The Ultimate Fighter, Season 16, Episode 4: Fix the scales!

Previously on The Ultimate Fighter: Bleeep … Bleeeeppp! …. Bleeeeeeepppp! And Joey Rivera shocked No. 1 pick Alvey.

Several seasons ago, Forrest Griffin flipped a coin to set up the matchups. Now, Roy Nelson has his team drawing straws. Final draft pick Julian Lane gets the short straw, and he’s so pumped that his Mohawk is shaking. He’s leaning toward picking Mike Secor because Secor has been a jerk in the house. But maybe Mike Ricci (can he take a punch?) or Bristol Marunde (reasons unclear).

Dana White takes the guys for a special premiere of Here Comes The Boom. Dana pitches the film as a funny film, not a tough-guy film. (Can’t it be both? I’ve got this screenplay …)

We get to see a few snippets, especially the slow-motion of Kevin James knocking former TUF coach Jason “Mayhem” Miller.

Everyone had fun, but it appears Roy Nelson had an issue with it.

Nelson’s worried that Lane isn’t fully prepared to go three rounds, thinking he gets sloppy when he’s gassed. Nelson tries to keep Lane motivated through some conditioning work: “If my fat butt can do this, I know you can.”

Fight selection time, and Nelson gives the fake-out, hinting that it’s going to be Mike (Secor? Ricci?) but taking Marunde instead. Marunde gives a long staredown, then tells Lane, “Big mistake.” Lane’s response: “Yeah, for you.” Wait … what? Marunde didn’t do anything, mistake or not. It’s like the old Brian Regan bit where the gate attendant says “Have a nice flight,” and Regan reflexively responds, “You too … if you go somewhere … sometime …”

Marunde talks about how awesome everything is with Team Carwin. Then he weighs himself and stares in disbelief … 186 pounds. Let’s get those 15 pounds off.

The weight cut starts in a hot tub. Then Marunde gets in a hoodie and a sleeping bag in the backyard. In Vegas. That’ll do it. We get a montage later that shows considerable amounts of sweat rolling out.

Over to Nelson’s team, and Roy is having a lot of trouble getting Lane to realize he can’t just let Marunde push him to the fence.

Then back to the weight-cut montage, including a nice torrent of sweat.

Weigh-in time, and Marunde makes it. Or does he? A couple of people on Nelson’s team think the beam on the scale was up. As in, “Dude, he’s heavier than that.”

Both Marunde and Lane say they’re fighting for a financial future for their young kids. Anyone else get really uncomfortable when fighters say that? You know, unemployment’s down. You can get steadier jobs. With health insurance, pending Congressional action in 2013.

Marunde seems like the better-grounded guy. He’s down to earth. And yet he comes across like an ’80s movie villain. He does know his ’80s films:

Tale of the tape: Marunde’s taller, older, more experienced … how exactly is Lane going to win this? He starts out swinging wildly and then being taken … you guessed it … up against the cage.

After 90 seconds of nothing, Marunde opens enough distance to land some knees. They break, and we get a view of Lane’s absurdly tight shorts. Why isn’t he wearing TUF standard issue? Can’t we put a black bar over that? And why is he taking so many knees?

Lane does succeed once or twice is turning it into a wild brawl, and that’s where he could succeed. Marunde’s face is somehow turned into a bloody mess. And yet the round ends with Marunde on top of Lane, pounding his ribs.

Between rounds, we see two gashes on Marunde’s face — one on the bridge of the nose, one on his cheek. Lane opens with a solid head kick. Then he slips throwing a wild right hand from about 20 feet away. Marunder responds with a sharp leg kick and combo. To say Marunde is the more fundamentally sound fighter is like saying Neil Peart has better drum technique than Phil Rudd.

A couple of minutes in, Lane again throws long-range bombs. One or two somehow land. Marunde again presses Lane to the cage, but Lane circles. Marunde regains control. Nelson keeps calling for Lane to throw an inside leg kick.

Round 2 ends, and there’s clearly not enough time in the episode for a third. I’d guess Marunde won, but the blood could sway the judges, and each round was close. But it goes to Marunde.

THEN Nelson brings up the weight issue. “Do you want me to make sure the commissioner does HIS job?”

White is stunned. And he tells Nelson he should’ve brought it up at the weigh-in. Which is what Nelson was asking! 

Yet White exclaimed, “You can’t fix stupid.” No, but can you fix the scales?

Lane is in tears, dealing with the reckoning of letting down his family. Dude, CareerBuilder.

Next week: Lane seems mad again.

Worth noting: Nelson’s bottom two draft picks have fought. So have Carwin’s top two. So Carwin leads 2-1, but don’t bet on him holding that lead.

The Ultimate Fighter 16: 16 random facts about the show

The Ultimate Fighter Friday: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson Yes We’re Still on Fridays on FX But No We’re Not Live Any More debuts on … well, Friday.

Sixteen things you might not know about the cast of the show’s 16th domestic season (not counting TUF Brazil or the new international seasons in various stages of planning/production — UK vs. Australia, India):

1. Two fighters have big red or pink Mohawks. (Julian Lane, Ricky Legere Jr.)

2. Fighters include one from North Dakota (Leo Kuntz) and one from South Dakota (David Michaud). Michaud is representing his reservation, as this remarkable video shows.

3. Colton Smith is an Army Ranger with a political chip on his shoulder. “The only thing that Colton has a hard time not choking out is the plethora of liberal tree-huggers he tends to run into in the greater DC area,” says his bio at sponsor Ranger Up. I don’t know — most of the liberal tree-huggers I know in the D.C. area could probably take this guy. They work out a lot.

4. Jason South is 34. He addresses his age in his TUF bio: “Well most people are giving me shit because of my age but I think it’s going to play a big role in keeping my head in the right place.”

5. Kevin Nowaczyk’s nickname is “Give Me Your Lunch Money.” Most nicknames aren’t commands. And yet he’s so humble that he answers the TUF bio question “Why you think you will be the next Ultimate Fighter champion” with “I don’t know if I will be …” (Matthew Secor’s answer starts “I don’t think I will be” but continues “I know I will be.”)

6. Best answer to the “Why you’ll win” bio question goes to Sam Alvey: “Because the force is with me.” (He elaborates.) He also was a “big time band participant” in high school.

7. Most of Lev Magen’s fight experience is in Israel.

8. Cameron Diffley was Forrest Griffin’s assistant coach, specializing in jiu-jitsu, when the former UFC light heavyweight champion was a TUF coach.

9. Igor Araujo helps develop the jiu-jitsu of the current UFC light heavyweight champ, Jon Jones.

10. Bristol Marunde is an IFL and Strikeforce veteran who chased down a rape suspect and stopped him with a head kick.

11. Alaskan Nic Herron-Webb is nicknamed “Naptime.” His MMA specialty is “Nap-jitsu.”

12. Dom Waters’ nickname is “Sho Nuff,” not to be confused with Rodney “Sho Nuff The Master” Wallace.

13. Frank “The Crank” Camacho made his pro debut at age 16 and says he has been training to win The Ultimate Fighter since age 14. Most of his fights were on Pacific islands, but he has moved to Maryland to work with Lloyd Irvin.

14. James Chaney, one of only three cast members with a Wikipedia entry (the others are Marunde and Diffley), has fought in Russia and lists his MMA specialty as “sambo.”

15. Several cast members have fought in Zuffa’s sibling promotion Strikeforce, including Bristol Marunde, Saad Awad, Ricky Legere Jr., and Cortez Coleman. Legere and Coleman have Strikeforce wins.

16. This season had no open auditions.

Last season didn’t have a lot of drama in the house. You’d think 13 weeks in the house would make people crazier than usual, but it seems to have a sedating effect. Producers seemed to think bringing Ronda Rousey into the house would spark … something. No. What are they going to do — hit on her on camera, knowing they’ll be released into the real world in another six weeks or so?

Also, by going live each week, producers and editors only had a short time to see what had happened in the house. Storylines couldn’t really be built.

This season? Looks dramatic.

Hard-core fans might not be happy. But will the ratings be better? As Shaun Al-Shatti said at MMA Fighting — you’re either pumped or vowing not to watch a single second.