Okay, here’s my week – late review of the The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 episode 2. Nothing too exciting in this episode, as it’s pretty much straightforward TUF fair. I kept my review of episode one very spoiler – free, but I don’t think I can do that with the succeeding episodes unless I want my reviews to be just one or two – liners.
So, yeah ... SPOILER ALERT!
Episode one was mostly composed of just the preliminary fights, and most of them were truncated. For those who haven’t heard, they’re all available to view for free over at the official UFC website. Now that those are over, episode 2 naturally starts off with the next step: picking teams.
Dana goes for his usual blue – and – red sided coin, and Tito wins the toss. Same as before, the winner of the toss gets to pick either the first fight or the first fighter. Tito goes for the first fighter, immediately allowing Chuck to pick the first fight. I’ve always personally thought that, if I was one of the coaches, I’d pick first fighter as well. The reason is that if you manage to get your ideal guys on your team, as Tito managed to do, apparently, then you’d have who you personally think is the strongest amongst the group. In this case, most fight combinations should not be too much of a concern since, if trained properly, the fighters picked would be able to beat the others who weren’t, since they’re better.
After the picks, Dana was concerned that Chuck might have somehow picked a bad combination of fighters, specifically because he seemed to have picked all the smaller guys in the group; guys, who should, conceivably, be able to drop down to 170 and fight at welterweight, where they would have the size advantage. Dana confronts Chuck, but it appears that Lidell has most, if not all, his top picks. He personally thinks that he has the more skilled guys in the group, given how impressed he was with their fights and records. Dana still doesn’t get it, seeing as Tito picked all of the guys with stoppages in the prelims, but he’ll just wait and see. He does acknowledge that Chuck has an eye for strategy and that he is a good coach. Both winners in the first Ultimate Fighter were from his team, so maybe he’ll sweep this season as well, despite the obvious size disadvantage of his fighters.
The fighters, then, of course, get to move into the house, and, as usual, pranks immediately occur. The pranksters managed to get hold of several air horns and blasted everyone with noise in the middle of the night. Not too amusing to look at, but I personally would have been pissed if I was one of these guys. I love my sleep, and no one better tear me away from it. Naturally, some of the fighters in the house felt the same way, but nothing outrageous occurred, just some words exchanged. After ten seasons of the show, people should know better, so the chances of brawls happening among the fighters outside the cage are pretty slim. The coaches, however, might be a different story, but I still personally doubt it.
Fight pick time! There was some concern among Tito’s team who would be picked, but they were sure it would be one of the two with injuries. Clayton McKinney strained his shoulder during his fight, and Chris Camozzi has several injuries from his “three round war”, including various cuts and bruises.
And they were right. Chuck picks Clayton McKinney to fight his man, Kyle Noke, an Australian trained by famed coach Greg Jackson.
The fight itself is actually pretty good. McKinney starts off aggressive with leg kicks, but the generally goes slow for the first two minutes as the fighters try to find their distance. It then immediately goes to the ground, with Noke quickly submitting McKinney with a Triangle 2:15 into the match.
The really interesting thing is what happens after the fight, however. Noke walks away in disgust back to the locker, but Tito stops him and forces him to drill a Triangle Defense several times before letting him go.
Overall, it was a good episode. Not that great, since it’s mostly standard TUF fair, but still good. The fight was short and sweet, but the real meat seems to occur in the next episode, where they hype up something really bad. Now I admit that most of the time it’s just something generally uninteresting that gets blown out of proportion during the previews, but plenty of rumors negative have been swirling around Tito Ortiz, saying that he was kicked off the show and replaced by Rich Franklin. This is only further hyped by the UFC’s very recent announcement that Franklin has officially replaced Tito as Liddell’s opponent at UFC 115.
Okay, I admit it, even after watching ten full seasons of TUF, I’m still buying the hype and am honestly very excited to see what the new episode reveals. Will Tito get kicked off the show? If he does, then that, at least, will be a TUF first.
Check out my reviews of the other episodes of The Ultimate Fighter season 11 here!