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TUF 13 Recap Ep. 5: ‘Ultimate Soap Opera’

Intrigue!  Discord!  Passion!  A stuffed animal and a compound fracture!  This week’s episode of “The Ultimate Soap Opera” has it all – plus more!

We pick up where we left off last week, with coach Brock Lesnar berating his troops for performances that he perceives are on par with the feces of poultry.  You see, Team Lesnar exponent Charley Rader has just fallen to Team dos Painted Nails representative Ramsey Nijem, and the war of attrition is being lost.

“You guys are getting your asses kicked!” exclaims the ex-champ.  “Just like I got my ass kicked by Cain Velasquez!  Only with less TKOs and stuff.”

Len Bentley doesn’t like hearing this.  He feels that, though he lost in his quarterfinal bout, he left it all in the cage.  So like any mature fighter who came into the TUF House riding a loss (seriously, check his record; he lost to Tom Gallicchio at an M-1 Selections event just prior to filming), he storms out and says disparaging things about his coach to the camera.

“Brock is mean!” he says.  “I hate him!”

Meanwhile, back in the locker room, Lesnar notes to those still present that Bentley has a chip on his shoulder.  Sure, wouldn’t you if your last two fights resulted in a big, fat “L”?

Bentley returns, however, and Lesnar attempts to smooth things over.  “Guys, I just need someone to ‘wow’ me.  Please, just ‘wow’ me.”

The remaining three Team Lesnar-ites agree to “wow” him, or at the very least, “yikes” him.

And in case you’re wondering, all is not well with Team dos Santos.  Assistant coach Lew Polley just can’t stop overstepping his boundaries, and this time it’s by teaching the kids boxing and jiu-jitsu – which, as a wrestling coach, he should know nothing about.  The camera focuses on Junior dos Santos himself, giving Polley the stink-eye.

About five minutes has elapsed in the episode and now it’s time for coach dos Santos to choose the next fight.  He picks his resident incoherent Brit, Michael Bowman, to face Clay Harvison.

Then we’re back at the TUF House, and in the abode’s enormous Japanese rock garden (filled with sand, actually), someone has scrawled the words “Chris Cope is a secret agent”.  Who dunnit?  Gosh, I don’t know, but we should definitely spend three-quarters of an episode basking in the inherent drama. 

Cope and his team discover the message first, and they spend the next fifteen minutes swearing blood oaths and taking improvised polygraph examinations to prove to each other that they either did not write the hateful words or that they are not, in fact, a secret agent for the government.

“I’m not saying you are,” says Harvison, “but I think that you are.”

“I’m not, I swear it,” retorts Cope, stuffed rabbit in hand.  “Bun-Bun, am I a secret agent?” he asks it.  He shakes it so its ears flop from side to side in a “no”.

More accusations follow, someone exposes their butt (thankfully, blurred), and TUFers are insulted and almost come to blows.

Then the camera switches to the Brit, alone in his room and nestled under the covers.  “Actually, I wrote that in the sand,” he says – at least, that’s what the subtitles tell us he’s said.  “I mean, the bloke is constantly watching everyone, taking notes and snapping pictures with a miniature camera disguised as a mouthpiece.  Plus, all his underwear says ‘Property of the CIA’.”

We don’t get much of a training montage this week, but what we do get is an extended pre-fight warm up in the locker room.  In Casa de Lesnar, the massive coach dons a chest pad and lets Harvison beat on him.  In Casa de Brazil, dos Santos is imploring Bowman to move from side to side and not just straight back.  Throughout it all, Bowman insists that, as he misses his daughter so much, he has every intention of killing his foe in the cage.  That’s nice.

And then they’re in the cage and fighting.  Round 1 sees Bowman inexplicably eat right hand after right hand while moving backwards, despite Harvison throwing it all the way from Australia.  But don’t be fooled: this is the farthest thing from a technical display of striking artistry.  No, it’s pretty ugly, and it only gets uglier in Round 2, when Harvison runs out of gas and struggles to keep putting his right hand in the Brit’s face.  He does though, and when time runs out, he gets the decision.

But wait!  There’s more!  Apparently, Harvison neglected to keep his fingers clenched into a fist when blocking one of his opponent’s kicks, and BAM!  His pinky broke.  Like, bone-sticking-out/compound fracture/the digit is now shaped like a “W” broke.  He is, of course, not going to be able to compete anymore this season (his finger will need a splint).  However, when he shows the disfigured appendage to his coach, Lesnar looks impressed.

“Congratulations,” says the Minnesotan.  “That counts as both a ‘wow’ and a ‘yikes’.”

The end.

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