“When we last left the cape crusaders in Gotham City, Batman and Robin were smack in the middle of an ugly feud with…” OOPS! Wrong Channel. TV Land is just too close to Spike on the dial.
When we last left the caged ring in the middle of Sin City, Rampage Jackson was pitching a fit as his team had lost again, a controversial decision rendered in Team Forrest’s favor yet again.
Episode 8 of “The Ultimate Fighter” opens with a recap of Cale Yarbrough’s Majority Decision victory over Patrick Schultz from Episode 7. Dana White explains the close fight not going to a third round because Yarbrough dominated the second round, and he agreed with two of the judges who scored it 10-8 for the Team Forrest fighter.
“Pat laid on his back the whole round, and just got pounded, so I scored it 10-8 for Cale just like the judges.”
Spike replays Patrick Schultz insulting Forrest Griffin as Cale’s hand is raised,
“Get back to your corner, I can’t wait for your fight with Rampage”.
Rampage is seen bolting from the gym warning Forrest,
“I’ll bet our fight doesn’t go to a decision!”.
Normally mild mannered Forrest finally snaps after being treated like Rodney Dangerfield for the last time. His team has dominated Team Rampage, winning 6 of 7 fights, and he has had enough of the lack of respect.
Forrest’s temper is percolating. As he stomps off to the locker room ready to blow, the camera shows Forrest reflecting about his post fight antics,
“Rampage is Rampage, I’m Temper Tantrum”
Forrest rips at his t-shirt and yells at the top of his lungs as he delivers a spinning back kick to a locker room door, completely destroying it. All attention is on Forrest as the rest of the gym chimes in with colorful analysis of Forrest’s tantrum,
“He Donkey Konged that door”
“I can’t believe he Lebans (referring to UFC fighter Chris Leban) the door”
Dana White is especially loving the made for TV drama, “In the history of the Ultimate Fighter, nobody has ever hurt the gym before”.
Forrest finally calms down and sits on the couch, but warns his fighters that they better keep Pat Schultz away from him,
“You better keep Schultzy away from me”,
But, literally as the words are coming out of his mouth, Schultz enters the dressing room and apologizes for disrespecting Forrest and the drama is defused.
Matt Riddle and CB Dollaway are sitting at the kitchen table talking about the upcoming final preliminary fight between CB and Team Forrest fighter Nick Klein. While the big headed CB sits across the table looking bad*ss in his designer shades, Riddle, over a bowl of cereal, is telling CB how great he is and how no one in the house wants to face him. As if the ‘big headed’ CB needs pumping up! Riddle make his prediction,
“CB is probably going to beat the shit out of him, TKO 2nd round”.
Next we cut to Nick Klein at the same table (Those crazy Spike editors and their parallel universes) with Matt Brown and a couple of other teammates. Klein looks the exact opposite of CB- nervous and jumpy. Brown tells Klein it’s all mental and he’s got good Jiu-Jitsu and doesn’t need to be nervous. Klein isn’t bothered by his lack of confidence. In fact he says it’s the norm for him,
“I’m always nervous. I’m not a guy who likes confrontation”.
Hmmm, doesn’t like confrontations? I’m not sure Klein realizes he’s chosen to be a professional MMA fighter. The odds on CB just sky rocketed!
TEAM FORREST TRAINING
Coach Forrest decides it’s time to calm the recent tensions between him and Rampage. And what better way then a with a Net Gun! Cale Yarbrough questions Forrest on whether that’s such a good idea,
“You going to use that on Rampage? I just hope he takes it with a good sense of humor”
Forrest thinks that whatever Rampage’s reaction is, it can’t be worse than what he’ll do in their upcoming UFC fight.
“What’s he going to do, drop me on my *ucking head and *ucking elbow me, no *ucking *hit”.
Rampage is seen sparring in the cage, Forrest leaves the locker room walking towards the gym… Commercial break… Oh, the drama!
When we return from another promo about this coming Saturday’s “Ill Will” UFC extravaganza, headlined by the much awaited BJ Penn vs Sean Sherk battle, Forrest lets loose, and fires his Net Gun at Rampage while he’s sitting up against the cage. Rampage is netted!
Rampage looking like a grade-schooler who just got unexpectedly wedgied, decries,
“This is war!”
With a litany of classic Rampage one liners, Rampage let’s us know how he feels,
“Him and his chicken faced assistant coach (Mark Beecher). He’s the one who needs to be netted. His ugly faced chicken ass. He needs to go lay an egg.”
“Do I look like a fish? I got netted. The whole word saw me get netted on National TV.”
“I can’t let him get away with that.”
Okay MMAers, back to serious business.
TEAM RAMPAGE TRAINING
CB rolls in wearing a red hoody. He looks calm, collected, and extremely confident as always.
Rampage “ Look! Little Red Riding Hood just walked in”
Rampage knows how talented CB is, that’s why he made him his first pick, but he also wants to instill a little humility. Good luck!
Rampage, “CB has got the most skills in the house, but he’s got a big head… I need to put all 12” of my foot up his ass”.
While CB is practicing his ground defense, he gets knee barred in practice. Rampage loves it and makes fun of him. CB jokingly throws a kick at Rampage.
Rampage kiddingly, “It’s on now”
He takes his socks off and somewhat seriously spars with CB. He immediately takes him down, but CB uses a Peruvian neck tie and Rampage taps.
Rampage is impressed, “He set me up. Man he kicked my ass. He’s good.”
TEAM FORREST TRAINING
Nick Klein is working out on the mat. Forrest seems a little concerned with his confidence level but likes Klein’s raw skills.
“He’s got pretty good submissions, his jiu-jitsu is pretty good, and his stand up is actually real good”
Accentuating his upbringing Klein explains the basis for his physical strength,
“I’m a farm kid and I’ve been doing this for 5 years. Most of my strength comes from my dad making me pitch cow crap.”
Meanwhile chicken faced (Rampages description not mine) assistant coach Mark Beecher preaches the importance of getting top position on a wrestler like CB.
“Oh yeah, you put him on his back. Oh yeah, they (wrestlers) panic when they get put on their back.”
Both fighters weigh-in at an even 185 lbs. Klein challenges Jeremy May for funniest drawers, when he shows up in underwear adorned with monkeys.
As the weigh-in goes on, Dana White chimes in with his analysis of the two fighters,
“CB’s got great hands, all-american wrestling, and he got a ton of submissions. Nick’s a big kid, but he’s going to have his hands full.”
TUF HOUSE (kitchen table)
Klein’s teammates continue trying to raise his confidence level,
Luke Zachrich, “I think CB is really overrated.”
Dante Rivera, “He’s got all the pressure.”
Klein, “ I ain’t worried, I feel I can turn the switch on when I have to.”
CB is sounding as confident as ever. In his most arrogant tone he talks about himself in the third person, “CB is here to win… CB has been training…”
Rampage makes the coming match between his # 1 and Team Forrest’s # 7 seed seem like even more of a mismatch,
“If you look up ULTIMATE FIGHTER in the dictionary. That’s what CB is all about. He’s no joke.”
We hear one last sound bite from the fighters before the fight,
CB “I didn’t come here to win for my teammates, I came here to win for me. I came here to win this whole *ucking tournament.”
Klein, “I’m no one’s stepping stone.”
CB Dollaway (6-0) vs Nick Klein (4-0)
CB throws a right kick, Klein catches it and flips CB on his back… Klein jumps on him, but CB shows off his strength by pushing him off and escaping.
CB tries to mount Klein… Klein scrambles… CB gets his back. He throws heavy punches from behind… Klein eventually turns onto his back to get into his guard. CB relentlessly grounds and pounds… Klein can’t get up. Every time he tries, he can only get onto his knees and CB keeps taking his back. CB’s wrestling skills are controlling the round.
Klein in his guard again, has a chance at a knee bar… He clamps onto CB’s ankle, but CB kicks his way out…More ground and pound from CB… He throws lots of forearms and elbows… Klein tries to avoid them, but his scramble doesn’t do much good… Klein hugs CBs chest trying to limit his punching range…CB catches the back of Klein’s head with an elbow… Klein has a cut and the back of his head starts to bleed… All Klein can do is try to catch one of CB’s limbs and go for a submission.
Klein goes for repeated arm bar, but CB pounds his way out… The ground and pound attack continues… Finally at the end of the round Klein is able to catch CB in an armbar, but he can’t get a good enough hold… Round ends.
*Easy round for Dollaway.
Klein and CB stand and trade jabs… Forrest implores Klein to throw punches more aggressively… Klein tries but gives up and jumps down back into his guard where he’s most comfortable… CB drags him up against the cage. Both fighters look tired… CB uses some more ground and pound… Klein scrambles, but CB gets his back again… Klein ends up back in his guard…. Klein scrambles and pushes a very gassed CB onto his back… He puts his head into CB’s chest… But just as you think the tide could be turning, CB clamps down on Klein’s neck
At 2:20 of the round Klein taps from the same Peruvian neck tie that CB used on Rampage in practice.
**CB Dollaway wins by submission in 2nd round.
CB compliments Klein and Rampage,
“He was tougher than I thought he’d be. (At the end of the first) He was going for a Kimura and Rampage told me what to do. It worked out.”
Rampage is impressed with CB, but thinks he should have finished the fight earlier.
Forrest is also complimentary of CB,
“Definitely he proved he’s one of the toughest guys in there”
Forrest and assistant coach Mark Beecher break down the fight for Klein. They tell him CB really plays a fighter’s back well and he needed to scramble more. Beecher chides him for not throwing more punches when they were standing. Even though the fight wasn’t close, Klein seems to think it was,
“Close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades”.
CB puts things into perspective for himself and the TUF audience,
“It’s the quarterfinals now, teams mean nothing, it’s every man for himself”.
TUF HOUSE (by the pool)
CB and his new buddy or lackey, Matt Riddle, are sitting in duel designer shades, relaxing by the pool, when Cale Yarbrough and Dante Rivera decide to have a little fun of their own.
Cale, stoking his own bravado, questions CB’s manhood when he laughs with Dante about how the dueling shades make CB and Riddle look like “Boyfriends”. CB, is pissed and let’s Cale know how badly he wants to fight him. A brewing rivalry is born.
In Episode 7 Coach Forrest had promised Amir Sadollah that he would shave his head if Amir beat Gerald Harris. Well, Amir has decided to take Forrest up on his promise. Taking a break from his role as MMA fighter, Amir decides its time to play barber. Thankfully for Forrest, he has a nice shaped noggin, so the haircut actually does him some good.
“Moo Ha Ha”, Rampage plots his revenge. Fresh off a nice new doo, it’s now time for Forrest to get an unannounced shower. Locked and loaded, Rampage unleashes his latest toy, a high-powered water rifle. Forrest takes it with good cheer and the hokie war games officially come to an end.
QUARTERFINALS— FIGHT PICKS
Dana, Forrest, and Rampage, La Costra Nostra of Season 7, gather in one of the gym’s back rooms. Dana while looking at the fighter’s photos points out that there are only two Rampage fighters out of the eight to choose from (Forrest won the team competition 6-2)
“A lot of X’s on Rampage’s side”
Rampage, “Yeah Forrest kick my butt”
Dana tells them that they’ll bring in each remaining fighter to see who they want to face and why.
CB Dollaway, is first. Surprise, surprise! He wants to fight Cale Yarbrough for calling him as he says, “a faggot”.
Next up is Cale Yarbrough. He doesn’t seem as keen on a match up with CB (shouldn’t of opened your trap then Cale). He wants Dan Cramer, Rampage’s other remaining fighter.
Amir Sadollah thinks Cale or Dante Rivera would be a good match-up for him. Dana asks about “Madman” Matt Brown. Amir replies, “That’d be a helluva fight!”
Dante Rivera would like to fight Dan Cramer.
Matt Brown doesn’t want to fight anyone from his own team. Dana asks about facing CB. Madman smiles, but doesn’t bite. Rampage eggs him on, “Yeah, I think you should fight CB”. Dana asks about Amir. Madman thinks that’d be a great fight.
Jesse Taylor doesn’t care who he fights, but when pressed mentions Dan Cramer or Matt Brown.
I’m starting to get the feeling that most of the fighters don’t think much of “Pretty Boy”, Dan Cramer.
Dan Cramer comes in next and reels off three names, the three best strikers remaining— Cale Yarbrough, Matt Brown, and Amir Sadollah.
Tim Credeur, Forrest’s top fighter, comes in last and of course names Cramer as the fighter he most wants to fight, “I want to beat up Dan Cramer. He thinks he’s a lot hotter than me”.
As the fighters gather, Dana White announces the match-ups:
Jesse Taylor (7-2) vs Dante Rivera (11-2)
Amir Sadollah (1-0) vs Matt Brown (10-6)
Dan Cramer (1-0) vs Tim Credeur (11-2)
CB Dollaway (7-0) vs Cale Yarbrough (1-0) (CB calls Yarbrough a “bitch” as fight is announced)
In case any MMA fans are trying to figure out the favorites, this is how the remaining fighters were seeded before the preliminaries:
Team Forrest Fighters
(#1) Tim Credeur
(#2) Amir Sadollah
(#3 Jesse Taylor
(#4) Matt Brown
(#5) Cale Yarbrough
(#6) Dante Rivera
Team Rampage Fighters
(#1) CB Dollaway
(#4) Dan Cramer
The two best strikers left are Amir Sadollah and Matt Brown. Cale Yarbrough and Dan Cramer are also brawlers.
Tim Credeur is the best Jiu-Jitsu fighter left. Dante Rivera is the other Jiu-Jitsu specialist.
CB Dollaway is the best wrestler left, but Jesse Taylor is a pretty good one too.
Jesse Taylor will square off against Dante Rivera and Amir Sadollah goes up against “Madman” Matt Brown in what Spike TV is promising will be a bloodbath.
So the team portion of the tournament is over, it’s now every man for himself and as the TUF narrator says,
“It’s crunch time in the Octagon. Eight fighters remain, but only one will call himself the next Ultimate Fighter.”