Really not a fan of the mouthpiece shots in the opening credits. Arlovski has creative. These guys? No.
Mayhem calls in his team for a quick huddle after Dustin Pague’s win over Louis Greenhairnot. Dustin asks if they can yell “Glory to God!” Mayhem is not one for religion, but he grants the wish with no fuss.
For some reason in this rapidly paced opening segment, Diego Brandao (Bisping’s top pick) yells at Steven Siler (Mayhem’s last). “You think I’m here to kiss or what?” Bisping calms down Diego after he punches a wall, warning him that he’ll break his hand. Diego recognizes the sound advice.
Mayhem drops by the house with a cowboy hat for Dustin Neace. It looks like Josh Ferguson’s. Josh: “I’ve got one thing going for me, and you’re trying to rip it off.”
But Mayhem had an ulterior motive. He pulls Siler into the pantry and mentions that he thinks there’s a mole on the team. They quickly figure out that it’s John Dodson. So Mayhem says he’s changing the matchups, but we’ll keep that on the DL. He decides to make Diego wait.
And they even put on a little show with weight-cutting to throw Dodson off the trail. A complete trail of counter-subterfuge follows. I’ve had a conversation or two with Mayhem, and I’ll say this — he’s a clever guy.
We get an ad for St. Pierre-Condit. Oops. That fight isn’t happening soon.
Akira the Prankster wakes up Josh so they can do something unspecified to Dustin N’s hat. Dustin and Akira, remember, have already had a dust-up. Literally. So Dustin goes after Akira’s stuff. And he goes into the Bisping dressing room in the training center to fling stuff around all over the place. Bisping, of course, blames Mayhem. Bisping’s going to hate watching the final edits.
But Bisping separates Akira and Dustin, then does a pretty funny impression of Akira demanding a bare-knuckle fight. “You’re going to fight — you’re just going to fight after Diego. Put a lid on it until then.”
Back from the ad break for a fight selection that ought to be entertaining. Dustin and Akira are still yelling, most of it bleeped aside from Akira saying stuff about making him his wife. Mayhem does a pretty good job of calming Dustin. Bisping does nothing to calm Akira. So when Mayhem makes the announcement official, Akira comes out for the staredown with a headbutt.
As everyone’s being separated, Bisping gets in a Mayhem fighter’s face, and Mayhem angrily shoves him away, leading to another bleepfest.
“All this went down because of me,” Dodson says in confessional. “(Ah.) Bleep happens.”
They go ahead and announce the last fight by default — Diego vs. Siler. They remain calm.
The show’s quick pace continues, and Mayhem speaks to Dodson. “You caused us a lot of ill will,” Mayhem says. Dodson appears to … whoops! … we’re off to another segment. Somewhere, Aaron Sorkin is yelling, “Slow down! No one actually talks this fast!”
Weigh-in: Bisping’s erratic attendance at TUF commitments continues. He’s not there. Mayhem says he thinks Akira’s a good fighter but kind of a wack job who may come out way too fast.
Oh, hey, look who decided to show up! It’s Bisping!
Josh Ferguson and TJ Dillashaw put an “M” for Miller in the handicapped spot. It’s funny, Josh says. They’ve really cut the set-up to just about everything in this show.
Fight time: Dustin has 39 pro fights. He won 22 of them and drew 1. Dana White makes his first appearance of the episode. Herb Dean is the ref. We’re off.
Akira comes out a normal pace, not frenzied. He goes for a dramatic spinning back kick, which Bisping doesn’t seem to like. Dustin throws a good combo. Dustin tries a spinning kick, but Akira catches it and throws him off balance. Dustin tries to keep Akira at bay with upkicks, but Akira eventually works his way through and lands in Dustin’s guard. That’s the halfway point. Akira seems to be trying too hard for side control, giving up submission attempts and doing no damage. He progresses to half-guard and is able to pound a little bit.
Controversy! Dustin gets a leglock, and Akira seems to tap. Mayhem thinks so. Many commenters at Bloody Elbow think so. Another attempt draws no tap, and they stand. Dustin grabs an ankle wrap and tosses it out of the cage. Akira lands, but Dustin comes in for a takedown that probably seals a 10-9 round for him.
Round 2: Dustin has a welt on his right cheek. Akira comes out aggressive and pushes Dustin to the fence. He gets some knees in the clinch. They back away. Akira’s spinning fist misses. Dustin’s glances away. Akira gets a knockdown and follows up quickly. Dustin recovers somewhat. Two minutes left. Akira goes for a puzzling north/south position from which he can do nothing. One minute left. There’s no time for a third round, so something must surely happen here. Dustin tries triangle. Akira gets out for some tired ground and pound. Armbar attempt and … the round ends? SURELY we have a third round? Akira comes over and poses in front of Dustin, which draws an angry reaction. Then Bisping yells at Miller that he needs to control his fighters.
Nevada commission director Keith Kizer comes into the cage and says something I frankly didn’t catch. They packed a ton into this episode. (EDIT: MMA Junkie says this happened: “Before the scorecards are even read, Akira mockingly acts as though he’s machine-gunning down Dustin, who’s sitting on a stool. The coaches break it up, but Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer quickly enters the cage and says, “There’s about to be a suspended fighter. You want off the show?” Bisping quickly intervenes and cools things down before Akira is tagged with a suspension.”)
Akira wins by majority decision, which is utter crap. And Miller’s car gets towed as a result of the “M” in the wrong place.
So we saw a horrible decision, a rare Herb Dean mistake and no remorse from anyone acting like a total creep. Great.