In this week’s fights, Matt and Troy went just the way I thought. Matt’s style is throw a couple punches, set your takedown up, and take him down and try to beat him on the ground. He’s very confident on the ground and it showed in his win. The Richie fight really surprised me because I thought Richie did real well. I thought George did not want to get hit by Richie; that was pretty obvious since he kept his right hand very high because he knew Richie liked to throw his hook and he knew Richie had some power. I thought George was not overly impressive in that fight, even though he won, so that really let us coaches come up with gameplans for both guys if we need them.
We’re coming down the home stretch here, and people have started asking me about my fight with Serra on December 29th, and whether I’m getting any added incentive by watching the show. All I can say is, anytime I don’t feel like training or practicing or working hard, all I have to do is watch The Ultimate Fighter and watch that guy run his mouth, and it’s pretty easy to get motivated again.