Six minutes. That’s how long it took for UFC president Dana White to drop his infamous f-bomb, which took the form of a string of invectives meant to motivate the newest crop of TUFers as they stood agape in the Octagon in the heart of the Mandalay Bay Event Center. “Do you want to be an f***ing fighter?” bespoke White. “How bad do you f***ing want it? Damn, am I f***ing thirsty. Can someone get me a glass of f***ing water?”
And so it goes, with this, the first episode of the fourteenth and last season of the Ultimate Fighter on SpikeTV, with the bantamweights and featherweights on deck and coaches Michael “Down for the Count” Bisping and Mayhem “His first name is actually Jason” Miller waiting in the wings, and the most important question – when will White break the f-bomb seal – is answered in only six minutes. Rest easy, dear friend, for now we can enjoy the carnage, carnage created by the thirty-two eager and hungry aspirants who must fight to even catch a glimpse of the TUF House. There is no drama this week but what transpires in the cage, no shenanigans involving flour or punched-out doors or foosball tables thrown in the pool. Just fighting.
Of course, by the end of the second hour of this double episode, things began to blend together into one meta-bout – didn’t we just see that guy win via knockout? What the heck is that kangaroo doing in there? Kimbo, is that you? But here is the gist of it:
Josh Ferguson is so country, when he breaks wind it sounds like Dwight Yoakam singing. But he’s got skills, and his opponent looks all of twelve-years old, which prompts coach Miller to mutter, “Uh, shouldn’t someone card that kid?” Words said too late, though, as Country Boy Ferguson needs about fifteen seconds to knock his underage foe out.
Brazilian Diego Brandao speaks with a somewhat discernable accent, yet gets the subtitle treatment anyway. Please. Georges St. Pierre coaches for an entire season and to this day no one knows what he said, and Brandao gets subtitles? Too little, too late, Mr. SpikeTV producer. Too little, too late. Anyway, Brandao smashes someone so white-skinned they’re practically see-through.
Team Greg Jackson prospect John Dodson smiles a big, face-engulfing smile prior to his bout against some dude who vows to treat their bout like it’s the last ten minutes of his life. Then Dodson TKO’s him with a body blow, and that gargantuan smile returns.
Unaware that people actually watch television, and this show in particular, New Yorker Dennis Bermudez reveals that an ex-girlfriend played him hard with false paternity claims before skipping out with another man. Opponent Jimmie Rivera, a King of the Cage champ, beats on Bermudez for all of the first round, but takes pity on Bermudez’s story and lets himself get pounded out.
Grizzly Ferguson, Josh Ferguson’s brother, takes to the cage with about four years-worth of beard growth – I mean, there are actually dead leaves and what looks to be half a bird’s nest in there – and loses handily via submission to someone named Roland.
Marcus Brimage, another highly-touted prospect, batters a Hawaiian so badly you can almost see the IQ points spilling out onto the canvas. Meanwhile, Carson Beebe talks up how his brother is Chase Beebe, the former WEC champ, then does his best to re-enact Chase Beebe versus Miguel Torres – the bout where Chase lost his belt. (He does a fair job of it, too, losing via guillotine to Johnny Grunge just as Chase lost to Torres.)
Dustin Pague gets past a very competent Kid Japan in a fight that sees lots of sharp kickboxing and lots of sharp jiu-jitsu. Green-Haired Gaudinot elbows Scotty Scotland so hard, Scotty loses his accent. Brian Caraway Seed lays atop a loaf of rye bread with such lack of desire, White can only shake his head in disgust. Dustin Nice ekes out a decision against someone who ends up crying in the hallway. Matt Jaggers talks about waking up at 5:00 am to train, yet gets TKO’d by a TJ Hooker (yes, the 80s cop show starring William Shatner) guard pass.
Micah Miller enters. He’s the brother of Cole Miller, a veteran of the WEC and DREAM, and supposedly so good, White doesn’t even wait for the bout to begin to put an X through opponent Steven Siler’s name and recommend that Bisping name his next child Micah. Then Siler crushes Miller and taps him out, and we are reminded that taking White to the racetrack to bet on horses would be a colossal waste of time.
Non-Fat Albert wins and performs the worst victory dance ever, and the Swede knocks his opponent into next week.
And there you have it. The action was pretty solid throughout, and if what was on display tonight is of any indication, what’s in store for the rest of the season should be both thrilling and memorable. Who will win it all? Will the heat between Bisping and Mayhem burn us like the sun on a hot summer day? Who cares. We got our f-bomb. Everything else is just gravy.