‘The Ultimate Fighter’: Season 12, Episode 4: Maturity rocks

The questions heading into tonight’s episode:

1. Will the latest Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres housecapades include anything we haven’t already seen in the preview?

2. With Caceres and Michael Johnson winning but not looking dominant, who’s the favorite?

3. Will Josh Koscheck give up on trying to prank Georges St. Pierre by himself and turn to Ashton Kutcher for help?

We start with a fight replay and GSP telling his team, in that wonderful French-Canadian lilt, that his guys are going to make him have a heart attack.

Mike Tyson is still hanging around, and he talks to Team GSP about confidence. He and GSP then resume their campaigns for “Nicest Guy in Combat Sports” with an exchange of compliments. Never thought you’d hear that about Tyson, did you? Not 15-20 years ago, anyway.

Team Koscheck gets a Rocky-style montage. Koscheck: “The harder you work now, the later it will pay off.” Wait a minute — is he saying that the harder you work, the longer you have to wait?

Then we get to the Caceres flareup with Sevak Magakian, who gripes that Bruce Leeroy was yelling “(Bleep) him up” during the Johnson-Aaron Wilkinson fight. The consensus is that Caceres was unprofessional. Caceres cares not for your consensus. Most of the conversation is bleeped, but we know Caceres said something about Magakian’s balls, which nearly caused Magakian to display said items. Instead, he settles for charging at Caceres. Nam Phan makes the timely rugby tackle to keep Magakian from a nasty fight in the house.

GSP has figured out how to park his car so that Koscheck can’t block his doors. Koscheck finds that amusing, and he chats with GSP about it. Koscheck then complains that his team is losing to a bunch of nerds. It sounds like the exchange from The Simpsons in which Rainier Wolfcastle says he’s playing a father who’s horrified to learn that his son is a nerd, then says “it’s not a comedy.”

Fight announcement: GSP picks Kyle Watson, Matt Hughes’ jiu-jitsu coach, to face Andy Main. We know nothing about Andy Main. Did he dye his hair since he came into the house?

Koscheck tries to tease GSP about his “Speedos,” the short shorts he wears when he fights. Again, no rise out of GSP, and Koscheck is starting to get confused.

Weigh-in is uneventful. After an ad break, we return to Koscheck trying to make his team throw up in training. Koscheck gives his pep talk, explaining that he doesn’t like losing to a French guy. Next time I interview him, I’d better change my last name.

We then learn that Main is the youngest fighter here. Koscheck gives him a one-on-one pep talk. Main looks like he just walked into midterms and forgot to study.

Watson, being older (31), is the “unofficial team captain.” But GSP says Watson gets very nervous and that the stress sometimes “kills him.” Watson stammers a bit when talking about the way he’s visualizing the fight. GSP compensates by making him rehearse his walk into the cage.

Maybe it’s working — Watson looks more relaxed in his pre-fight interviews. Main squirms like he’s feeling the pressure of a job interview at the mall so he can earn gas money to take his girlfriend out for pizza.

Arianny walks, Josh Rosenthal is the ref, and the fight starts at 10:44 p.m. in the broadcast. Given all the ads, that means this probably isn’t going the distance.

After a few exchanges, Watson presses Main into the fence. Main reverses, then jumps on Watson’s back. Surely Watson covered this situation when he was teaching jiu-jitsu for Matt Hughes’ team. They spend 90 seconds in that position, with Main hitting Watson a few times, before falling. Another 30 seconds, and Watson gets free. Main holds him off with upkicks.

(Side note: I watch with closed-captioning on because the dialogue gets muddled sometimes, especially with the volume turned low enough to let housemates sleep. When Josh Rosenthal told the fighters to watch their hands against the fence, the captioning credited him as “McCarthy.”)

Watson spends the rest of the round dishing out some ground-and-pound. GSP tells him he won the round. Maybe, but he can’t really count on it. The round is a classic case of one guy having the upper hand for two minutes and the other guy having it for two, with one minute even.

Round 2 starts at 10:53. Surely a finish coming. Main looks slightly sharper standing, but Watson takes him down. He’s quickly into side control, going for a crucifix. He weighs 110 pounds less than Roy Nelson, so Main isn’t quite as stifled as Kimbo Slice. Watson actually ends up back in half-guard for some reason, but he’s just shifting between dominant positions.

Main gives up his back to a jiu-jitsu teacher. Uh oh. Watson locks his legs around Main, with plenty of time to work for the rear naked choke. The inevitable finish comes a minute later, and Koscheck storms away, deciding to kick a chair rather than throw a stool.

Koscheck says Main didn’t listen. Seems a little harsh given the gap in experience.

So it’s 3-0 GSP. Wilkinson still should have the edge for the wild-card spot based on the fights so far.

Next week: “A careless prank by Alex backfires,” and we get a few more visitors. At this point, the most famous guy in combat sports who hasn’t appeared on the show is probably Ariel Helwani.



– Marc Stevens, who briefly wrestled for Kos when he was a college coach.

– Sevak Magakian, who overwhelmed JJ Ambrose for a decision in the prelim.

– Sako Chivitchian, whose judo national championships are greatly exaggerated but may still be a solid MMA fighter.

– LOST: Andy Main, who has a thin resume and barely got a few seconds of screen time in the prelims.

– Nam Phan, going surprisingly low for someone with a lot of experience and an impressive prelim win.

– LOST: Aaron Wilkinson, the Englishman with a surprising ground game for a Wolfslair product.

– LOST: Jeff Lentz, who demolished Dan Head in the prelim despite GSP dismissing his chances. Looked good in first round against Caceres before giving up submission.


– WON: Michael Johnson, highly sought after by both teams.

– Jonathan Brookins, who has a win in Bellator.

– Spencer Paige, who won the best of the prelim fights against Steve Magdaleno.

– WON: Alex “Bruce Leroy” Caceres, comb always in his hair. Comeback win by submission against Lentz.

– WON: Kyle Watson, also going surprisingly low for his experience.

– Cody McKenzie, another guy who might’ve been expected to go earlier given his uncanny ability to beat everyone by guillotine.

– Dane Sayers, who broods over being the last pick.

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