Last night’s episode of the “Ultimate People Who Forgot They’d Be Away From Their Family” begins with Team dos Santos working out hard. And yes, there are gimmicks. In past seasons, we’ve seen everything from Tito Ortiz tugging on his wards while they grapple each other to Georges St. Pierre bringing in drunk French kickboxers to batter the troops. Well, dos Santos gets in on the running joke by making his team wear gas masks while exercising. Seriously? Does it stink in the TUF Center?
It does as far as aspiring fighter Keon Caldwell is concerned, for he retreats into the restroom to vomit. But all is not well for Caldwell mentally, either, as he misses his young daughter, whom he apparently thought was going to be living in the TUF House with him for the duration of filming. Now he is suffering her absence, and he makes it known to coach dos Santos. The affable Brazilian does his best to convince him to stay. Assistant coach Lew Polley, on the other hand, is the “bad cop” to dos Santos’ “good cop”, and he voices loudly his opinions on Caldwell.
“Yeah, dude sucks,” says Polley – or something like that.
As this is the thirteenth season of TUF, Dana White has honed his senses to the point where he can smell a quitter a mile away, and Caldwell is putting out the stink something fierce. So White shows up – seemingly out of the blue – and grills Caldwell like he’s a T-bone over smoldering charcoal. Caldwell nods an emphatic “yes” after each question (“Yes, sir, I want to stay. Yes, sir, I want to be here. Yes, sir, I want to live rent-free in a spacious house in Las Vegas.”)
Unfortunately, it’s all lies, and by next commercial Caldwell is gone.
Coach Brock Lesnar is feeling the weight of his team’s first loss, and he takes the time to freely admit to the camera that he doesn’t think highly of his boys. He keeps talking about “making chicken salad out of chicken sh*t”, possibly alluding to an old Minnesota recipe, but it’s unclear if his cooking threats are influencing his team.
As Team dos Santos won the last bout, the Brazilian picks the next match-up. He chooses one of his supposedly best guys, Javier Torres, to face one of Lesnar’s alleged worst, Chris Cope.
“Yeah, dude sucks,” says assistant coach Polley of Cope, whom he used to train back at Team Quest.
Backstory time, and this is what we learn of Torres: he’s Mexican, he used to buy UFC DVDs at the market, his mom used to beat him, and he recently knocked someone up. We also get a few tidbits on Cope, such as: he has a full-time job, his daughter gave him a stuffed rabbit named “Bun-Bun”, and everyone on his team thinks the other guy will beat him. With that glowing endorsement, how can he lose?
And then they’re fighting. Or, more aptly, playing the man-hug game against the cage for about four and a half minutes of each round, with some sad kicks and punches thrown in for good measure. This display of top-notch welterweight action goes on for two rounds, with assistant coach Polley saying aloud, “Yeah, these dudes suck,” and the judges shaking their heads in dismay at the daunting task of having to score the damn thing. They can’t, so a third round is needed. The hugfest continues, and when time runs out, Cope is declared the winner (why? By virtue of his penchant for inexplicably exclaiming “Woo!” every now and then?)
Team Lesnar is ecstatic, and back in their locker room the ex-champ is positively flush with the glow victory brings. “I made chicken salad out of chicken sh*t,” he says. “Who wants some?”
I don’t know, Mr. Lesnar. It probably tastes like crap.