mma

The Ultimate Fighter 17, Episode 9: Pores of a champion

The recap: Bubba wanted to fight Kevin, but Kevin fought Collin instead. And he stunk. But he’s happy to get another chance. The stitches in his forehead are frowning.

Bubba has a tearful confessional about wanting to see his daughter more. Then Team Jones’s coaches pump him up, saying he’s one of the best fighters in the house. The bad news: Bubba looks nervous. To drill that home, we get another confessional with an EXTREME CLOSEUP! SEE INSIDE BUBBA’S PORES! HE HAS THE PORES OF A CHAMPION!

The housemates recalled that Bubba’s callout of Kevin was the only callout of the season. Josh Samman can’t cede the spotlight that easily, so he calls out Jimmy Quinlan, mostly on the grounds that he’s … in the room.

But in practice, Uriah wants to fight Josh. And Jimmy, who tends to grapple people rather than knock them unconscious, says he wants to see Uriah beat the piss out of him.

Chael Sonnen then continues his transformation from trash-talking court-maneuvering bad boy to the Guru of Positive Coaching. “If his opponent is better, we can live with that. But we’ve got to see the real Kevin Casey.”

Casey has been practicing with a mask on to protect his cut. It looks like he’s auditioning for an MMA-themed remake of Silence of the Lambs.

Now it’s Thanksgiving dinner, and Sonnen proves himself the toastmaster. “Jon, it is a sheer disappointment, finding out what a nice gentleman you are.”

Some people are griping about not getting enough food. Bubba is cutting weight. Bubba angry. Bubba smash. Someone’s saving some food for after the fight, right?

But after another wholly unnecessary EXTREME CLOSEUP of Josh, Bubba steps up and makes weight. Kevin, on the other hand, needs to drop his drawers and step behind the Towel of Shame. He has trouble putting his pants back on. “I just don’t know what to do right now,” Sonnen says. He thinks maybe he should help, but …

Is it too late to have Chael replace Charlie Sheen on Anger Management? I’d watch that.

Dylan Andrews is afraid that Bubba might go crazy if he loses. Me too. Especially after the third “I should be able to smash this guy” confessional from Bubba in this episode.

Bubba and Kevin talk more. And more. And some ads. And Dana tells us it’s the wild-card fight. Finally, Steve Mazzagatti gets us started.

Kevin immediately gives up a takedown. I’d say he pulled guard, but he didn’t seem happy there, and he wall-walks his way up and out. Then he gets a takedown of his own, bending Bubba in all sorts of uncomfortable ways. Through 2:30 of the fight, it’s hard to recall a single strike.

Bubba eventually stands. Kevin holds him against the fence, but Bubba still manages to land some knees. Unfortunately, Kevin trips him down in the last 30 seconds, and Bubba just looks irritated for the rest of the round.

The second round finds Bubba again unable to remain at optimum kickboxing distance. He’s effective at dirty boxing, though, and he takes down Kevin in side control. Then he remembers the “pound” part of “ground and pound,” which Kevin doesn’t seem to enjoy.

An elbow sends Kevin’s mouthpiece flying, leading to some unusual corner advice: “You want that mouthpiece! Go get it!” Kevin works his way closer to it, but Bubba is effectively beating him up with good fists and elbows. The Sonnen staff is reduced to the Rampage-style corner advice of “Get up!”

So did the judges give a 10-8 in the second round? Of course not. We’re going to a third round. Kevin has to be helped to his corner.

We were promised a big finish, and we don’t have much time for much else. In fact, we have NO time, because Kevin can’t get up off his stool.

Bubba yells to Dana White, “Does that count as a finish?” Dana, smiling: “Good question! Yeah, we’ll give it to you.”

Fight recap: Chael is pleased that Kevin turned it into a grappling match rather than a fight in the first round. Then one of Chael’s team yelled into the cage that Bubba was breaking. Bubba angry. Bubba smash — for real this time. Afterwards, Bubba yelled not to tell him he’s breaking. Point taken.

Kevin’s departure puzzles Chael. “This was new to me,” the coach/philosopher says. Kevin says he once had kidney failure in a fight. He leaves in an ambulance. So we’re supposed to infer that he had kidney failure again?

Quarterfinal time. Dana says he usually brings in the fighters to get their preferences. This time … he also will do that. OK then.

One person (Collin?) actually calls out Uriah. But Uriah calls out Josh. They ask Josh about that, and he says Uriah is ducking Collin. Right.

As with Lesnar and dos Santos, the coaches surprisingly agree on everything. Dylan and Luke called each other out, so that’s easy.

But Dana has final say:

– Collin vs. Kelvin
– Dylan vs. Luke (New Zealand vs. UK)
– Josh vs. Jimmy
– Uriah vs. Bubba

Aw, come on. That’s not fair. Uriah: We all had this Scooby-Doo look on our faces. He does a good sound effect to illustrate — ah, the limitations of print render it impossible for me to replicate it.

So Josh and Jimmy get the fight that one of them really wanted and one sort of wanted. Dylan and Luke get their Battle of the Accents. The other four are going back to the house wondering what they did to piss off Dana.

On the next episode, we get an overhead shot of Brittney Palmer’s cleavage. Then two fights. And Ronda Rousey visits. Never say the producers don’t understand their demographic.

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