Missing TUF in its regular time slot is one thing. Forgetting to record it is another. The site doesn’t upload the full episode for a few days, and then you’re stuck watching that Miller Lite ad with the drill sergeant training female lifeguards to save men from making poor beer-drinking decisions. No time to ponder the many ironies of all that — we’ve got two fights this week, and though I know the results, I’m looking forward to seeing them.
Shamar Bailey hurt his back in training. He’s whispering because Chris Cope, who has already been accused of spying on the whole house, is lurking as always.
Team Dos Santos practice finds Ramsey Nijem piling on the weight-cutting gear while he works out with Junior, who reiterates praise of Ramsey’s wrestling prowess.
We get a little bit of Ramsey’s backstory. “Being Palestianian helps me be the fighter I am.”
Brian Stann stops by to chat at the request of the U.S. Marine Corps. He gives what seems like a recruiting speech, either for the Marines or the UFC. Brock Lesnar jokes that Stann should’ve brough a few applications to get some of these guys to join the USMC.
Clay Harvison, who knows Brian out in the real world, has to prepare for Ramsey. Brock, opening up quite a bit as a coach, gives Ramsey a tip based on something Shane Carwin used against him.
Miller Lite ad. Yes, I’m so afraid of making an “unmanly” choice. I’m 41 with two kids. That’s my first priority. (To be fair, it’s not their fault I’m out of the demographic.)
The Ramsey-Clay weigh-in is spiced up by Ramsey’s thong. Dana reminds us that Clay’s finger was grotesquely dislocated.
Ramsey gets a little nauseous before the fight. That could be an advantage. Would you hesitate a little if you knew someone might vomit on you?
Tale of the tape: Clay is 30. Ramsey is 22. Steve Mazzagatti is the ref.
Round 1: Ramsey throws awkwardly. Clay throws wildly, giving Ramsey the easy opening for a takedown. He hops on Clay’s back, sinks in hooks, hits him a couple of times, locks in the rear naked choke and gets the tap before the one-minute mark. Not sure Ramsey’s even sweating.
“That’s how you fight when you get sick?!” Junior asks.
Dana reassures Clay that he’s impressed with the guy’s toughness. Brock also accentuates the positive. Clay is ticked at himself for falling into something so quickly.
Different Miller Lite ad makes fun of those of us who like emo bands.
On to the second fight and the rather contrived conflict between Shamar and Chris. Brock smiles as he tells Chris just to weather the first 30 seconds. It’s another wrestler vs. striker matchup — or, as Brock puts it, “wrestler vs. … Chris.”
Brock works with Chris and points to the logo at the center of the cage. “Own Burger King,” Brock says. Shamar was Dos Santos’ first pick. Chris was picked a little later. Shamar is ripped. Chris is … Chris. Shamar glares. Chris smiles.
Dana points out the upset potential — Shamar looked one-dimensional in his first fight. That’s especially true if “boring” is a dimension.
Chris picks the brain of Nordin, who lost that borefest and gets some rare screen time. They end up arguing about Chris’ approach.
The main Miller Lite ad returns, after the Hugh Hefner Stoli ad. Am I supposed to be wasted by this point?
Round 1: As expected, Shamar spends about 90 seconds working on a takedown against the cage, but Chris defends well. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. And Chris lands punches in quantity, if not quality, each time he’s tied up. 10-9 for Chris.
Another Stoli ad, this one with Julia Stiles. Pretty cool, actually.
Round 2: Chris concedes the Burger King logo too easily, which surely annoys Brock. But he outpunches Shamar to keep him at bay for about 80 seconds. Then we’re back to the cage, where Chris defends the takedown again. Back to the center, where Chris is again outboxing Shamar, and Shamar finally charges to push him to the cage. Still can’t get the takedown. That’s 0-for-7, approaching the success rate of apocalyptic prophets. Shamar lands a couple of punches but doesn’t even follow up with a takedown attempt. More boxing and another Shamar charge, with Chris reverses and presses Shamar to the cage. Shamar reverses, but Chris again fights his way out. 30 seconds left, and Shamar goes for takedown attempt #9, taking a whole bunch of punches to his ear. Chris reverses and gets back to the center as the round ends.
Dos Santos tells Shamar “your fight, your fight.” Not sure what he was watching.
Dana sums it up well: Shamar couldn’t do anything. But Chris wouldn’t let his hands go. Brock says Chris was in defensive mode but landing defensive punches.
All three judges score it 20-18 for Chris. “What?!” yells Dos Santos. “I don’t know about that,” says Shamar.
Shamar says he wanted to come out and put on a show for Dana, not just wrestle. He tells Dana he wants to show he could bang rather than trying to take the easy way out and taking him down. Dana: “Looks like you TRIED to take him down a bunch of times.” Shamar then plays the injured-back card.
Great fight? No. Just an amusing look at how to beat a one-dimensional fighter and some reassurance that you can’t win a fight by simply pressing someone against a cage.
Next week, Tony Ferguson apparently goes ballistic in the house, but they tell us he will indeed fight Ryan McGillivray in what should be one of the best fights of the season. We’ll get both quarterfinals, then the semifinal announcements. Yes, this season is going fast.