The annals of “Reality” television are strewn with infamous villains. From the sneaky and mean to the ruthless and disdainful, “Reality” audiences make stars out of the incessantly unlikeable. Shows like “Survivor” and “The Apprentice” owe much of their success to the gauling, yet entertaining antics of “reality” villains Richard Hatch (Survivor 1) and Omarosa (Apprentice 1).
If a good villain helps make a good “Reality” show, then “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 7 is off to a grand start. TEAM RAMPAGE fighter Jeremy May might have a lot of talent, but he’s also a pain in the rump, who has a great penchant for p*ssing off his house mates.
Episode 5 opens with a recap of last week’s hellacious fight between Tim Credeur and Matt Riddle. After Credeur’s well earned submission victory, Tim shows Riddle his respect by telling him he was one of the toughest fighters he has ever fought. He then promises to buy him an Xbox 360. Riddle is stoked! TUF villain Jeremy May is not,
“You don’t defend an armbar and you get an Xbox”.
May’s teammates all are visibly annoyed by his comments. So, the stage is set, Episode 5 will be the coming-out party for new “Reality” bad boy Jeremy May.
Back at the house, while Riddle and a few of his castmates enjoy some bubbles and a beer in the hot tub, Jeremt May decides it’s time for more shenanigans. May pulls the old, “lock em out in the cold” prank while he plays graffitti king in the house. May gets his giggles when Riddle can’t get in the house. Then like a happy monkey, May hops on a table and scrawls his self given nickname on the ceiling,
“Jeremy ‘the BAM’ may lives here”.
Nick Klein translates the meaning, BAM = Bad Mother *ucker! He also adds that May has not done anything to earn that nickname as of yet.
Next on Jeremy May’s annoy list, is Week 2 fight winner and Tinactin recipient, Jesse Taylor. May tosses things at Taylor while they both are hanging out on the couches. Taylor yells at him to “quit it”, which of course only eggs May on. Taylor, one of the more mellow members of the house ends up flinging his Gatorade at May and then confesses to the camera his profound dislike for May.
TEAM RAMPAGE TRAINING
On the heels of two straight defeats Rampage Jackson is all about motivation. He spurs his team on in an “I mean business” tone,
“This isn’t Paddycake fellas”.
He also invites TUF Season 6 winner Michael Bisping to train with his guys. Bisping with his strong English accent exhorts the fighters to train hard and stay away from fooling around too much. All of Rampage’s fighters seem to enjoy Bisping especially Brandon Sene. Sene learns some tips from Bisping while sparring and then declares his great admiration for him.
Meanwhile, Jeremy May is letting Rampage know that he thinks Forrest will pick him to fight this week. Rampage still thinks Pat Schultz will be the target. But, May is convinced it will be him and tries to psych himself up while riding the statioary bike.
May mutters through his mouthpiece to Matt Riddle who is standing next to him that he thinks he’s going to fight this week.
“Dante don’t want to stand with me. Nobody on their team (TEAM FORREST) will stand with me.”
Riddle in his laid back way warns him,
“Brown (Matt Brown) will probably stand with you, he’s murder.”
May with his best bravado,
“He won’t stand for long”.
TEAM FORREST TRAINING
Next, we get to see Matt Brown training. In Episode 2, we all got to see that brown is the most intense fighter in the whole lot. Knowing this, Forrest asks Brown to take it easy on the others in sparring.
We learn from his teammate Jesse Taylor, that Brown is so intense that they have nicknamed him, “Mad Moher*ucking Brown”. Last week’s winner Jiu Jitsu black belt shows how much his teammates respect Brown when he speaks admiringly of Brown’s work ethic,
“…because of his training hard, banging hard, wing hard.”
TUF HOUSE (Back At The House)
Oh, that Jeremy May, he just can’t help himself. Continuing on his friend finding mission, he decides to put lime juice in Matt Brown’s dip (tobacco).
Tim Credeur, standing by the refrigerator can’t believe his eyes,
“Matt Brown is one of those human beings that you do not mess with at all… I think Matt Brown is going to punch holes in him”.
When Brown returns to the house from training he finds out what happened to his dip. May, showing his smarts is on another floor. Brown has May in his line of fire,
“You don’t *uck with another man’s *hit!”.
For the first time May looks a little intimidated, but tries to hide it with his clownish smirk. Brown continues with his verbal beat down,
“That’s o’k though cause you’re the next fight. You start getting ready now. I was going to fight you anyway, but now I got a better reason.”
May tries to fluff the threat off,
“It was a joke man”.
Brown fires back,
“Are we tight like that? We joke around and *hit?”
May’s voice loses any authority, he looks scared. Brown ends the segment with a pronouncement,
“There’s nothing more to say about it, I’ll just punch him in the face and settle it that way.”
CHOOSING THE FIGHT
While the audience is expecting a much anticipated Matt Brown s Jeremy May choice, Forrest surprises us and choose his 2nd best Jiu-Jitsu guy, Dante Rivera to take on former Marine sniper and stand up fighter, Brandon Sene.
So, the match is set, TEAM FORREST’s # 6 vs TEAM RAMPAGES # 8. The more experienced Rivera is the clear favorite.
Now comes the time in the show to see if we can glean anything about the two fighters from their training.
Sene spends much of his time banging at bags and practicing his takedown defense. He thinks Dante has more to lose and that his years in the Marines gave him a special kind of composure,
“I have a lot of composure… I’ve played a lt of head games in my life. My experience is not necessarily in the ring, but I’m going to show this guy I’m for real.
Dante is mostly working on his submissions and banging from the ground. Forrest assitant, Cameron Diffley has spent a lot of time studying Sene and is busy imparting this knowledge to his fighter. Dante thinks he has trained with higher caliber guys than Sene has and this will make a big difference.
At the end of the training segments Sene and Dante delare their strategies,
Dante, “The main game is to take him down and submit him”
Sene,” I’ll ground and pound him”
TEAM RAMPAGE TEAM FORREST
Brandon Sene (2-0) vs Dante Rivera (10-2)
Dante comes out in a southpaw stance. He pushes Sene up against the cage. Dante trips Sene and gains top control. He works into Sene’s half-guard.
Sene eventually gets up and Dante pushes him back against the cage. Sene does some nice striking with his knees to Dante’s legs and side. Dante tries for a takedown, but the bigger Sene uses his strength and take down defense to avoid it.
Dante pushes Sene back again and the cage dance continues. The referee breaks the clinch fest. Sene grabs a hold of Dante’s neck in a headlock. Dante picks Sene up and slams him. Dante ends in top position.
Sene fires elbows and punches from the bottom. Dante goes for an ankle. Sene does the same. Sene rolls and escapes, but Dante ends back on top.
*Dante wins round by controlling the action.
Like the first round, much of the action focuses on Dante in a clinch with Sene along the cage. Sene uses his knees effectively in the clinch. Dante is just holding him up with his weight.
Finally the referee yells, “stop”, trying to create more action. Just then dante throws Sene to the mat. Dante uses his ground and pound. Sene is tangle up along the cage and Dante smothers him.
Sene works hard to get back to standing position. Dante tries a takedown, sene defends, the cage dance returns.
Dante finally trips Sene and ends on top. He works to get in Sene’s half guard. Sene sweeps him and reverses, ending on top. With about a minute left in the round, Sene uses his ground and pound for the first time. Sene controls the last minute of round.
**Very close round, but the sweep and ground and pound in the last minute convinces the judges to give it to Sene.
We’re going to Overtime! The man who wins the next round wins the fight.
Rampage motivates Sene,
“Show him you’re not tired”
Forrest strategizes with Dante,
“Stay on top and punish!”
Dante pushes Sene up against cage again. Sene punches in the clinch.
Dante drops to his knees, lifts Sene and slams him. He’s on top. Sene throws solid punches and elbows from the bottom.
Dante tries to smother Sene. The action slows. The referee turns into film director-icon Cecille B. DeMille,
“Action, come on guys action!”
Dante stands. Sene tries an up-kick. Dante goes on top again and smothers Sene in his half-guard. He tries for Sene’s wrist, Sene resists.
The fight ends with Dante on top throwing some tired punches.
Close fight so who won?
Rampage and his trainers clearly think Sene did more damage and won. They tell him to raise his arms. Sounding almost like he’s trying to convince himself Rampage tells Sene,
“You got this one!”
Dana White is not won over by either fighter,
“Niether guy looked overly impressive, It’s not like either one of the guys was making me say, ‘Thank god, we got these two in the UFC”
The winner is announced, Dante Rivera wins by Decision.
After three straight defeats rampage has had enough. He yells, and starts throwing things. Rampage continues his tirade in the parking lot before returning and trying to cool down.
Rampage yells at Sene, “You whupped his *ss!”
Sene is distraught,
“I needed to win that dude”
Dante is happy and Forrest thinks it was a good decision, because Dante controlled the action.
Dana disgrees. He thinks that Sene did the most damage, and says that the one universal criteria all judges should go by is who doled out the most damage. He thinks Sene did that.
The show ends with Forrest announcing the fight for next week— the fight everyone wants to see!
Matt Brown vs Jeremy May
The two fighters stare each other down. May makes fun of Brown’s height, while Brown looks ready to kill. They both have their say to the camera and Brown in his most intimidating way warns Jeremy,
“Now it’s not going to be my face in your face, it’s going to be my fist in your face.”
So, after 5 episodes, it’s TEAM FORREST 3 and TEAM RAMPAGE 0.
As the credits roll, we see one of Brown’s teammates give his prediction with line of the night,
“I think Matt Brown will win by murder”.
The narrator leaves us with this,
“The Grudge Match is on! Will Jeremy’s head games pay off or will Matt Brown’s rage put the the punk in his place. Also, get ready for a Second preliminary fight.”