What we learned this week:
– My cable company doesn’t have The Ultimate Fighter on demand. I had to wait to catch the Sunday rerun.
– Some guy from American Top Team is really good at climbing ropes.
– American Top Team finally picks Hayder Hassan to fight. They don’t mention the hand injury ruled him out of the last four.
– The Blackzilians pick Andrews Nakahara, who claims a world championship in Kyokushin karate. He is seen training on a beach. Then a 250-pound guy comes up to kick sand in his face, and Nakahara signs up for a Charles Atlas course.
– (The last sentence is fictional.)
– Hayder confronts Blackzilian Jason Jackson, saying Jackson has been spreading rumors that he’s a dirty fighter. It seems Hayder knocked out Jackson in 2013. Jackson at first plays down the “dirty fighter” thing, but says all he knows is that Hayder pulled his hair. Then Jackson says not to call him a bitch. Hayder doesn’t care to continue the discussion. In confessional, he says if he’s matched up with Jackson, he’ll just hit rewind and then play and beat him up again.
– We’ve established that Michael Graves was drinking a good bit. This time, he drank too much to wake up to roll out with the American Top Team van in the morning. The editors cleverly cut to shots of Graves looking very cozy in bed. When ATT leader Dan Lambert gets the news, he’s calm but unhappy. Will they kick him out of the house? Stay tuned.
– Oops — after the ad break, Graves shows up. The ATT guys don’t jump up and greet him like the prodigal son. “(Bleep) you, Graves” is heard from someone off camera.
– Both fighters make weight. Hayder smiles. Nakamura winks. Dana White, reporting from his bunker in a gym equipment warehouse, is intrigued with the striker-vs.-striker matchup. Jackson says Hayder only has an overhand and a hook, because no fighters ever add anything to their arsenals in more than 12 months of training.
– Hayder talks about his faith — he’s a Muslim who prays five times a day and feels totally at peace, which might be a surprise if you’ve been watching the show.
– Andrews is confident. That’s about all we hear. And it’s getting late in this episode, so we know it won’t be a three-rounder. Maybe not even a two-rounder.
– We go back to Hayder, who has all the good lines in this one. He says he’s going to get so close to Nakamura that the guy will know what he had for breakfast this morning. The Blackzilians, he says, just wrestle and hump you to kill time.
– Din Thomas! The TUF alum and ATT coach says Hayder has dynamite in his hands. Lambert reminds us that Hayder has never been to a decision.
– Fight time: They touch gloves. Nakamura tries several high kicks. Hayder just keeps walking him down. Then a little more than 40 seconds in, it’s left-RIGHT-LEFT. The combo bounces Nakamura off the cage and sends him down. Hayder pounces right away. The ref warns Nakamura to fight back, but it’s not happening. TKO in 48 seconds.
– Hayder jumps on the fence, says a few things that are bleeped, then bounces down and puts his finger to his lips to shush the Blackzilians.
– Blackzilians owner Glenn Robinson just shrugs. “It happens.”
– At the decision, Hayder again shows respect for Nakamura at least. They bow to each other, and Hayder raises Nakamura’s hand. It’s the first time Nakamura has been knocked out.
So now ATT gets home gym advantage at last. Robinson just feels bad for Nakamura.
“This season …” promo again tells us nothing about what’s coming up.